- The Seventh Doctor, Sylvester McCoy, explains why Doctor Who has lasted 60 years.
- The show’s ability to constantly regenerate the lead character and companions allows for continuous evolution without sacrificing narrative clarity.
- Doctor Who’s lasting success is attributed to its ability to reach across generations and resonate with audiences through its message of love and hope.
As Doctor Who prepares for its next regeneration, the Seventh Doctor (Sylvester McCoy) is speaking out about the how’s future. Doctor Who first premiered in 1963 with William Hartnell playing the titular alien. Since then, over a dozen actors have taken over the role of the show’s overarching protagonist. Ncuti Gatwa is currently set to be the next Doctor and is preparing to take over the role after the upcoming 60th Anniversary specials. These specials will be released in November.
With the 60th anniversary quickly approaching, McCoy sat down with RadioTimes to discuss the future of Doctor Who. To McCoy, Love is at the heart of the series and explains every one of the Doctor’s actions. He also explained his perspective on the show’s legacy, the hope that he has for the series’ future, and his surprise at the lasting success that Doctor Who has enjoyed. Check out his quote below:
“Well, that it carries on as it has been doing in the last few years, with imagination. I want to also spread the message of the Doctor’s love for humanity. He loves humanity and that’s very important that that goes on because humanity, especially at the moment, needs all the love it can get… Who would have thought? Here’s to the next 60 years.”
How Long Can Doctor Who Last?
Doctor Who has enjoyed a resurgence in popularity since its reboot in 2005. Its prominence has enabled the BBC and returning showrunner Russel T. Davies to secure a partnership with Disney+ for Doctor Who. With Disney+ securing international distribution rights, the show will have a larger budget and better promotion. These changes will likely only help to boost Doctor Who‘s ratings by increasing audience access beyond what the BBC and BBC America could offer.
Another benefit that ensures the long-term success of the series is that Doctor Who relies on change. The lead character and all of their companions are regularly replaced with new faces. The Doctor’s regeneration process allows the show to constantly evolve without sacrificing narrative clarity. David Tennant can choose to exit the show, and Matt Smith is able to take over with relative ease. There are no external issues created by recasting actors, which has enabled the show to increase its diversity while retaining its core cast of characters.
These factors help to ensure that Doctor Who remains a cultural centerpiece for as long as the audience is willing to engage with it. While McCoy saw the downfall of the series in 1989, it was able to regenerate itself for the 1996 Doctor Who movie and the 2005 revival. Over time, it has reached across generations to secure new audiences. As long as the message of love and hope continues to resonate, Doctor Who will likely be able to continue its ever-evolving run.