Doctor Who died in 1989. I was there and I remember it.
After a (mostly) remarkable 26-year run, the British sci-fi stalwart was finally canceled. Gone for good. Dead as a dodo. Et cetera and so on.
Except … when the show’s 30th anniversary rolled around in 1993, it became obvious that some kind of revival was afoot. Rumors flew around for the next couple of years:
- Steven Spielberg was going to be involved. (True, until it wasn’t true.)
- The series was going to be rebooted from the beginning, finally showing why the Doctor left his home planet of Gallifrey. (Also true for a while.)
- The TARDIS would no longer look like a British police box, but have somehow have lips in the console room (?) and rap (?!?). (Bizarre.)
- David Hasselhoff would play the Doctor. (That would make the Germans happy, at least.)
So when the film starring Paul McGann as the Doctor and Daphne Ashbrook as Dr. Grace Holloway finally aired in May 1996, I definitely remember having a sense of relief. Sure, the plot didn’t always add up (which I still blame on a variety of factors), but Doctor Who was back in a form that fans recognized. That it never turned into a series – that Fox chose to continue Sliders instead – seemed like a body blow at the time.
For someone who spent only five week or so filming Doctor Who, Daphne has been very open to meeting fans and talking about her experiences at conventions. That she’s a genuinely nice, funny and chatty person definitely helps.I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing Daphne twice now: once in early 2015 after we discussed a radio interview at the 2014 L.I. Who; and then at the November 2015 convention. The first time around, I wanted to know more about her albums (Grace Notes and All Good Dreamers) but naturally we ended up talking about Doctor Who, acting, meeting fans and all sorts of topics.
Last November, we mainly talked about her upcoming short film, Once More, With Feeling, which she wrote, produced and stars in. She did an Indiegogo campaign to help fund the movie, and she hopes that it will be going around to film festivals throughout 2016. Can’t wait to see it.