A small selection of quotes from Paul McGann, during the filming of the 1996 TV movie. There’s an interesting attempt to draw an analogy between the Yeti and Jesus, and the idea of the Doctor having a kind of vampire-like quality.
“The monster that did it for me was the Yeti. I was only thinking yesterday that because we were good little Catholic boys, we used to go to church three or four times a week, and in Catholic churches you have these sacred heart statues, the figure of Jesus, you know, holding back his gown or whatever and there’s the beating heart, with a crown of thorns flashing around it, almost like a cartoon heart. Rich stuff. What would happen with the Yeti? His chest would come apart and he’d be sitting there with the golden ball. And we’d be sitting there watching it, going ‘Jesus!’.
“What’s attracted me to this particular script is kind of the vampire flavour of it, the Time Lord who’s been around for centuries, he comes and goes. There’s a bitterness to it, there’s an edge, a dark side. It just suggests something else. Originally I thought I couldn’t do it, I can’t be Dr. Who, it’s now what I do, I haven’t got the skill. I’m not that kind of… But… So I turned it down, but over the months they would feed me bits and bobs of the script, let me know how it’s developing, because it’s under the aegis, it’s North American, to break the thing in North America properly…
“I’m not that slick. I’m fairly private. I go completely shtum. People go to these seminars, conventions, and quite honestly the thought of going near one right now makes my flesh creep, I can’t imagine, God, I know I’m going to have to, I’m going to get collared at some point and have to turn up at one of these things. Some people are going to like you, some people are going to hate your guts, and I guess that’s about fair. There’s going to be some who are mortally offended. People throwing themselves off ships. I mean, with respect, I’m no in-door scarf-wearing, Home Counties eccentric, I couldn’t do it. I spend the first twenty minutes of this thing not knowing who I am, wandering around this morgue in this hospital, and I get to these lockers where these costumes are, because it’s New Year’s Eve 1999, everyone’s going out dressed up, and there’s a scarf, a la Tom Baker, which is quickly dispensed with. He’s going off in another direction. Quite what it is, at the moment, we don’t know. If the thing does go to series, it depends if I’ve got the bottle to… just go with it.”