Paul McGann is either the shortest- or longest-serving Doctor, depending on how you look at it. From a TV perspective, he's only ever been in one episode, the 1996 TV movie that failed to act as a backdoor pilot. His only other official credit is the 50th-anniversary short Night of the Doctor, which was only just transmitted last year.
On the other hand, the Eighth Doctor has done more audio dramas than any other Doctor. And, by my measure, Big Finish, who was responsible for those modern-day radio plays, was what kept Doctor Who a vibrant and living organism for all those years that it was away from our TV screens.
However you see it, though, Paul McGann made a wonderful Doctor. And he thinks Peter Capaldi could be not only better, but the very best of all. Why?
"I honestly think, knowing Peter as I do, that he could well turn out to be the best of the lot. I really do. He’s got the combination of steel and comedy and intelligence that is the Doctor. He might just turn out to be a genius, a master stroke. Because we know how good he is. One thing that Capaldi does, and I know it might sound daft because there’s lots of clever actors, but not that many who can act highly intelligent –- he can."
So what, specifically, makes Capaldi so brilliant by McGann's measure? Says Paul:
"He’s a super brain, Peter...he’s even won an Oscar as a director. He’s a brilliant man who can act brilliantly – he can also be funny, but he can be scary while he’s being funny and that might turn out to be the best combination of Doctor.”
And this compliment also comes with a bit of a stab at what's come before since the show returned in 2005.
"It’s good that they made that decision at this point in time. To get away from some young, handsome guy."
Er, um ... we assume McGann means that Capaldi is also handsome, just less young.
(via Doctor Who TV)