One of the best moments of series 9 of Doctor Who came in the eighth episode, “The Zygon Inversion,” during the climax of the two-part invasion story. Peter Capaldi‘s Twelfth Doctor delivers an impassioned and fiery speech about the futility of war and the importance of sitting down, talking, and thinking about the consequences of what “mutually assured destruction” actually means. It’s brilliant. Capaldi says the lines written by Steven Moffat and Peter Harness with such exasperation, it’s hard to imagine any other Doctor saying it. But, thanks to a recent sci-fi convention, we don’t have to imagine!
Paul McGann, who portrayed the Eighth Doctor in a TV movie in 1996, has gone on to be one of the most beloved and prolific Doctors thanks to his enormous catalog of audio adventures from Big Finish Productions. At Megacon in Orlando, FL over the weekend, McGann was asked by a fan to take a crack at what his compassionate, soft-spoken Doctor would make of this speech, and the results are wildly different but equally as moving. Take a look in the clip above (don’t worry — we’ll wait).
What I think I love the most about this iteration is, clearly, McGann is just cold reading this and yet he still manages to imbue it with gravitas and depth. He’s really excellent as the Doctor, and it all comes down to his way of being intense and forceful without raising his voice and shouting. He’s really terrific; if you haven’t heard his audios before I’d highly recommend them.
This also just gives a nice counterpoint to see how different actors perform the Doctor. For a comparison, here’s Capaldi doing it in the episode.
What do you think of alternate Doctor takes on famous speeches? What mix-and-match moments would you love to see/hear? Let me know in the comments below!
Kyle Anderson is the Weekend Editor, a film and TV critic, and the resident Whovian for Nerdist.com. Follow him on Twitter!