Naturally, those enthusiastic fans – and, indeed, many producers – were unwilling to accept this. In addition to a popular range of novels continuing the Doctor’s adventures, the next few years saw many figures approach the BBC with ideas for ways to regenerate the Doctor for the 1990s. This ultimately led to the 1996 Doctor Who TV movie, starring Paul McGann, which tried to Americanize the show. Sadly, the Paul McGann movie proved a failure, likely in part because an amnesiac plot meant the actor didn’t really have a solid chance to give viewers an idea of what his Doctor was really like.
Another attempted Doctor Who relaunch from this time has, however, been forgotten. The Bigger on the Inside podcast spoke to Ted Bastien, an animator who worked for a Canadian animation company called Nelvana, who revealed the BBC had approached them with the idea of an animated spinoff starring James Bond actor Sean Connery as an unspecified incarnation of the Doctor. The Doctor Who animated series was inspired by the success of Star Wars’ Droids and Ewoks shows, and Bastien shared artwork clearly drawing inspiration from Doc in the Back to the Future films.
Unfortunately, the BBC really don’t seem to have been convinced the Doctor Who animated series would work; Bastien recalls rumors the powers-that-be tried to persuade Nelvala to pay the budget. Matters would likely have been complicated by Doctor Who’s labyrinthine character rights, more difficult to navigate than any time-space vortex. In the end, a rival studio based in the U.K. promised they could pull off a better animation for a cheaper budget, and the Nelvana series fell through. It didn’t take long for those plans, too, to fail. Sean Connery never got his chance to play the Doctor.
\u2764\ufe0fPODCAST UPDATE\u2764\ufe0fLater today I’ll be having a quick chat with Ted Bastien. Ted was the man behind the concept art for the cancelled cartoon revival of Doctor Who. We should have a lot to talk about \ud83d\udc7d #DoctorWho pic.twitter.com/dTooXTcxku— Bigger On The Inside Podcast (@BiggerOnThePod) December 21, 2021