Paul John McGann is an English actor best known as the eighth incarnation of the Doctor in the 1996 Doctor Who television film, a role he reprised in more than 70 audio dramas and the 2013 mini-episode “The Night of the Doctor”. He came to prominence for portraying Percy Toplis in the 1986 television serial The Monocled Mutineer. He later starred in the 1987 dark comedy Withnail and I.
McGann’s breakthrough role was Give us a Break, in which he played a good snooker player who got into scrapes with Robert Lindsay, who played his wideboy manager. McGann’s first major dramatic role was the infamous British deserter and criminal Percy Toplis in the 1986 BBC serial The Monocled Mutineer. Following on from that part of Percy Toplis, McGann sought a less controversial and more comedic role for his next project. In 1986, he was cast as the anonymous main character in Bruce Robinson’s cult film comedy, Withnail and I. McGann’s other early film appearances include The Monk, Dealers, Tree of Hands and the epic war film Empire of the Sun.
Paul McGann played the eighth incarnation of the Doctor in the Doctor Who 1996 television film. The television film also starred Eric Roberts, Daphne Ashbrook and featured the outgoing Seventh Doctor, Sylvester McCoy. Paul McGann reprised his role as the Eighth Doctor in the mini-episode “The Night of the Doctor”. In this appearance his incarnation of the Doctor finally regenerates, 17 years after his first television appearance, into a previously unknown Doctor played by John Hurt.
McGann has also been in demand for voice-over work in Britain in recent years, particularly on television documentaries and commercials.