Say what you will about the 8th Doctor‘s ill-fated TV movie, his appearances in the Big Finish audio dramas have made him a fan favorite. So much so, that when his existence was consistently denied, and fans were never treated to a regeneration, that it was a source of consistent grumbling. Truth be told, I think a lot of fans resigned themselves to knowing that the reference in the episode “The Family of Blood” was going to be the only reference.

Thus, it took many fans by delighted surprise when the minisode,  “The Night of the Doctor” went online. After all, McGann’s Doctor — the TV movie notwithstanding– is truly an amazing Doctor, with complex personality that is capable of such hope and such darkness (a little reminiscent of the Eleventh Doctor, actually), but to expect he’d get more than a drawing in a book!

So we know how the fans feel, but how about the Eight Doctor himself?

“It feels really good to be back,” McGann states in a BBC interview. “I mean, look at me man, I’ve never looked better.”

As for getting back in the role, and the way his character is portrayed, he says “[The Doctor] wants to do good. He’s determined to avoid the war; wants no part in it. His hearts in the right place, but of course its battered as well. But there is something romantic, perhaps, about it.”

But what about the surprise that blindsided all of Whoviandom with the simple line “I am the Doctor, but probably not the one you’re expecting”? Well, here’s what he had to say on that:

“It’s a surprise to everybody. In fact, they’re trying to keep it a genuine surprise  and I really hope that they do. You know, it’s the gap, it’s the big thing, it’s the thing they really want to see addressed. Finally, after years, the Eighth Doctors got the regeneration. It was needed. It was really what we needed. It was something that was seriously missing and it’s been a real privilege to come and finally bridge the gap.”

To see the full interview, watch it here: