Doctor Who Sylvester McCoy reveals he was axed in 1989 via LETTER amid BBC's 'internal politics'

EXCLUSIVE: How BBC bureaucrats axed Doctor Who star Sylvester McCoy via LETTER – and why ‘internal politics’ were behind the show’s 15-year hiatus

Scottish actor Sylvester McCoy, 77, was the final Doctor during the original run of the BBC’s sci-fi television series Doctor Who in the 1980s.

The long-running program went on a 15-year hiatus following Sylvester’s exit, and has garnered an even stronger fan base after it was revived in 2005.

Speaking to Daily Mail Australia, Sylvester revealed he was ‘quite miffed’ when he found out his run was being cut short via a letter and a follow-up phone call.

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Inside story: How BBC bureaucrats axed Doctor Who star Sylvester McCoy via LETTER - and why 'internal politics' were behind the show's 15-year hiatus

Inside story: How BBC bureaucrats axed Doctor Who star Sylvester McCoy via LETTER – and why ‘internal politics’ were behind the show’s 15-year hiatus 

All seasons of Doctor Who have now dropped on BritBox in Australia, including Sylvester’s three seasons from 1987 to 1989.

Sylvester, the seventh incarnation of the Doctor, said BBC executives had ‘twisted [his] arm to do a fourth season’, only to change their minds a few months later.

He explained: ‘Later in year, the telephone rang and the producer, the late John Nathan-Turner, phoned me to tell me that he’d sent me a letter, which I thought was kind of a strange thing. 

‘I said, “Okay, good. I’ll look out for it.” Then he said, “I might as well read it to you,” so he did and the letter was that they decided to put it into hiatus.

‘The European understatement was that I was miffed, I was quite miffed really, because they had twisted my arm to do a fourth season. I only agreed to do three.’ 

'I was quite miffed really': Sylvester, the seventh incarnation of the Doctor, said BBC bosses had 'twisted [his] arm to do a fourth season', only to change their minds a few months later

‘I was quite miffed really’: Sylvester, the seventh incarnation of the Doctor, said BBC bosses had ‘twisted [his] arm to do a fourth season’, only to change their minds a few months later

Having his say: Sylvester said that 'it was a mistake' for the BBC to cancel the original run of Doctor Who because it was still profitable

Having his say: Sylvester said that ‘it was a mistake’ for the BBC to cancel the original run of Doctor Who because it was still profitable 

He continued: ‘I was annoyed, because they had kind of twisted my arm to do a full season and then I was also annoyed because the buzz was good.

‘The last season, many people agreed, the writing and the stories were really good and they were working really well.’

Sylvester added that ‘it was a mistake’ for the BBC to cancel the original run of Doctor Who because it was still profitable. 

‘It was internal politics really,’ he said, ‘because what happened was the BBC in those days you could only make your name if you came along with a new program and of course the late Verity Ann Lambert OBE had made her name with Doctor Who 20-odd years before, so the new people wanted to get that [time] slot so they could make something new and make a name for themselves. That’s why they got rid of it.’ 

Verdict: Sylvester said the reason the BBC 'got rid of Doctor Who' was due to 'internal politics'

Verdict: Sylvester said the reason the BBC ‘got rid of Doctor Who’ was due to ‘internal politics’

'Joy': Despite his disappointment over how things ended, Sylvester is delighted that a new generation is able to experience Doctor Who thanks to the 13 seasons released after 2005

‘Joy’: Despite his disappointment over how things ended, Sylvester is delighted that a new generation is able to experience Doctor Who thanks to the 13 seasons released after 2005 

Despite his disappointment over how things ended, Sylvester is delighted that a new generation is able to experience Doctor Who thanks to the 13 seasons released after 2005. 

‘When the 21st century Doctors arrived suddenly the fans loved it and went hunting for more and found us [the original Doctors], and liked us!’ he said.

‘That was nothing but delight and joy. To have a young person come up to you and say, “You’re my favourite doctor,” it just brings me such pleasure and such joy, really.’

BritBox has Australia’s largest streaming collection of classic and contemporary Doctor Who with all 13 doctors in one place.

Visit www.britbox.com.au and sign up for your free trial today. 

BritBox has Australia's largest streaming collection of classic and contemporary Doctor Who with all 13 doctors in one place. Pictured: David Tennant as Dr Who with assistant Rose Tyler, played by Billie Piper

BritBox has Australia’s largest streaming collection of classic and contemporary Doctor Who with all 13 doctors in one place. Pictured: David Tennant as Dr Who with assistant Rose Tyler, played by Billie Piper

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This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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