English actor Paul McGann was born November 14, 1959 in Liverpool, England, which means that today, Sunday, November 14, 2021 is his 62nd birthday.

McGann played the 8th incarnation of the Doctor in the 1996 made-for-TV Dr. Who movie. His performance was slightly controversial at the time because he claimed to be only half-Gallifreyan, and the other half Earth-human. This claim was never mentioned previously by the BBC nor touched on since then. The movie was written by Matthew Jacobs, who also wrote scripts for Dr. Who (“The Gunfighters” in 1966), (“Survival” in 1989) and The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles.

Paul McGann as the Eighth Doctor
Paul McGann as William Bush in ITV’s Hornblower.

Buckling Swashes

Paul McGann has had plenty of experience playing the adventuresome rake. He was Lt. William Bush in the ITV Hornblower series, which won an Emmy for Outstanding Mini-Series in 1999. He also appeared in The Three Musketeers (1993) as Giraud, the indignant brother of a girl D’Artagnan had courted.

Paul McGann was originally cast as Richard Sharpe in the popular Sharpe movies nased on Bernard ornwell’s novels. Unfirtunately for McGann, due to an injury he had to relinquish the role to Sean Bean. Had things been different, Paul McGann might have been the one cast in LOTR, Percy Jackson, and 007.

Science Fiction

The Doctor was not his only science fiction role. He appeared in Alien 3 as Golic, one of the prisoners on the penal colony planet. He also starred in the radio adaption of The Phoenix Files. He has reprised the role of the Doctor for some radio plays. In the horror film Queen of the Damned (2002), based in the Anne Rice novel, he played David Talbot.

Paul McGann starred in the poular British TV show Withnail & I. He also gave life to the role of Percy Toplis in The Monocled Mutineer.

He is a popular voice actor and narrator in England for documentaries and audiobooks — especially, lately, with Big Finish, reprising his role as the Eighth Doctor — including Jeff Noon’s cyperpunk novel, Vurt.


Since 1993, McGann has been married to Annie Milner. They have two sons, Joseph and Jake. He has three brothers who are also actors, Stephen McGann, Mark McGann, and Joe McGann.

Happy Birthday, Paul McGann. Here’s wishing you many great roles in the future. We’re glad you’re here.


Susan Macdonald
Susan Macdonald

Susan Macdonald is the author of the children’s book “R is for Renaissance Faire”, as well as 26 short stories, mostly fantasy in “Alternative Truths”, “Swords and Sorceress ”, Swords &Sorceries Vols. 1, 2, & 5, “Cat Tails” “Under Western Stars”, and “Knee-High Drummond and the Durango Kid”. Her articles have appeared on SCIFI.radio’s web site, in The Inquisitr, and in The Millington Star. She enjoys Renaissance Faires (see book above), science fiction conventions,  Highland Games, and Native American pow-wows.