Date Of Birth/death: 1962 –
Doctor Who Producer: 1996
Preceded by: John Nathan-Turner (1990)
Phillip Segal was the eighth producer of Doctor Who. Segal was commissioned in 1996 to revive Doctor who for the American market; following it’s cancellation, 6 years earlier in 1990.
British born but having lived in America since the age of 16. Segal had gone into television and worked his way up through a number of American television channels in America and was keen on bringing Doctor Who back to the screen – following it’s cancellation in 1990.
Segal had produced a number of well-known TV series on American networks, including Young Indiana Jones Chronicles and DSV Seaquest.
It was during his time at Amblin Entertainment, that Segal met with BBC Exec Alan Yentob (who had flew over to the States to take a look at the production of DSV Seaquest). Segal used this opportunity to talk to Yentob, about resurrecting Doctor Who.
He eventually helped broker a deal between BBC Worldwide, Universal and Fox network, for a pilot episode that became known as Doctor Who: The TV Movie Segal produced the episode.
A large number of actors were considered for the role of the Eighth Doctor, including Christopher Eccleston and Peter Capaldi. In the end, Paul McGann was chosen.
“[Doctor Who] ….seemed like a wonderful opportunity to try and do something that had not been exposed to the American market. Yes, there had been videos and books over, in small circles but that was really it. And so, I started on a 7 year journey to get the television movie made. Sadly it was just a television movie and not a series, which is what the BBC wanted and expected out of the partnership with Universal.” – Segal on producing the Doctor Who: TV Movie.
Doctor Who: The TV Movie was shot in Canada, which was the first time it had been filmed in America and given the sizeable budget of $5 million dollars.
The finished article was broadcast in May 1996 and whilst it wasn’t well received, in America. It was well-received in the UK. However, it took another 9 years for a perceived new series to happen.
Segal later commented, that he accepted the TV movie could have been better; than it was. He said he made the best calls he could, working under pressure to produce something that satisified both the American networks and the BBC. In the end, it didn’t quite cover either.
Although the TV movie did not resurrect enough interest for a new series. It did help with the eventual resurrection of the series; 9 years later – in 2005. It also inspired some of the elements of the newer series, including the look of the Tardis interior.
Segal later co-wrote a fiction novel about the Eighth Doctor’s continuing adventures called ‘Regeneration’, in 2000. He still produces shows for American television.
The TV Movie???⚪⚪