Celebrating 30 years of Sylvester McCoy: 7 Memorable Moments from the Seventh Doctor

By Cameron K McEwan

Today marks 30 years since Sylvester McCoy first appeared in Doctor Who – in 1987’s classic adventure, Time and the Rani.

We here at doctorwho.tv are celebrating the Seventh Doctor with some of the Time Lord’s most memorable moments which we’ve collected for you below to enjoy.

You can also check out a tribute to Sylvester McCoy’s incarnation from Doctor Who Big Finish author and documentary maker, Chris Chapman, here.

Read more about The Seventh Doctor here.

Time and the Rani

Here are McCoy’s first joyous moments post-regeneration (and still wearing the Sixth Doctor costume). He’s up against fellow Gallifreyan, The Rani, and is still finding his feet (literally).

Also, his umbrella game is very strong.

1996 TV Movie

And here’s one of his final moments (almost). Cruelly, the Seventh Doctor’s majestical and mystical reign in the TARDIS comes to a very real and Earthly end as he’s gunned down in the middle of a gang war in San Francisco.

Not the most exciting end for a Time Lord.

The Name of the Doctor

Then, nearly 20 years later, Sylvester’s Time Lord made an appearance during the multi-Doctor scenes in the 2013 Series 7 finale during the Eleventh Doctor era.

The literal cliffhanger from 1987’s Dragonfire was used to great effect as contemporary companion Clara Oswald looked on…

Remembrance of the Daleks

Davros! Like three of his predecessors, Seven met the maniacal scientist behind the Daleks. In a battle for the tantalisingly-named ‘Hand of Omega’, the Seventh Doctor matched Davros’ insane rants with one his own ending on the much-quoted, “Unlimited rice pudding, etcetera, etcetera!”

Classic Slyv.

The Greatest Show in the Galaxy

McCoy in full magical mode here as he performs tricks with eggs and rope, does a bit of dancing and rolls his ‘R’s like nobody’s business in the presence of the “Gods of Ragnarok”.

This 1988/9 four-parter is also notable for one of Doctor Who’s creepiest villains ever, the Chief Clown. If you’re scared of clowns, don’t watch…

Remembrance of the Daleks

Another moment from a story which often makes the Top 10 of favourite Doctor Who stories ever from fans. This gem from 1988 has many great facets (60s London, Dalek Factions, scary school kids) but this lovely quiet moment in an everyday cafe displays McCoy’s charm and thoughtfulness.

“Every great decision causes ripples,” the Time Lord muses in the midst of an intergalactic calamity. Fact fans will note that the man he’s chatting to in the cafe, John, is played by Joseph Marcell, who would go on to find fame as butler Geoffrey in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.


Arg, the feels!

This is the final scene for the Seventh Doctor and Ace as they walk off into the distance never to return. As incredible as it may seem, in 1989 Doctor Who came to an end (not to be seen again until 1996’s TV Movie with the Eighth Doctor), leaving Whovians heartbroken across the world.

This closing speech was specifically written and recorded after the episode was completed with the assumption that the show was not to return.

And, as an extra special treat, here’s that iconic title sequence, used for the Seventh Doctor only!


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