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such a nasty woman | by maryann johanson

‘Doctor Who’ thing of the day: quiz show gets ‘DW’ answer wrong, but no one knows the actual answer

Wait. This is even weirder and more complicated than it sounds. First, from The Independent:

A couple who lost £325,000 on a TV quiz have been told they can return to the Channel 4 show after programme-makers admitted they made a mistake with one of the answers.

Husband and wife Johnny and Dee will make another appearance on The Million Pound Drop, hosted by Davina McCall, on Friday. The pair were kicked off the show last week when they were asked the question “Who played Doctor Who for the longest time?”

They were asked to choose between Sylvester McCoy, Paul McGann, Christopher Eccleston, or David Tennant. Unable to decide, they split their remaining £650,000 between McCoy and McGann – but were left with nothing when McCall told them that Tennant, who played the Doctor from 2005 to 2009, was the right answer.

However, the programme’s fact-checkers have now admitted that they got it wrong, and that McCoy is the correct answer. Although McCoy, the seventh Doctor, only played the role from 1987 to 1989, he starred in a 1996 film, during which time nobody else portrayed the Time Lord.

But as the Mirror points out:

A Channel 4 Million Pound Drop answer was ruled incorrect but the question on the longest-serving Doctor Who has even left sci-fi experts baffled.

Antony Wainer of the A Doctor Who Appreciation Society, said: “There are different ways to interpret it.”

And as io9 explains:

McCoy played the role from 1987 to 1989, and then reprised the role in 1996 — making him technically the longest-serving Doctor. McGann, meanwhile, was the Doctor from 1996 to 2005, if you count all the audio plays he recorded during the time the show was off the air. (And the question says nothing about playing the Doctor on television, just playing the Doctor.) Tennant, meanwhile, only played the Doctor from 2005 to early 2010.

It turns out to be a downright philosophical question at the heart of the conundrum: What constitutes “playing the Doctor”? After all, Jon Pertwee appeared in “The Five Doctors” in 1983, 13 years after he was first cast as the Doctor: does that make him the longest-running Doctor? What about when Peter Davison appeared in “Time Crash” in 2007, 26 years after he began playing the Doctor?

It’s all surprisingly timey-whimey…

(If you stumble across a cool Doctor Who thing, feel free to email me with a link.)

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