Doctor Who, also referred to as Doctor Who: The Movie to distinguish it from the television series of the same name, is a 1996 television film continuing the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It was developed as a co-production between BBC Worldwide, Universal Studios, 20th Century Fox, and the American network Fox. It premiered on 12 May 1996 on CITV in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada (which was owned by WIC at the time before being acquired by Canwest Global in 2000), 15 days before its first showing in the United Kingdom on BBC One and two days before being broadcast in the United States on Fox. It was also shown in some countries for a limited time in cinemas.
The film was the first attempt to revive Doctor Who following its suspension in 1989. It was intended as a backdoor pilot for a new American-produced Doctor Who TV series. It introduced Paul McGann as the Eighth Doctor in his only televised appearance as the character until "The Night of the Doctor" in 2013 (though McGann has portrayed the Doctor also in various audio productions). It also marks the final appearance of Sylvester McCoy as the Seventh Doctor, the only appearance of Daphne Ashbrook as companion Grace Holloway, and the only appearance of Eric Roberts's version of The Master. Although a ratings success in the United Kingdom, the film did not fare well on American television and no series was commissioned. The series was later relaunched on the BBC in 2005. The only Doctor Who episodes between the film and the new series were a 1999 spoof, Doctor Who and the Curse of Fatal Death, and a 2003 animation, Scream of the Shalka.
Although the film was primarily produced by different people than the 1963–1989 series and intended for an American audience, the producers chose not to produce a "re-imagining" or "reboot" of the series but rather a continuation of the original narrative. The production was filmed in Vancouver, British Columbia, to date the only episode of Doctor Who filmed in Canada.