It is, perhaps, the most unusual experiment in all of Doctor Who history. Twenty years ago (as of this writing) on May 14, 1996, the grandest experiment in Doctor Who (and that includes the restarting of the show in 2005) premiered with the 1996 BBC/FOX collaboration Doctor Who movie.
What a strange creature the TVM is, and as such many many words have been spilled over it. That it came to fruition at all is something of a minor miracle. But as anyone who was around at the time and paying attention we truly had little idea for what to expect. Would it be a continuation, or a true reboot, or even worse taking only some of the fundamental concepts and ‘American-izing’ the rest to produce Doctor Who in name only.
That was the fear.
What we got was a continuation, happily, which probably didn’t serve the audience as well as others paths would have, but did keep the flame, which had been dormant for six plus years, flickering until it was picked again seven years later in 2003 when the BBC finally realized what they had on their hands.