FORMER Doctor Who Paul McGann is making a surprise comeback to the Tardis next year.
The star of cult movie Withnail And I played the eighth Doc in a one-off TV film collaboration between the BBC and Fox in 1996.
But a follow-up series was never made and when the sci-fi show eventually returned to the Beeb in 2005, it starred Christopher Eccleston, 44, as the new Time Lord.
But Paul, 48, reprised his role in several audio adventures — some broadcast on radio — and has remained a firm favourite with fans.
He is expected to begin filming in October or November for one of four feature-length specials to be shown instead of a series in 2009.
Flashback scenes will see him battered from the Time War and shorn of the long hair he had in the film.
An insider said: “Fans loved Paul’s Doctor and feel he was never given the proper chance to shine. Reference is often made to the Time War which wiped out the Time Lords and this will give them a taste of that.”
Current Doc David Tennant will also appear.