Re: Paul McGann special year possible?
Probably the best opportunity would have been,as Christopher suggested, when Tennant was doing stagework, as a sort of stopgap.
The misconception everyone seems to have is that Tennant's Shakespeare thing was the reason for the "gap year" in 2009. RTD had in fact planned during production of the second season to take a break after the fourth season. Tennant was made aware of these plans and arranged the Shakespeare thing because he knew he had a free year coming up. In fact, RTD says that had he stayed with the show there would have been a gap year after every fourth season.
"Internet message boards aren't as funny today as they were ten years ago. I've stopped reading new posts." -The Simpsons 20th anniversary special.