Eccleston and Tennant on Return to Doctor Who

An answer to a question can often lead to more questions, which then require more answers.  The reluctance to answer a question can often be perceived as an answer in and of itself.  The fine folks associated with the ‘modern’ era of Doctor Who (the new series began in 2005) both in front of the cameras and behind have been notoriously playful when reporters ask probing questions about upcoming episodes, plot points and returning characters.

The “playfulness” has ranged from outright lies and falsehoods (Russell T. Davies, we’re looking at you) to abstract redirection and even point-blank refusal to answer spoiler-related questions (hello, Steven Moffat) but is usually manifested as a vague, smiling “non-answer”.

There has been a veil of secrecy around the departure of Christopher Eccleston (and in fact, may remain the best-kept secret of modern Who) from the role of the Ninth Doctor in Doctor Who, but most hardcore Whovians acknowledge that Eccleston’s departure revolved around a disagreement between the actor and the producers of the show.  Up until recently, when asked publicly about Doctor Who, Eccleston has spoken fondly of the character, the show, and being “The Doctor” for a generation of children, but has maintained that he is simply an actor who has moved on to other jobs and has no intention of being associated with the future of Doctor Who.

On November 27, Red Carpet News TV spoke briefly with the former Ninth Doctor at the UK Gala Screening of The Oranges regarding Hugh Laurie, the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary and his thoughts on Matt Smith as the Eleventh Doctor.


When the talk turns to whether Eccleston would want to be involved in the Doctor Who Anniversary Special(s), he gracefully replies:

“Would I like to be involved?  If I told you that, I’d have to shoot you…It’s so long ago for me that I haven’t even thought about it.”

The man known as the Tenth Doctor, David Tennant, was also recently asked similar questions by Grant Lauchlan during an interview for STV Moviejuice at the opening of Tennant’s new Christmas-themed improvisational film Nativity 2:  Danger In The Manger.

In an effort to “sweeten up” Tennant, Mr. Lauchlan presented the actor with Scottish Tablet, a traditional Scottish sweet, which Tennant proceeded to munch on throughout the interview.  When Lauchlan went right to the heart of the matter and asked if Tennant would be in an episode of Doctor Who next year, the actor quickly deflected with:

“Why would you think, even if I had an answer to that question – which I don’t – why do you think I would answer it?  You can give me all the tablet you like!  Ask Steven Moffat [Scottish Executive Producer for Doctor Who] – give Steven Moffat a ring and ask him. It’s got nothing to do with me.”

When asked if that answer was a “non-answer”, Tennant merrily munched on his Scottish snack and replied:

“I’ve nothing to tell you. But, if I did I wouldn’t tell you it, so, you know, deal with that.”

Grant pointed out that Tennant is a fanboy at heart – and therefore, could be lured back to the role, to which the Tenth Doctor quipped:

“You can flog this dead horse all you like, I’m eating tablet.”

The video of the Moviejuice interview with David Tennant can be viewed by clicking here.  The interview is worth a watch, for David’s coy deflection alone!

Thanks to Blogtor Who for the tip on the video interview with Christopher Eccleston!

Since no answers were forthcoming, Word of the Nerd will leave you to piece together your own theories regarding the possible return of the Ninth and Tenth Doctors.

What are your thoughts on their cagey responses?  Please comment below!

About the author

Brent Kincade

Brent Kincade was born under the sign of Pertwee and has often wondered if there was an alternate universe where Aquaman was instead called Waterhombre. He also spends a fair amount of his waking life patiently waiting for friends to mention a Thunderdome so he can roll his eyes and plead, "Can't we just get BEYOND Thunderdome??" (Six times, thus far.)

His first comic book was Spidey Super Stories #4 in 1974, his first Star Trek episode was "City On The Edge of Forever" in 1975, his first Doctor Who was "The Visitation" in 1984.

Once when he was young, he stashed his vinyl Halloween Spider-Man costume in the neighbor lady's shrubs and was later caught red-handed, crawling into the shrubs to change into costume because he had, "Heard a cry for help".

He's a father, an artist, a graphic designer, a cartoonist, and usually pretty handy in a pinch. Brent is the creator of #ThatTimeOnDrWho, #ThatTimeOnStarTrek, #ThatTimeOnStarWars and co-creator of "The Magic Cantina". Brent requests the story of his days be co-written by Harlan Ellison, Steven Moffat and Neil Gaiman, drawn by John Romita, scored by Ben Folds and riffed on by the fine folks at Mystery Science Theater 3000.

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