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Will Christopher Eccleston Come Back to Doctor Who This Season?

Eccleston as Doctor Who

There’s a saying among Whovians: You never forget your first Doctor. Some even take it a step further saying, that you fall in love with your first Doctor. Whichever you subscribe to, for me Christopher Eccleston will always have a special place in my Whovian heart. His single season portrayal of the ninth Doctor in the decades long Doctor Who series marked my introduction to what is currently one of my greatest obsessions. While his quick departure, after only 13 episodes, helped to teach me about one of the most basic elements of the Whovian mythos – the Doctor’s ability to regenerate – I have often longed to see my leather-clad, war worn and slightly goofy Doctor return to the TARDIS. Until this week, I was lead to believe that my wishes were for naught.

First Eccleston Says It Will Never Happen

I read the following on Hypable over a year ago:

During an interview on The One Show, Eccelston explains further why he has no plans to return saying, “It’s that desire to keep coming out of different boxes so that your employable, so your not just being seen as one thing. And also I suppose at drama school I was taught to stay curious and keep challenging myself. It’s easy to stay in a job, take the money, take the comfort, but I’ve always wanted to do things that I felt I wouldn’t be able to pull off”

Then Eccleston Explains Why He Really Left Doctor Who

More recently, I found out the real reason behind his departure via Bad Wilf which shared the following Eccleston quote from an acting master class at the Theatre Royal Haymarket:

I left Doctor Who because I could not get along with the senior people. I left because of politics. I did not see eye-to-eye with them. I didn’t agree with the way things were being run. I didn’t like the culture that had grown up, around the series. So I left, I felt, over a principle.

Russel T DaviesThis got me thinking… Russell T. Davies, the senior-most person at the time of Eccleston’s run has been removed from all show operations for a number of years. Sure, Eccleston said he would “…never bathe in the same river twice”, but what if it were for a super awesome, once in a lifetime 50th anniversary Doctor Who special?

Matt Smith Would Be Willing to Share The Stage

Matt Smith San Diego ComicCon
Image source: Metro

When I watched this summer’s San Diego Comic Con coverage, I’m sure I’m not the only Whovian who broke into dance when Matt Smith, the actor playing the eleventh Doctor in Doctor Who’s current storyline, was caught saying:

‘I think as an event if it did ever happen – I don’t know how feasible it is – to get David [Tennant] and Chris [Eccleston] back would be amazing,’ he said before the cheers and applause from overjoyed fans cut him short.

‘I think it would be very difficult to make it happen, but I think that would be really special.’

The pieces seemed to be falling into place. The possibility of a Christopher Eccleston return began to feel a little bit more real for me with all of this mounting support. When I heard  the current Doctor vocalize his own support for my deepest 50th anniversary dream in such a public forum, I began to unravel my doubts and let my hopes build.
I felt I was rewarded for this change of heart when OMG! Daleks! revealed a story of hope for Eccleston fans everywhere this past Wednesday.
Eccleston Says “I Have More To Do As The Doctor”
Eccleston
According to OMG! Daleks!, there was a blogger present at another Q&A session at the National Theatre earlier this week who had this to say about Eccleston’s overall discussion of his perspective on his role of the Doctor:
[He] felt that one series isn’t enough to get under the skin of the character and that if he’d had two or three series he’d have developed the role considerably.
He said that if you looked at the other Doctors (with the exception of Tom Baker) you can see them working out how to play the character through their first series because it’s such a complex and challenging role.
He said several times that there was more for him to do with the character….
It’s hearsay, I KNOW, but, if true, a nice dangling thread to pull a serious actor by, don’t you think?
The Final Say
Well, we find ourselves in the wibbly-wobbly world of the rumor mill once again. Christopher Eccleston was undeniably burned by his previous experience as the Doctor, but does not deny the importance of his role in reviving the series. For those of us wishing for the ninth Doctor’s return, I believe it’s up to Moffat to provide a tempting script and creatively stimulating working environment that this actor’s actor will be hard-pressed to turn down.
What do you think? Will we see any of the previous Doctors this season? Will Eccleston be tempted to make his return?

About the author

Nicole Rivera

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