Doctor Who fans know the drama behind the scenes with Christopher Eccleston and Who management at the BBC. It was this drama that eventually led to the actor leaving the title role after 1 season as the good Doctor. He has declined every offer to appear in Doctor Who anniversary events and multi-Doctor episodes. Eccleston has not said much about what transpired all of those years ago, until now. In a recent interview with 774 ABC Melbourne’s Drive, Eccleston opened up about his time as the Doctor, and the regret he has regarding his departure.
“It was kind of tragic for me, that I didn’t play him for longer. He’s a beautiful character and I have a great deal of professional pride and had I done a second season, there would have been a marked improvement in my performance. I was learning new skills, in terms of playing light comedy. I was not known for light comedy and, again, production did not allow for that.”
Most of the debate was over creative control of the Doctor’s characteristics. It’s something the actors in the role have always had influence over. Eccleston said there was no compromise in the role, “it was best to be straight about it and just go.” The show runners has a vision, and if Eccleston had come at a different time, things might’ve gone differently.
Eccleston’s angry, zany personality was the best things about the 9th Doctor on Doctor Who. I think his best attributes were his unpredictability and the pain in his eyes. It would have been nice to Eccleston in the role for one more season, but his leaving brought us Tennant. You really can’t argue with that, because David Tennant was brilliant as the 10th Doctor.