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The World Doesn't End Because the Doctor Dances

Christopher Eccleston Talks About Doctor Who Anniversaries, Steven Moffat Talks About Billie Piper Being Awesome

It was Christopher Eccleston and Billie Piper who reintroduced me to Doctor Who as an adult so it’s safe to say I have a certain affinity for them. So I was interested to hear both were getting attention recently. Hit the jump to find out what Eccleston had to say about anniversary celebrations and what Steven Moffat thinks about Piper’s Doctor Who legacy.

The British Film Institute in London have been celebrating Doctor Who in anticipation of the 50th anniversary and this past weekend was dedicated to the 9th Doctor. Although Eccleston wasn’t in attendance, he did send along a special message for the audience:

I love the BFI. I love the Doctor and hope you enjoy this presentation. Joe Ahearne directed five of the 13 episodes of the first series. He understood the tone the show needed completely – strong, bold, pacy visuals coupled with wit, warmth and a twinkle in the performances, missus.

“If Joe agrees to direct the 100th anniversary special, I will bring my sonic and a stair-lift and – providing the Daleks don’t bring theirs – I, the ninth Doctor, vow to save the universe and all you apes in it.

The actor would be 99 years old come the 100th anniversary. I would totally watch. In my assisted living home.

Meanwhile, Moffat spoke at the Ad-Lib event in Edinburgh about Piper’s continued presence in the sci-fi series.

It was Billie Piper who brought it back. I think those first two years, that was Billie Piper’s show. It was all about Billie, and Billie as Rose. Russell [T. Davies] was so clever in creating that character and casting that character so perfectly…[Davis] allowed an audience who would not naturally have watched Doctor Who, which was practically everybody at the time, to find a way into the show, so she has an iconic status partly because it was a brilliant performance and a brilliantly written part but it was also the way back in…She has a bigger status than most of those companions and really seriously, for the first two years, that was Billie Piper’s show.

For a change, Moffat and I actually agree on something!

(via Doctor Who TV, Digital Spy)

Previously in Doctor Who

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  • Starman

    Cue rage posts from the Rose-haters in 3…2…1…

  • Anonymous

    I was thinking the same thing sadly :( Seriously, what is up with the Rose-haters?? I’ve never understood it

  • Suzanne Larsen

    there are people who dont like Rose? Ive never talked to anyone that didn’t like her. I know there’s a lot of Donna and Martha haters out there, but Rose always seems pretty universally popular.

  • Thomas Hayes

    It was all about Billie and Rose? Really? Part of the appeal, sure, but not what made it work, no. Can’t agree with him at all on that.

  • Anonymous

    He sent a polite note, but did not attend. Similarly, I expect we will not hear from him in the Ninth Doctor episode of The Doctors Revisited on BBC America.
    Eccleston’s relationship with the show is strange indeed. He clearly had a hard time doing the show – he blamed the long hours in some interviews, and creative differences in others. His interviews about the show since have been polite…and terse.
    He’s one of the few people on the new show that wasn’t a fan. It was just a job for him, and that may have given him the ability to see things others couldn’t.
    I suggest that his “promise” to come back for the 100th carries with the unspoken codicil that everyone else who worked on the show will be long dead. THEN he’ll come back.

  • Anonymous

    I much prefer Donna and Martha.

    I don’t know that I can put my finger on why I don’t like Rose, but I think it has to do with her being somewhat childish and not very clever or the Doctor’s equal most of the time, yet he still being moony over her.

  • Joie Young

    It’s funny, but it was Rose who I hated in the first episode. And then, I realized she was growing a little bit each time. And then, before I knew it, I loved her because she was SO FLAWED but tried, ultimately, to be better than those flaws. Did she always succeed? Nope. Did the writing fail her sometimes? Yeeeessss. *sobs* Was she obsessed with the Doctor? Yeah. But she was the reason I stuck with it when Tennant came along (because CLEARLY anyone who was not Eccleston was inferior). Because I loved Rose and wanted to see how this new partnership worked out for her. And THEN I came to love Ten.

    So, even though I don’t list her as my favorite companion of the new series, I have to agree. Rose is the reason I love Doctor Who – she kept me there when Nine left, which gave me a chance to learn to love the change inherent to the show.

  • Elwyne

    I pretty much love all the Doctors and companions I’ve met, but these two will always be special to me. ‘Rose’ was my very first episode of DW ever, and I think it’s fair to say my life has changed since then. Series 1 remains my favorite.

    I do think that Billie/Rose was a critical part of making the reboot work: not all or even most of it, obviously, as it was a team effort and a labor of love on the part of many, but certainly a major part. I don’t think a lesser character or a lesser actor would have had as big an impact.

  • Nat

    Woah wait Moffat is saying something nice about Rose/Billie and then RTD? Moffat always called Rose the clingy girlfriend and never had anything nice to say. *blinks* I never really understood why people don’t like Rose. Is it because there was the romantic aspect to her and the Doctor? Either way I love Rose. Shhh.

  • Katy

    I wasn’t a big Rose fan compared to other companions, but I (surprisingly) have to agree with Moffat. Rose was an everywoman figure thrown into the Doctor’s world, a world she had never experienced and probably wouldn’t have sought out if she hadn’t met the Doctor, and she faced and overcame every challenge thrown at her. One theme I’ve always found in Doctor Who is the Doctor’s amazement at the human condition and how even though we are frail and at times awful beings, we can be capable of amazing things despite the limitations we and others place on us. Rose really showed that during her time as companion and her reappearances. That’s why I get so sad when I watch new episodes and see Clara. *sigh*

  • Sabrina

    He blamed behind the scenes issues (horrible working conditions, mistreatment of the crew, disrespect on set) but he always praised the role and the writing so I’m not sure what you mean with “creative differences”.

  • Crìstean MacMhìcheil

    As a proud Scot, I feel I must point out that it is “Edinburgh” and not “Edinborough”.

  • Anonymous

    The comment about Joe Ahearne is complimentary to Joe, but widely being seen as a backhanded comment about other members of the creative team.

  • Nat

    It’s funny. I personally find Clara to be similar to Rose (well, as similar as a female character can get when being written by Moffat) and it’s those little characteristics about her that I liked that drew me in. She’s got the ‘moffat “spunk”‘ on her, but I enjoy her far more than I ever did Amy.

  • TKS

    I much prefer Donna.

    I was fine with Rose, but I didn’t like how they used her. And a character is both their personality AND how they function within the story. For much of the first season and a half, it seemed like each episode either involved A) Rose screwed something up or B) Rose-gets-locked-in-a-room with a thing*. She turned into the Dark Phoenix at the end of season 1, but I can’t remember when else she would say “no. you’re wrong.” or “chillax, I got this.” To me, she was spunky and personable and delightful, but it seemed like she was just filling a hole. I honestly didn’t feel that the companions contributed much until Donna. I’m at the end of season 4 (series 4, I guess) so I haven’t encountered Amy yet, and Donna’s the last one I’ve watched.

  • rmdir

    YES, THIS! I had exactly the same feelings/process about Rose. I
    hated her and her flaws in the beginning, and then, she was growing and
    tried so hard and HOW COULD YOU NOT JUST LOVE HER? Sure, it was
    sometimes cheesy and sometimes over the top, but like with Joie Young,
    she was the reason I stuck with Tennant (because I also thought anyone
    besides Eccleston was inferior).

    “So, even though I don’t list her as my favorite companion of the new
    series, I have to agree. Rose is the reason I love Doctor Who – she
    kept me there when Nine left, which gave me a chance to learn to love
    the change inherent to the show.”
    Exactly the same feelings here. She isn’t my absolute favorite but she’s the reason I found, stuck with and now love Doctor Who.

  • Katy

    I also find Clara and Rose similar, but my issue with Clara is that she feels like a caricature whereas Rose was a well developed person.

  • Anonymous

    The thing about Billie Piper as well is, in the UK at least (not sure if she was ever known in the US?), she was known as this terrible, annoying, has-been child pop star of the late 90s. So when her casting was announced there was a lot of “Oh Gawd, you’re kidding? This is going to be terrible!” – and that was my own reaction. I pretty much tuned in expecting a car crash and was just astounded at what a good actress Billie turned out to be. She’d done a couple of things on tv before that, I know, but I hadn’t seen them so I just had no clue that she could act at all, let alone make a role entirely her own.

    There was good writing but that wouldn’t have mattered if they hadn’t cast the role well. It turns out Billie Piper made Rose very relatable and likeable. I honestly don’t think she gets quite enough credit for that because I think a lot of people have forgotten (due to her excellent performance) that the odds were against her – not many people thought she’d pull off a role like that and she totally nailed it.

    All that and I wouldn’t even consider her my favourite companion!

  • Jill Pantozzi

    They never killed Rose.

  • Katy

    I think Donna to be the best of the companions in the modern series, if not the whole series. I loved the chemistry between Tennant and Tate (they have worked in several productions including Much Ado About Nothing that have been fantastic), but there was no romantic sub plots. It was just so refreshing to have a Doctor/Companion relationship that was strictly platonic, and based on (non-romantic) love and snark. I honestly think that Donna was the only Companion that was portrayed as the Doctor’s equal if not his superior.

  • Katy

    SM called Rose the clingy girlfriend? All he writes is clingy girlfriends for his companions. No wait spunky, clingy girlfriends. Can’t forget SM’s signature spunky female character.

  • Sabrina

    Widely? Most people take it as face value – that he and Joe had a great working relationship. That doesn’t add up to “he blamed… creative differences in other [interviews]“.

  • Jim Evans

    well you are arguing minutiae….being sent to an alternate universe where supposedly you can never return— that’s pretty much killing off a character. Just like the Ponds– not technically dead, per se, but dead as characters. The lame way they brought Billy Piper back for some episodes severely cheapened what was one of the great scenes in all of Doctor Who ever– her goodbye to David Tennant. So, to be literal, substitute ‘removed from the series’ for ‘killed’. Happy?

  • Jill Pantozzi

    No, I’m arguing facts. They never killed her off. If you said you stopped watching after they “wrote her off,” that would be an entirely different story. Saying a character was killed when she was actually given a happy ending in an alternate universe is silly.

  • thebravestheart

    Yeah, this is definitely a change of tune for him! Maybe Billie slapped him in the mouth at some point when they were filming together. ;)

  • Important Film Maker

    I know they say your first Doctor is always your favourite, but whenever I re-watch the first couple seasons, Eccleston is always the one who resonates most. He just had an edge that Tennant didn’t.

  • Starman

    I’m not sure you can qualify that as a happy ending… and David Tennant, Billie Piper and RTD all agree. I read somewhere they all agreed that scene was the hardest one out of the whole episode because nobody – not even the guy who wrote it – could decide of Rose winding up a version of The Doctor who can be with her and grow old together really counts as a happy ending. Because DNA aside… he is not the same man she fell for.

    The point still stands, though. Rose didn’t die.

  • Anonymous

    yeah, that’s how I feel about Clara as well: (almost) a caricature. But I prefer her over Amy, whom I like less then Martha I think ;) However, isn’t it too soon to say more about Clara? It’s only half a season… :)

  • Mike Chen

    I don’t think it’s a surprise that he’s saying nice stuff about RTD. At the Gallifrey con, Moffat did an interview where he called RTD “the best writer on television” and said he’s constantly asking RTD to write an episode. In turn, RTD refuses, but emails him feedback after each episode.

    To me, the clingy girlfriend aspect of Rose works because of 9′s PTSD aspect and 10′s rediscovery of enjoying life. The Doctor needed someone to ground him and bring back from the edge of the Time War into an emotional place that didn’t involve double genocide. I don’t think you could copy and paste Rose into 11, it wouldn’t work. Her nature, her arc, and her family all work parallel to 9/10′s arc.

    By the way, I’m a Martha fan myself.

  • Katy

    Oh there is definitely room for improvement with Clara. I really liked the Oswin version of her and the Victorian Clara (until the kiss scene – that was stupid), but modern Clara just fell flat for me. I felt that in trying to keep her a mystery they didn’t give her anything. She just had “spunk.”

  • Starman

    Rose may not have been a genius but I think she had the most heart out of all the modern companions. She was the one most likely to jump into adventure for the sheer sake of doing it. That’s what allowed her to save The Doctor’s life and what inspired him to invite her to join him – because when push came to shove, she was unwilling to just stand there and die.

    Yes, she did cause trouble by wandering off and being overly curious but she frequently saved the day because of her refusal to be passive. Sounds a bit like The Doctor in the good old days, doesn’t it? :)

    Simply put, Rose allowed a worlds-weary Doctor to find something he’d lost. When we first see him in the New Series, he’s acting on auto-pilot. He’s saving the people of Earth purely out of habit. He may still be Time’s Champion but he doesn’t really like humanity all that much anymore. Tom Baker may have gotten irritated and people who were slow-witted or difficult but he never unleashed his anger on people who didn’t deserve it. The Ninth Doctor, on the other hand, was rude and sarcastic as a default.

  • Katy

    I liked Martha until she got the happy ending treatment with Mickey. It just didn’t feel like a good fit. A convenient fit, but not a good fit.

  • Mike Chen

    Yeah, not a fan of the Mickey/Martha pairing. I would have loved Martha to have just been a permanent Torchwood fixture but I think Freema was doing Law & Order UK when they filmed Children Of Earth.

  • Katy

    Exactly! I wanted Martha to stick around Torchwood and give Ianto some competition for Jack’s affections (even if they were imaginary). But you are correct, I remember reading somewhere that she had conflicts with her L&O:UK schedule. I believe she was supposed to come back for a third season of Torchwood, but then the show went into limbo until Children of Earth and by that point she had other commitments. I could be wrong with those specific detail though. Don’t quote me.

  • Jill Pantozzi

    Happy ending compared to being killed in the series. She wound up with her family and with a version of the man she loved, who she could potentially fall for.

    I’m not trying to start a thing here, really. You said I was arguing minutiae, I just wanted to say I wasn’t. Just wanted to make sure no one coming here who hadn’t seen the series thought the character was literally killed off.

  • Jill Pantozzi

    Oh the scene was heart-wrenching to be sure. But I see it as a happy ending, not the happiest, but happy considering what could have been the outcome.

    Believe me, I was one of the folks screaming at my TV that it wasn’t fair, he wasn’t her Doctor. :)

  • Anonymous

    I am a Rose hater. I never actually liked Rose, and I didn’t like her relationship with the Doctor. Not the romance bit, but the Doctor always seemed to alternate between treating her like she was much dumber than she was, or much smarter than she was. She always seemed to treat Mickey like dirt (I don’t mind her leaving him for the Doctor, I just wish she could have had a more honest conversation about him with it, instead of just bouncing back and forth). And… well… it’s hard to pin it down, but she just always got on my nerves. And it kind of was The Rose Show for two years. When the show is based around someone you don’t like very much, it grates on you.

    When she finally left, the Doctor got to spend a whole season pining over her. And then her coming back was the big deal for season 4. After four seasons of someone I never liked that much in the first place, yeah, I kind of started to hate her. I’ll be the first to admit, it’s not justified. If it had just been two seasons of Rose, I’d probably only have a mild dislike of her. After four seasons, and her returning again? Yeah, it’s making me a little nuts.

  • William E Donges III

    The Happy Ending you refer to did not come until the end of Season 4. The person you are responding to however is clearly referring to her initial trapping in the alternate universe at the end of Doomsday. Which at the time very certainly was designed to feel final.

  • Lucas Picador

    Same for me. I kind of lost interest in the show after Series 1. Eccleston’s Doctor was just pitch-perfect — by turns zany, sinister, poetic, goofy, sexy, alien, philosophical, nostalgic, desperate, and inhumanly confident — and Rose was an amazing foil for him. Everything since has been… well, a little too cutesy for me. YMMV, obviously.

  • Thomas Hayes

    Hey, I still dig “Because We Want To”.

  • Rebecca Pahle

    Dude. Chill. You said Rose died, a fact that is objectively untrue, so Jill corrected you. That’s it. No big deal. Drop it.

  • Thomas Hayes

    Donna is the best. No romantic drivel, she has wit, and I agree that Tennant and Tate were great together.

    But the ending she got? Smegging terrible. I hate it.

  • Anonymous

    And have no problem with that! I always respect people who stand by what they like even if what they like isn’t my thing, I don’t expect everyone to share my tastes. A lot of kids bought her records and it probably opened doors for her. I have no problem with her former career as a pop star but I thought the songs terrible at the time!

  • Jim Evans

    Thank you. For the record, I said they killed off Rose, which means wrote the character out of the show. I did not say she died. There’s a difference. But the weirdest thing is that I immediately copped an apology and clarified my statement, and yet it just dragged on in replies.

  • Thomas Hayes

    Well a lot of her music is very middle of the road but I’ve got a place in my heart for that one. We didn’t make her the youngest artist to debut at number one for no reason :)

    She’s a much better actress than she ever was as a singer.

  • Sabrina

    Yeah, that felt horribly tacked on. They could have easily just been alien hunting buddies without the forced dialogue about marriage. That would have been pretty cool. Smith & Jones – Alien Hunters! I’d watch that! lol

  • Katy

    I”m actually seeing a trend where the companions’ “happily ever afters” involve odd marriages that don’t seem to fit. Both Martha and Donna got them.

  • Sabrina

    My biggest issue with her was that most of her character development was artificially hold back by stubbornly refusing to explore her background any further. I think Rings of Akhaten was the only episode that even tried at all. The rest was just Eleven muttering “She’s IMPOSSIBLE!!111″ and manipulating her and literal uses of reset buttons and all that. Ugh. This could have been solved so much better than what we actually got in the end.

    I hope now that her “mystery” is out of the bag we can finally have some nice character growth with Twelve.

  • Tamara Brooks

    Actually, removing a character from a show is called “writing them off” and comes in a wide range of flavors from killing to “moving away.” Yes, she “died” since she was
    allegedly stuck in the alt-verse permanently and therefore no longer existed in the main universe, but she was actually still alive so it’s much more akin to the latter than the former. All companions get written off – they stop traveling with The Doctor for some reason or another – but they don’t all die.

    (edited for weird line breaks that suddenly appeared when I posted)

  • Katy

    Yes. The “marry off the single former companions” did get a bit tiresome in RTD’s last episode. Donna and Martha were put in convenient marriages.

  • Sabrina

    Yeah, that much is true. Donna is literally back where she started – as a bride! Though I didn’t mind her finding someone and moving on with her life. But Martha and Mickey, too, for no good reason was a but much.

  • Tamara Brooks

    I actually kinda liked it since they were the 2 characters most…I don’t want to say mistreated because that’s not exactly right but…kinda mistreated of all the companions (not by the Doctor, by their general writing of them). So I like the idea of the 2 that were most ignored getting together and adventuring and building their own legends. I would’ve indeed watched the hell out of that spinoff.

  • Thomas Hayes

    There is that, but it’s the mindwiping that really ticks me off.

  • Anonymous

    By her own admission too, I believe; I’ve seen her say she couldn’t really sing well but that didn’t really matter!

    To be fair, I’m quite certain I have far worse stuff on my iPod than Billie’s back catalogue. I think I was just too old to be in her target market!

  • Katy

    Yes. Donna back as a bride showed that everything had come full circle, but I always found Donna’s ending bittersweet. She returned back to her pre-Doctor self, but she didn’t like her pre-Doctor self.

  • Anonymous

    Yes. This. I started off loving Rose, but by the time they wrote her exit I was glad to see her go. I understand that having her be stroppy, sulking, possessive, and impossible to please suited the youth of her character, but that didn’t mean it was fun for me to watch. I also found the romance angle really uncomfortable and not at all what I wanted from Doctor Who. I’m in it for the adventure, not the IC fangirling.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t think I wanted her to be a genius. I just wanted her to somewhat competent. I felt like she was written the same way as the dumb girl in a horror movie who wanders off to die.

    I really love the first (new) series. I just wish I could spend more of it not thinking, “Don’t do that, Rose. Don’t do th– damn it.”

  • Katy

    Mindwiping of Donna? Yeah that was sad, she was so proud of what she became and then it was taken away.

  • Anonymous

    I’m still mad we haven’t gotten any onscreen closure for Ace, who the writers originally wanted to become the first human Time Lady & became an independent time traveller in the novels. There was a reference to her staring a charity in SJA, but that’s really lame fanservice given how badass she was. Ace combined the violence of Leela with the character development of modern companions. She was pretty much the ideal modern companion.

    At least she finally got an awesome action figure:

  • Sabrina

    Just to be clear: I like Martha and Mickey as a team, I even wouldn’t have a problem if they got a plot in which they’d fall in love – but we got about 1 min of screentime with them together and BAM! Married! All of a sudden. That was so weird.

  • Sabrina

    Exactly! It’s the most heartbreaking ending of all. ;_;

  • Tamara Brooks

    For sure – I would’ve dug a more in-depth explanation of Martha & Mickey’s relationship but frankly I was happy they were part of the farewell tour at all considering how poorly they were treated in the early seasons. 10 clearly liked them but that was more based on Tennant’s acting than what was actually written sometimes.

  • Tamara Brooks

    I wasn’t arguing with you, I was clarifying a point of fact. “Writing a character off” doesn’t always mean they’ve been “killed off.” Period. To me the way Rose was written off definitely left the door open for future returns. This doesn’t diminish the impact of the scene but, as a writer and consumer of a ton of genre stuff, anything that doesn’t specifically “close the door” – i.e. The Ponds being “time locked” or Donna dying if he ever sees her again – means that a return of a character is possible. It may only be a sliver of hope but anything can happen.

  • Varda

    Ok Moffat we know you have a personal problem with Eccleston. Pity and I think you destroyed the show. I prefer you as a writer but not as showrunner. Yes, you made the show better in certain aspects, that’s true, I love some of your chapters but please. Leave and give a chance to another showrunner.
    Ah, for me Piper was great, the companion I love for the Doctor (no matter wich regeneration). But please, Eccleston and Piper did a great job, is not “Billie Piper’s show”, tearwork please! I hate when this kind of opinions appear on media.
    Thanks for increase my hate to you Moffat.

  • Varda

    The problem was with Moffat in fact, something personal perhaps. Something I don0t expect to read I’m afraid. That’s why I hate moffat. He shouls respect Eccleston at least. He gave life again to an old TV show, Of course is teamwork. But I think is more than just bad working conditions ans mistreatment, is somehting personal.

  • Craig Forshaw

    There is that one moment, where she smiles and runs off in ‘The End of Time’, and you can tell that was the actions of a girl younger than anyone we’d seen to that point… she was pretty amazing right there and right then, which only makes it all the weirder that, for a long while, she was actually the obstacle to people watching the show. Former pop star, failed, most famous for marrying the (ginger, British) Chris Evans.

    But now, she will always be given a chance because she has that kind of manic enthusiasm in her smile that makes you just go, “Oh, yeah, this is good.” She showed herself to be a genuine presence, and to do something few actors can ever do – really effect an audience with a single line. Her reaction to Mickey coming back, kissing The Doctor in ‘Journey’s End’ – she is fantastic, and whilst I think sci-fi suits her well, and she suits sci-fi, I also think she showed a lot of the same genius qualities in the best Philip Pullman adaptations yet: ‘The Ruby in the Smoke’, and ‘The Shadow in the North’.

    Good to see she’ll be reunited with Matt Smith in ‘Doctor Who’ as much as she is reuinted with Tennant, as far as I’m concerned. If only the anniversary special could fit in them rescuing Adelaide as well… I remember saving ‘The Ruby in the Smoke’ for my top-set year sevens before Christmas last year, and they were just in awe of how it had Rose and The Doctor in, and five minutes in, they forgot all about ‘Doctor Who’, and stayed at lunch to watch the last ten minutes. :-D

  • frodobatmanvader

    I think more than Tennant and Smith, he had the right gravitas for when things got dramatic. Perfect example is that episode where he’s conflicted about sending the raxacoricofallapatorius woman to the trial she most decidedly deserves… even though it means she’ll die an excruciating death. I just can’t see Tennant or Smith handling that episode the same amount of grace.

    …and then he’ll flat-outta-nowhere buck up and remind you that bananas are rich in potassium while you’re being chased by people in gas masks. Eccleston ruled.

  • Important Film Maker

    Like you said, he really handled the switch between dark to lighthearted masterfully; even though straddling that line is Doctor Who’s currency, I just didn’t buy it as much with the next two doctors. I do like Smith though, and some Tennant was pretty good.

  • Nat

    I recall him referencing Rose as the doctor’s clingy girlfriend. Can’t recall the interview right now.

  • Starman
  • Electrical Rat

    I agree. I started watching it with Season 2 because of David Tennant, then I went back to watch Season 1 and fell madly in love with Nine. Ten is okay (at least in Season 2 and most of Season 3, after that I stopped watching), but omg Nine.

  • Sabrina

    I’m not sure what this has to do with Moffat since VBartilucci was talking about why CE initially left the show in 2005 and claimed that he gave creative differences as a reason in some interviews which AFAIK CE actually never did. The only official reason he gave so far were the bts issues I mentioned – which might or might not include personal issues beyond the working relationship but we don’t know that because he hasn’t named any names. However he always praised the role itself, the writing, how much he enjoyed playing this character, and the hard work of the crew. That doesn’t sound like “creative differences” at all.

    Now, for him not coming back for the 50th that is another discussion. We can only speculate here, cause the only semi-official statement we have is that the met with Moffat several times but then decided not to do it. The speculations and rumours about his reasons range from scheduling issues (probably reshoots for Thor) over creative differences with Moffat to Moffat/Skinner being douchebags and him saying fuck it in response. Take your pick. I highly doubt this has anything to do with whatever issues he had in 2005 cause most of the people from back then don’t work on the production anymore and the production itself is a lot more organised than the mess that was S1. There might still be issues that we don’t know about, sure, but the fact that he seemed to be interested in the first place and actually met with Moffat to talk it through tells me that he doesn’t have as many hard feelings towards the show and the idea to return as people make it out to be.

  • Sabrina

    lol, Ten is the most tolerable in S4 cause Donna puts him in his place all the time. Ten and Donna were amazing.
    But omg yes, Nine’s the best! Always! <3

  • Anonymous

    Absolutley. It;s often been pointed out (by SF Debris apart from others) that RTD was/is very good at domestic, real life drama and dialogue and grounded the show in the real world. His companions had jobs, families, real lives. Stephen Moffat writes DW more like a fairy tale. His characters aren’t based in the real world.

    Clara, for instance, doesn’t have a real life. Real middle class girls aren’t nannies for family friends, they don’t exist without family. Real people have family, friends, boyfriends, girlfriends, interests, ambitions. OK, someone in Clara circumstances might exist, but she’s a long way from being ‘a girl who works in a shop’ or ‘a student’ or ‘just a temp’. But Moffat was never attempting to make her a real person, her role is to be an archetypal no-strings-attached companion and a problem to solve.

    It’s not a value judgement on either writer but I do think Moffat only gets away with his fairy-tale approach because the show was so thoroughly tied to reality by RTD. In a show already strange and whimsical and bonkers, you needed the truth that RTD brought to the scripts to make the show not just accessible to the audience, but to make it relevant. If we had never had an RTD era and Moffat had been the one to bring the show back with Amy or Clara as companion I can’t imagine it would have caught on. That it is successful now is because it maintains an audience dran in by RTD’s much more inviting approach. I think Moffat was better as a writer than showrunner for many reasons and one of them is that I find his writing to obey a law of diminishing returns: the longer the show continues away from the anchor or veracity that RTD had, the less substance there is to anything that happens.

  • Robin S

    I think Eccleston refusing to participate in Who-stuff is the most graceful and classy thing he can do, under the circumstances. He’s clearly got some issues and a bad taste in his mouth surrounding the franchise, and he knows that that’s likely to come through in interviews. He’d be left with lying about how it was a good experience or tip-toeing around it. He’s a classier gent than that.

    As much as I’d love to hear from him and see him surrounding the anniversary, I totally understand where he’s coming from.

  • Joanna

    Rose was ok but she was ultimately selfish. She left her mother and boyfriend heartbroken so she could go adventuring with the Doctor, and every time they weren’t in the same room together she seemed to suffer insane separation anxiety O.o

    I liked Martha a little better than Rose because even though she also swooned over the Doctor, she was a bit more badass and she actually decided upon herself that she would move on knowing that they could never happen as an item (unlike Rose who waited for the Doctor for a year in an alternate universe while her boyfriend still pined over her).

  • Flitzy

    Eleven was my first Doctor but, having gone back and rewatched the other ones, I just adore Nine too :)

    And Ten!

    asdfghjkl oh what the heck, I just love them all! – and Rose is just perfect. :D

  • Anonymous

    It really wreaked of that “Hello, only other black person in the room!” trope that is really prevalent in television. I wouldn’t have minded it had there been any sort of build-up. Even Mickey shooting her a smile during that big multi-companion team-up.

    But as it is it just seemed liked the writers completely forgot about Mickey and decided to give him a “happy ending” by half-assedly having him marry Martha offscreen, and I feel like both characters deserved better than that.

  • Ben English

    He does seem to like violent women. <.<

  • Anonymous

    “Creative differences” is PR code for “haaaate” (that or “asked for a raise”). It’s politer to blame it on a grand artistic vision than on that jerk Milhouse from Human Resources, I guess. So I assumed VBartilucci’s comment was about backstage issues, rather than a direct quote from Ecclescake.

  • Sabrina

    Maybe – but they could have said so after I asked them to clarify. WHY CAN’T PPL SAY WHAT THEY MEAN?!?! D: lol

    But yeah, I’m a bit pedantic on this cause every time CE says something or doesn’t say anything about DW it’s twisted and misinterpreted in the worst way possible (like that comment below “Oh he said he liked to work with Joe Ahearne – that means he hated everyone else!!”) or people just make some sh*t up. The latter one is usually the case when it comes to “creative differences” and some people claim that CE hated the farting aliens and thought the show was too cheesy or that he’s a homophobe and didn’t want to kiss John Barrowman or some such nonsense.

  • Sabrina

    Oh yes, indeed! The weird thing is that Moffat has all the right ingredients but somehow isn’t able to properly use them. Even the fairytale aspect is rather subtle and he doesn’t fully commit to this.

    I would have actually loved it if Amy’s character had a full out fairy tale theme around her. She was obsessed with the Doctor from a young age on and evidently engaged in all those typical “fangirl” activities. She was very creative, very crafty – so why not make her an artist and/or an author from the beginning instead of a kissogram and model. It would tie in wonderfully with the ending of S5 when it’s stories and memories that are rebooting the universe. And even the mess that was S6 would probably work better if the fairy tale theme was more prominent (“evil witch steals the queen’s baby and raises her to kill the wizard”) and you could have some really great commentary on the devastating consequences of these sorts of stories and Amy realizing how horrible fairy tales are. Or something like that.

    For Clara Moffat actually went a step towards RTD’s formula. She has a father, she has that family she cares for and maybe even whoever Nina is. But he doesn’t capitalise on them – they’re just window dressing instead of actual characters. From what I hear there were more scenes planned with Clara and the family but they were all cut. So it feels like he realizes how RTD used the family of the companions as an anchor but he just can’t seem to commit to this idea at the same time. Maybe it was really just because S7 had this weird “every story should be like a small blockbuster!” theme that didn’t give Clara enough room to breathe. So I’m curious what he will do next season with a new Doctor. I really hope he’ll devote more time to Clara’s background and social environment to ground the show back in reality.

  • Anonymous

    I couldn’t agree more – a full-out fairy-tale-isation could have been really interesting and actually had a lot of substance, because of course the reason fairy tale archetypes had survived so long is because they have profound truths at their hearts.

    I think you’d enjoy this post ( by a person who brilliantly reworks season 5 to capitalise on what was good about Moffat’s set-up, including playing up the fairy-tale idea.

    You’re right that there seems to be an attempt with Clara to ground her more in reality than Amy was (we know who her parents are, what her job is, she lives in London rather than Madeupton, Nostalgiashire etc). But, as you say, Moffat fails to actually make this stuff anything other than window dressing. For me, that’s epitomised in The Rings of Akhaten (I know it’s by Neil Cross but especially that early in a new character’s run I think we can assume heavy involvement by Moffat) where Clara is asked by the doctor where she wants to go. This is a girl who has recently lost her mother, but all she can respond with is ‘somewhere awesome’.

    Compare this to Rose’s early emotional journey where she had her own motivations that affected the plot. I’m not saying DW should have rehashed the ‘trying to revisit/save dead parent’ story with Clara but I think the fact it wasn’t even on Clara’s mind (and bear in mind Clara lost her mother much more recently than Rose lost her father) points to the fact that its one of those things included to make Clara footloose and pituresque, not because there’s any interest in making her a whole person with her own story and agenda. Same with Amy’s wedding and pregnancy. There was no interest in these things as storylines for Amy (e.g. the psychological impact of a forced pregnancy, how she felt about losing her only child). Moffat is undoubtedly a writer who exhibits a lot of misogyny, but I don;t even think this is the fundamental problem here, it;s that he simply has no interest in writing people and their stories in the way RTD always did.

    Sorry for the rant :)

  • AshVeridian

    Honestly, considering the sorrid kind of environment that TV crew and staff operate under, I buy that reason the most. And EC leaving out any real details for so long was more than likely an effort to protect the crew and staff he felt was mistreated. While shining a spotlight on the working conditions might’ve been noble, those people would’ve essentially been out of a job for it.

  • Sally Ann Price

    Christopher Eccleston is my favorite Doctor Who. He was great with Billie Piper. He is such a brilliant actor. He can act for me anytime. That is a great photo.

  • Kevin Burnard

    I never really was a huge fan of Rose. I liked her, yeah, and poured forth the requisite tears at Doomsday. Then series 3 aired, I saw that Martha was badass, and I moved on very quickly. Honestly, I’m kind of sick of Rose now.

  • Jack Jazz

    “I would totally watch. In my assisted living home.”

    You wouldn’t just watch? You would ‘totally’ watch! So now just watching something doesn’t guarantee you’re going to get to see all of it?

  • Chiara

    I LOVE Tennant, and I like Smith, but Nine will always be my favourite: Eccleston was intense and the way he went from that open, innocent smile to being dark was amazing. He was always believable both as the “good” Doctor and as the Incoming Storm.

  • Anonymous

    I thought he was good, but Tennant just was the Doctor in a way Eccleston never was. Maybe it’s because I watched all the episodes in a really short time, so I only had him as a Doctor for about a month. Personally though, I can usually tell when someone is invested in the role, versus when they are just earning a paycheck. As good as Eccleston was, he was never invested in it. Tennant has the kind of passion for it that only a fan can have, and it came across in his performance.

  • Anonymous

    I started watching it on Amazon last year, and I remember getting to the episode where Rose was leaving. I knew she was leaving, and I couldn’t bring myself to watch it for several weeks. I finally did, and it was heartbreaking. And Donna’s first appearance was just salt in the wound – who was this shallow twit? But as soon as Martha showed up, it was “Rose who?” And Donna’s return cemented her spot as my favorite. “Doooonnnnnnaaaaaa!”

  • Anonymous

    Does no one see the whole passive aggressive attack Moffat just did on Ecclestone? In his statement by saying how it was all Billie Piper and nothing to do with him? Ecclestone was a great Doctor and I really would of liked to see more. But there where some issues back stage with him , which I think doesnt get addressed. Such as him pushing for better rights for the crew, but that being fought against and then Billie Piper not supporting him in it . Think a lot of thunder clouds back stage and really the reason why he isnt back.