My favorite Doctor is returning! After 15 years, the man who helped launch “NuWho,” Christopher Eccleston, will reprise his role as the Ninth Doctor despite his tremulous relationship with the series.
Fifteen years ago, Christopher Eccleston, Billie Piper, and Russel T. Davies revived the popular British science fiction series Doctor Who, which had been dormant since its 1996 TV movie. Eccleston, with his Northern accent and leather jacket, played the Ninth incarnation of the character and traveled most notably with Rose Tyler (Billie Piper) and Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman).
Eccleston was praised for his performance, bringing both genuine comedic energy and also a weary rage to the character. Despite that, he only stayed on for one season and was then followed up by David Tennant.
Now, he will return as the Ninth Doctor in what else but a series of audio adventures.
“After 15 years, it will be exciting to revisit the Ninth Doctor’s world, bringing back to life a character I love playing,” Eccleston said in a statement shared by Entertainment Weekly.
Plans had already been made for Eccleston’s return before the pandemic, according to Jason Haigh-Ellery, the chairman of Big Finish, which is behind the Doctor Who audio projects. However, the COVID-19 pandemic gave them time to continue the conversations until he was officially on board.
“I first talked to Christopher about returning to the role of the Doctor at the Gallifrey One convention in February this year,” Haigh-Ellery said. “Christopher said he was enjoying meeting the fans and was pleased that his Doctor was remembered so fondly. He indicated he would be open to discussing a project with Big Finish.
“And then the pandemic happened and time moved both quickly and very slowly. Over recent months, ideas have been exchanged, and discussions had. I am so pleased that Christopher has decided to return to the role with us — and I’m excited to welcome him to the Big Finish family as we discover the new adventures of the Ninth Doctor.”
I am super thrilled about this news. As stated at the top, the Ninth Doctor is my favorite. When I started watching the series from the “beginning,” following my introduction via the 5th season, I had heard mixed things about that first season. Yet, it quickly became my favorite. I thought casting a more rugged actor like Eccleston brought home that this was a character who had been through things.
Eccleston has discussed that, for a long time, his feelings about Doctor Who were negative because of the issues surrounding his exit and conflict with the showrunner, Russel T. Davis. However, that has slowly changed, thankfully.
“These days, I feel nothing but positive about the show, to the extent I have even started doing conventions, something I’d been wary of because I always wanted to earn my money from acting,” he later went on to say in his memoir.
As a fan, I’m glad that his feelings have changed so that we can not only get more Nine, but we can get it with Eccleston receiving the praise and recognition he deserves.
(via Entertainment Weekly, image: BBC)
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