Former Doctor Who star Christopher Eccleston has opened up in two new interviews about the real reason he quit the show. As the Ninth Doctor, Eccleston was on Doctor Who for one season, and his departure led to speculation in the press that he wasn’t happy with the direction the show’s executives wanted to take the character.
In one of the interviews to promote his new ITV drama, Safe House, he talked to the Daily Record about the differences in opinion on the direction his turn as the Doctor should have taken on Doctor Who.
“I’d had enough. I wanted to do it my way, they wanted something else. We were never going to compromise, so it was best to be straight about it and just go. It’s very easy to stay in one job and make that your comfort zone, and I want to resist that temptation.”
During the interview with BBC Radio 4 show Loose Ends, the former Doctor admitted he would portray his character differently if he could go back in time. He also sees himself still on Doctor Who in spirit.
“I think I over pitched the comedy. If I had my time again I’d do the comedy very differently. I think where I did possibly succeed was in the tortured stuff: surprise, surprise!
“I’m still there, I was in David Tennant, I was in Matt Smith–are we going to edit this?–I was in Peter Capaldi! Nobody knows this about the Time Lords!”
With the short time Christopher played the Doctor, many Whovians believe he’s underrated, but perhaps the reason is he didn’t have as much time as the other Doctors to make a longer lasting impression. He also said in his interview it’s more important to him that he was on Doctor Who and does hope he’ll be remembered for his role.
“I don’t think it’s important that I left, I think it’s important that I did it in the first place,” he said of Doctor Who. “I hope I’ll be remembered as one of the Doctors. I have no ill feeling towards the character or the series.”
Now the former Doctor Who star is looking to the future with his new series, Safe House, where he plays an ex-detective dealing with injuries he sustained while on the job. Christopher shared he strongly identifies with his character and said he would deal with the trauma in the same way. Eccleston swam in cold water in December at the Lake District for the role, which took two months to film four episodes.
“I think if I was as severely traumatised as this character I would definitely use nature and physical exercise. I’m a runner and physical exercise is a big part of my own mental health. So I would do what Robert [his character] does if I had suffered that kind of trauma. I would relocate and work through it with physical exercise of some sort. I had a real connection with him and his compulsion to swim.”
No matter what role he takes on in the future, he’ll always be remembered as the Ninth Doctor on Doctor Who. As the Inquisitr previously reported, buzz for the new season of Doctor Who, which is slated to return this fall, has already begun.
Eccleston’s new drama Safe House starts on Monday on ITV at 9 p.m.
[Image via YouTube]