Many fans of the iconic BBC science fiction program Doctor Who have Christopher Eccleston to thank for turning them into proper Whovians. Eccleston played the ninth incarnation of the Doctor during the first series of the show’s revival. Twenty-first century fans may often feel guilty for their lack of knowledge of classic Who, which ran from 1963 to 1989. The series was relaunched with Eccleston in 2005 by Russell T. Davies, who was showrunner and head writer for the first five years until writer Steven Moffat took over.
Christopher’s departure from the revival after one season surprised many, and he rarely speaks in-depth about the reason why he left, though, brief comments he has made on the subject suggest that creative differences were the cause of tension on the set. Back in July, Eccleston told the Radio Times, “Myself and three individuals at the very top of the pyramid clashed so off I went.”
The actor made similar comments about his Doctor Who departure back in 2010.
“I didn’t enjoy the environment and the culture that we, the cast and crew, had to work in. I wasn’t comfortable. I thought, ‘If I stay in this job, I’m going to have to blind myself to certain things I thought were wrong.’ So I left,” he said.
Mostly recently, when asked if he watches his successor, Peter Capaldi, Christopher replied in the negative, revealing that he also never watched the series as a child, and he didn’t watch the series during his tenure as the Doctor.
“I never watched Doctor Who when I was a child,” he told Radio Times. “I never watched MYSELF as Doctor Who!”
“I don’t think it’s important that I left. I think it’s important that I did it in the first place,” he told Radio 4’s Loose Ends in July. “I’m still there: I was in David Tennant, I was in Matt Smith, I was in Peter Capaldi. I’m always there in spirit.”
Eccleston’s Doctor, along with his companion Rose Tyler (Billie Piper), created some of the most memorable Doctor Who stories (and characters) thus far, including Jack Harkness (John Barrowman) in “The Empty Child.”
The ninth Doctor had a bit of a dark side that constantly left fans wondering what terrible things he had seen during the great Time Lord battle with the Daleks that resulted in the obliteration of his home planet. Whovians learned of nine’s dark secrets during the 50th Anniversary special episode, which saw actor John Hurt fill the shoes of nine since Eccleston refused to take part in the production, ScreenRant reported.
The Doctor has regenerated three times in the ten years the series has been back on air, with Capaldi and his companion Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman) set to thrill fans with their “scariest adventures yet” when Doctor Who season 9 premieres on BBC America September 19.
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