Sure, Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary will bring back the consensus fan favorite Doctor from the show’s revival — but not the guy who helped relaunch the series. Now showrunner Stephen Moffat finally explains why Christopher Eccleston isn’t coming back.
Eccleston played the Ninth Doctor on the first series of the new version of Doctor Who, before handing the reins over to David Tennant (who is coming back) and current star Matt Smith.
The rumor mill initially indicated that Eccleston could make a return trip to the TARDIS for the anniversary-palooza, and now Moffat has opened up about how far those discussions actually went (Hint: not too far).
Here’s what he told SFX in a recent print interview:
"I had an initial contact with Chris and, in a very amiable and gentlemanly way, he didn't feel that he could come back to it. There wasn't any big fuss about it -- I had a couple of meetings with him, and he was perfectly pleasant, and indeed quite enthused about the show, but he just doesn't do that, it's just not him."
Sure, it sucks that Eccleston won’t be back — but it’s nice to know there weren’t any hard feelings. It was reported months ago that Eccleston had signed on, then subsequently “quit” the special. At least according to Moffat’s comments, that now sounds less true.
Considering Eccleston’s less-than-awesome experience shooting the series, it makes sense he’d want to leave his sonic screwdriver in the drawer. Oh, well, I suppose we’ll have to get our Eccleston kick by watching him duke it out with Marvel's Thor as the Big Bad in The Dark World next month, while Tennant and Smith team up to save the universe on Who.
Not a bad compromise. But do you still wish Eccleston was coming back?