Former ‘Doctor Who’ Lead Christopher Eccleston Declares He Will Only Return To Series If BBC “Sack” Russell T Davies And Current Creative Team
In giving a voice to the very real frustrations of the British franchise’s long-time fans, actor Christopher Eccleston has revealed that his one condition for even beginning to consider a reprisal of his role as the ninth incarnation of Doctor Who‘s titular protagonist is the removal of the series’ current creative team.
The first man to portray the Time Lord following the series’ return from its 1989-2005 hiatus, Eccleston spoke to his potential return to the TARDIS while speaking to attendees of a Doctor Who Q&A panel held as part of the recent 2023 edition of the UK-based For The Love of Sci-Fi Con.
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Drawing a thunderous applause from the crowd after asking if they would “all love to see Christoper come back as the Doctor, right?,” the panel’s host then directly pressed Eccleston as to “What would have to happen for that to become a reality?”
In turn, the fan-favorite Doctor actor adamantly declared, “Sack [Showrunner] Russell T Davies. Sack [Executive Producer] Jane Tranter. Sack [Producer] Phil Collinson. Sack [Producer] Julie Gardner and I’ll come back.”
Notably, all four members of Eccleston’s ‘sacking wishlist’ previously worked on the collective Doctor Who franchise during its ‘Revival Era’ – Collinson on The Sarah Jane Adventures, and Tranter, Gardener, and Davies on the core series before returning in 2023 to helm Ncuti Gatwa’s current run in the role, doing so under the banner of Tranter and Gardener’s Bad Wolf production company.
To this end, Eccleston revealed that his major sticking point with Collinson, Tranter, and Gardener’s attachment to show was how they supposedly took credit for the show’s success after doing all they could to distance themselves from its production.
Questioned in follow-up by the panel host, “Did you find it hard to be like associated with the character?”, Eccleston adamantly declared, “Not at all. I love being associated with the character, I just don’t like being associated with those people and the politics that went on in the first series.
“The first series was a mess, and it wasn’t to do with me or Billy,” he added. “It was to do with the people who were supposed to make it and it was a mess.”
Further elaborating on his disdain for the executives, the Thor: The Dark World star recalled, “And the first series of any show [companion Rose Tyler actress] Billie [Piper] did was [ITV2’s sex-comedy series Secret Diary of a Call Girl]. First series? Nobody wants to know. The BBC were like, ‘We’re going to keep a big distance from this, and then as soon as it was a success they were all up close going, ‘I was responsible for that.'”
“But, they were all at a dance, like, ‘This is a folly,” he continued. “This is Eccleston’s folly. Piper’s folly. Russell T Davies’ folly. And then when it worked, suddenly ‘Oh yeah, I worked on that!'”
“They wouldn’t come any anywhere near us and then they jump on the bandwagon,” concluded Eccleston. “Those kind of politics, I’m not very good at handling. I can’t swallow that.”
While the former series star did not speak to his specific with Davies during this panel appearance, it appears to stem from the previously discussed ‘breakdown’ of his relationship with the four across his time on Doctor Who.
“My relationship with my three immediate superiors – the showrunner, the producer and co-producer – broke down irreparably during the first block of filming and it never recovered,” Eccleston explained to UK-based entertainment news outlet Radio Times in 2018. “They lost trust in me, and I lost faith and trust and belief in them.”
“When I left, I gave my word to [then-showrunner] Russell T Davies that I wouldn’t do anything to damage the show,” he further detailed. “But they did things to damage me. I didn’t criticise anybody.”
Pressed as to whether Davies knew of Eccleston’s issues with his superiors, the actor declared, “If you’re the showrunner, you know everything. That’s your job.”
Unfortunately, Eccleston did not note whether or not any of his anger towards the four Doctor Who stewards was based in the series’ current direction.