Though it’s gone on to feature more than a few great Doctors, the BBC’s Doctor Who revival owes much of its success to Christopher Eccleston. Despite being adamant that he wasn’t very happy with the character in the past, the actor now says he should’ve stuck it out — if only to stretch his skill set a little further.
In an interview with 774 ABC Melbourne’s Drive, Eccleston opened up about how it was “tragic” he didn’t get to play the character for more than a season (he was replaced by David Tennant, who stuck around a few years and is remembered as one of the best stars of the modern era). Eccleston reportedly left the gig over creative differences, and didn’t seem too keen on the television model and schedule.
Eccleston did a great job while he was there, and you have to wonder how the show might’ve gone if he'd stuck around a while longer. He was the first Doctor in years, who helped bring the franchise back to life after years on the shelf. That's a big deal, and he pulled it off in spades. His run might've been short, but it was still hugely important.
Here’s an excerpt from his comments:
“It was kind of tragic for me, that I didn’t play him for longer. He’s a beautiful character and I have a great deal of professional pride and had I done a second season, there would have been a marked improvement in my performance. I was learning new skills, in terms of playing light comedy. I was not known for light comedy and, again, production did not allow for that.”
It’s also worth noting Eccleston was thisclose to coming back for the 50th-anniversary special but decided not to return (which is part of the reason John Hurt’s War Doctor was created). Oh, what could’ve been. What’s your take on this? Would you have liked to see more Eccleston, or are you glad he was one-and-done?