Christopher Eccleston declines 'Doctor Who' 50th anniversary special appearance

Well, it can't all be good news.

A week after the announcement that former Doctor Who star David Tennant would be returning for the show's 50th anniversary special, we've received the unfortunate news that he won't be joined by fellow alum Christopher Eccleston. 

According to Digital Spy, Eccleston met with Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat several times before ultimately deciding not to return to the role he portrayed for 13 episodes in 2005.

Eccleston was the first actor to play the Doctor after the show returned in 2005 (and the ninth overall), following Paul McGann who played the eighth incarnation of the character. Eccleston left the show after just one series, and was succeeded by David Tennant.

Tennant and former companion Billie Piper (who played Rose Tyler) will return for the 50th, but it's seeming increasingly likely that they will be the only former stars invited back to the series. All eyes are now on McGann, who has expressed interest in returning but who has reportedly not been asked.

Eccleston famously did not have a good experience on the series. In 2011, Eccleston revealed his reason for leaving the series: "I left Doctor Who because I could not get along with the senior people. I left because of politics. I did not see eye-to-eye with them. I didn’t agree with the way things were being run. I didn’t like the culture that had grown up, around the series. So I left, I felt, over a principle."

“[. . .]So, that’s why I left. My face didn’t fit and I’m sure they were glad to see the back of me. The important thing is that I succeeded. It was a great part. I loved playing him. I loved connecting with that audience. Because I’ve always acted for adults and then suddenly you’re acting for children, who are far more tasteful; they will not be bullshitted. It’s either good, or it’s bad. They don’t schmooze at after-show parties, with cocktails.”

Doctor Who's 50th anniversary will air in November. The next episode of Doctor Who, "Cold War," airs April 13 on BBC One in the UK and BBC America in the US.

- Doctor Who
- Christopher Eccleston
- BBC one

Written by: mcpherson
Apr 6th, 2013, 7:49 pm

Images courtesy of BBC One

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