the whoniverse

Fantastic! Christopher Eccleston Is Returning to Doctor Who

Photo: Doctor Who/YouTube

To repeat: Oh, fantastic! The space-time continuum is blessing us with Christopher Eccleston’s return to Doctor Who, more than 15 years after, as the Ninth Doctor, he quietly hung up his leather jacket and departed the franchise following behind-the-scenes turmoil. Den of Geek reports that Eccleston has signed on to voice a series of new Doctor Who audio adventures, which will be jointly released by BBC Studios and Big Finish Productions in May 2021. “It will be exciting to revisit the Ninth Doctor’s world,” he said in a statement, “bringing back to life a character I love playing.” Eccleston has not been involved in any Doctor Who projects ever since he left after leading one season in 2005, which served as the franchise’s comeback for the “modern” era. Conversely, other Doctors, such as David Tennant and Matt Smith, have jumped at the chance to reprise their characters in additional specials or audio series.

Following years of silence and several compelling roles across the pond, Eccleston revealed in 2018 that the British film and television industry blacklisted him after he left Doctor Who, which he says was due to the strained relationship with his “three immediate superiors” — the showrunner and executive producers, who were Russell T. Davies, Julie Gardner, and Phil Collinson, respectively. “It broke down irreparably during the first block of filming and it never recovered,” Eccleston explained. “They lost trust in me, and I lost faith and trust and belief in them.”

In 2019, Eccleston also said during a rare Comic-Con appearance that the lingering effects of the blacklist made him reject an offer to appear in the show’s 50th anniversary special, as he was still angry due to various “political” factors. “I personally didn’t feel like the narrative was strong enough, particularly for the Ninth Doctor because I’d taken quite a lot of abuse in my own country when I left,” he explained about the offer. “As the show was being celebrated I was being abused in the press and that was hard to take and very confusing. So I looked at it and I thought is this really the way I want to come back and I decided it wasn’t.” What, the show couldn’t be bothered to sprinkle in a few extra Bad Wolf motifs for him?

Fantastic! Christopher Eccleston Is Returning to Doctor Who