Typically after 15 years of little noise from the BBC, they’re making up for it now! No sooner do we get the wonderful news that a second series has been commissioned, we then find out that Christopher Eccleston is no longer interested in being Doctor Who, citing the demands of the show and the fear of being typecast as reasons behind his decision. The UK Press this morning are already touting various leading men to take over the role after Eccleston declared
“The audience’s response for the new Doctor Who has been incredible and I am really proud to be part of it and I hope viewers continue to enjoy the series,”
April 1st Update
Meanwhile right-wing tabloid The Mail claim Christopher Eccleston decided the part was too “camp” and “feffeminate” for him:
Eccleston has said he does not want to become typecast, while friends said he thought the role of the Doctor was ‘too effeminate’.
A BBC source said: “Chris’s decision to quit on artistic grounds is causing major waves.
“Not only was he seen as the saviour of Saturday night ratings, but also his face is crucial to the Christmas merchandising drive. What child is going to want to buy a Doctor Who action figure of the old Doctor when a new one is already on the television?”
A spokesman for Character Options said: “We are going ahead with all of our Christopher Eccleston-themed merchandising, about 20 items in all. We are hoping his departure will not damage sales.” The Mail article can be read online here
Althought there is nothing solid in the story other than whispers from alleged friends of Eccleston it certainly leaves a nasty taste in the mouth. Hopefully the shock of it all will wash over fandom over the weekend, and we can look forward to the rest of the series. Our article The Tenth Tenure… examines the recent events, and looks at the possibility that Eccleston’s departure has been in the pipeline for some time.
March 31st Update
According to the BBCs Official Doctor Who site, Christopher Eccleston’s Doctor will make his final appearance in a special Christmas episode.
Kasterborous naturally wishes Christopher Eccleston with his future career, and thank him for a wonderful portrayal of our favourite Time Lord.
Meanwhile, who is likely to succeed Christopher Eccleston? Currently the smart money is on David Tennant, star of BBC3’s Russell T Davies-scripted drama extravaganza “Casanova”. Other names mentioned so far include the usual suspects – Bill Nighy, Stephen Fry, Eddie Izzard – but it’s all certain to keep the words “Doctor Who” on everyones lips for the foreseeable future! The Times online version, Media Guardian and the BBC all report this in their online versions.
Below is the email we recieved from the Doctor Who Appreciation Society on Wednesday afternoon:
News is just emerging this afternoon that BBC Head of Drama Commissioning, Jane Tranter, has confirmed that there will be a second series of Doctor Who – and that there will also be a Christmas Special!
Russell T Davies has already prepared the first six episodes, though at present the principal cast for this second series has not been confirmed, though of course it is hoped that Christopher Eccleston and Billie Piper will reprise their roles.
The series and special were commissioned yesterday, after the ratings for the first episode were finally confirmed at 9.94 million viewers (43.20% share of the audience), over 2.5 million more than Ant and Dec on ITV!
Be prepared for yet another paper onslaught tomorrow (which fortunately is the last day in March and not the first in April!!!).
We’ll have more news on this subject over the next few days, as and when we get it – click here to discuss it in the forum