It’s taken 5 long years, but finally Christopher Eccleston has felt ready to talk about his exit from Doctor Who…
Eccleston was Russell T Davies’ shock choice as the Ninth Doctor when the series re-entered production in 2004, but after just 13 episodes, the actor – who appears alongside Naoko Mori in Lennon Naked later this month on BBC Four – quit.
“I was open-minded but I decided after my experience on the first series that I didn’t want to do any more,” he said.
“I didn’t enjoy the environment and the culture that we, the cast and crew, had to work in.”
Many Doctor Who fans were particularly upset by how the striking new lead – whose involvement brought the show bang up to date in terms of respect and public attitude – seemed to have quit without reason. It seems however that Eccleston has an unusual but refreshing attitude to his career.
“I think it’s more important to be your own man than be successful, so I left.”
“I thought if I stay in this job, I’m going to have to blind myself to certain things that I thought were wrong.”
This seems fair enough – Eccleston has appeared in big Hollywood movies (such as GI Joe) and episodesof US series Heroes since leaving Doctor Who. However as we’ve seen on occasions over the years, Eccleston – whose last episode was The Parting of the Ways in which his Doctor regenerated into David Tennant’s popular Tenth Doctor – is not ashamed of having played the last of the Time Lords.
“I really feel that because it kind of broke the mould and it helped to reinvent it.
“I’m very proud of it.”
It’s great that Christopher Eccleston has finally spoken about his experience on Doctor Who – the big question now is what didn’t he enjoy, and why…?
The full interview with Eccleston can be found in this week’s Radio Times, out now.