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Published on August 6th, 2012 | by Andrew Reynolds

Could the Ninth Doctor Return?

As unlikely as it seems – what with his outspoken position on both the way the upper echelons of the BBC handled his time as the Doctor and his own wish to not repeat himself – is there the whiff of a chance that Christopher Eccleston could return to the role of the Doctor for the fiftieth anniversary celebrations?

It’s certainly the wish of the Eleventh Doctor Matt Smith who recently spoke to Esquire magazine (via The List) about the possibility of all seven surviving Doctors putting in an appearance:

“Chris will be alright. Well, I mean, who knows? I’d love it. I’d love him to come back.”

Matt is a huge fan of Chris’ portrayal of the Time Lord and thinks his own incarnation would lose to him in a bout of fisticuffs (however unlikely that scene might be):

“I love his Doctor. I really do. He was from Manchester. Proper hard. Leather jacket. He’d give my Doctor a bit of a whopping, wouldn’t he?”

Now you might be thinking that one person’s opinion doth not make it a fact and there are many boundaries, including the two mentioned above, stopping Chris from once again donning the trademark leather jacket.

Well in an interesting side note fan BadGirlSeeksGoodMan, posting at the members-only forum Gallifrey Base (via Flickfilosopher), recently attended a Q&A at the National Theatre – where Eccleston is currently playing Creon in Antigone – during which he spoke warmly of the character and said he felt there was much more he could have done with him:

Former Doctor Who star Christopher Eccleston“There was palpable tension when the first Who question came up but he had absolutely nothing negative to say. He didn’t directly criticise any aspect of the production.

I was surprised how easily he took the questions and he very graciously thanked people who complimented him on his performance in Doctor Who. He also spoke with real warmth and enthusiasm about the character of the Doctor and what a real joy of a character it is to play. In response to a question about whether he felt he’d taken the character as far as he could he (very tellingly) said he felt that one series isn’t enough to get under the skin of the character and that if he’d had two or three series he’d have developed the role considerably. He said that if you looked at the other Doctors (with the exception of Tom Baker) you can see them working out how to play the character through their first series because it’s such a complex and challenging role. He said several times that there was more for him to do with the character….”

So are these encouraging signs that we may again have a multi-Doctor story for a major anniversary?

Here’s hoping!


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About the Author


Everyone has a favourite Doctor and mine - just for his honesty, his fairness and his ability to not notice the Master's awful, awful disguises/anagrams (Sir Gilles Estram!?!) - has to be the Fifth Doctor, Peter Davison. The stories didn’t serve him as well as his acting served those stories.

5 Responses to Could the Ninth Doctor Return?

  1. avatar Matthew Littledyke says:

    It would be great to see Ecclestone back in the role.

  2. avatar Holiday says:

    Eccleston has always been my favourite doctor. He deserves huge praise for starting the latest stint of doctors. he left for honourable reasons and I;m so glad he’s got the leading baddie role in the next Marvel Thor film

  3. avatar Leo says:

    Yes please-I think there is a very good chance actually-hope its not wishful thinking.

    I can find Chris a bit annoying actually sometimes, but I suppose if your constantly being told what a wonderful actor, it can rub off. However he was without doubt a great Doctor and one series wasn’t enough. I would say series one, was a very strong season overall IMO and this was in part down to Chris-the showdown’s with the Daleks being the absolute highlight for me.Chris contributed to making them real and scary again.
    Not sure if what became series 2 and 3 would have suited his take on the role but then we will probably never know.

    Love to see him, along with 8, 10 and 11 on screen together-but then i would love to see Tom, Colin, David and Matt together as well-the mind boggles at the thought of those big personalities together.

  4. avatar James says:

    Since they keep casting endlessly young actors as Dr Who, they all seem to have merged together into a one size fits all characterlessness. There was a great contrast between say, Troughton’s approach, Pertwee’s and Tom Baker’s that made the notion of bringing them together appealing but today’s ‘packaged’ and branded, handsome-only, doctors club are all much of a muchness, without any real sense of differentiation. Eccleston had taste and quit, so leave him to his play.

  5. avatar Mugen Pharoah says:

    It would be a shame if Eccleston didn’t come back for the fiftieth anniversay considering what a massive impact on the history of the show his perfomance as the ninth Doctor had.

    I was crushed when he left, it would be great to have him return even if it was for ‘one night only’.

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