As famed parapsychologist Homer Simpson once commented; ‘Don’t mess with the dead boy, they have eerie powers’ and someone who can testify to the dead’s knack for shaking up the living is Christopher Eccleston, who, while filming a scene in a mortuary for Danny Boyle’s Shallow Grave had to be comforted from the shadows.
Director Danny Boyle told ContactMusic that the Ninth Doctor was so afraid of being trapped inside a real life mortuary for a scene from the 1994 thriller that he had to have a props guy comfort him from the shadows:
It was a real mortuary and there were real dead bodies in there. Christopher, who went on to be a future master of the universe said, ‘I can’t do this!’
Eventually we agreed that we’d put one of the prop guys in there, so when the door is closed and it goes dark he wouldn’t be alone with the dead.
In fact, on the soundtrack when the door is closing and the lights go off, you can hear this guy going, ‘It’s alright Chris!’
For an actor renowned for his intensity and dedication to his craft it’s comforting to hear that there are some very human limits to what he’ll do for his art.
Recently, the BBC confirmed that Eccleston would not be returning to Doctor Who for the 50th Anniversary.