Out of all the roles he has taken on throughout his career, playing the character of Doctor Who in the titular revival TV show from the Doctor Who franchise has to be Christopher Eccleston’s most renowned performance to date. For as long as he played the character on the big screen in 2005, his portrayal was widely acclaimed and appreciated by fans from all around the globe. However, shortly after, he had a rather controversial dropout from the franchise.
Almost two decades later, Eccleston was once again asked recently if he would ever return to the franchise. To this, as fierce as his answer was, the Doctor Who portrayer dropped some really brutal conditions that even BBC might never agree to.
Christopher Eccleston’s Brutal Demands For Returning As Doctor Who
While everyone must have loved Christopher Eccleston in the role of Doctor Who, even if it was for only one series, the demands that the Gone in 60 Seconds star has for reprising his role are a bit too far-fetched.
Recently speaking at the For The Love Of Sci-Fi 2023 fan convention, the Doctor Who alum shared what BBC will have to do to make him return to the series. He said:
“Sack Russell T Davies. Sack Jane Tranter. Sack Phil Collinson. Sack Julie Gardner. And I’ll come back. So can you arrange that?”
Nonetheless, his brutal conditions for returning do not affect his love for the show, all the while mentioning that he is okay with still being associated with it. As he further mentioned:
“Not at all, I love being associated,” Eccleston said. “I just don’t like being associated with those people and the politics that went on in the first series. The first series was a mess, and it wasn’t to do with me or Billie [Piper], it was to do with the people who were supposed to make it, and it was a mess.”
However, as much as he might love the show, his conditions for reprising his role in the hit sci-fi series are probably not something that BBC will agree to anytime soon. Thus, to put it simply: No, fans will not be seeing Christopher Eccleston return as Doctor Who anytime soon (most probably).
Why Christopher Eccleston Fell Out From The Doctor Who Franchise
Christopher Eccleston may have left the show, but it was only with mixed feelings. Not to mention how controversial his fallout with the Doctor Who franchise became, mostly because of his statements on why he decided to leave in the first place.
Initially, the Thor: The Dark World actor claimed he “wasn’t comfortable” working on the show as it made him feel like he would have to “blind myself to certain things that I thought were wrong,” as per the Evening Standard magazine in 2010 (via WalesOnline).
During another, much more recent interview with the Radio Times in 2018, however, Eccleston had something different to say. He said:
“My relationship with my three immediate superiors – the showrunner, the producer, and [the] co-producer – broke down irreparably during the first block of filming and it never recovered. They lost trust in me, and I lost faith and trust and belief in them.”
Furthermore, he also reportedly stated that the situation felt “very stressful” to him as somebody “who was not a natural light comedian.” Not only this but he is also reported to have said:
“Billie [Piper], who we know was and is brilliant, was very, very nervous and very, very inexperienced. So, you had that, and then you had me. Very, very experienced, possibly the most experienced on it, but out of my comfort zone.”
Added to these claims were his arguments of having been “blacklisted” by BBC as well as been the victim of “damage” done by others (presumably people at BBC as well as the higher-ups in charge of the show) to him when he “gave my word to [then-showrunner] Russell T Davies that I wouldn’t do anything to damage the show.”
All in all, no one really knows what truly happened, with Christopher Eccleston’s entire public fallout with the Doctor Who franchise becoming highly controversial with only one statement from BBC that he left for fear of becoming a “typecast”.