Christopher Eccleston as The Ninth Doctor

Christopher Eccleston sets out his terms for a Doctor Who return

Posted Filed under

Don’t hold your breath! 

As Christopher Eccleston continues to embrace Doctor Who fandom, inevitable questions come up. If you’ve ever been to a convention or signing Q&A, you’ll be familiar with then. Questions such as “What’s your favourite monster?” and “Where would you go if you had a TARDIS?”

Another, naturally, is some variant of “Would you return to Doctor Who?”

Often, an actor will give a general, non-specific answer – no one wants to shut down possible avenues of work. However, it’s clear that for Christopher Eccleston, feelings still run high in regard to making the first run of the show’s 2005 revival.

Christopher Eccleston as the Ninth Doctor

In response to the question at the recent For the Love of Sci-Fi 2023 event, where he appeared with co-star Billie Piper, he made it explicitly clear that it’s a matter of those he’d be working with, saying:

“Sack Russell T Davies. Sack Jane Tranter. Sack Phil Collinson. Sack Julie Gardner. And I’ll come back. So can you arrange that?”

Rather awkwardly, those four are at the core of the Bad Wolf team responsible for Doctor Who‘s latest reinvention.


He went on to comment on the making of Series One:

“I love being associated, 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.”

“You know, the first series, nobody wants to know. The BBC were like we’re gonna keep a big distance from this. And then as soon as it was a success, they were all up close going, ‘I was responsible for that,’ but they were all like at a distance. Like this is a folly, Eccleston’s folly, Piper’s folly, Russell T. Davies’ folly. And then when it worked, suddenly, ‘Oh yeah, I worked on that.’ They wouldn’t come anywhere near us, and then they jump on the bandwagon. Those kinds of politics I’m not very good at handling, I can’t swallow that shit.”

For the Love of Sci-Fi

If you want to see the full panel, it’s been posted by the organiser Monopoly Events. The question comes up at approx. 15 minutes in…

The appearance covers Eccleston and Piper’s first meeting and audition process, with the warmth of their relationship still apparent. The interview also tackles some of the problems the production encountered in that first year… and the pair talk fondly about filming ‘The Unquiet Dead’ with Simon Callow. Plus, laughing at monsters and helping themselves to mementoes from the set.

While he’s not coming back to television anytime soon, Eccleston has reprised his Doctor for three series of audio stories for audio producers Big Finish, with two boxsets still to be released. Eccleston also appeared in the 60th Anniversary mini-series Once and Future with the late David Warner’s alternate universe Doctor, who he calls “… the greatest Doctor Who who’s never been”.

Interestingly, he also suggests that he’d be happy to play the Doctor opposite Billie Piper’s Rose on audio too.


Christopher Eccleston is currently appearing as Scrooge in A Christmas Carol at The Old Vic until January 6th 2024.

Christopher Eccleston as Scrooge

Meanwhile, Billie Piper will star in Scoop for Netflix. The drama surrounds the infamous BBC Newsnight interview of Prince Andrew by Emily Maitlis. With Gillian Anderson playing Maitlis, Piper takes on the role of Sam McAllister, the producer who secured the interview.