The return of Christopher Eccleston to the Doctor Who fold – via a newly-announced series of audio dramas from Big Finish – has been a cause of great celebration among Whovians, with all very excited to see (or at least hear) him in action come May 2021.
However, we do also have some slightly bad news for any fans who thought they might get to experience Eccleston’s performance a little bit sooner than that – because despite his new Big Finish deal and the Ninth Doctor’s presence within the story, Eccleston won’t be a part of crossover event Time Lord Victorious.
“No he won’t, technically,” producer James Goss told RadioTimes.com when asked whether the actor would appear within the multi-platform spin-off story, which ranges over Big Finish audio dramas, books, action figures, comic strips and much more, and focuses on Doctors previously played by Eccleston, Paul McGann and David Tennant.
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While Tennant and McGann are both reprising their roles for audio stories, Eccleston isn’t, with the Ninth Doctor instead appearing in comic strips, books and other print media for his Time Lord Victorious stories. And according to Goss this actorly absence is because of a simple reason – when Time Lord Victorious was being planned, Eccleston’s new Big Finish deal wasn’t even on the horizon.
“I don’t know the intricate details, but I think that all of the Time Lord Victorious content was recorded before Chris did the deal with Big Finish,” Goss told us.
When contacted by RadioTimes.com, Big Finish confirmed that the deal with Eccleston for his new audio adventures was only finalised shortly before it was announced in early August 2020, long after all the Time Lord Victorious content had been planned, written, recorded and completed – in other words, too late for him to reprise the role.
Still, from the sounds of it BBC Studios may have struggled to fit him into the project anyway, with Time Lord Victorious already set to be a pretty huge undertaking.
“The entire thing, as it stands, is massive,” Goss told us. “And anything else that we announce is just going to make it more massive. Certainly to be doing something that encompasses immersive theatre and an escape room as well as books, audio, digital, gaming…you’re just there going, this is pretty much everything.
“If you’re a Tenth Doctor fan there are plenty of Tenth Doctor adventures for you to enjoy – same if you’re a Ninth or an Eighth Doctor fan,” he continued.
Paul McGann, David Tennant, Christopher Eccleston and Billie Piper in BBC Studios’ Time Lord Victorious imagery (BBC Studios)Big Finish
“Whatever you pick up will enhance your enjoyment of the product, but also you won’t feel excluded if you just happen to not go and do that.”
In other words, for anyone keen to immerse themselves in some Ninth Doctor content ahead of Eccleston’s audio return, Time Lord Victorious might not be a bad avenue for them to explore – even if you do have to imagine the Doctor’s accent in your own head for a little while longer.