Doctor Who’s Christopher Eccleston has explained why he reprised his role as the Ninth Doctor in a Big Finish audio drama, saying that now was “the right time” to return to the character.
The A Word star, who played The Doctor in the BBC One show for just one series in 2005, told Doctor Who Magazine that he’d been asked to return as the Time Lord before, but it hadn’t worked out.
“I’d been asked on a few occasions, but it wasn’t the right time because of various things about where I was in my personal life and professional life. And then it became the right time.
“We talked about it at the convention, and then they contacted Sara Elman, who’s my VoiceOver agent. I had a look at the scripts and I was really encouraged by the quality of them. And here we are.”
On why he wanted to revisit the Doctor Who character, he added: “What convinces a bricklayer to build a wall? What convinces a plumber to plumb? What convinces you to do your job? First of all, I mean, it’s not a fashionable thing to say – and because we’re all English, we don’t talk about these things – but I’m an actor, and the way I pay my mortgage and support my children in by acting. So it’s paid work.
“Secondly, as I’ve always said, I have a great love for the character. I’ve always said that.”
Eccleston was the first actor to play The Doctor in Russell T Davies’ reboot of the sci-fi classic, with the Ninth Doctor heading on his intergalactic travels alongside much-loved companion Rose Tyler (Billie Piper) and her boyfriend Micky Smith (Noel Clarke).
On reprising his character on a day-to-day basis after 16 years, Eccleston said that “it’s nice to play a hero”.
“It’s nice to play somebody who has all the answers. It’s nice to play an enthusiast. And it’s nice to play somebody who’s front foot and confident. And warm! It’s a gift to play it, as every actor who’s ever had the role will tell you. This is a hero who doesn’t take himself too seriously, and who is filled with love. It’s a joyous thing to do.”
In The Ninth Doctor Adventures, Eccleston’s Doctor is set to face the Cybermen – an iconic villain that the Ninth Doctor never got to meet during his time on BBC One’s Doctor Who.