Doctor Who fans have reacted with almost unanimous joy at the news The Ninth Doctor, Christopher Eccleston, is returning for a series of new audio adventures, teased by a new trailer.
Big Finish Productions in association with BBC Studios announced on Sunday that Eccleston would return for 12 more adventures in space and time, due to be released in four box-sets with volume one arriving in May 2021.
Big Finish teased Eccleston’s return to Doctor Who with a trailer promoting the news.
Big Finish said that details about storylines, writers and additional guest cast were not being released yet, but that didn’t stop Whovians from expressing their delight and imagining what form The Doctor’s adventures would take.
— Perfect Doctor Who Shots (@DWPerfectShots) August 9, 2020
As this poster acknowledged, The First Doctor in the modern reboot remained very popular. “It’s been a while since anything Doctor Who related has received pretty much unanimous support and reaction,” he wrote.
Well, it’s been a while since anything Doctor Who related has received pretty much unanimous support and reaction. Lovely to see, and welcome back to the fold Chris. Can’t wait to hear the audios. #bigfinish #ChristopherEccleston #doctorwho
— AttackEyebrows (@EyebrowsPeter) August 9, 2020
Another fan had always “hoped Christopher Eccleston would return to #DoctorWho someday”, adding that “cynics may suggest money is a driving force, however it is clear to me he always loved the role and appreciated the continued affection and loyalty of the fans”.
I always hoped Christopher Eccleston would return to #DoctorWho someday. Cynics may suggest money is a driving force, however it is clear to me he always loved the role and appreciated the continued affection and loyalty of the fans. Congrats @bigfinish and welcome back Chris! ❤️ pic.twitter.com/jC9FWotMr3
— Pip (@pipmadeley) August 9, 2020
Many were fantasising about a dream scenario in which their favourite doctors from the modern version of Doctor Who would join forces for the 60th anniversary in 2023. Eccleston did not take part in the 50th anniversary in 2013.
With the news that Christopher Eccleston is returning to Doctor Who (Big Finish Audio Drama's only) i'm hoping this will lead to other things, such as Chris reprising the role for the 60th anniversary in a few years. Imagine it. Chris, David, Matt and Peter #DoctorWho #9thDoctor pic.twitter.com/O5RvVkn8Sj
— OwlGhouls (DriftingOrbit) (@OwlGhouls) August 9, 2020
Eccleston regenerated as The Ninth Doctor in 2005 and for many Whovians his return would take them back to their childhoods and would be “exciting and nostalgic”.
— Wrestling In The dark (@Mason_WITD) August 9, 2020
A small number of fans were sniffy about the audio format for his return, but others were simply ecstatic he was returning. This tweeter echoed the sentiment of many: “WHO CARES IN WHAT FORMAT!? Let’s just be grateful hes back!”
Cant believe people are saying "Its only audio". Christopher Eccleston is BACK reprising the 9th Doctor! WHO CARES IN WHAT FORMAT!? Let's just be grateful hes back!#DoctorWho
— The Who Addicts (@thewhoaddicts) August 9, 2020
Eccleston originally starred in 13 episodes when Doctor Who was brought back to mainstream television in 2005 after a 16-year absence. He revealed that he only stayed one series because his relationship with his “three immediate superiors… broke down irreparably” during filming.
Although he declined to be a part of the 50th anniversary celebrations, in recent years he has begun attending conventions and Doctor Who fan events and revealed in his memoir that this engagement had “healed” him.