After recently claiming he was “blacklisted” by the BBC after leaving Doctor Who, former Ninth Doctor Christopher Eccleston has now revealed more about the tensions he felt on set during filming for the sci-fi series.
“My relationship with my three immediate superiors – the showrunner, the producer and co-producer – broke down irreparably during the first block of filming and it never recovered,” Eccleston says in the latest issue of Radio Times.
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“They lost trust in me, and I lost faith and trust and belief in them,” he continues.
Eccleston starred in the sci-fi series when it first rebooted in 2005 with Russell T Davies as showrunner.
Describing the situation as “very” stressful, Eccleston claims that he felt out of place playing a lighter role, and believes it may have contributed to on-set difficulties.
“Some of my anger about the situation came from my own insecurity,” he says. “They employed somebody [as the Doctor] who was not a natural light comedian.”
He adds, “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.”
In the interview, Eccleston goes on to reveal why he’s only elected to speak on the subject in recent months, with the Salford-born actor suggesting he’d made an agreement not to “damage” the reputation of the series.
“When I left, I gave my word to [then-showrunner] Russell T Davies that I wouldn’t do anything to damage the show,” he says. “But they did things to damage me. I didn’t criticise anybody.”
Asked if Davies was aware of the issues, Eccleston says, “If you’re the showrunner, you know everything. That’s your job,” adding that he “never will have” a working relationship with the screenwriter again.
Eccleston was speaking with Radio Times ahead of the release of his new series, BBC1 drama Come Home.
Read the full interview with Christopher Eccleston in the latest Radio Times magazine, on sale now