Christopher Eccleston on why he quit Doctor Who

Christopher Eccleston has been talking more about why he did Doctor Who, and why he left the programme so soon...

Christopher Eccleston’s stint in the TARDIS lasted just 13 episodes back in 2005, when the actor quit the role, in turn making way for David Tennant. He’s talked in the past about not wanted to be seen in just one role, and that he has no plans to reprise the role of the Doctor.

Now, in two new interviews to promote the ITV show Safe House, he’s revealed more about why he quit Doctor Who so soon.

“I’d had enough”, he told the Daily Record. “I wanted to do it my way, they wanted something else. We were never going to compromise, so it was best to be straight about it and just go”.

“It’s very easy to stay in one job and make that your comfort zone”, he added, “and I want to resist that temptation”.

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Then, in an upbeat conversation with Radio 4, Eccleston reaffirmed that he approached Russell T Davies about playing the Doctor in the first place. Was he pleased with what he achieved? “I think I over pitched the comedy”, he said. “If I had my time again I’d do the comedy very differently. I think where I did possibly succeed was in the tortured stuff: surprise, surprise!”.

He continued, arguing that “what’s interesting in this country is whenever a story like this is emerging, they concentrate on the negative. I don’t think it’s important that I left, I think it’s important that I did it in the first place”.

He was asked, however, why he departed. “I’m still there, I was in David Tennant, I was in Matt Smith – are we going to edit this? – I was in Peter Capaldi! Nobody knows this about the Time Lords!”

But ultimately, “myself and three other individuals at the top of the pyramid clashed”, he confirmed. Yet, as you can hear in the following clip, he wouldn’t say more than that, given that they weren’t in the interview to put their part of the story across.

Here’s the interview…

And thanks to the mighty Blogtor Who for the heads up.

Daily Record.

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