I’m almost a day late with this Eccleston news because it was a closely-guarded secret but it’s true, the news I’ve spent 15 years waiting for…
CHRISTOPHER ECCLESTON IS BACK AS THE NINTH DOCTOR!
The 56 year old actor will reprise his role as The Doctor for The Ninth Doctor Adventures: FOUR new Big Finish box sets – twelve stories in total – due for release from May 2021 through February 2022. Each release will be available on CD or digital-only as well as a limited edition run on vinyl.
Other than that, we know next to nothing. The only writer we know about is Nicholas Briggs (who also seems to be directing) but we don’t know who else has been cast, when the stories will be set, if they’ll be standalone or form an overall arc. Nothing. But obviously I’ll be pre-ordering the first set because Eccleston was the Ninth Doctor when I first encountered the show and there’s a lot of nostalgia there.
“After 15 years it will be exciting to revisit the Ninth Doctor’s world, bringing back to life a character I love playing.”Christopher Eccleston
While there had been rumblings for a while, I’d been quick to write off any idea that Eccleston would return to Doctor Who for a long time. Most thought he might appear in Time Lord Victorious or the Out of Time trilogy. But apparently this has been in the works since February…
“I first talked to Christopher about returning to the role of the Doctor at the Gallifrey One convention in February this year. Christopher said he was enjoying meeting the fans and was pleased that his Doctor was remembered so fondly. He indicated he would be open to discussing a project with Big Finish.
And then the pandemic happened and time moved both quickly and very slowly. Over recent months, ideas have been exchanged and discussions had. I am so pleased that Christopher has decided to return to the role with us – and I’m excited to welcome him to the Big Finish family as we discover the new adventures of the Ninth Doctor.”Jason Haigh-Ellery
i love the bones of you
In Eccleston’s 2019 autobiography I Love the Bones of You: My Father And The Making Of Me, the subject of Doctor Who is confined to three chapters. Two of which are exchanges between Chris and his two kids as they watch his Doctor Who episodes for the first time. But the insight the book offers into what drives Eccleston as an actor made me think he was unlikely to ever return.
On the subject of Doctor Who, he writes that Russell T Davies – with whom he’d worked on The Second Coming – was a major factor in convincing him to sign on. As well as the plans they had to explore the Doctor’s psyche in the midst of his guilt over the Time War. This appealed to Eccleston and he feels they achieved what they set out to do, regardless of any friction behind the scenes. Eccleston had appeared more open to discussing Doctor Who in recent years, making the convention appearances that would ultimately prove his route back to the role, and it seems interacting with the fans has been a salve. However, it seemed to me that returning to the character wouldn’t present him with anything new to do. For Big Finish to seal the deal probably meant selling the hell out of what they wanted to do with the Ninth Doctor, so this should be fantastic!
Are you as giddy with excitement about this as I am? Let me know in the comments!