The Reason Why Christopher Eccleston Quit Doctor Who

BBC revived the series Doctor Who, back in 2005; with Russel T. Davies and Steve Moffat as showrunners.

This Science-fiction series starred Christopher Eccelston as The Ninth Doctor, alongside Billie Piper as companion Rose Tyler.

When the revival aired in 2005, it was a big hit for the BBC; bringing in an average viewing rating of 8.08 million.

Work Environment

During the Q&A at Dragon Con in September 2021. The actor was asked about why he left the series (video timecode 2:51); according to Christopher Eccelston, situations were not going so great behind-the-scenes:

“I left because my relationship with [showrunner] Russell T Davies, [producers] Julie Gardner and Phil Collinson completely broke down during the shooting of the first series. I think it’s fair to say… that the first series, nobody knows what they’re doing, and the politics are raging. The shooting of the first series was a nightmare.”

Christopher Eccleston – Dragon Con 2021
Billie Piper and Christopher Eccleston in Doctor Who 2005.

Eccleston left the show after only one season. However, negative responses and news coverage spread fast.

“In the UK, they never talk about the positives,” reflects Eccleston. “When I left, all they wanted to talk about was why I left. They never wanted to talk about the fact that I did 13 episodes. You know, we have a tradition of the gutter press in the UK, so I had to deal with them.”

Christopher Eccleston – via Den of Geek

60th Anniversary 2023 episode

If fans are looking to hold-out hopes for Eccleston returning in a 60th Anniversary episode in 2023, It’s not looking likely! As he already turned down the multi-Doctor 50th Anniversary event.

“I’ve never been a fan of multi-Doctor stories. When I worked on the series, I had really strong ideas about what works and what doesn’t, and I always think that multi-Doctor stories are a bit of a cash-in, and a bit of exploitation.”

Christopher Eccleston – Australian Convention Supernova

Doctor Who is currently on it’s Thirteenth Doctor; played by Jodie Whittaker. This Doctor is almost coming to an end; with Whittaker’s regeneration leading up to the Fourteenth Doctor, recently announced to be Ncuti Gatwa.

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Steven Soper
Steven Soper

Owner/Editor-in-Chief/Writer/Social Media for the Chatter Box Film website. Follow @chatterboxfilm on Twitter.

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