Christopher Eccleston played one of the shortest lived Doctors in the Doctor Who franchise’s history. He stayed for thirteen episodes in total, just for a single season of nu-Who. Whilst there has been numerous discussions over why Eccleston left and why he turned down the opportunity of returning for the 50th anniversary, it must be said that if it wasn’t for him then there is a fair chance that the series would not have gone onto become the international success that it has become without him. He’s a well-known actor, and his cachet obviously had an effect when reviving this once-mocked show.
Eccleston is a known commodity, and has appeared in many great roles both on television and in film. You could say that Doctor Who was his first role in this genre, but he has since gone on to appear in G.I. Joe and most recently, the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Thor: The Dark World. But first and foremost, he is a character actor and perhaps that is the best thing he brought to the role of the Doctor.
He is certainly one of the darkest Doctors seen in the franchise, although John Hurt may yet take that title away. Eccleston’s Doctor was recovering from the Great Time War with the Daleks which resulted in the Time Lords being wiped out with only a couple of exceptions. The character had that great weight on his shoulders, and had become something of a myth as said in his second episode, The End of the World.
I was an old Who fan, and although technically Tom Baker was my first Doctor, I didn’t really get into it until Sylvester McCoy (although I have clear memories of watching Colin Baker). But Christopher Eccleston played the Doctor at a time when it was re-introduced to many homes and so he is many people’s first Doctor. And you never forget your first Doctor. So, here is my top five episodes from the Eccleston era…
This article was first posted on November 1, 2013