Eccleston on Why He Declined 50th Anniversary Return

Christopher Eccleston has explained why he decided not to return for Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary special back in 2013.

Eccleston told audiences at the Rose City Comic Con panel [Via Radio Times]:“When [The Day of the Doctor] came along I did speak to them.

“I didn’t feel that what they were asking me to do did justice to the Ninth Doctor. So I said no.”

Eccleston also still had issue with how he’d been treated during the 2005 run, something he went into detail about previously.

“They approached me to be in [‘The Day of the Doctor’], but the BBC had still not apologised to me,” he said.

“I liked Steven Moffat a lot. I considered it. But it had an enormous emotional impact on me, what happened with Doctor Who.

“As the series was going out, as the series was being celebrated I was being vilified in the press in the UK because of the statement that the BBC issued.

“And it caused quite a depression in me that year. While everybody was going ‘Doctor Who’s great – he’s great and he’s gone’. Because they [the BBC] kind of smeared me and told lies about me.”

However, Eccleston thinks him turning down the role ended up being a good thing in the end: “The virtue of that is that we then get the War Doctor. Because if I’d have come back you wouldn’t have got the War Doctor – the War Doctor was there precisely because the Ninth Doctor wasn’t.”

“And John Hurt’s a far better actor than me, and that opened up a whole new dimension. So it was a positive thing really.”