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Moffat on Why Hurt to Eccleston Regeneration Was So Short

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182 comments
druidkat7
druidkat7

Okay...my take on this, after seeing Eccleston as the 9th Doctor, and reading his comments on the IMDB site about not really enjoying it because of background stuff he didn't like. A bit disappointing to read, sure, especially as I really liked how he portrayed the Doctor. Gave it his own fierce, brusque spin on the role, especially when taking on the Daleks. However, I also honor his choice to go with his personal integrity, and while I enjoyed his performance greatly, I accepted the regen from Eccleston to Tennant--that was the first time as a Whovian I'd EVER seen any kind of regeneration scene like that, and it was amazing!


And if Eccleston didn't want to be part of the 50th Anniversary special, so be it. As fans, we need to accept that. He didn't like the politics going on (and office politics can really ruin some things), so he wanted to leave. End of story and onto David Tennant, who I also absolutely ***ADORE*** as the Doctor. Though I am looking forward to watching what Matt Smith does. (Yes, I admit, I'm behind--am watching the show on Hulu) The new series, overall, rekindled my love for the Doctor (after a long hiatus of not being able to watch it for various reasons) and I am looking to go back and watch the old series, which is also on Hulu...

Nitpicking and fussing over what happened in the background is, to me, not productive, and it honestly kind of ruins the beautiful, clever mystery of the show. And that's all I'm going to say on it...back to my overall adoration of the Doctor. :-D

Just consider me...

A Regenerated Whovian...



Gluben
Gluben

I still don't get the whole "We got John Hurt" thing. Brilliant actor, but he could've been in any regular episode; to me, his presence did not make the episode any more special. His performance was good but his character is unnecessary to me when, all along, it could've been McGann.

With regards to Eccleston, he himself has never stated why he didn't want to do the 50th. I know he's quite private and can often (but not always) bristle at the subject in interviews, but all the revelations have so far come from Moffat, aside from earlier "never bathe in the same river twice" comments. I'd like to hear his own "uncensored" take on it. I want to know if he didn't like the story and if he would've done it had it been written differently.

Still wished we had a "four Doctors" story with McGann, Eccleston, Tennant and Smith...

robchristianson
robchristianson

In the end Chris wins because he was the only "real Doctor" that got to REALLY kiss Rose ;)

The Finn
The Finn

Really? He had to explain this? I thought it was pretty clear.

GeoffreyFoster
GeoffreyFoster

I am still trying to work out the Math that makes The War Doctor 400 years younger than the 11th. How has 4 centuries past between the two? We know that the war doctor regenerates into the ninth doctor and he meets Rose shortly afterward because when he visits Rose's Apt. he looks in the mirror and it is clear that he is seeing himself for the first time, commenting on his ears being large and so on... Tennant takes over them Smith, the most significant amount of time that passes for him is the 200 years he ages between series 1 and 2 and another 100 years when Amy and Rory depart. Tennant does not have that long of a stretch, certainly not a century and the doctor comments that he is 1211, or there abouts. there is roughly 90 years unaccounted for... Am I right? Correct me if I am not...

donjuannebulon
donjuannebulon

What did the BBC do, kill his dog? What horrible thing did Doctor Who do to Chris Eccleston to make the thought of filming a day or two so agonizingly difficult to decide upon? They make it sound like he's an assassin who has grown a conscience, but is being asked to murder again. John Hurt's take on the character was a gift, an absolute joy to watch, so I'm not bitter, just confused. 


Mercy Reborn2
Mercy Reborn2

it would have been nice for him to do it but he doesnt love the show like we do

dragonsfyre
dragonsfyre

"...and not respecting his wishes would have been grossly unprofessional and disrespectful...."

...says Moffat after having allowed a body-double to wear digital markers so they could digitally graft CHRISTOPHER ECCLESTON's face onto him for that final shot with all 11 Doctors.

Yes. Very professional and respectful Mr. Moffat.

Amy is Hannibal
Amy is Hannibal

Disgruntled fans: "Chris should have done it for the fans!"

Me: "Demanding charity makes it no longer charity."

TheNightmareChild sees into your soul!
TheNightmareChild sees into your soul!

I think the most important thing to take away from this article is... Christopher Eccleston needs to grow a mustache/goatee combo like John Hurt's like it looks like he has in the regeneration image.  That would be amazing.

The Living Angel
The Living Angel

Im still furious with Chris. I really do think he should have done it for the fans, because when his career starts to flag, it will be us whovian that remember him.


DeanySevigny
DeanySevigny

Re: the wrist explanation, that's just plain laziness. It reaffirms my belief that Moffat was making his stories up as he went along. His sloppiness and arrogance are Borg equally staggering :(

Polyphase
Polyphase

Very gracious of him but It will take a while to forgive Chris for not giving us those few seconds :)

DaireConstantineOReilly
DaireConstantineOReilly

What the Frack, They couldt show his face for 5 seconds, Bullcrap. It's the same stupid crap that doesn't allow the character of Grace be mentioned in Paul Magans miniSode because of Fox owns her character, a character they will never use. Stiff likes this makes me sick. Bloody Buracrats

Deus_Ex_Machina
Deus_Ex_Machina

It would have been cool for Chris to come back to do just a regeneration scene at least, but I respect his desicion, and Moffat's to. At least we got to see the regeneration at all, that's what I say.

Liana21
Liana21

Aupa Atleti...Sorry, I have to say it.

Let's being sincere, the regeneration is not complete because Eccleston didn't want have part on the special, simply for that.

I don't know why search three paws in the cat six months later. I would've love that Eccleston would've accepted make 30 seconds of post regeneration trauma speaking about his (lack of) hair, but life is unfair sometimes (sorry Chelsea)

The_Eternal_Dalek
The_Eternal_Dalek

@Gluben He's made his stance fairly clear and his reasons for not returning.


Problem is even if they had brought in Eccelston it would have been a continuity nightmare (are we really to believe he didn't once see a mirror during the entire Time War?) and with McGann you'd have ended up with three Doctors who are all effectively the same.

ChrisMetzger
ChrisMetzger

@GeoffreyFoster  David Tennant wandered for an undisclosed amount of time without a companion between the fourth season finale and his final regeneration episode. During that time a couple episodes (like Water of Mars) took place, but when he finally shows up to meet with the Ood that gives him his death prophecy, he mentions a bunch of off-screen adventures (A one off joke here about Elizabeth I not being the virgin queen anymore implies that the 50th anniversary episode took place during this time from his perspective.) That could probably make up for the missing 90 years.

Amy is Hannibal
Amy is Hannibal

@GeoffreyFoster  War Doctor: 800 years old (I'm assuming that he started counting over from zero when he became the War Doctor since he no longer considered himself the same man as before, and because he seemed pretty sure of his age in "The Day of the Doctor".)

Ninth Doctor:  800 to 900, 901, or 902 (Nine was 900 in "Aliens of London".)

Tenth Doctor: 900, 901, or 902 to 906 (Ten's first stated age is 903 in "Voyage of the Damned", so he could have been 901 in Series 2 and 902 in Series 3, or he could have been 903 the whole time and Nine would have had one or two more years.)

Eleventh Doctor: 906 to 1200 (907-909 from Series 5 to Series 6, 909-1103 from Series 6 to Series 7, 1200 from "A Town Called Mercy"-onward, and 2100 after "The Time of the Doctor".)

DarylaBaker
DarylaBaker

@GeoffreyFoster  In the 50th anniversary, when the 11th doctor said his age, he said "... unless I'm lying" ... I think he was lying about his age.

Gustaff
Gustaff

@GeoffreyFoster A while ago, Thomas and I went into a study of the age controversaries surrounding DW. While I concentrated on the lifespans of each incarnation, Thomas came up with a Gallifrey-to-Earth age converter that most of the fans on this site (at least back then) agreed with. Doctors 1-8+War declared their age in Gallifreyan years while 9-present use Earth years. 800 is in Gallifreyan years while 1200 is in Earth. You read read more here: 

http: //www.doctorwhotv.co.uk/who-mysteries-the-doctors-real-age-37396.htm

http: //www.doctorwhotv.co.uk/who-mysteries-lifespan-of-the-doctors-42027.htm

needcomicmoney
needcomicmoney

@GeoffreyFoster After Amy and Rory marry they are not always with the Doctor. He pops in and out of their life and goes off and has adventures in between visits which take up large chunks of his own timeline without affecting theirs. It's all there in the episodes, Eleven's extra 300 years on top of Ten are accounted for. 

Amy is Hannibal
Amy is Hannibal

@dragonsfyre  That's different. He did that for the same reason that he included stock footage of Nine in the saving Gallifrey sequence. Since they were including *all* of the Doctors, it would have been equally as wrong to leave one out.

tealeaves
tealeaves

@dragonsfyre Surely it was clear that in the final shot people had been digitally added in as there were all the classic doctors there too. Moffat discussed through several meetings Chris' involvement in the show and got his blessing for the 50th it seems highly unlikely that this shot would not have been mentioned to him so there's not really any contradiction in what he is saying. Is there?

The Living Angel
The Living Angel

Having said that, im not really that bothered as Chris is my second least favourite Doctor of all time, And we got John Hurt instead which for me was a thousand times better than having Chris anyway.

JeffreyHughes
JeffreyHughes

The "numbers" only matter outside the context of the story, to us the viewer. Within the mythology he is only "The Doctor", just different incarnations, no numbers. To us the viewers, the number refers to leading actors featured as the doctor on television. Therefore Hurt does not get a number, being a guest star, though he is as much a true incarnation of the doctor as any other.

JackArtaganMackenna
JackArtaganMackenna

Actually it makes perfect sense and it has precedent.


Moffat isn't the lazy one here. Pay more attention.

tealeaves
tealeaves

@DeanySevigny You can have a health condition that will dramatically reduce your life expectancy and your blood will still clot if your get a cut because there's a difference between your body doing small things to heal itself and doing large things heal long term problems. Similarly if you know you only have 20 years left to live you can still continue making blood donations to help other people.  

Timelord biology is different to human biology but surely the ability to heal a wrist would require tonnes less energy than rewriting every cell of the human body whilst maintaining the exact structure of human memory. If you knew you didn't have enough energy in you left to regenerate but you could use your remaining energy to help a person you love surely you would do it in the same way an elderly person might choose to donate blood or bone marrow. I fail to see how this is sloppy or arrogant.  

Rani Nose
Rani Nose

@DeanySevigny The only reason we are watching Doctor Who today is because they made things up as they went along back in the 1960s.  When Hartnell became too ill to play the part they made up the bit about the Doctor being able to regenerate.  That led to him being a Time Lord, which meant that he could have a home planet called Gallifrey, and that there could be a renegade Time Lord known as the Master.  All those things were made up as the show's writers went along.

DarylaBaker
DarylaBaker

@DeanySevigny  Maybe he had enough left over after River gave him her remaining regenerations to heal her wrist... or he just gave up a few years of his life.

Amy is Hannibal
Amy is Hannibal

@DeanySevigny   Yeah, because it's not like it has a precedent or anything... not like we ever met a Time Lord on his thirteenth incarnation who had enough energy to force an incomplete thirteenth regeneration... yeah... because that NEVER happened... yeah...



JeffreyHughes
JeffreyHughes

That's kind of what writing is.. " making things up as you go along " . kind of a myth that things are somehow written before they are written. Even a complex show like "Breaking Bad" was, except in the most general sense, " made up as they went along "

sontaran17
sontaran17

@DaireConstantineOReilly  Its got nothing to do with copyright laws- The BBC and Moffat chose to respect Chris' decision not to come back, had he chosen not to return it would of been , in lack of a better word, rude to do so without him

MrsUnderhill
MrsUnderhill

@Liana21 DAMN!!! And here I was avoiding Champion League spoilers until I can watch it after work! Who would have thought that Doctor Who board will spoil me!

Ugh. At least it's a nice spoiler. Otherwise I'd be like Ten in Family of Blood. :) Aupa Atleti, I guess. :))) Will see details in the evening.


Otherwise, I agree. Chris didn't want to be in it, end of story.

Amy is Hannibal
Amy is Hannibal

@ChrisMetzger @GeoffreyFoster  Ten was 903 in "Voyage of the Damned", 904 in "The Day of the Doctor", and 906 in "The End of Time". Therefore, only two years pass for the Doctor in between Series 4 and "The End of Time".

KageMacLellan
KageMacLellan

@Amy the Consulting Key Ring @GeoffreyFoster  What people seem to forget about was that in his 7th incarnation, the Doctor was 953 years old as of Time and the Rani (remember the bit when he's trying to figure out the passcode to the door in the Rani's laboratory and then he enters 9-5-3 and states, "of course, the Rani's age… and mine." That bit of age discontinuity in the new series really bothered me because the Doctor should be wayyyyyyy older by the time 9, 10 and 11 roll around. :/


dragonsfyre
dragonsfyre

"seems highly unlikely that this shot would not have been mentioned to him"

Good day Tealeaves :D and thanks for your comment/observations.

Seeming highly unlikely is quite different than knowing something as fact.

But even so, that is neither here nor there because the BBC own the rights to ECCLESTON'S portrayal of Doc#9 and they use the image on merchandise and anything relating to Doctor Who. The BBC books are a good example.

Using stock footage in the saving Gallifrey sequence was good but they easily could have used the stock image of his face to extend the regeneration sequence as that fan did so expertly. No one's rights would have been infringed upon. And no one would be disrespected. It's THEIR image. not Christopher Eccleston's.

IkeE17055
IkeE17055

Except this guest star now has more screen time than doctor number 8...

tealeaves
tealeaves

@dragonsfyre I understand what you are saying. The issue is that it doesn't really make logical sense. If the BBC, production teams, executives, writers etc knew that they could digitally add in Christopher Eccleston's face in and they knew the fan wanted this why wouldn't they do it? The people who make Doctor Who aren't idiots and Steven Moffat certainly isn't

We're talking about the same man who helped to arrange the mini-episode The Night of the Doctor (something he was under not obligation to do and which was pretty much an act of fan service) why would he not have even thought of including in Eccleston's face.

We know from interviews Christopher Eccleston is a man who puts a lot of emphasis on his choices as an actor and respect to his performance. This seems (reading between the lines) part of the reason he left Doctor Who in the first place. It seems to make much more sense that they did this out of respect to him than that the whole Doctor Who production team didn't think to digitally add his face into the regeneration sequence. Bearing in mind this episode was in edit for months before it was shown.

dragonsfyre
dragonsfyre

Oh hello there tealeaves.

:D

Yes, some clarification is definitely needed. I had a whole other paragraph that didn't get published because my editing time ran out. So I do apologize for a half-baked presentation.

The gist of that unpublished paragraph was that, in my opinion, Steven Moffat is blowing smoke at us by trying to spin a colossal blunder into a magnanimous gesture of respect. It's like any politician or big business doing damage control after being caught doing something bad. And the Beeb *is* a CORPORATION -- so Moffat *has* to make it look like it was done intentionally as part of some grand gesture.

He's not likely to come right out and admit he made a mistake, is he? But just for laughs, let us imagine if he did: "Oh f***, how did that version of the regeneration sequence make it to the final cut? Well fans, you're right. I completely dropped the ball on that one."

See?

Coming out and admitting that he screwed up isn't in Moffat's best interest or the BBC's. So the best thing to do is turn a negative into a pseudo positive with their friendly neighbourhood spin doctors.

tealeaves
tealeaves

@dragonsfyre Could you just clarify what you consider being 'professional and respectful' to be? Being within your rights to do something due to copyright ownership isn't quite the same as being respectful towards an actor or their performance, is it? Surely the only person who can say if they have been disrespected is Christopher Eccleston.

The production team clearly knew they could digitally include Eccleston's face in the regeneration scene with the technology they had and their copyright, but chose not to. It is also safe to assume they knew how much the fans wanted to see this. Surely the most logical explanation is that they had spoken to Eccleston and were respecting his wishes.

Amy is Hannibal
Amy is Hannibal

Except by that logic, one could also consider McGann to be a "guest star."