Christopher Eccleston is officially returning to the world of Doctor Who as the ninth doctor, more than fifteen years after his one-series run that relaunched the BBC juggernaut, the 56-year-old English star has confirmed.
Eccleston first played the Time Lord all the way back in 2005, alongside series regular Billie Piper, who starred in two seasons. Russell T Davies led the long-awaited Doctor Who revival.
The 56-year-old departed the relaunched show after just a single 13-episode run, in part due to a loss of “faith and trust and belief” in the producers and showrunner Davies. Eccleston also admitted he is “not a natural light comedian” and didn’t suit the lighthearted role.
He appears to have put that loathing for his time starring in the show behind him, however, to return 15 years later. Christopher Eccleston will star as the Ninth Doctor in a new audio series from BBC Studios and Big Finish, set to air from May 2021.
Details on the twelve-part story, as well as writers and potential guest cast, have not yet been announced by Big Finish or the BBC. The total volume collection can already be set aside for preorder on Big Finish’s website, however.
Eccleston admitted in a co-release from the audio series producers that he was “excited” to be returning to the role he originated back in 2005. “After 15 years, it will be exciting to revisit the Ninth Doctor’s world, bringing back to life a character I love playing,” he said.
Big Finish chairman Jason Haigh-Ellery also revealed discussions for Eccleston’s return had started earlier this year. He had tapped the former Time Lord actor on the shoulder regarding a return at the Gallifrey One convention in February.
“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,” the Big Finish chairman explained.
“Over recent months, ideas have been exchanged and discussions had. I am so pleased that Christopher has decided to return — and I’m excited to welcome him to the Big Finish family as we discover the new adventures of the Ninth Doctor.”
Eccleston turned down the opportunity to return as the Ninth Doctor during the show’s 50th-anniversary episode, “The Day of the Doctor,” back in 2013. It’s unclear if he has changed his mind on live-action appearances for the character.
Dr Who’s thirteenth season is just over the horizon, though no release date has been officially locked in. Jodie Whittaker is expected to return for her third series, while showrunner Chris Chibnall said there are already “big plans” for Season 13.