Christopher Eccleston Regrets Leaving ‘Doctor Who’ So Soon

By September 12, 2016
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Christopher Eccleston’s run as the Doctor on Doctor Who is a bit infamous amongst the show’s fans, with many still putting his performance as the character as their favorite of the twelve given so far, even despite his noticeably short time actually playing the Doctor onscreen. Eccleston’s reasons for leaving the series after only one season are well known though, with his disagreements regarding the direction and writing of the character and show being the biggest reasons for his departure.

However, thanks to a new report from Doctor Who Worldwide, Eccleston seemed to express some regret over leaving the series so soon while appearing on the Australian program, Drive, and not letting his performance as the Doctor truly grow and mature for very long.

Here’s what Eccleston had to say on the matter:

“It was kind of tragic for me, that I didn’t play him for longer. He’s a beautiful character and I have a great deal of professional pride and had I done a second season, there would have been a marked improvement in my performance.”

Eccleston also revealed the one specific reason he had for leaving the show so early, saying that it had to do with the first director he worked with on the season:

“It’s very important on a first series that you make a very informed and intelligent choice, even if it means breaking the budget. About getting the first director who is going to set the tone for the season, for the way the actors relate and that did not happen. Disaster.”

While the actor didn’t throw out a specific name, it’s well-known that Keith Boak directed the first production block on Eccleston’s season back in 2003, and it seems like their work collaboration may have been where a number of his frustrations and disagreements with the production team may have stemmed from.

Of course, Eccleston was replaced by David Tennant at the end of that first season, who gave what is the most universally beloved turn as the character in the show’s history, but hopefully one day, Eccleston will be able to reprise his role at some point in the future, during an anniversary possibly. Fingers crossed.

For what it’s worth as well, Keith Boak was never asked to work on the series again. So there’s that, at least.

Alex Welch

Alex Welch

Alex is the Managing Editor of He dreams of meeting a girl with a yellow umbrella, and spends too much time* staring at a movie screen. His vocabulary consists mostly of movie quotes and 80s song lyrics. *Debatable