Christopher Eccleston

9thFor fifteen years, interrupted only by presence of the 1996 telefilm, Doctor Who languished in a state of television limbo… until in late 2003, BBC1 controller Lorraine Heggessey stunned British viewers by acknowledging that it was about time the good Doctor returned to the airwaves. The man responsible for its return would be Russell T Davies, a celebrated television writer/producer and long-time fan of the Doctor (himself having written a Doctor Who novel for Virgin, “Damaged Goods,” years before.)

And the man who would come to the role was none other than acclaimed film and television star Christopher Eccleston – the ninth Doctor, now incarnate. He would be joined by Rose Tyler, played by sometime pop singer and actress Billie Piper. Together, the Doctor and Rose would explore uncharted territory, be it London in the early 21st century or in the Victorian era, or even in the far future when the Earth is awaiting its final destruction. Christopher Eccleston’s Doctor introduced a new generation of viewers to the wonderful world of Doctor Who, and reaquainted it’s old audience with old friends; the Daleks. The show began in a new 45 minutes single episode format that worked. A format that had been discussed years before the show had been cancelled in 1989 but never explored fully.

The greatest enemy of all was about to rear its head, however: the uncertainty of the viewing public. It was an enemy that was soon vanquished, as the return of Doctor Who to the airwaves was heralded with much success, a massive amount of publicity, and terrific ratings. Sadly, in the middle of it all, Eccleston decided to make this his one and only season, handing the reigns to David Tennant at the end of the year.


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