Christopher Eccleston has confirmed that he won't be making a return to Doctor Who, even for the show's 50th anniversary in 2013.
Eccleston played the Ninth Doctor in the BBC's long-running science-fiction drama series when it returned to TV screens in 2005. However, he left the series after only 13 episodes, handing over the role to David Tennant (United).
Speaking to Graham Norton on his Radio 2 programme this morning, the 47-year-old actor said he was very pleased to have been a part of Doctor Who, as Whoviannet reports: “I’m very proud of what we did over those 13 episodes. My intention was to make the show a success so that the next series could follow, so I’d done what I wanted to do.”
However, when asked about a possible return to the series, he said: "No, never bathe in the same river twice.”
Jewel in the crown
Eccleston was responsible for reinventing the character of the Doctor and, in doing so, helping to secure Doctor Who's popularity and future. The series, which was once viewed as having an odd cult status within the BBC, is now regarded by the Corporation as a jewel in its crown.
The BBC has produced a number of anniversay specials over the years.
In 1973, The Three Doctors was broadcast to celebrate Doctor Who's 10th anniversary. The four-part story united the then current Doctor, Jon Perwee, with his predecessors William Hartnell and Patrick Troughton.
In 1983, a Doctor Who special, The Five Doctors, was shown. Peter Davison, who was then the current Doctor, was joined by Pertwee and Troughton. Hartnell had passed away in 1974, so the First Doctor was played by the late Richard Hurndall. Tom Baker, who played the Fourth Doctor, and had only recently left the series, declined to return. His part in the episode was, therefore, relegated to two clips taken from an unfinished Douglas Adams-scripted story, Shada, which had been part-filmed in 1979.
The Eleven Doctors
Steven Moffat, the show's current lead writer and executive producer, recently told Doctor Who Magazine that preparations were already being made for the show's 50th anniversary, and it had been widely speculated that any celebrations would include some sort of "multi-Doctor" story.
However, with the first three actors already deceased and Eccleston's confirmation that he isn't interested in returning, something akin to The Eleven Doctors now seems in doubt.
Doctor Who, starring Matt Smith as the Eleventh Doctor, began its current run last week in the UK, US, Canada and Australia. The second episode, Day of the Moon – which also stars Karen Gillan, Arthur Darvill, Alex Kingston and Mark Sheppard as the Doctor's companions Amy and Rory Pond, River Song and Canton Everett Delaware III – is due to be broadcast in Britain and North America this evening.
[With thanks to Blogtor Who for the audio clip.]