Apparently there was a secret plan to include Christopher Eccleston’s Ninth Doctor in DOCTOR WHO’s 50th anniversary story, but the actor has chosen not to participate after all — perhaps due to his commitments to filming Thor: The Dark World; perhaps for other reasons.
This news is certainly disappointing, but Eccleston has a right to make the call. What I find most intriguing is that a number of DOCTOR WHO-related websites — including Kasterborous.com — have been sitting on the news that Eccleston apparently had agreed to appear “in principle” at some earlier junction. I tip my hat to those websites for keeping the surprise under their hats, leaving open the possibility of genuine fan surprise when the show was broadcast. Good on them, for valuing story integrity over a momentary “scoop.”
Apparently a story in Britain’s Daily Star moved a source at the BBC to say:
“Chris met with Steven Moffat a couple of times to talk about Steven’s plans for the Doctor Who 50th anniversary episode. After careful thought, Chris decided not to be in the episode. He wishes the team all the best.”
Again, this is a sad development, but now the door is open to consider what other secret plans are afoot the 50th. Fans know that Rule No. 1 of this era is “Steven Moffat lies,” so we all expect the clever show-runner has got something up his sleeve, but what? How many other Doctors are in this special? C’mon, there have to be more than just David Tennant’s 10th and Matt Smith’s 11th on call. Will existing unused or repurposed footage be employed, or will CGI trickery be used to assemble all the previous incarnations of the last of the Time Lords?
Ironically, the bad news about Eccleston could indicate good news for fans; now we know something is up. Fantastic!