DOCTOR WHO show-runner Steven Moffat confirmed to Doctor Who Magazine that the original plan for the 50th anniversary story, “The Day of the Doctor,” had Christopher Eccleston’s Ninth Doctor wiping out Time Lords and the Daleks to end the Time War — a job that eventually went to the newly created War Doctor (John Hurt).
But even in the beginning, Moffat knew there was a good chance his plans would have to change due to Eccleston’s famous reluctance to revisit the role:
“I was pretty certain Chris wouldn’t do it, although he did agree to a couple of meetings. So, instead, we had the challenge and excitement of introducing a BBC audience to a brand-new Doctor.”
So the Ninth Doctor would have used The Moment and ended the Last Great Time War — whether Moffat liked it or not!
“Yes, but do you know, I was always nervous of that one, because it doesn’t fit with [the Doctor as seen in] ‘Rose’ at all. [Eccleston] is a brand-new Doctor in ‘Rose’ — he’s absolutely, definitely new. It couldn’t have been him who pushed the button in the Time War, cos that’s a new man, very explicitly, in that episode. I also had trouble, I have to be honest, imagining it being Paul McGann’s [Eighth] Doctor.
“So all of this led me to the idea that if you’re going to sell to the Not-We audience a Doctor who essentially they haven’t seen before, then you have a freer hand than saying it has to be one of the ones you’ve already had. And it was predicated on getting an enormous star to be able to do it. We got John Hurt, so that was cool! Think of the fuss it’s created for us!”
The Time Lord’s next big moment comes on Wednesday night, when “The Time of the Doctor” airs on BBC America at 9 p.m. ET.