Eccleston Now Regrets Leaving ‘Doctor Who’ After Just One Series

eccleston-greenyThe erstwhile Ninth Doctor, Christopher Eccleston, has told an Australian radio station that he wishes he had stuck with DOCTOR WHO longer than just one series.

Eccleston said to Melbourne, Australia’s 774 ABC: “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. I was learning new skills, in terms of playing light comedy. I was not known for light comedy and, again, production did not allow for that.”

The Ninth Doctor gave way to the 10th (David Tennant) after just 13 episodes in the 2005 revival. The parting of the ways was attributed to “creative differences,” and in the years since, both Eccleston and his executive producer, Russell T Davies, had declined to elaborate — until last year, when the actor began dropping cryptic little comments that, when assembled, gave some insight into the reasoning that led to his early departure.

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The Hath and the Judoon Hath Returned!

The new season of DOCTOR WHO will see the return of some alien species not seen since Russell T Davies‘ reign on the show: the rhino-like Judoon and the fish/turkey hybrid Hath.

The Judoon debuted in series three’s premiere episode, “Smith and Jones,” which also introduced the 10th Doctor to Martha Jones (Freema Agyeman). The rhino soldiers and their trademark barking, untranslatable language last appeared in the 11th Doctor (Matt Smith) story “A Good Man Goes to War.”

The Hath were introduced in series four’s 10th Doctor story “The Doctor’s Daughter,” and a representative of the species was glimpsed in David Tennant‘s final story, “The End of Time.”

DOCTOR WHO returns Sept. 19 at 9 p.m. on BBC America.

When Is a Face Not ‘Just’ a Face? When It’s on DOCTOR WHO!

doctor12When Peter Capaldi was announced as the face of the 12th Doctor last summer, his reception was almost universally hailed as brilliant.

There was, however, one teeny-tiny little potential fly in the ointment: The actor had already appeared on the series in a significant guest role — as Caecilius in “The Fires of Pompeii.” And, not only that, he had also shown up in all five episodes of the TORCHWOOD story “Children of Earth,” as John Frobisher.

This is not unprecedented, even for a Doctor; Colin Baker previously played Commander Maxil before donning the hideous garb of the Sixth Doctor. But back then, fans didn’t have instant access to clips of the actor’s previous appearance, nor did they have the Internet (as it currently exists) to discuss/agitate/troll about it. Nowadays, “recycling” an actor gets noticed.
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Peter Capaldi: the New Scotsman in the TARDIS

doctor12Although Peter Capaldi was only the Doctor onscreen very briefly at the end of “The Time of the Doctor,” he established that not only does the 12th Doctor have a new face, he has a new way of speaking — in a Scottish accent!

The Doctor was previously played by two other Scottish actors — Sylvester McCoy portrayed the Seventh Doctor and David Tennant the 10th — but they were not allowed to use their native accents onscreen. McCoy managed to sneak in the occasional rolling Rrrrrr and some other small flourishes, but he wasn’t speaking like Jamie McCrimmon for his entire tenure. Mostly, McCoy was speaking standard English.

But now along comes respected actor and Scotsman Capaldi and his Scots accent, and show-runner Steven Moffat has decided to let Peter be Peter.

A BBC spokesperson told The Mirror newspaper:

“The decision for Peter Capaldi to have a Scottish accent as the Doctor was a creative decision and it was not part of his contract.”

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New DOCTOR WHO Exec Producer

minchinFormer DOCTOR WHO Script Editor Brian Minchin has been named the new executive producer of the show, replacing the recently departed Caro Skinner.

Minchin said, in a statement:

“I’m thrilled and excited to be joining Steven Moffat on a show that has meant so much to me over the years. I’ve watched in awe as Steven has taken Doctor Who to wild and imaginative places and I can’t wait to get started on many more adventures with the Doctor.”

In addition to his tenure as Russell T Davies’ script editor, Minchin produced THE SARAH JANE ADVENTURES, the British episodes of TORCHWOOD: MIRACLE DAY and Davies’ WIZARDS VS ALIENS.

Current show-runner Moffat had this to say:

“When I first took over DOCTOR WHO, Brian was there as script editor, and in the most difficult time of a new Doctor and a new era, was completely brilliant. We lost him to producing THE SARAH JANE ADVENTURES at the end of our first run. Rising talent keeps rising, is how I comforted myself back then – but now I am beyond happy that Brian has risen all the way back to DOCTOR WHO, in his new role of executive producer. I look forward to getting hopelessly lost in space and time with him.”

Word is, Minchin is an unrepentant DW fan and is not afraid to speak truth to power — apparently having pointed out story problems to Davies in the past. Minchin is the fourth executive producer to work alongside Moffat since he took over the show.

Now all we need is the go-ahead for an eighth series…

DOCTOR WHO Brings out the Gimp

We all (I hope) fondly remember the Russell T Davies era that so successfully relaunched DOCTOR WHO for the 21st century, and now the show is (sort of) doing something for Davies in return…

Bleeding Cool reports that years ago (before he was even involved in DW), Davies privately commissioned a Dalek in all-black livery for his home, and his friends took to calling it the “Gimp Dalek.”

Yesterday’s BFI screening of the Series 7 premiere confirmed that “Asylum of the Daleks” truly features every Dalek ever — including Davies’ Gimp Dalek! Current executive producer Steven Moffat had his predecessor’s specialized Dalek shipped to the studio, where it was included in filming, thus making the Gimp Dalek a canon character in the Whoniverse!

I wonder if the Gimp takes a lot of naps in the basement…

TORCHWOOD: Set photos

Yep, that’s Torchwood 3’s Gwen and Rhys confronting PC Andy in TORCHWOOD: MIRACLE DAY!

SFX is the place to see 10 behind-the-scenes pics from filming of the fourth TORCHWOOD series. They feature John Barrowman as Captain Jack, Eve Myles as Gwen, Kai Owen as Rhys, Mekhi Phifer as Rex and Tom Price as PC Andy.

My question at this early point in production: Which characters will survive bloodthirsty creator Russell T Davies’ story this time? CHILDREN OF EARTH cost us Ianto, while Tosh and Owen bought it in series 2. (Also, will PC Andy finally be detailed to Torchwood this series?)

T:MD is filming in the United States and Wales concurrently, and set to premiere on July 1 in both the USA on Starz and BBC1 in the UK.