When the BBC revived their popular DOCTOR WHO franchise back in 2005 (nine years after the Fox DOCTOR WHO TV movie and sixteen years after the cancellation of the original BBC series), one of the key elements was actor Christopher Eccleston, who presented a fresh, original take on the familiar character – consistent with the past but re-imagined for the new millennium. Yet somewhat mysteriously (and rather out of step with the tradition of the show, which tended to see its stars stick around for four of five years on average), Eccleston left the role after a single season.
He recently explained to the BBC News the reason for his departure: he “wasn’t comfortable working on” on DOCTOR WHO.
“I think it’s more important to be your own man than be successful, so I left,” he tells BBC News.
“I was open-minded but I decided after my experience on the first series that I didn’t want to do any more,” he said.
“I didn’t enjoy the environment and the culture that we, the cast and crew, had to work in,” he continues. “I thought if I stay in this job, I’m going to have to blind myself to certain things that I thought were wrong.”
But the 46-year-old said the fact that he played the Doctor – and not that he had quit – was “the most important thing”.
“I really feel that because it kind of broke the mold and it helped to reinvent it. I’m very proud of it,” he adds.