While most Doctor Who fans were happy enough to see David Tennant come back and sit beside Matt Smith and John Hurt for the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary, it stands to reason that we would have been even more pleased should Christopher Eccleston have joined them. In fact, he was in talks to return for the episode, though those talks never quite panned out. In a recent interview, showrunner Steven Moffat spoke a bit about what might have been had Eccleston agreed.
First and foremost, Moffat confirmed the sneaking suspicion that many had that it would have been Eccleston rather than Hurt in the role of the War Doctor. But Moffat wasn’t really planning for that to happen, saying:
…I was pretty certain Chris wouldn’t do it, although he did agree to a couple of meetings.
But Moffat wasn’t too upset about the ordeal, going on to state:
…I was always nervous of that one, because it doesn’t fit with 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.
And the final result – John Hurt gets shoehorned into the Doctor Who mythos:
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 in 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!
What think thee, Nerd Readers? Would it have been better with Eccleston instead?
Thanks to blastr for the heads-up.