Eccleston wasn’t shy about hiding his feelings about how he felt towards the end of his run as the Doctor. But if you’re a journalist, it might be best to avoid asking him the reasons why he left.
“It’s interesting, in my country all the journalists, all they have to say is, “Why did you leave?” Well, why don’t you ask me what I did rather than what I didn’t do?
[…] My relationship with you [the fans] is based on the fact that I wasn’t around a lot, and maybe that’s what made the series succeed because on a purely technical level within the first season you’re introduced to the idea of regeneration.“
He continued on to say jokingly,
“[…] People will come up to me and say that I was their first doctor, which immediately there’s a speech bubble that goes above my head that goes ‘that means I’m not your favorite.’“
Christopher Eccleston Wants Real Fans, Not Autograph Hounds
Eccleston also spoke about his disdain, not for people who collect autographs, but those who collect multiple autographs from the same actor for the sole purpose of selling them. He also expressed his appreciation for the fans who come out to conventions, and explained what his experience has been since he started attending conventions only a few years ago.
“What I understand about conventions is that every individual I meet wants to keep the autographs for themselves, wants to pass it down in their family, and also wants to say something to me about their feelings about the show. It’s incredibly positive, and it’s helped get over all the [BBC] bullshit. And this one in particular, it’s so specific. I mean, you’re all crazy aren’t you.“
That last line was said with great fondness and was met with a thunderous round of applause and cheering. However the crowd became silent instantly when the conversation then turned to the question on everyone’s minds ever since it was announced that he wouldn’t be appearing in the 50th anniversary episode back in 2013. Would Eccleston ever want to portray the Doctor again?
“I will play the Doctor again on the 100th anniversary. I will be ninety-nine in 2063 when they do the 100th, and I’ll be there.“
Overall, the hour-long panel was greatly appreciated by the audience who enjoyed Christopher Eccleston’s honesty and authenticity. Fans couldn’t stop talking about the panel all weekend long. It seemed that the panel gave the Doctor Who fans in attendance a new appreciation for the ninth Doctor because of the man behind him.
I sincerely hope he enjoyed his visit to Gallifrey One and that it won’t be the last time he attends. More than anything, I can’t wait for that 100th anniversary episode in 2063. Will you be there too? Let us know in the comments below.