Though David Tennant and Billie Piper will be making their return to “Doctor Who” to celebrate the show’s 50th anniversary, they weren’t the only names that might have been involved in a perfect world. Christopher Eccleston, the ninth Doctor, was also approached to appear but was previously announced he turned down the offer.
Showrunner Steven Moffat talks about the discussion he had with Eccleston in an interview with SFX magazine (as reported by Doctor Who TV). “I had an initial contact with Chris and, in a very amiable and gentlemanly way, he didn’t feel that he could come back to it,” he says. Moffat continues, “There wasn’t any big fuss about it — I had a couple of meetings with him, and he was perfectly pleasant, and indeed quite enthused about the show, but he just doesn’t do that, it’s just not him.”
Eccleston left the show after only one series, later saying he didn’t enjoy the working environment. The “Doctor Who” 50th anniversary special, “The Day of the Doctor,” airs November 23.