Second season for “Doctor Who” confirmed, but Eccleston won’t be back as Doctor.

In what must be a new record for shortest tenure, the BBC has issued a press release stating that Christopher Eccleston will not return to the role of The Doctor when the second season of Doctor Who begins shooting this summer in spite of the incredibly positive reaction to the series return to British airwaves.

Christopher Eccleston said: “The audience’s response to the new Doctor Who has been incredible – I’m really proud to be part of it – and I hope viewers continue to enjoy the series.”

Billie Piper will return as the Doctor’s companion. Filming is likely to start early in the summer.

The BBC is currently in discussion with David Tennant for the role of Doctor Who.

I’ve only got the leaked episode to judge by (and word has it the final version that aired is different), but I took a liking to Eccleston’s portrayal of the character almost immediately and I’m disappointed that he’s packing it in already. The folks at the fan site Outpost Gallery have been tracking the story since it broke yesterday and there’s all manner of speculation on why Eccleston decided to call it quits ranging from fears of being typecast to the show’s grueling production schedule.

Though the press release mentions that David Tennant is in talks to take on the role of the 10th Doctor, a BBC news item on the announcement points out that there are other big names under consideration as well:

He said that although talks to make David Tennant the 10th Doctor were taking place, other names may be put forward.

Bill Nighy was also considered for the Eccleston role, while Richard E Grant starred in a BBC web adventure of Doctor Who.

Period drama Casanova, which moves to BBC1 from BBC3 on Monday, added to Tennant’s reputation after his success in the drama Blackpool.

Ladbrokes spokesman Warren Lush said: “Public demand has forced us to produce a long list of possible Doctors despite the fact that David Tennant is so hotly tipped for the role.

“Before Eccleston took the role the money was for Alan Davies and Eddie Izzard and they have to be seen as possible contenders again.”

I think most of the names mentioned above would make for some memorable portrayals of The Doctor, though the bookmakers seem to think that the role is David Tennant’s if he wants it. I didn’t recognize David’s name at all so I looked him up on IMDB and was surprised to see he’ll be playing the role of Barty Crouch Jr. in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Eccleston is expected to reprise his role for the Christmas special that will be produced and presumably will return for a regeneration scene. So I am disappointed, but at least there will be another season and hopefully the next person to take on the role will stick with it for a while longer.

3 thoughts on “Second season for “Doctor Who” confirmed, but Eccleston won’t be back as Doctor.

  1. I have watched the first episode and was happy with how they handled the transformation for the Buffy generation.
    Ecclestone makes an excellent Dr Who.
    I don’t know if you are aware of this but the man in charge of the BBC now is the man who headed the department when it was axed at his insistence despite howls of protest from fans.
    He thought it was rubbish.
    Given the reduction in the audience attention span in the intervening years and the fact that some highly thought of actors are putting themselves up for the role,I can see the good Dr being ressurected rather more frequently.
    Stephen Fry would be my first choice.
    Over ten million tuned in for the first episode which is a very respectable number for the UK.
    It topped the viewing charts for that evening.

  2. That’s a real pity. I suppose Ecclestone has a lot of other offers following this role and 28 days later, so good luck to him, but I enjoyed his portrayal of the doctor immensly (I have only seen the leaked version of the pilot episode though).

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