Christopher Eccleston & Steven Moffat talk about Doctor Who’s 2005 Return

Doctor Who - NineDoctor Who’s return in 2005 was by no means a safe bet. The show had lost it’s steam in the 80s, and after a brief failure of an attempted resurrection in the mid 90s, trying to bring The Doctor back to our screens was definitely a risk. But it worked, due to the work of the fans behind the scenes (Russel T. Davies, and Phil Collinson to name two), and some stellar casting.

Now as the series celebrates 50 years since it’s inception, the creative forces behind the series take a look back at the 2005 premiere and what made it a success.

The Ninth Doctor himself, Christopher Eccleston, has been mostly quiet about his time as The Doctor. It’s no secret now that he and the creative forces behind the series were butting heads on set, and though he was offered a role in the upcoming 50th Anniversary, he turned it down (even with a new creative team at the helm). So it’s a bit of a surprise that Eccleston sent in a note to be read out  during the British Film Institutes (BFI) ongoing celebration of Doctor Who, and it’s recent tribute to the Ninth Doctor.

I love the BFI. I love The Doctor and hope you enjoy this presentation. Joe Ahearne [who was in attendance at the event] directed five of the 13 episodes of the first series. He understood the tone the show needed completely – strong, bold, pacy visuals coupled with wit, warmth and a twinkle in the performances, missus.

If Joe agrees to direct the 100th anniversary special, I will bring my sonic and a stair-lift and – providing the Daleks don’t bring theirs – I, the ninth Doctor, vow to save the universe and all you apes in it.

Sweet, but clearly we won’t be holding our breaths. The tease.

Doctor Who - Rose TylerOver at the Edinburgh Film Festival, current show runner, Steven Moffat, was waxing poetic about the contribution of Billie Piper and her character Rose in the shows triumphant return:

It was Billie Piper who brought it back. I think those first two years, that was Billie Piper’s show. It was all about Billie, and Billie as Rose. Russell [T. Davies] was so clever in creating that character and casting that character so perfectly. He allowed an audience who would not naturally have watched Doctor Who, which was practically everybody at the time, to find a way into the show, so she has an iconic status partly because it was a brilliant performance and a brilliantly written part but it was also the way back in. She has a bigger status than most of those companions and really seriously, for the first two years, that was Billie Piper’s show.

Doctor Who celebrates it’s 50th Anniversary with a special episode airing simultaneously worldwide on 23rd November, 2013.

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