A blogger has written that – at a recent Q&A session for Antigone at the National Theatre - Christopher Eccleston (if you don’t know who he played in Doctor Who, leave now) made further comments on his association with Doctor Who, but very different to what has become the usual snub for a return appearance. He is currently starring at the National Theatre in Sophocles’ Antigone, directed by Polly Findlay, in which he plays King Creon.
When a questioner asked whether he felt he had taken his portrayal of The Doctor as far as he could, he replied “no.” This comes as a surprise after many times of fans or interviewers asking the actor if he would ever return to Doctor Who, and every time the usual outright “no”. It seems, however, that his tune has changed, somewhat, with further hinting in his answer that he would like to return to maybe round off or add more to his Doctor.
The blogger (and Q&A attendee) writes…
[He] felt that one series isn’t enough to get under the skin of the character and that if he’d had two or three series he’d have developed the role considerably.
He said that if you looked at the other Doctors (with the exception of Tom Baker) you can see them working out how to play the character through their first series because it’s such a complex and challenging role.
He said several times that there was more for him to do with the character….
If Eccleston does indeed feel a positive desire to come back to the Doctor Who fold, after a long disassociation with the sci-fi, this would finally mean that now all the living actors to play incarnation of The Doctor have expressed a want to return.
Previously, Paul McGann (Doctor for one TV movie, of course, and a multitude of phenomenal big Finish audio stories) has added his adamant desire for return to the mix when he commented in March 2012, "Being Doctor Who, there's always anniversaries looming large - celebration programmes and episodes," he said. "I'm often asked, 'If they get the five Doctors together, would you do it?' and of course, I'd do it. They've just got to ring me up!"
However, surely it would make a story particularly overcrowded with eight lead actors bustling for room inside and I’m not sure the 4th – 7th Doctors would be as convincing for a full-length story these days, either. Personally, I would be overjoyed to see a celebration of the 50th Anniversary that featured the Eighth, Ninth, Tenth and Eleventh Doctors unite, with nods to the other four for each of their excellent and important contributions to Doctor Who history.
But will there be a multi-Doctor story at all? Earlier this year Steven “The Moff” Moffat told the press, "For so many reasons I can't talk about yet, there will never be a better time to be a Doctor Who fan [than the 50th anniversary] , I absolutely promise that." He of all people will know of fans’ widespread want for a multi-Doctor story, so is this what he is referring to?
Meanwhile, David Tennant has responded to rumours positively, saying he would return, but has as yet apparently received no offers. "People keep telling me that they've read online that I'm coming back - but believe me, if that happens I'll be the first to tell everyone. I'll be shouting about it very loudly,"
More promisingly, however, Matt Smith even expressed his desire for a several incarnations of his character to meet for the 50th: "Paul McGann is a great actor, man, and a great Doctor. I say bring back Chris [Eccleston] and Dave [Tennant], too! How many Doctors can we get into one story? Imagine if there were five or six of us in one ep and we could all just look at each other and judge each other."
Do you want the Ninth Doctor back? What do you want from a multi-Doctor story?
Is it all a rouse and The Mighty Moff got to the actors long ago, ordering them to say they haven’t been asked? Only time will tell…!