Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Dr Who: Happy Birthday Christopher Eccleston - The 9th Doctor Who


The Ninth Doctor Who

Do Time Lords have birthdays? Do they celebrate their various 'Regeneration Days' in the same way we mortal humans celebrate our birth - with cake, candles and presents?

Well, it's the Ninth Doctor's 'human' birthday today and a Very Happy Birthday to Christopher Eccleston - the man who brought back Dr Who to our TV screens in 2005.

Christopher Eccleston - 9th Dr Who [BBC TV}
A somewhat surprising choice as the eponymous hero, Christopher would only spend one series as the ninth incarnation of The Doctor. But in that short space of time, in Time Lord years anyway, he definitely made his mark and left a legacy that continues through David Tennant and Matt Smith. And, more importantly to some, he successfully bridged the divide between the Classic series and the New.

Before his short-lived stint in the TARDIS, Christopher was probably best known as Nicky Hutchinson in the gritty TV series Our Friends in the North in 1996. This role combined with his roots (born in Salford, Lancashire in 1964) gave extra emphasis to his most famous line from Doctor Who, "Lots of planets have a north."

In 2005, he won the National Television Awards Most Popular Actor for his role as The Doctor. No mean feat for an actor in a 'new' series. But, for reasons really known only to himself, he left the series after his initial one-year contract was up.

Equally at home on the big screen, his film credits include Let Him Have It, Shallow Grave, Elizabeth, 28 Days Later, Gone in 60 Seconds & The Others.

To celebrate Christopher's birthday, we present some of our favourite quotes by and about Christopher and his time on Doctor Who as the 9th Doctor.


"I know there's going to be a backlash because no Doctor has ever looked or sounded like me. In the past, it appeared that all Doctors had to be white and middle-class and speak with Received Pronunciation. That made it seem as if intelligence and heroism were the sole preserves of the middle class."

"The Doctor is always moving through time. He's never at home. That struck me as quite sad and quite resonant for our times. He's the idealistic, humane alien, isn't he? And this must be something to do with his desire to belong."

"The Doctor is brutal at times, he's confrontational, inflexible. He sometimes creates carnage. There's nobody like him in Disney."

"His defining characteristic is his love of life. Iggy Pop's Lust for Life should be his theme tune. If the series contains a message for eight- to 12-year-olds, it is that life is brief ... seize it and shake it."

"What's dawned on me about Doctor Who is that I'm trying to entertain a different audience. It's exciting and funny and scary and it's aimed at families, so I'm kind of acting for children and I feel very lucky to be able to do that."

"Russell T. Davies is such a committed Doctor Who fan that the writing has probably ensured that I'm playing a version of Patrick Troughton or Tom Baker or William Hartnell. But it's also a version of me as a kid. The Doctor has that insatiable curiosity that I was lucky enough to have when I was young."

"Doctor Who is always brought back to Earth. It's not about fighting aliens on the planet Zog. It's about real people."

"My hope is that the eight-year-olds who watch it, I'll be their first Doctor. I hope they haven't seen any DVDs of anybody else. I loved playing him, and I loved taking part in the basic essence and message of the series, which is, 'It's a short life, seize it and live it as fully as you can. Care for others, and be respectful of all other life-forms, regardless of colour and creed,' and to be part of that is fantastic."


"Ah, yes, the Doctor. He's Christopher Eccleston, of course, casting as inspired as making Vincent D'Onofrio a cop."
Damien Love in The Sunday Herald (2005)

"Eccleston brought a real, nearly tangible, sense of madness to the character of the Doctor. He was the ladies' Tom Baker, with a head injury."
Keith Breese on (2005)

"Christopher is nearest to Bill Hartnell. A dangerous character and a love to explore."
Maureen O'Brien (2005)

"The latest Doctor - leather trenchcoat, black T-shirt, sticky-out ears, toothy grin, Salford accent, doesn't stay still for a second."
Matthew Sweet in The Daily Telegraph (2005)

"He's got the grinning madness of Tom Baker but he's got the vulnerability of Peter Davison, and a bit of that excitedness that Paul McGann brought to it."
Clayton Hickman (2006)

"Christopher Eccleston's leather-jacketed, slightly demented hard-nut Doctor was the right man to make a break from the show's heritage of frock coats, frilly cuffs and hammery."
Caitlin Moran in The Times (2007)

"Chris got away with the short haircut. He looked like a bin-man."
Paul McGann (2009)

"In 2005, Christopher Eccleston walked away from the biggest job on TV. Whether he quit Doctor Who through fear of typecasting, boredom, ambition or simply an allergy to the Sonic Screwdriver has never really been revealed."
Andrea Mullaney in The Scotsman (2010)

Quotes taken from THE QUOTABLE DOCTOR WHO - Volume One.

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1 comment:

  1. dr. who jacket

    Eccleston’s Antigone! is my most favourite in doctor who and its all the series are really wounder ful