In an interview with Doctor Who Magazine, showrunner Steven Moffat has revealed that had Christopher Eccleston agreed to reprise his role in The Day of The Doctor, he would have been the incarnation of The Doctor who ended the Time War.
“I was pretty certain Chris wouldn’t do it,” said Moffat, “although he did agree to a couple of meetings. So instead we had the challenge and excitement of introducing a BBC audience to a brand new Doctor.”
The writer of the 50th anniversary special also had a major issue with the Ninth Doctor ending the time war, as it would have created a continuity error with his first appearance in the 2005 episode, Rose.
“Eccleston is a brand new Doctor in Rose, he’s absolutely, definitely new. It couldn’t have been is who pushed the button in the Time War, cos that’s a new man, very explicitly, in that episode. I also had trouble, I have to be honest, imagining it being Paul McGann’s Doctor.
“So all of this led me to the idea that if you’re going to sell to the Not-We audience a Doctor who essentially they haven’t seen before, then you have a freer hand than saying it has to be one of the ones you’ve already had. And it was predicated in getting an enormous star to be able to do it. We got John Hurt, so that was cool! Think of the fuss it’s created for us!”
What do you think Whovians? Would you have liked to have seen Eccleston reprise his role, or was the John Hurt “War Doctor” a better choice in the end? Let us know in the comments! And for those of you who have yet to see it, here is a rather brilliant fan video showing the War Doctor regenerating into Eccleston’s Ninth incarnation…