Christopher Eccleston (2005)

Here are some quotes from Christopher Eccleston, mostly from the Doctor Who Confidential episodes that aired during the 2005 series. Among other things, he talks about being on set with Daleks, the dangers of relying on three-eyed aliens, and why he hopes kids watching the show have never seen another Doctor:

“I read in the newspaper that Russell was going to write ‘Doctor Who’, and it was really intriguing to me. I like the idea of a writer as intelligent and rigorous as Russell writing for children, because I think if you can get them early with good stuff, they’re going to demand good stuff as they get older.

“When we got to episode two, and we suddenly transported into the future, I realised that was another element. And then episode three, with Dickens, we went to the past, and by then I was getting to know the territory. Part of the fun of the series is that each time you turn on at seven o’clock, you just don’t know where you’re going to be – past, present or future. But the thing with aliens in ‘Doctor Who’ is, there’s a danger of relying on them visually, to just think ‘If we roll ’em in with three heads, that’s enough’. It isn’t. They all have a relationship with the Doctor, and with Rose, and they’re opportunities for great actors to come in and do great things for the series.

“If you’re looking for back-story, if you’re looking for reasons why the Doctor is the way he is, you should look at the Dalek episode, because I think you learn a lot there about how he feels about his past, and how that informs his present. The Dalek episode is darker, it’s darker in tone, because the main energy of the series is the Doctor is frightened. Of all the enemies the Doctor’s met, he knows their power. They’re the ancient enemy of the Timelords. There was a kind of different level of energy on the set, the day of the Daleks. Grown men with a gleam in their eye, ’cause of these pepperpots, these things.

“The interior of the TARDIS, from a technical point of view, and for ‘Doctor Who’ fans – who are legion – is an important area. On this production, we’ve really gone for it. The design team have created a massive space.

“My hope is that the eight-year-olds who watch it, I’ll be their first Doctor. I hope they haven’t seen any DVD’s 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 lifeforms, regardless of colour and creed’, and to be part of that is fantastic.”

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