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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 12 September 2016 at 1:20pm | IP Logged | 1  

Okay, ignore the fact that spellchecker tried to change Eccleston to Ecclesiastes...


I did wonder why he left the role quite early. He's not revealing too much - and I respect his privacy on that matter - but I always suspected he wasn't happy with things.
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Brian O'Neill
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Posted: 12 September 2016 at 4:40pm | IP Logged | 2  

I read a summary of the interview, on some pop culture site, which chided Eccleston for refusing to participate in the 50th anniversary special.
It sounds like he just had no interest in returning to the role, in spite of his fervent wish to have had more of an opportunity to improve his performance.
I personally couldn't stand his faux-tough guy characterization of the Ninth Doctor. It was not 'FAN-TAS-TIC', and he ought to say 'I'm SORRY'.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 12 September 2016 at 7:48pm | IP Logged | 3  

Eccleston read to you as a faux tough guy? I'd say that's all in his North Country accent!
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Robbie Moubert
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Posted: 13 September 2016 at 8:12pm | IP Logged | 4  

Despite the behind the scenes issues that led to him leaving Doctor Who, Eccleston still has a great affection for the actual role as can be seen in a touching moment in this interview (approx 3' 40").



Edited by Robbie Moubert on 13 September 2016 at 8:13pm
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Brian O'Neill
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Posted: 14 September 2016 at 1:20am | IP Logged | 5  

Eccleston read to you as a faux tough guy? I'd say that's all in his North Country accent!

And the 'Look how cool I am, I'm not wearing a tweed coat, bow tie, or question-mark-collared shirt' bomber jacket
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Andrew Saxon
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Posted: 14 September 2016 at 5:15am | IP Logged | 6  

I'm afraid I don't recognise Brian's description of Eccleston's Doctor. Though I am more of a classic series man myself, of the 21st century Doctors so far Eccleston was my favourite. Yes, it was a shock when the series came back that, rather than some fellow in a frock-coat, we had a guy in a leather jacket talking with a Salford accent (something that seems to bother people more than the Doctor having a Scottish accent...I've often wondered why, but then I attended Manchester University so I don't have a problem with the accent), but I kind of liked that this new Doctor was defying viewer expectations. Eccleston is a fine actor too, not one of these fellows trading on plastic good looks. I was very sorry when he left, whatever his reasons. Short and sweet, Eccleston's Doctor certainly made an impact.
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Brian O'Neill
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Posted: 17 September 2016 at 2:04am | IP Logged | 7  

The Ninth Doctor just didn't 'grab' me. To be fair, I started with Tom Baker, ended up seeing all the 'classic Doctors out of order, and as a result, Hartnell ended up being the 'last' of the original seven that I encountered...and my least favorite.
Maybe it was because the news of Eccleston's leaving the role was leaked very early on(before the second episode aired, if I remember correctly),but the attempts to give him 'catch phrases'...specifically, 'Fantastic!' and 'Stupid apes!', seemed a bit cloying...and honestly, although I didn't expect Received Pronunciation', the accent really didn't help in those instances. 'I'm SORRY, Rose! I'm SO so VERY very So-huh-huh-reeeeee...'

Plus, in characterization that was grafted/retconned on much later by the 'War Doctor', we had a lot of instances of Eccleston making rather 'unDoctorish' threats of 'death'  or 'beating up' on his enemies. Naturally, he didn't kill or beat up anybody(until we found out later that his 'real' most recent incarnation had done a lot of that). 
In the context of what we learned later, the Ninth Doctor comes off better...but my impression of him as a viewer in 2005 was that having someone 'call the Doctor's bluff' every time he threatened somebody, was overdone.
So, there were character traits, and actor's mannerisms, that just didn't work for me.
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Andrew Saxon
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Posted: 20 September 2016 at 1:12am | IP Logged | 8  

'I'm SORRY, Rose! I'm SO so VERY very So-huh-huh-reeeeee...'

I thought that was Tennant's catchphrase? Oh well, I still don't recognise your description of Eccleston's Doctor, Brian, but it's fine if you don't like him. There were Doctors I didn't like, even during the run of my beloved classic era (I hated Colin Baker's run on the show and can't even bring myself to watch The Two Doctors, not even with guest appearances from Patrick Troughton and Frazer Hines). Tastes differ. The good thing about Doctor Who is that if you don't like the current lead there will be another along in, erm, time.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 20 September 2016 at 6:36am | IP Logged | 9  

Eccleston's Doctor was the first who could walk down the street without automatically drawing attention to himself. His "bomber jacket" was part of this -- ordinary street clothes.
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Peter Martin
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Posted: 20 September 2016 at 8:21am | IP Logged | 10  

I liked Eccleston's Doctor.

As he notes in the link posted, he wasn't very natural with the humour. It came off as forced... and strangely, this worked for me.

Unintentional as it may have been, it created the impression of the Doctor using it as a way of covering his scars from the Time War. Occasionally, this would lapse and the anger would break through.

Eccleston wasn't perfect, but I enjoyed his brief tenure and would have been happy with at least a second season with him in the hotseat. I thought he did an admirable amount with the character in just 13 episodes.

For me, The Empty Child/ The Doctor Dances remains one of the high points of the show since it returned from its hiatus. 


Edited by Peter Martin on 20 September 2016 at 8:21am
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John Byrne
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Posted: 20 September 2016 at 8:28am | IP Logged | 11  

…The Doctor Dances…

••

A good episode, tho a bit "meta" for my taste. The Doctor was too much aware of himself as a character having adventures.

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Brian Floyd
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Posted: 20 September 2016 at 10:32pm | IP Logged | 12  

The Ninth Doctor had a great personality. It was his look that was the problem. 

And I wish Rose had left when Nine did......
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Andrew Saxon
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Posted: 21 September 2016 at 12:46am | IP Logged | 13  

I remember seeing the first leaked photos of the 9th Doctor and thinking those were Eccleston's street clothes he was wearing for rehearsals. It was a little shocking when I realised that this was his ... well, I'm about to type costume, but that's a thing isn't it - the Doctor wears clothes not a costume, doesn't he? Well, yes and no. I'm sure if I mention the name of a particular actor that played the Doctor you'll get an image in your head of what they wore. I think for a lot of fans (myself included - at first) the image of a guy in a leather jacket and V-neck didn't seem Doctorish somehow. And yet, and yet... the moment he appeared on screen, this man WAS the Doctor. He didn't need to be wearing a purple frock coat with a banana stuck in the top pocket - his actions spoke for and identified him.

Now, defending anything about 21st century Who makes me feel a little like George Taylor defending humanity, but, I have to say, I thought defying viewer expectations about what a Doctor should wear was a canny move when it came to reintroducing the series. I could be wrong, but I suspect it made new viewers take the character more seriously than they might have.
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Bill Collins
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Posted: 21 September 2016 at 2:04pm | IP Logged | 14  

It was a leather jacket,but it wasn`t a bomber jacket(The jacket he wore would be equally fashionable in the 1970`s!),that and a Northern accent do not a hard man make!
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Craig Bogart
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Posted: 26 September 2016 at 11:20am | IP Logged | 15  

The costume, or lack thereof: I've said that if all the Doctor's were gathered in a room, 9 would look like a companion.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 26 September 2016 at 1:09pm | IP Logged | 16  

The costume, or lack thereof: I've said that if all the Doctor's were gathered in a room, 9 would look like a companion.

•••

Good point. And I think not altogether a bad thing. After all, this was the beginning of a New Age for Whodom. A more "realistic" Doctor was quite appropriate.

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