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Christopher Eccleston on Doctor Who exit: ‘They did things to damage me’

Former Doctor Who star Christopher Eccleston has shared more details about the factors that led to his departure from the show after just one series.

Speaking in the latest issue of Radio Times the Ninth Doctor actor – perhaps alluding to his recent claims that he was ‘blacklisted’ by the BBC following his Doctor Who exit – revealed why he has been more open on the subject lately:

“When I left, I gave my word to [then-showrunner] Russell T Davies that I wouldn’t do anything to damage the show.

“But they did things to damage me. I didn’t criticise anybody.”

Eccleston, who was talking to the publication ahead of his upcoming role in the new BBC One drama Come Home, elaborated on the on-set tensions he felt whilst filming the first series of Doctor Who‘s 2005 revival:

“My relationship with my three immediate superiors – the showrunner, the producer and co-producer – broke down irreparably during the first block of filming and it never recovered.

“They lost trust in me, and I lost faith and trust and belief in them.” 

As well as his rift with those higher up, Eccleston noted that some of the difficulties he experienced during his time on the show may also have been due to his unease at playing a character removed from those he had played in the past:

“Some of my anger about the situation came from my own insecurity. They employed somebody [as the Doctor] who was not a natural light comedian.

“Billie [Piper], who we know was and is brilliant, was very, very nervous and very, very inexperienced. So, you had that, and then you had me. Very, very experienced, possibly the most experienced on it, but out of my comfort zone.”

Eccleston, who prior to Doctor Who had also starred in Russell T Davies’ television drama The Second Coming, stated that he ‘never will have’ a working relationship with the writer again. When asked if he thought Davies was aware of the issues, Eccleston answered:

“If you’re the showrunner, you know everything. That’s your job.”

The full interview with Christopher Eccleston is available to read in the latest issue of Radio Times, out now.

[Source: Radio Times]