Doctor Who: BBC Looks Back on Our 9th Doctor's Greatest Hits

Finally, the BBC has put together a supercut of the 9th Doctor's best moments. The video runs just around 49 minutes long and is been released on the official Doctor Who YouTube channel. Yes, this pretty much compiles Christopher Eccleston's best moments of his one season as The Doctor. The 9th Doctor is probably the most underappreciated of the modern Doctors. The show became a big deal in the UK because it revitalized both Doctor Who after a 15-year absence and revived Science Fiction on British Television. American fans only really discovered the show from David Tennant's run partly because Series 1 was underrepresented in the US. Russell T. Davies had to reintroduce Doctor Who and the show's mythos in a way that was accessible to kids and people who never saw the show before.

Doctor Who
Christopher Eccleston as the 9th Doctor in "Doctor Who", BBC Studios

He also needed to attract a female audience in a post-Buffy TV landscape. He knew the show could not survive on a solely male nerd audience. The answer was Billie Piper as Rose Tyler, a working-class girl from a South London council estate whose horizons are blown open by the adventures awaiting her. Davies wanted kids to feel the world and the whole universe has many more possibilities than they thought. He wanted their imaginations to soar. He also wanted the show to be less middle-class or upper class. This was a Doctor Who for everyone. And to do that, he cast Eccleston.

The Most Adult and Most Troubled Doctor

Eccleston is an actor known for his seriousness and near-Method intensity. Casting him was a declaration of how serious they were taking the character and the show. It was no longer the cheap, kitschy show of old with cardboard sets and cheesy make-up. Eccleston was a very different Doctor. He didn't have a crazy, fancy costume or a posh accent. He spoke in a Northern accent and behaved with the bluntness of a Northerner. With his black leather jacket and pants, he looked like a no-nonsense social worker who might kick the crap out of you if you gave him a hard time, all for your own good. In many ways, he was the most adult Doctor. He lacked the jokey, slapstick airs that David Tennant and Matt Smith brought to their Doctors, or the flamboyant, old school patrician vibe of Peter Capaldi, who was in many ways Steven Moffat's idea of the Ultimate Doctor. The 9th Doctor was also the most angst-ridden, filled with survivor's guilt and self-loathing. His arc was to have his heart reawakened by the humanity and compassion of Rose Tyler. The Doctor was always kind, but he had to learn to forgive and be kind to himself. The 9th Doctor's arc was completed by his sacrificing himself to save Rose, the seemingly insignificant shop girl from South London because she mattered- because everybody matters.

Alas, Eccleston's time on the show was not a happy one. There's a long list of reasons and rumors that caused him to be around for only one season. He fought with the higher-ups at the BBC who wanted him to sound more middle-class, which is a common story of bias at the BBC. His relationship with the producers and Davies deteriorated. He felt betrayed by the BBC and all trust was lost. Piper said she wept uncontrollably when she heard he was leaving. Eccleston has nothing but praise for her and said in his recently-published autobiography that she should have become the first female lead rather than just the companion. He's probably right. Imagine Piper as The Doctor, eh?

About Adi Tantimedh

Adi Tantimedh is a filmmaker, screenwriter and novelist who just likes to writer. He wrote radio plays for the BBC Radio, “JLA: Age of Wonder” for DC Comics, “Blackshirt” for Moonstone Books, and “La Muse” for Big Head Press. Most recently, he wrote “Her Nightly Embrace”, “Her Beautiful Monster” and “Her Fugitive Heart”, a trilogy of novels featuring a British-Indian private eye published by Atria Books, a division Simon & Schuster.