Big Finish, Big Return: Eccleston to reprise Ninth Doctor…

Despite well known estrangement from the Tardis, Christopher Eccleston is finally returning to the iconic role of The Doctor...

There were many who thought it would never happen. Though there have been various opportunities and tantilising possibilities of Christopher Eccleston returning, in any capacity, to the role of the Ninth Doctor, it seemed that the actor’s less-than-stellar experiences when he filmed his one-and-out season to reboot the series in 2005 had put an end to his participation. Though proud of his work and happy to meet fans, Eccleston politely turned down every offer to head back to the Tardis and as recently as last year he revealed that he’d turned down the 50th anniversary role in The Day of the Doctor because he didn’t feel it would have done ‘justice to the Ninth Doctor’.

That appears to have changed with the surprise announcement that Big Finish Productions, in association with BBC Studios, will be releasing twelve full-cast audio adventures – across four box-sets – beginning in May 2021. The news came as sites such as Sci-Fi Bulletin posted information about the project…

Not connected to the Time Lord Victorious multimedia event which will compass books, comics, audio and more and due to begin soon, there will be four volumes in Doctor Who: The Ninth Doctor Adventures each containing three full-cast audio stories with added behind-the-scenes material. Though information on the stories is not being released yet, we do know the additional formats: fans will be able to choose between collector’s edition CD, digital download or highly  limited edition gatefold triple LP vinyl – all of which will be available via the Big Finish website.

“After 15 years it will be exciting to revisit the Ninth Doctor’s world, bringing back to life a character I love playing, ” said Eccleston in a statement.

Big Finish’s Chairman, Jason Haigh-Ellery explained some of the genesis of the project: “I first talked to Christopher about returning to the role of the Doctor at a fan convention in February this year. Christopher said he was enjoying meeting the fans and was pleased that his Doctor was remembered so fondly. I am so pleased that Christopher has decided to return to the role with us – and I’m excited to welcome him to the Big Finish family as we discover the new adventures of the Ninth Doctor.”

The COVID pandemic has put paid to an early resuming of filming of the current incarnation of the television series, though there had been no plans for more new episodes this year – however Jodie Whittaker and the cast had already shot and completed a holiday special which looks set to be screened around Christmas…

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