For the first time since the Ninth Doctor regenerated 15 years ago, Doctor Who star Christopher Eccleston is back in the TARDIS. Well, a recording booth, more accurately. Probably not quite so much bigger on the inside, either.
Over the winter, audio drama producer Big Finish confirmed that Eccleston — who portrayed the Ninth Doctor in the first season of Doctor Who’s revival before exiting the show — would return as the Time Lord to lend his voice to a new series of adventures. The move marks Eccleston’s first official involvement with Doctor Who in the decade and a half since his exit, which was sparked by on-set tensions with the show’s creative leads and mental health issues the actor was enduring at the time.
After spending a great deal of that time distancing himself from the series (declining multiple offers to return, including for the series’ 50th anniversary special), in recent years Eccleston has re-opened himself to Doctor Who. He’s discussed his time on the show and his exit, while also acknowledging how the series’ fans have helped him find an appreciation for a challenging time in his career.
Now, Big Finish has shared a first look at Eccleston returning to tell new stories as the Doctor in its Ninth Doctor Adventures audio series.
— Big Finish (@bigfinish) December 14, 2020
Sure, the hair’s a little different, and maybe it won’t be quite the same hearing the Ninth Doctor tell everyone they’re stupid apes while he saves the day as it would be seeing him in the flesh. But it’s still him, it’s still that wonderful, haunted, but hopeful incarnation of the Doctor we know and love. It’s so good to have him back.
The Ninth Doctor Adventures’ first box set is set to release in May 2021.