Christopher Eccleston

Christopher Eccleston

(born 16 February 1964) was the ninth actor to portray the Doctor. Eccleston's first episode was Rose and after only a year, his last was The Parting of the Ways. His Doctor could slide easily between humor to drama and back again.

Eccleston first came to public attention as Derek Bentley in the 1991 film Let Him Have It and an episode of Inspector Morse, "Second Time Around", also in 1991. However, it was a regular role in the television series Cracker (1993–94) that made him a recognisable figure in the UK. At around the same time he appeared in Agatha Christie's Poirot.

He appeared in the low-budget Danny Boyle 1994 film Shallow Grave, in which he co-starred with up-and-coming actor Ewan McGregor. The same year, he won the part of Nicky Hutchinson in the epic BBC drama serial Our Friends in the North, whose broadcast on BBC Two in 1996 helped make him a household name in the UK. Eccleston would share the screen in the show with Daniel Craig, the sixth and current actor to play James Bond.

His film career has since taken off with a variety of high-profile but not — except in one or two cases — major roles, including the title role in Jude (1996) (where he shared a scene with David Tennant, his successor as the Doctor in Doctor Who), Elizabeth (1998), eXistenZ (1999), Gone in Sixty Seconds (2000), The Others (2001), 24 Hour Party People (2002) and another Danny Boyle film, the horror movie 28 Days Later (2002). He played a major role as the protagonist of Alex Cox's 2002 Revengers Tragedy, adapted from Thomas Middleton's play of the same name.[7] He has starred alongside two major Hollywood actresses in smaller independent films, appearing opposite Renée Zellweger in A Price Above Rubies (1998) and Cameron Diaz in The Invisible Circus (2001). Despite starring in the car-heist movie Gone in 60 Seconds, he did not actually take his driving test until January 2004, and revealed on BBC's Top Gear that his licence restricts him to vehicles with automatic transmission.

In March of 2004, after nearly 20 years off the air, it was announced that Christopher Eccleston would be playing the Doctor in the revival of the Doctor Who series.

On 30 March 2005, the BBC released a statement, ostensibly from Eccleston, saying that he had decided to leave the role after just one series, because he feared becoming typecast. On 4 April, the BBC revealed that Eccleston's "statement" was falsely attributed and released without his consent. The BBC admitted that they had broken an agreement made in January not to disclose publicly that he only intended to do one series. The statement had been made after journalists made queries to the press office.

To date he is the only Doctor in the show's history to speak with a working class accent (using his native Lancashire dialect). All previous incarnations had spoken with received pronunciation or at least a fairly middle class southern accent.

Since leaving Doctor Who, Eccleston has continued to work in film and television, including joining the cast of the NBC TV series Heroes in the episode "Godsend", which was broadcast on 22 January 2007. Eccleston played a character named Claude who has the power of invisibility, and helps Peter Petrelli with his powers.