With cameras rolling on the 50th anniversary special of Doctor Who this week, there have been rumours in the press that Christopher Eccleston had pulled out of the project just as filming was about to begin. However, Doctor Who News is reporting that while it’s true Eccleston won’t be lining up alongside Matt Smith and David Tennant’s incarnations of the Time Lord in the special, the actor was never contracted to appear to begin with.
“Chris met with Steven Moffat a couple of times to talk about Steven’s plans for the Doctor Who 50th anniversary episode,” an unnamed BBC spokesperson is quoted as stating. “After careful thought, Chris decided not to be in the episode. He wishes the team all the best.” Nevertheless, the article goes on to suggest that an appearance from the Ninth Doctor is not beyond the realms of possibility, suggesting that archive footage from the series may be used instead.
The Doctor Who 50th anniversary special is due to arrive in November. Current companion Jenna-Louise Coleman will appear alongside Matt Smith and David Tennant in the cast, while Billie Piper will also reprise the role of Rose Tyler and John Hurt (Alien, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) has signed on for an as-yet-unrevealed role.