Christopher Eccleston: “The BBC Put Me on a Blacklist After Doctor Who”

Over a decade after he left Doctor Who, Christopher Eccleston has shone a little more light on the consequences of his departure from the BBC show.

Eccleston quit playing the Ninth Doctor after just one series, apparently due to disagreements with the production crew, although the exact circumstances remain unknown. In quite a revealing interview, he said:

“What happened around Doctor Who almost destroyed my career. I gave them a hit show and I left with dignity and then they put me on a blacklist. I was carrying my own insecurities as it was something I had never done before and then I was abandoned, vilified in the tabloid press and blacklisted. I was told by my agent at the time: ‘The BBC regime is against you. You’re going to have to get out of the country and wait for regime change.’ So I went away to America and I kept on working because that’s what my parents instilled in me.”

Of course, this might be a case of miscommunication or something, but if Eccleston really was put on a blacklist, it’s shocking behaviour. (Equally, it’s been surprising to see some sections of fandom turning against Christopher for this interview; the Who community can be a wonderful thing to be part of, but social media tends to highlight its darker corners.)

After Doctor Who, Eccleston did appear on the BBC, but only in Heroes, broadcast on BBC2 but created for American network, NBC. A few films followed, and his next project for the BBC was Lennon Naked in 2010. Fortunately, he’s since starred in numerous BBC productions, including The Shadow Line, The Borrowers (both 2011), and, most recently, the wonderful The A Word (2016- 17).

The interview was conducted as Eccleston begins playing the lead role in the RSC’s Macbeth, which should be an electrifying thing to experience. It will be broadcast live to cinemas across the UK on 11th April 2018 from the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-Upon-Avon.

Are you lucky enough to have got tickets? Or will you be watching from the cinema? And what do you make of this revelation? Let us know in the comments below.