Russell T. Davies on Christopher Eccleston: ‘He Will Always Be My Doctor’

Christopher Eccleston caused controversy recently with complaints about his time working on the show, saying he had ‘lost faith and trust and belief’ in the production team during his tenure.

That tension between showrunner, producer, co-producer and star lead to Eccleston telling the Radio Times in March that he would never have a working relationship with showrunner Russell T. Davies again.

Now Davies has responded to Eccleston’s complaints. Speaking in SFX magazine (via Radio Times), he said that he does not want to get into a “tit for tat” with the actor and is keen to keep “respecting and listening to him at all times.”

He said:

“If it gets into any sort of tit for tat then I’m having a conversation with my lead actor via the press, and that’s not on

“What has to be remembered when the show’s being discussed in the present tense, now, is that I was his employer – I was his producer. I have a duty of care towards any lead actor I work with, so I have a duty of care towards Chris in that moment.

“He’s free to say and explore whatever he wants – that’s fine. This duty of care involves respecting him and listening to him at all times.

“That’s my job. And that duty of care towards him will extend for the rest of our lives. He will always be my Doctor, and I will always be his producer.”

Davies goes on to say what a brave move it was for Eccleston to take on the role, given the speculation surrounding the series revival in 2005.

He said:

“The thing I’ve got to say is that Chris is a magnificent actor and a magnificent man – he’s truly a leader of men – and he was a magnificent Doctor Who as well.

“You forget what a brave move it was to take the part on when the press were quoting people like Paul Daniels as the next Doctor. It was a huge leap for Chris to make, and I love what he did.

“I think his comedy is funny – he plays it brilliantly. I think the darkness is off the scale with him – when the Doctor’s angry, it’s spectacular.

“It’s a magnificent, never-to-be forgotten Doctor, and it was an honour to work with an actor delivering a performance like that.”

Doctor Who returns this autumn on BBC One.