Very few people in the who've been associated with Doctor Who over the years were taking more of a chance than Christopher Eccleston. Born to a working class family in Lancashire in 1964,he had been unemployed for many years he himself took many day jobs to support himself. During the early 90's he became a very well known and revered character actor on stage and screen,appearing on many BBC programs. His popularity grew to a point where he was nominated by the British Academy Television Awards and the Radio Times as one of the most powerful dramatic actors of his time. In the springtime of 2004,he was offered the role that would change his career.
Russel T. Davies was put in charge of revitalizing the classic BBC science fiction program Doctor Who. It was going to be a very different proposition from the classic series. The episodes would generally be convention hour length programs as opposed to multi part serials. And the doctors race,the time lords,would be extinct with the exception of himself. Paired first with Billie Piper's Rose Tyler,Eccleston signed on for only one series in the role. Rumors were abound as to his reasons for the short stint as the intrepid time lord. Eccleston-a husband,father and atheist who had his own mind on many issues,simply didn't relate too much to the cast and culture of the people involved in the show at that time.
The ninth doctor Eccleston portrayed was the perfect match of character and actor. This doctor was one who had faced not only his own permanent mortality but the loss of his own race of people. He was alone in the universe,travelling through time and space in an essentially homeless state. He had nothing to gain,and nothing to lose. Eccleston was more than happy to portray his doctor as the same eccentric,goofy and often overly optimistic character he'd always been. But this was also a doctor that had had a significant run in with his dark side,and was looking to redeem that by re imagining himself. It's only appropriate Eccleston would soon after take on the role of the similar personality of John Lennon in the BBC television biopic Lennon Naked,which I encourage everyone reading this to check out.