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Monday, 26 August 2013

Ninth Doctor BFI screening: Eccleston keen on 100th anniversary

Eccleston's favourite director
Radio Times reporter Patrick Mulkern wrote a lovely and fanboyish piece about the recent BFI DW celebration, featuring Eccleston's series finale "Bad Wolf" and "The Parting of the Ways". Inviting Katy Manning along ("This was my era, as a viewer.") and having written the programme copy ("I’ve always loved this story and was chuffed that my RadioTimes.com review...was reprinted on the programme notes handed out in the auditorium.") would probably have made his day right there. Joe Ahearne, Phil Collinson, and Bruno Langley did the panel work, with Dave Houghton as an extra guest, apparently (Collinson reminisced about RTD, Langley reminisced about Billie Piper, and Houghton reminisced about Katy Manning). Eccleston wasn't there himself, but sent along a statement promising to come back to the show given certain conditions: “I love the BFI. I love the Doctor and hope you enjoy this presentation. Joe Ahearne directed five of the 13 episodes of the first series. He understood the tone the show needed completely – strong, bold, pacy visuals coupled with wit, warmth and a twinkle in the performances, missus. If Joe agrees to direct the 100th anniversary special, I will bring my sonic and a stair-lift and – providing the Daleks don’t bring theirs – I, the ninth Doctor, vow to save the universe and all you apes in it.”

Sounds like he has as much of a sense of humour as ever. And it's possibly another tantalizing hint as to why Eccleston left the show so soon - Ahearne, despite his talent, didn't direct any Doctor Who after Eccleston left. Did they both agree that the BBC "culture" Eccleston has talked about distastefully was too much for them? Would he have agreed to have been in the 50th anniversary special if he'd been asked, or would he have been as concerned by Moffat's showrunning? There's no knowing.
(Meanwhile, Ahearne would like the Internet to know that he wasn't born 23 November 1963, so there's our bit in stopping fan rumours.)

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