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The Times coverage of series 1 date
Elevate, exterminate: Daleks conquer stairs in new Doctor Who 2005-03-06
For 25 years, Doctor Who's creaky charm captivated a nation 2005-03-06
The thrill of the chaise 2005-03-06
The Doctor faces his newest adversary ... the Canadians 2005-03-09
Doctor Who puts accent on a new look to old show 2005-03-10
Forgotten timelord 2005-03-11
The Return of the Time Lord 2005-03-18
Billie the kid 2005-03-19
Piper at the gates of dim 2005-03-21
The Whys and Whats of Who 2005-03-26
Doctor faces a high-tech challenge 2005-03-26
Blonde Bombshell 2005-03-26
Oh Lord, he's still stuck in the past 2005-03-27
Just what the Doctor ordered 2005-03-28
Who's the daddy as 10m find time to see the Doctor 2005-03-28
The Right Medicine? 2005-03-30
He saves the world and BBC, then Dr Who quits 2005-03-31
Casanova actor seduces the Doctor Who casting agent 2005-04-01
Dr Who too scary for young children 2005-04-14
BBC climbs down over Doctor Who fear factor 2005-04-15
Casanova regenerates into the new Doctor Who 2005-04-16
Who's Afraid? 2005-04-19
Nigel Andrew's View 2005-04-23
Rovers' returns 2005-04-29
Back behind the sofa — it's a Dalek 2005-05-02
Wanted: One Time Lord, Tardis optional 2005-05-06
An absurd ruling takes the fun out of Doctor Who 2005-05-16
Let's not be beastly to Daleks 2005-05-16
Unsuitable for children 2005-05-17
The censors ... will ... exterminate 2005-05-17
Legislate! Legislate! 2005-05-19
Doctor treated 2005-05-19
BBC advises Doctor Who fans to stay offline until the bitter end 2005-06-14
Sought, located 2005-06-15
The Doctor's fate is sealed with a first kiss — or two 2005-06-16
I'm prepared for my role as BBC Man, but how to fit Big Specs into the new Dr Who? 2005-06-25

He saves the world and BBC, then Dr Who quits (2005)

2005-03-31 Times.jpg


  • Publication: The Times
  • Date: 2005-03-31
  • Author: Ian Evans and Adam Sherwin
  • Page: 9
  • Language: English

NO SOONER had the newest Dr Who returned to Earth than he's off again.

The ninth and latest doctor, Christopher Eccleston, said last night that he will not be making another series, only days after the first episode attracted 10 million viewers.

The 41-year-old actor, worried that he may become typecast, has called time on his occupancy of the Tardis. "The audience's response to the new Dr Who has been incredible. I'm very proud to be part of it and I hope viewers continue to enjoy the series," he said. The decision will be a blow to writer Russell T. Davies and to the BBC, who yesterday announced a new £10 million series and Christmas special. Last Saturday the first episode, which saw the doctor battling man-eating wheelie bins and shop dummies, attracted 9.9 million viewers —beating ITV's Ant and Dec which had 7.2 million viewers. It was well received by television critics who commended its new, modern storyline but also its references to previous battles with cosmic foes.

The Actor Sylvester McCoy, who played Doctor Who before the show was axed in 1989, said of Eccleston's performance: "Christopher was quite alien as the Doctor. He looked wonderful. He had this manic grin which worried me. We were not sure if he was on the edge of insanity or not —which was rather good. He just ran into danger with such gusto, he galloped at it joyfully.

Overall I was left feeling very positive about the new series. It had a great pace, it moved really quickly and was witty."

Eccleston made his mark in both drama and film, including Our Friends in the North, Second Coming and Shallow Grave. Before taking up the role of Dr Who, Eccleston said that he wanted to bring "weight and ambiguity" to the part. "It's a fantastic series and I am proud to be a part of it," he said.

Whether viewers last Saturday hid behind the sofa like previous regenerations is unclear, but with the promise of new rivals and old favourites the Dale's in the 13-part series, the BBC hope that viewing figures in the early Saturday evening slot will remain strong. A BBC spokesman said last night that Bill Nighy and Richard E. Grant are possible replacement candidates, with a number of other big-name actors interested in the shortlist.

Yesterday Jane Tranter, BBC Head of Drama Commissioning, said that new dramas will face 15 per cent budget cuts to pay for prestige hits such as Dr Who. Ms Tranter told the Broadcasting Press Guild: "Dr Who and current shows are protected but we have to find a way of making a certain number of dramas at a lower cost"

Producers will be told to squeeze out more minutes of drama a day during shoots and star actors face tough salary negotiations. Speaking before the new doctor announced his departure, Ms Tranter said ominously: "Now we've got to start talking to Billie Piper and Chris about what they want to do. There is a mischievous element to it, in that you can keep regenerating the Doctor." While BBC executives begin the search for a new Time Lord, they won't have to regenerate a new assistant Billie Piper, who plays Rose, is staying.


  • Dr Who was first shown in 1963. The last series ended in 1989, making it the longest-running science fiction television show in history
  • Christopher Eccleston was the ninth actor to travel the universe in the Tardis
  • He was preceded by William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton, Jon Pertwee, Tom Baker, Peter Davison, Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy and Paul McGann
  • Actors rumoured for the role of Dr Who in the latest series included Alan Cumming, Jonathan Pryce. Paul McGann, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Eddie Izzard
  • Dr Who has two hearts and the ability to transform himself when his body becomes old or damaged
  • The BBC spent £10 million reviving Dr Who
  • An estimated ten million viewers watched the first episode of the new series

Caption: Christopher Eccleston, who said he wants to avoid typecasting

Caption: Bill Nighy: the new Doctor?

Disclaimer: These citations are created on-the-fly using primitive parsing techniques. You should double-check all citations. Send feedback to

  • APA 6th ed.: Sherwin, Ian Evans and Adam (2005-03-31). He saves the world and BBC, then Dr Who quits. The Times p. 9.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Sherwin, Ian Evans and Adam. "He saves the world and BBC, then Dr Who quits." The Times [add city] 2005-03-31, 9. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Sherwin, Ian Evans and Adam. "He saves the world and BBC, then Dr Who quits." The Times, edition, sec., 2005-03-31
  • Turabian: Sherwin, Ian Evans and Adam. "He saves the world and BBC, then Dr Who quits." The Times, 2005-03-31, section, 9 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=He saves the world and BBC, then Dr Who quits | url=,_then_Dr_Who_quits | work=The Times | pages=9 | date=2005-03-31 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=17 December 2018 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=He saves the world and BBC, then Dr Who quits | url=,_then_Dr_Who_quits | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=17 December 2018}}</ref>