Saturday, April 02, 2005

Doctor Who?

I have to say I am extremely disappointed with Christopher Ecceleston's decision to step down from his role as the Doctor already, only days after the triumphant return of Doctor Who to BBC screens (taking some 46% of the audience nationally). While I can undersand why any actor would wish to avoid the trap of being typecast, to take on this role and quit after one season seems to show a lack of commitment, especially when we're talking about a show which has only just been resurrected. Besides any actor in the UK should be fully aware of what this role entails - it's a British institution and he should know what he's getting into, so his reasoning seems flawed to me.

No-one expects him to do a run of Tom Baker proportions, but one season is rather weak - if he really felt this way surely we have to question why he took on the role? Its a shame because I thought he was rather good in the first episode; the new show seems to be pleasing old fans like me, new younger viewers and a lot of the critics (Americans mostly seem to be lost over the whole thing).

Still, the shock news of his sudden resignation did afford me the chance for some April Fool's leg-pulling as I tried to convince some of my colleagues that Eccleston's previous role as the second coming of Christ had gone to his head and that he quit because he believed this qualified him to be the new Pope. I also had another colleague half-believing that Stan Lee was willing to take over from the ailing Pontiff (well, he is always keen to recruit True Believers). Poisson d'Avril, as they say in France, although why the French would want to obtain a fish from a small, moody singer who whines about life when she's hardly lived any of it yet is beyond me.

And just to completely damn my immortal soul I then posed the question if the current Pope was known as John Paul would his successor be known as George Ringo? Well, they were Bigger Than Jesus allegedly... Yes, I know, I'm awful, but if you can't have a laugh in the face of events from time to time then the world would be much grimmer and without some leg-pulling people would be shorter.

6 Comments:

Anonymous Pete, Leeds said...

Completely agree, such a shame he's not doing a second series, he's "fantasic" as the Doctor. One more series wouldn't typecast him surely, I hope he reconsiders.

Maybe enough noise on the Internet might help influence him?

8:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dunno, I can't help but think that the idea to try and fit a full Dr Who adventure into 45 minutes is more harmful to the series than Ecclestone getting cold feet so early.

I mean, I want to know more about those tree people, and that 'human', and those Biker Oompa-Loompas they had working maintenance, but there wasn't time. The 45 minute story format works for other series, but when they introduce a significant character they take half of an episode to do it. Doctor who by it's very nature introduces several new significant characters every story.

Just felt I had to air that. Hope you don't mind.

2:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yes. The series was looking promising, too. I'm a fairly bad case of Dr.Who-nerdism (short of going to conventions), and expected to be underwhelmed with the new series but it wasn't bad..

I suppose taking on the role of Dr Who seems (to me!) like it ought to carry more commitment with it. And he's apparently taken it rather flippantly, though one can't be sure. I think a good number of people will be more than a little peeved.

12:18 PM  
Anonymous Alan said...

If anyone saw the Dr Who Mastermind edition it came as no surprise when Ecclestone announced he wouldn't do a second series. He squirmed his way through his little interview on there and used the word "if" about 25 times in two minutes. It wasn't a huge surprise anyway. He is a fine actor, but whenever I've seen him interviewed he has also struck me as being extraordinarily full of himself.

On the other hand, the BBC must take their share of the blame. In the US, when an actor is cast in a series he signs a contract committing usually to at least 3 series and often 5. Plainly the BBC failed to get Eccleston to sign such a contract. Hopefully not a mistake they will make again.

4:05 PM  
Blogger Lever said...

George Ringo LOL

*ahem*

I feel that Christopher Ecclestone's decision is a little "premature"... what if he never gets another decent acting job again? Won't he now be typecast as "the guy who could have been the best Dr Who but never gave it a chance?"

If he's looked a gift horse in the mouth, then that's his choice... if the laws of karma deal him a bum deal on his next assignment... oh well.

Otherwise, best of luck to him. It was good while it lasted :)

7:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe that the Beeb knew he was booked up for the next two years with film and plays when they took him on. Neither side was decieved about what was going on. He's helped generate a huge amount of interest, and it's clear that his Doctor and the great writing between them have kick-started a marvellous new series. Fair dos.

1:50 AM  

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