Christopher Eccleston on Why He Left Doctor Who—and Didn't Come Back for the 50th Anniversary
Christopher Eccleston says he 'became the invisible man' after 'politics' pushed him out of Doctor Who
According to The Independent, Eccleston alleged that his exit from Doctor Who followed a complete breakdown in his working relationship with “three individuals and the way they were running the show”—presumably showrunner Russell T. Davies, and executive producers Julie Gardner and Phil Collinson:
I left only because of those three individuals and the way they were running the show. I loved playing the character. I felt I was going to play the Doctor my way and I wasn’t going to get involved with those politics and that wasn’t workable, so off I went. I became the invisible man.
Eccleston said he was asked to come back for “The Day of the Doctor”, a special episode marking the show’s 50th anniversary in which Matt Smith, David Tennant and John Hurt all appeared, but that he decided not to do so after reading the script.
“When read it, I felt that it was basically myself, Matt and Dave riffing off the fact that we used to be the Doctors,” he said.
“I personally didn’t feel like the narrative was strong enough, particularly for the ninth doctor because I’d taken quite a lot of abuse in my own country when I left.
“As the show was being celebrated I was being abused in the press and that was hard to take and very confusing.
“So I looked at it and I thought is this really the way I want to come back and I decided it wasn’t. There were other factors, political factors.”