has been talking to the media about his time on Doctor Who, explaining some of the circumstances of his departure.
The actor has told Radio Times
how difficult he found making the series, revealing that there was a breakdown of trust between the show's producers, including Russell T Davies
, and himself as early as the first period of filming.
My relationship with my three immediate superiors, the showrunner, the producer, and co-producer, broke down irreparably during the first block of filming and it never recovered. They lost trust in me and I lost faith trust and belief in them.
Eccleston left the series at the end of the first year, with his departure announced shortly after the first episode aired, but the circumstances of his departure have always been a subject of much speculation. Until now neither the actor or the production team have given their take on the issues involved.
Eccleston admitted some of the problems may have been caused by his taking on a role very different to any he hat attempted before.
Some of my anger about the situation came from my own insecurity. They employed somebody who was not a natural light comedian.
I think that if you're setting up a huge series like that the director has to be impeccable in setting the tone. Billie [Piper], who we know was and is brilliant, was very, very nervous and very, very inexperienced. So, you had that, and then you had me. Very, very experienced, possibly the most experienced on it, but out of my comfort zone.
When Eccleston left the series the BBC put out a statement saying the actor had left after fearing becoming typecast, a statement later retracted with an apology from the Corporation to the actor for not consulting him prior to issuing the statement.
Eccleston himself has never talked about his departure until now, saying he wanted to concentrate on the fact he had played the part rather than on his reasons for leaving.
When I left, I gave my word to [then-showrunner] Russell T Davies that I wouldn’t do anything to damage the show. But they did things to damage me. I didn’t criticise anybody. I didn't issue a statement.
He told the Guardian
last week that the BBC had tried to damage his career.
I gave them a hit show and I left with dignity and then they put me on a blacklist. I was carrying my own insecurities as it was something I had never done before and then I was abandoned, vilified in the tabloid press and blacklisted. I was told by my agent at the time: ‘The BBC regime is against you. You’re going to have to get out of the country and wait for regime change. So I went away to America and I kept on working because that’s what my parents instilled in me. My dad always said to me: ‘I don’t care what you do – sweeping the floor or whatever you’re doing – just do the best job you can.’ I know it’s cliched and northern and all that bollocks, but it applies
Eccleston said that his relationship with Russell T Davies, who he previously worked with on the 2003 series The Second Coming
, had been destroyed by the experiences on Doctor Who saying that he “never will have”
a working relationship with the screenwriter again.
Eccleston was speaking ahead of the release of his new series, the BBC One drama Come Home