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Feature: Doctor Who in the 21st Cebtury
Christopher Eccleston is
So we look forward to the new Doctor Who! Christopher Eccleston begins his tenure as the era-hopping Time Lord at the end of March. There is great excitement at the prospect of a new series after such a long break from the screen. Fans are delighted however that acclaimed TV scriptwriter Russell T Davies is on board as executive producer and handling the establishing scripts.
The new series isn’t just about revisiting old glories, Davies says. “This is a chance for a new start, a brand new start. It’s not a reboot of the old series, it’s the same old Doctor Who, with a Time Lord and a TARDIS travelling in Time and Space. What I want to bring to it is more what a modern, young audience want to watch, to feel what’s going on.”
The Doctor’s newest companion is a contemporary Earth girl called Rose Tyler, played by Billie Piper. As Davies explained to the press, the intention was to make the companion the audience’s focus at the beginning. “We tell the story through her emotions and feel what’s going on. Doctor Who is the story of a human and an alien; he is wise and wonderfully strange, she is ordinary and down-to-earth, and together they complete each other. She has things that he is lacking, he has things that she is lacking. They make the perfect team. There’s no point in them travelling with each other if they are not going to have fun. The absolute keynote of the series is fun.”
While Russell Davies’ background is in comic drama like Queer as Folk and the recent Mine All Mine, Eccleston’s background is almost exclusively serious – heavyweight productions like Our Friends in the North, plus a terrifying turn as a deranged soldier in 28 Days Later. Nevertheless, everyone working on the programme maintains that Eccleston shows a never-before-seen talent for being funny in Doctor Who. In fact, he specifically wanted the part to show that he didn’t just play serious roles.
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