Doctor Who Writer Shares Alternate 50th Anniversary Scene Featuring The Ninth Doctor


Christopher Eccleston has been opening up lately about the fierce feud between him and the producers that forced the actor to leave Doctor Who after only one year. In another universe, though, Eccleston’s relationship with the show wasn’t so fraught and he ended up returning for the 50th anniversary special, as was the original intention.

Though few fans would complain about how things played out – Eccleston turning down the chance to reprise his role gave us John Hurt’s awesome one-off War Doctor – it’s interesting to consider what might have been if the Ninth Doctor had made a comeback to save Gallifrey alongside David Tennant and Matt Smith.

And, for the first time, we can get a sense of what that comeback might have been like, as writer Steven Moffat has shared some snippets of his first draft of the script for “The Day of the Doctor,” featuring Eccleston’s Time Lord in place of Hurt’s. The former showrunner dug up the early scripts while in the process of adapting the special into a novel, and here’s his introduction to the excerpts:

“While novelising Day of the Doctor, I went back through all the many drafts of the script, and I found this version of the barn scene. The Moment is clearly not Rose Tyler in this draft, and the barn itself has a different, erm, origin. If barns can be said to have origins. But the other big difference is the one that people might get a kick out of. Hope you enjoy, but please do keep in mind this is the roughest of early drafts…”

Next, we’ve got a couple of exchanges, which show how Eccleston would have reacted to meeting the Moment, the sentient doomsday device that the Doctor was planning to use to destroy the Time Lords and the Daleks. It’s interesting to note that much of this dialogue was re-attributed to Hurt’s incarnation.


Don’t sit on that.


Why not?

He strides over to her, grabs her arm.


Because it’s not a chair, love – it’s the most dangerous weapon in the universe.


You sound clever


Not clever enough to figure out how this thing works, so could you give us some hush?

christopher eccleston doctor who

The last fragment is the most fascinating, however. It reveals that the Ninth Doctor is newly-born in this version of the episode, as he mentions that his face is still new on him. Fans might remember that an echo of this idea was featured in the finished piece, as Hurt’s Doctor was last seen beginning his regeneration into Eccleston.


Listen. A very bad thing is gonna happen here and I’m not sure how it’s gonna work. But I don’t think you want to be here when it does, okay?


…you’ve got a funny face.


You should see the other fellas.


I like it though.


Thanks, it’s new. Not sure about the ears yet, they just sort of kept going. Now, you need to get away from here. You need to pick a direction and just run –

If you want to read more of this early version of the script, you can find it in A Second Target For Tommy, an unofficial Doctor Who book that aims to raise money for writer Tommy Donbavand, who’s sadly been diagnosed with a lung tumour. Hurry, though, as there are only a handful of copies available.

Moffat’s novelization of “The Day of the Doctor,” meanwhile, arrives on shelves April 5th.

Source: Radio Times

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