The following was recently posted on the newsgroup rec.arts.drwho.moderated and appears here by kind permission of the author, Scott Wortley.
I’ve been bemused by the adverse over-reaction, and now angered at the vitriol directed at a man that has helped bring back the series. I am disappointed that he’s going, because I thoroughly enjoyed that first performance and given the quality of his acting in previous roles (the range from Jude to the League of Gentlement cameo and his wonderful performance in The Second Coming) had high expectations for the future. But disappointment should not mean that he should be castigated.
People need to get this in perspective. It’s not a war. Nobody’s died. An actor has completed his contract, and decided to move on to other work.
My near neighbours with young children who wanted to see what Doctor Who was about last week have not decided to stop watching because Eccleston’s leaving. The kids, the principal target audience as far as I remember, don’t care. They enjoyed the story last week, and want to watch the next adventure.
My wife – a non-fan who loved the episode last week – did not demand I burn our DVDs of The Second Coming and series 3 of The League of Gentlemen. She did not indicate that we should boycott the work of one of our finest actors because he’s leaving a programme that she thought he was entertaining in. However, as a personal protest following the birth of our second child on Tuesday of this week we have decided not to call her Christopher ;-) I’m sure that she will be very grateful for that in later life.
This doesn’t seem to accord with many of the other posts on the group but the reality is that Eccleston did not need Doctor Who for his career. We fans should realise that perhaps – for the new series – Who needed an actor of Eccleston’s calibre to get things up and running. The departure is an opportunity for RTD and the rest to show that the new series is not dependent on the one actor. And the ratinngs were fantastic. he audience appreciation level was staggeringly high. There is going to be a Christmas special. There is going to be a second series. RTD is still principal script writer. He is still executive producer. And the BBC is heavily committed to the series.
On the whole things look a hell of a lot better than they did this time two years ago.