‘Doctor Who’: Moffat’s Eccleston scenes in ‘The Day of the Doctor’ script

By @chelean on
Doctor Who, Steven Moffat, Matt Smith
Steven Moffat (L) head writer and executive producer and actor Matt Smith who portrays 'The Doctor' take part in a panel discussion about their BBC America series 'Doctor Who' during the 2011 Summer Television Critics Association Cable Press Tour in Beverly Hills, California July 28, 2011. Reuters/Fred Prouser

“Doctor Who” former showrunner Steven Moffat has revealed what the script of the 50th-anniversary special, “The Day of the Doctor,” would have looked if Christopher Eccleston agreed to come back. The script originally called for the Ninth Doctor to reunite with the Tenth and Eleventh Doctors, but Eccleston turned it down.

Eccleston recently revealed that his relationship with his top three bosses in the show “broke down irreparably,” which was why he left it after only one season. When the 50th anniversary of the long-running UK sci-fi TV show was being planned in 2013, Moffat, who was the showrunner following Russell T Davies’ exit, penned a script with Eccleston in mind. But as Whovians are aware, the 54-year-old “The A Word” actor refused to return to the show.

As it happened, a new character, the War Doctor (played by John Hurt), was written into the role instead. The retcon character, an incarnation of the Doctor between Eighth and Ninth, was well-accepted by fans. Still, the original plot with the Ninth Doctor would have been a delightful story.

Moffat has now revealed what the episode might have looked like if Eccleston agreed to return to the show. In the book “A Second Target for Tommy,” which is released by the friends of author Tommy Danvaband to help support him in his fight against cancer, Moffat included the draft script for Eccleston’s scene in Doctor Who’s 50th Anniversary Special.

“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,” he wrote. “The Moment is clearly no 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,” Moffat continued. “Hope you enjoy, but please do keep in mind this is the roughest of early drafts…”

The script (via Radio Times) appears like how it all went down in the finished episode, with the addition of Nine’s humour. The brooding War Doctor wasn’t the funny man or the charmer that Nine turned out to be, and this was evident in the draft.

One of the scenes in Moffat’s original script calls back on Nine’s first word to Rose (Billie Piper), which he commanded her to “Run!’ from the moving mannequins. It also includes Nine commenting on his new incarnation’s rather large ears.

THE NINTH DOCTOR: “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?”

RAGGEDY GIRL: “…you’ve got a funny face.”

THE NINTH Doctor: “You should see the other fellas.”

RAGGEDY GIRL: “I like it though.”

THE NINTH DOCTOR: “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 —”

“The Day of the Doctor” was unable to bring back Eccleston to reprise his role. Hurt, instead, was brought to play the War Doctor. The 50th anniversary special starred Matt Smith and Jenna Coleman as the Eleventh Doctor and his then-companion, Clara Oswald, respectively. David Tennant reprised his role as the Tenth Doctor, while Piper portrayed a sentient weapon called the Moment, which projected Rose Tyler’s image.

“A Second Target for Tommy” is on sale now. It includes more of the Ninth Doctor’s scenes in the early draft.