Doctor Who on-demand: Christopher Eccleston’s best episodes
Simon Kinnear | On 21, Nov 2013
Photo: BBC/Matt Burlem
Doctor Who begins a new chapter on Sunday 7th October, as Jodie Whittaker takes over the TARDIS. To celebrate, VODzilla.co counts down every Doctor to date, providing our expert tips on which stories to see – and where to watch them online.
Christopher Eccleston (2005)
The rumours reckoned Bill Nighy or (God forbid) Alan Davies. Instead, Russell T. Davies bagged one of the country’s leading actors to highlight that the return of Doctor Who, after a long hiatus, was thinking big. Eccleston delivered with a complex reboot of the character: an emotionally tough survivor of war, gradually thawed into life-affirming glory by Rose Tyler.
Ironically, only a single episode had aired before Eccleston’s departure was announced, adding a bittersweet quality to his sole season – but by then, it was mission accomplished.
Top three Christopher Eccleston episodes
21st century Who exterminated the ghosts of the past by making a single pepperpot into a credible, cunning agent of terror. Little-known fact: an 11th hour squabble over rights nearly prevented the Dalek’s return; the production team’s back-up plan (the Toclafane) eventually showed up in the Series 3 finale.
The Empty Child / The Doctor Dances (2005)
Old, meet new. Grisly gas mask transmogrifications sent a new generation of kids scurrying behind the sofa, but Stephen Moffat’s sitcom roots added fresh subtexts by wondering why the Doctor didn’t, y’know, like to dance… nudge nudge, wink wink.
Bad Wolf / The Parting Of The Ways (2005)
The first and still the best of Russell T. Davies’ season finales: an apparently slight satire of TV circa 2005 (Weakest Link, Big Brother) that escalates into an epic confrontation with the Daleks plucked straight out of the mind of everybody’s inner fanboy.
Where to watch on-demand:
Doctor Who Season 1 – Free
All 146 episodes of Doctor Who’s modern reboot are available on BBC iPlayer until 3rd December 2018.
Doctor Who Season 1 – Pay-per-view VOD
Doctor Who Season 1 – Subscription VOD