Steven Moffat Reveals How Christopher Eccleston Could Have Been In ‘Doctor Who: The Day of The Doctor’

Christopher Eccleston was the first actor to play the Doctor on BBC’s modern “Doctor Who” series back in 2005. However, Eccleston appeared in only a single season and he has never returned to the franchise.

“Doctor Who” showrunner Steven Moffat has previously stated that he invited Eccleston to return for the 50th anniversary special, “The Day of The Doctor.” Although Eccleston declined the invitation, Moffat told Doctor Who Magazine (via Doctor Who TV) that Eccleston’s Ninth Doctor would have been the one who fought in the Time War in “The Day of The Doctor.” John Hurt’s War Doctor ended up filling that role opposite David Tennant and Matt Smith’s Tenth and Eleventh Doctors.
“I was pretty certain Chris wouldn’t do it, although he did agree to a couple of meetings,” explained Moffat. “So instead we had the challenge and excitement of introducing a BBC audience to a brand new Doctor.” 
Moffat also revealed that the Ninth Doctor would have been the one to have used the Moment to destroy the Time Lords and the Daleks even though Moffat worried that it didn’t ring true with the Ninth Doctor’s previous portrayal. “I was always nervous of that one, because it doesn’t fit with [2005’s debut episode] ‘Rose’ at all,” said Moffat. “[Eccleston] is a brand-new Doctor in ‘Rose,’ he’s absolutely, definitely new. It couldn’t have been [his Doctor] who pushed the button in the Time War, cos that’s a new man, very explicitly, in that episode. I also had trouble, I have to be honest, imagining it being Paul McGann’s Doctor.”
“So all of this led me to the idea that if you’re going to sell to the Not-We audience a Doctor who essentially they haven’t seen before, then you have a freer hand than saying it has to be one of the ones you’ve already had,” continued Moffat. “And it was predicated in getting an enormous star to be able to do it. We got John Hurt, so that was cool! Think of the fuss it’s created for us!”
“Doctor Who: The Day of The Doctor” is now out on DVD and Blu-ray.