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Last Updated: Monday, 22 March, 2004, 12:22 GMT
Doctor Who fans endorse Eccleston
Christopher Eccleston
Eccleston previously starred in The Others, Shallow Grave and Cracker
Hundreds of Doctor Who fans have given overwhelming support to Christopher Eccleston taking the lead role in the show's new series.

BBC News Online readers throughout the world endorsed the decision to cast the 40-year-old actor in the 2005 series.

"A fine choice demonstrating the desire to bring some of the 'edge' back to the Doctor Who genre," said Mark Lee from Muscat, Oman, in a typical comment.

Eccleston will be the ninth TV Time Lord to control the Tardis.

He starred in films The Others, 28 Days Later and Shallow Grave and TV series Our Friends in the North, Cracker, The Second Coming and The League of Gentleman.

Darkness

"Great choice. Outstanding actor, he was creepily great in 28 Days Later," said S Jackson from Liverpool.

"Chris is a very versatile and until now cruelly-underrated actor," added Edith Hall from Rotterdam. "Can't wait to see him confronting some Daleks."

"Christoper Eccleston will bring back the gritty, hard-edged darkness that it had with Tom Baker and Jon Pertwee," said John Smith from Manchester.

Fans did not limit their support to Eccleston's acting ability, however.

There would have been nothing worse than seeing a very well-known face taking on the role
Mark Jones, Chipping Campden

"He's the most interesting looking Doctor since Tom Baker," said Charles Gascoigne from Canberra, Australia.

"Weh-hey! A Doctor Who with sex appeal. I'll be watching!" added Sandi Chaitram from London.

Richard from Pavia, Italy, drew parallels with another long-running sci-fi series. "Doctor Who is not that dissimilar to Star Trek in that many aspects of it were laughable," he said.

"However, Eccleston is likely to do something interesting in the role, which will hopefully result in something similar to the injection of credibility that Patrick Stewart provided for the Next Generation."

Grit

While it was speculated that actors Bill Nighy, Richard E Grant and Anthony Head, and comics Eddie Izzard and Alan Davies might be offered the part, the casting of Eccleston caught many by surprise.

"Never heard of him - and that is exactly what was needed," said Mark Jones from Chipping Campden.

"The Doctor is a mysterious, alien character after all, and there would have been nothing worse than seeing a very well-known face taking on the role."

Christopher Eccleston
I've hated him in anything I've seen him in
Phil Picardi, Vladitru, Romania
"I have only seen Christopher Eccleston play gritty hard roles and am concerned that he won't have that underlying eccentricity that is much needed for the role," admitted Ben Ripleu from Melbourne, Australia. "However, just because I haven't seen him do anything like this before, doesn't mean that he can't."

While the majority of Doctor Who fans welcomed the news, not all were convinced.

"I can't believe this appalling decision. Christopher Eccleston has to be the worst actor of all time," said Dave Mahoney from Strood, Kent.

Phil Picardi from Vladitru, Romania, added: "I've hated him in anything I've seen him in. He smells of Generation X apathy. I can't think of anyone worse."

A less serious complaint came from John Kantor, from St Petersburg, Florida: "But how could they pass on Eddie Izzard? I was looking forward to the outfits!"

Steve Meirowsky, from San Dimas, California, concluded: "It doesn't really matter who they pick, it just matters how well the person makes us believe that he is Doctor Who. Time will tell!"


WATCH AND LISTEN
The BBC's Tim Muffett
"Eccleston was first choice for the part"



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