doctor who time lord victorious

The 50th anniversary of Doctor Who was a blockbuster-sized event that featured two of the revived show’s most popular Doctors, played by David Tennant and Matt Smith, as well as a smattering of cameos and appearances by other beloved Doctors and longtime fan-favorites.

But there was one actor conspicuously missing from the celebration who had proven instrumental to the long-running sci-fi series’ success since it was revived in 2005: Christopher Eccleston. It’s no secret among Whovians that Eccleston didn’t part ways from Doctor Who with the best relationship with the franchise and the BBC — after his single season as the Ninth Doctor, preceding the now-iconic Tennant — Eccleston had turned down any offers to reprise the role, including what would have been a pivotal appearance in the 50th anniversary “Day of the Doctor” special, leading then-showrunner Steven Moffat to create John Hurt’s War Doctor. It’s bittersweet to think of what could have been: what if the Ninth, Tenth, and Eleventh Doctors had met? Well, we may never get it on the TV screen, but we may get it in audiobooks, comics, and games soon in the upcoming multi-platform Doctor Who adventure, “Time Lord Victorious.”

The BBC announced on Monday a massive crossover event that will feature the Eighth, Ninth, and Tenth Doctor, along with appearances from fan-favorite companion Rose Tyler (Billie Piper) and monsters like the Daleks and the Ood. The “epic” adventure will follow the three Doctors “across space and time as they defend their home planet from a terrible race.” But don’t get too excited about seeing these former Doctors on the small screen. This will be a multi-platform adventure told on every platform but TV — on “audio, novels, comics, vinyl, digital, immersive theatre, escape rooms and games,” according to the BBC.

But the tagline — “They’re fighting a whole new Time War” — is intriguing, as is the involvement of Eccleston’s Ninth Doctor. Eccleston exited the role after one season in 2005, bringing the show to the modern age. But Eccleston has been reluctant to return to the role, even for the dozens of popular audio dramas that Big Finish produces every year which feature the involvement of many former Doctor Who actors (all of the Classic Doctors, especially McGann, are a mainstay on the Big Finish dramas, and Tennant and Smith will occasionally turn up too). But perhaps Eccleston has softened toward his experience on Doctor Who, even opening up about the series and its impact in recent interviews. With the adventure referring to the biggest game-changing event of the franchise, the Time War, could “Time Lord Victorious” be another blockbuster-sized event that will make up for Eccleston’s absence in “The Day of the Doctor?” Will we finally get to hear Eccleston say his trademark “Fantastic!” again? That would be….brilliant.

The “Time Lord Victorious” will likely be a Tenth Doctor-centric adventure, as the title refers to the moment in “The Waters of Mars” when Tennant’s Doctor nearly goes mad with his god-like powers before he’s reminded of their cost. Perhaps the story will present an alternate version of these events, when the Tenth Doctor goes dark and takes over as the President of Gallifrey (as he can be seen, badly Photoshopped, in the Time Lord president’s robes on the poster for the adventure).

“Time Lord Victorious” will unfold over 12 weeks starting September 2020. It’s a joint venture between Penguin Random House; Doctor Who Magazine; Titan Comics; Escape Hunt; Big Finish Productions; Eaglemoss Hero Collector; Immersive Everywhere; Maze Theory; BBC Books; and BBC Audio.

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