Christopher Eccleston Regenerates Into His 50th Year: Today In Science Fiction

By David Wharton | Published

EcclestonDoctor Who fans recently underwent one of that show’s most unique traditions: the regeneration of the Doctor and the introduction of a new actor into the role. We’ve still got some months before we’ll get to see what Peter Capaldi brings to the role as the Twelfth(ish) Doctor, but amidst all the 50th anniversary celebrations in recent months, there’s one segment of modern Who-dom that got short shrift: Christopher Eccleston fans. Granted, his refusal to participate was his own decision, but it did mean the very noticeable absence of the Ninth Doctor while Ten and Eleven were running amok with the so-called War Doctor. Hell, even the Eighth got his moment to shine courtesy of The Night of the Doctor, but all we got of Nine is stock footage and a brief cameo from his eyes and forehead during John Hurt’s regeneration.

So now, on the anniversary of his birth, GFR raises a glass to the guy who helped resurrect Who into the international pop culture phenomenon it’s become over the past few years, taking it from beloved nerd staple to a show your coworkers at the macaroni factory might have actually seen a few episodes of. Sure, the Ninth Doctor may not be our favorite, and he may not have enjoyed as long as run as the others (excepting poor old Fox casualty Eight), but he helped regenerate the series and he was, to borrow a catchphrase, fantastic. We’ll just all do our best to forget about that unfortunate G.I. Joe incident…

Today on Television

The Walking Dead (AMC, 9/8c) — “Inmates”
Last week AMC’s zombie drama kicked the Olympics coverage right in the toboggan, and it seems to just keep becoming more and more of a hit for the cable net, even if the ratings don’t always correlate to the quality of a given episode. Last week we caught up with Rick, Carl, and Michonne; this week Beth, Daryl, Maggie, Glen, Tyreese, and the others are on deck.

The group encounters obstacles in their quest for stability and safety.