In a different, more-perfect world, Doctor Who has another season featuring Christopher Eccleston as the 9th Doctor.

Christopher Eccleston starred as the Doctor in the first series of the Doctor Who reboot, and in a recent interview gave us some great ideas about what it would have looked like had he stayed on the show a little longer.

Eccleston told Melbourne, Australia’s Drive with Raf Epstein that his time as number nine was too short.

“It was kind of tragic for me, that I didn’t play him for longer. He’s a beautiful character and I have a great deal of professional pride and had I done a second season, there would have been a marked improvement in my performance.” By “him” and “he,” Eccleston is referring to his iconic, yet short-lived portrayal of the Doctor.

Among fans, the quiet, simmering tragedy of Nine often goes unappreciated alongside the long-reigning, loud and proud Tenth Doctor played by David Tennant. But Nine can be and should be — easily recognized and appreciated for the surprising humanity hiding underneath that frown and that oversized leather jacket.

While working on his only season of Doctor Who, Eccleston says he was still trying to figure out “light comedy.” Nine’s overall grumpiness was often tempered with good-natured, smile-inducing bits, and we think it would have been wonderful to see Eccleston build on the character’s enigmatic charm.

All four “modern” Doctors.
All four "modern" Doctors.

Still, playing the Doctor is a tough role according to Eccleston because “you’re doing the same thing in each episode. And you’ve got to suggest alien and you’ve got to suggest human under a very, very tight schedule.” Meaning, he gives full props to those who followed him: David Tennant, Matt Smith, and Peter Capaldi.

But what would it all mean had he really stayed, from a plot-perspective? Maybe a resurgence of the Bad Wolf time loop — so expertly spun into the first season — would be on the table. How about more Big Brother-esque fear, like in “The Long Game,” or Captain Jack Harkness flirting with an all-too-smug Doctor? We certainly would have gotten a better look into the Doctor’s deep guilt over the loss of his home planet, Gallifrey, and into his part in the Time Wars with the Daleks. No matter what, it would have been a fantastic journey to witness.

Photos via tumblr, BBC