Christopher Eccleston is returning to 'Doctor Who' after 15 years.

Christopher Eccleston

Christopher Eccleston

The 56-year-old actor will reprise his role as the Ninth Doctor in 'Doctor Who: The Ninth Doctor Adventures', a 12-part audio adventure series which will be released across four box sets.

The first volume of the new series, from Big Finish Productions and BBC Studios, will be released in May 2021.

Christopher - who played the Doctor for one season in 2005 - said: "After 15 years it will be exciting to revisit the Ninth Doctor's world, bringing back to life a character I love playing."

Big Finish's Chairman, Jason Haigh-Ellery, revealed he first approached Christopher about the project at a fan convention in February.

He explained: "Christopher said he was enjoying meeting the fans and was pleased that his Doctor was remembered so fondly.

"I am so pleased that Christopher has decided to return to the role with us - and I'm excited to welcome him to the Big Finish family as we discover the new adventures of the Ninth Doctor."

Christopher turned down an offer to reprise the role for the show's 50th anniversary special in 2013, and previously opened up about on-set tensions with showrunner Russell T Davies and others, during his time as the Doctor.

He has said: "My relationship with my three immediate superiors - the showrunner, the producer and co-producer - broke down irreparably during the first block of filming and it never recovered.

"They lost trust in me, and I lost faith and trust and belief in them.

"Some of my anger about the situation came from my own insecurity. They employed somebody [as the Doctor] who was not a natural light comedian.

"Billie [Piper], who we know was and is brilliant, was very, very nervous and very, very inexperienced. So, you had that, and then you had me. Very, very experienced, possibly the most experienced on it, but out of my comfort zone."