In 1994, producer Peter Wagg and high-up Beeb bloke Alan Yentob, in collaboration with casting agents John and Ros Hubbard, were considering potential candidates to play the Doctor in what would eventually become (but what was then very different from) the 1996 US/UK co-production. They had an absolutely massive list of potential candidates, which included pretty much every noted British actor (and some Americans) in a quite wide age range, and even included people like Adam Ant and Chris Evans. Given the scope of the list, therefore, not too much should be read into the presence of various people on it. Even so, discovering that Chris Barrie was on there caused me to smirk while reading the book Regeneration.
(incidentally, he wasn’t the only Dwarf-connected name considered – Robert Bathurst was also on that initial list, and Tony Slattery was one of a number of actors who had videotaped auditions)
Meanwhile, back in 2005-Who-land :
CAPTAIN JACK : Can we put the bomb in the escape pod?
COMPUTER : There is no escape pod on board.
CAPTAIN JACK : Alright, I’ll get in the escape pod!
KRYTEN : An adroit suggestion, sir, with just two minor drawbacks…
CAPTAIN JACK : Well, computer, it’s been great.
COMPUTER : Don’t go, Ace! I love you!
CAPTAIN JACK : Stiff upper modem, old girl…
Oh, and would it be churlish to point out that (back in ’94 again) on the list of names of actors whose “agents said that their clients would not be averse to a three- or five-year commitment” was one Eccleston, C?