Personally, I think Eccleston was the perfect actor to take the role for when he did. He was an edgier, serious Doctor that held just enough playfulness to keep from being a downer. Deep down, though, you could tell he was a tortured soul that had seen a lot. Just how much would sadly not be answered until after his departure.
Also, being someone with an accent that is generally perceived as “intellectually inferior”, I can earnestly sympahise with his opinions on accent and intellect. Most folks forget that many of the men responsible for the Apollo missions spoke with a drawl and a twang.
Asked about his controversial departure from the programme, he told Radio Times: ‘I wanted to move him away from RP [received pronunciation] for the first time because we shouldn’t make a correlation between intellect and accent, although that still needs addressing.