The Lancashire native portrayed the ninth incarnation of The Doctor when the sci-fi series was revived in 2005, but departed after only one series. He was succeeded by David Tennant.
During an interview on Graham Norton's BBC Radio 2 show, Eccleston expressed pride over portraying the Time Lord and admiration for Doctor Who's former executive producer Russell T. Davies.
"I heard Russell was going to do Doctor Who and I thought, 'That's quite strange'," the actor admitted. "When I heard he was writing it, I emailed him and said I'd like to play the part. I went after the part."
Eccleston added: "I'd done a lot of television for adults. I actually think the most intelligent and the most difficult audience are children. They will be not patronised... I wanted to front a big series like [Doctor Who], which I felt was going to be intelligent."
The star went on to profess that he was drawn to the role of the time-travelling alien because of the character's belief in not judging others.
"The thing about The Doctor is, he's very inclusive. He doesn't see the alien in aliens and I loved that about him," he added. "Also the fact that he's never at home. He's a Time Lord and he's always, always falling though the universe. When I thought about that, I thought I could play that."
After insisting that his only intention was to do one series to "make that show a success", Eccleston balked at Norton's question as to whether he'd reprise the role of the Ninth Doctor for Doctor Who's 50th anniversary in 2013.
"No, I never bathe in the same river twice," Eccleston said.