BBC America announced on Jan. 29 that it will co-produce and premiere “An Adventure in Space and Time,” a TV docudrama, to observe the 50th anniversary of “Doctor Who.”
“An Adventure in Space and Time” will focus on the creation of British sci-fi TV show, which first aired Nov. 23, 1963. “An Adventure in Time and Space” will focus on that time period with its behind-the-scenes look at “Doctor Who” and the figures involved.
“An Adventure” is written by Mark Gatiss, who has worked with both “Doctor Who” and “Sherlock.” Gatiss also will serve as an executive producer with his colleagues Steven Moffat (“Doctor Who,” “Sherlock”) and Caroline Skinner (“Doctor Who,” “The Fades”).
The cast for “An Adventure” is as diverse as the casting choices for the Doctor’s various incarnations. David Bradley, the character actor best known as Filch from the “Harry Potter” franchise, has been cast as William Hartnell.
Hartnell played the first-ever Doctor, portraying the character from 1963-1966, and the actor remains an iconic figure for the series. (As a point of reference, Matt Smith plays the 11th and current incarnation of the Doctor.)
Brian Cox (“The Bourne Supremacy, Bourne Identity”) will portray BBC’s Head of Drama Sydney Newman, who is credited with the show’s creation. Jessica Raine (“Call the Midwife”) has been cast as producer Verity Lambert. Sacha Dhawan (“History Boys”) will play Waris Hussein, the director of the first show’s first episode, “An Unearthly Child.”
“What a cast! I’m utterly delighted that everyone’s favorite Time Lord will be in such brilliant and stellar company. We have a terrific team who can’t wait to tell the fascinating and surprising story of how the Doctor began his journey through Space and Time,” said Gatiss in a BBC America media statement.
Bradley also commented on the project in the prepared announcement:
“I’m absolutely thrilled. I first heard about this role from Mark while watching the Diamond Jubilee flotilla from the roof of the National Theatre. When he asked if I would be interested, I almost bit his hand off! Mark has written such a wonderful script not only about the birth of a cultural phenomenon, but a moment in television’s history.
Bradley added, “William Hartnell was one of the finest character actors of our time and as a fan I want to make sure that I do him justice. I’m so looking forward to getting started.”
“An Adventure” is being produced by Matt Strevens (“Misfits,” “Skins”) and directed by Terry McDonough (“Breaking Bad,” “The Street”).
The docudrama is slated as a 90-minute show and is a co-production between BBC Cymru Wales and BBC America. It will premiere later this year on BBC America.
“An Adventure in Space and Time” is one of a several programs that will celebrate 50 years of “Doctor Who” this year.
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