BBC celebrates ‘Doctor Who’ 50th anniversary with TV movie looking at the beginning

By Daniel S Levine,

The BBC is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the beloved Doctor Who series this year. As part of the celebration, BBC America is co-producing a TV movie that looks back at the very beginning of the series.

The film is titled An Adventure in Space and Time and Harry Potter actor David Bradley will play the first Doctor, actor William Hartnell. According to the BBC, other actors cast include Jessica Raine and Brian Cox, who will play BBC head of drama Sydney Newman, who was credited with the show’s creation. Raine will star as Verity Lambert. Sacha Dhawan will play one of the show’s first directors.

Regular Doctor Who writer Mark Gatiss is writing the script and will executive produce with Steven Moffat and Caroline Skinner.

“I first heard about this role from Mark while watching the Diamond Jubilee flotilla from the roof of the National Theatre,” Bradley, who appeared in a 2012 episode, told the BBC. “When he asked if I would 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.”

“What a cast! I'm utterly delighted that everyone's favorite Time Lord will be in such brilliant and stellar company,” Gatiss said in a statement, notes USA Today.

Doctor Who began in November 1963. Hartnell, who Bradley called “one of the finest character actors of our time,” played the role until 1966. He died in 1975.

Production on An Adventure in Space and Time starts next month.



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