David Bradley to Play First Doctor in Mark Gatiss’ Early Days of ‘Doctor Who’ Docudrama

- 01-30-13TV Posted by Sarah Moran

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Of all the rumors surrounding Doctor Who‘s 50th anniversary the most prevalent is a possible reunion of all past Doctors, but at this point, it’s a pipe dream. (Unless you pick up Big Finish’s celebratory audio drama reuniting Doctors 4-8 with digital wizardry cameos from 1, 2, & 3.) But one Doctor will for sure be back on TV in time for the 50th, the First Doctor, William Hartnell as portrayed by David Bradley in the docudrama, An Adventure in Time and Space. Exploring the turbulent beginnings of the long running sci-fi program, the drama is written by frequent Steven Moffat collaborator, Mark Gatiss, with Moffat and Caro Skinner exec producing.

The casting announcement was made along with the announcement BBC America will also be airing the docudrama when it premieres. Not unlike how Doctor Who airs on the same day, both sides of the pond. Filming for An Adventure in Time and Space begins next month. Joining Bradley are Jessica Raine as producer Verity Lambert and Brian Cox  as Sydney Newman, BBC’s then-Head of Drama. Another case of Doctor Who looking within for casting as Bradley already appeared in the Series 7 Part 1 episode, “Dinosaurs on a Spaceship,” and Raine is set to appear in the premiere of Series 7 Part 2. Playing Waris Hussein, the director of Who‘s first episode, “An Unearthly Child,” will be Sacha Dhawan.

I was always curious who’d they find to bring Hartnell back to life, and Argus Filch would not have been my first choice. Now looking at them side by side, and damn, what a likeness. Plus, when I really think about it, he has the perfect demeanor to play the crotchety yet kind Hartnell. Bradley has said he’s “absolutely thrilled” to play a part in the anniversary, adding,

I first heard about this role from Mark [Gatiss] 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. 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.

With the official anniversary date being November 23rd, expect An Adventure in Time and Space to premiere near then, on both BBC and BBC America. Whovians, what do you think of the casting?

Source: BBC America

Category: TV

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