An Adventure in Space and Time

Radio Times
Review by:
Patrick Mulkern

If you’ve ever wondered what makes Doctor Who so special in the hearts of its fans, then look no further than Mark Gatiss’s beautifully judged, poignant love letter to its past. A splendid modern cast (Brian Cox, Sacha Dhawan and Jessica Raine) pay homage to the three outsider/visionaries who, 50 years ago, shook up the fusty BBC and launched the Tardis on its maiden voyage – and not without a few hiccups!

The focus is how the magic of the time-travelling Doctor soon worked a spell on the show’s reluctant star, William Hartnell – a career-topping role for David Bradley. So much more than a startling lookalike, he brings immense pathos to the grouchy man who thwarted Daleks on screen, would gamely play “the Doctor” in a park with passing children, but was ultimately forced by failing health to give up the role he so adored.

For many, I promise you, An Adventure will be the anniversary special.

About this programme

Drama written by Mark Gatiss telling the story of how Doctor Who was first brought to the screen in November 1963. The BBC's Head of Drama Sydney Newman puts young producer Verity Lambert in charge of developing his idea for a children's sci-fi series, and character actor William Hartnell is persuaded to take on the lead role of a mysterious time-traveller known only as `the Doctor'. Starring David Bradley, Brian Cox and Jessica Raine.

Cast and crew


William Hartnell
David Bradley
Verity Lambert
Jessica Raine
Sydney Newman
Brian Cox
Waris Hussein
Sacha Dhawan
Heather Hartnell
Lesley Manville
William Russell
Jamie Glover
Jacqueline Hill
Jemma Powell
Carole Ann Ford
Claudia Grant
Mervyn Pinfield
Jeff Rawle
Rex Tucker
Andrew Woodall
Douglas Camfield
Sam Hoare
Judith Carney
Cara Jenkins
Charlie Kemp
Roger May
Richard Martin
Ian Hallard
Delia Derbyshire
Sarah Winter
Peter Brachacki
David Annen
Donald Baverstock
Mark Eden
Ross Gurney-Randall
Reece Pockney


Terry McDonough
Executive Producer
Mark Gatiss
Executive Producer
Steven Moffat
Executive Producer
Caroline Skinner
Matt Strevens
Mark Gatiss