Forget the Genesis of the Daleks, this is the genesis of Doctor Who itself. As part of celebrations of the show’s 50th anniversary in 2013, Steven Moffat and Who writer Mark Gatiss are set to explore the origins of the series in a 90-minute drama for BBC2 about the key players who brought Doctor Who to TV in 1963.
Gatiss will write the script dramatising the real-life characters who created Doctor Who, with current showrunner Moffat and executive producer Caroline Skinner overseeing the project under the working title An Adventure in Space and Time, the subtitle of the original series.
“This is the story of how an unlikely set of brilliant people created a true television original,” said Gatiss. “And how an actor – William Hartnell – stereotyped in hard-man roles became a hero to millions of children.
“I’ve wanted to tell this story for more years than I can remember! To make it happen for Doctor Who’s 50th birthday is quite simply a dream come true.”
“The story of Doctor Who is the story of television,” added Moffat, “so it’s fitting in the anniversary year that we make our most important journey back in time to see how the Tardis was launched.”
Casting details are yet to be released but it seems likely that those portrayed alongside First Doctor William Hartnell will include BBC producer Verity Lambert, who was instrumental in bringing Doctor Who to the small screen.
Fans might also hope for appearances by Ron Grainer, who composed the iconic theme tune, and Delia Derbyshire, who brought it to life at the BBC’s hallowed Radiophonic Workshop.
The project bears a superficial resemblance to The Road to Coronation Street, the BBC4 drama charting the creation of the ITV soap, which was aired in its 50th year.