How’s this for a blast from the past? The BBC have released a new picture of David Bradley in costume as the first Doctor in Mark Gatiss’ Doctor Who drama, An Adventure in Space and Time.
The BBC2 drama, due to air later this year, will be a one-off 90 minute look at the genesis of the show – which first aired on 23 November 1963 – in order to celebrate its 50th anniversary. Mark Gatiss, writer and executive producer, said of Bradley:
“David Bradley brings every ounce of his talent, humour and presence to the role of William Hartnell. It’s a wonderfully touching and subtle performance and I’m immensely proud of both him and the film.”
While this is the first picture of David Bradley (Argus Filch in the Harry Potter films) in Hartnell’s iconic costume, this isn’t the first in-character picture that has surfaced from the show. Earlier this year, Radio Times published an image from the set (below), which showed Bradley, as Hartnell, sitting on a bench with Lesley Manville as Hartnell’s devoted wife, Heather. In it he’s seen to be reading an early copy of Radio Times, which once described Doctor Who as “An adventure in space and time” – inspiring the show’s title.
Alongside Bradley, the BBC’s Head of Drama, Sydney Newman, credited with the creation of the show, will be portrayed by Brian Cox (The Bourne Supremacy, The Bourne Identity) and the producer, Verity Lambert, by Call The Midwife star Jessica Raine. The director of the first ever episode, ‘An Unearthly Child’, Waris Hussein, will be played by Sacha Dhawan (History Boys, Last Tango In Halifax).
William Hartnell was initially reluctant to take on the role of the mysterious time traveller, but soon fell in love with the character and was sad to leave in 1966. He died in 1975. Bradley told Radio Times earlier this year that when Gatiss offered him the part, “I almost bit his hand off.”