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An Adventure in Space and Time

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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.


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 & 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
Arthur Charlie Kemp
Len Roger May
Richard Martin Ian Hallard
Delia Derbyshire Sarah Winter
Peter Brachacki David Annen
Donald Baverstock Mark Eden
Reg Ross Gurney-Randall
Alan Reece Pockney
Director Terry McDonough
Executive Producer Mark Gatiss
Executive Producer Steven Moffat
Executive Producer Caroline Skinner
Producer Matt Strevens
Writer Mark Gatiss
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