Big Finish has announced that character actor Stephen Noonan will be taking over the legendary role of the First Doctor in two new audio adventures.

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The character was originally played by William Hartnell at the launch of Doctor Who in 1963, with other actors playing him over the decades that followed.

Most recently, David Bradley had a successful stint in the role, kicking off with season 10's The Doctor Falls and Twice Upon a Time and continuing through several full cast audio adventures as well as immersive live experience Time Fracture.

However, he passes the baton to Noonan, a former member of the Royal Shakespeare Company, for the studio's next two First Doctor stories, which are titled The Outlaws and The Miniaturist.

Director Nicholas Briggs said: “This is the beginning of a new era for the First Doctor with Big Finish. Stephen’s performance is, in my view, breath-taking and beautiful, authentic yet somehow brand-new, delivering deliciously Hartnell-esque belligerence, humour and charm in this box set, and offering up all sorts of exciting prospects for future adventures."

"It’s not simply an impersonation, it’s a full and rounded, detailed performance that I can’t wait for listeners to be thrilled by. Stephen Noonan has done some staggeringly detailed work to recapture the authenticity and spirit of the original Doctor, William Hartnell, whose success in the role is one of the main reasons the show is still with us today.”

The Outlaws will be released in April 2022 and is available to pre-order now from Big Finish.

Stephen Noonan added: “When Nicholas Briggs emailed to calmly offer me the role after I had auditioned, my initial reaction was one of extreme trepidation, considering it to be something of a sacred undertaking.

“I’m excited and daunted in equal measure to be following in the footsteps of William Hartnell. I hope we’ve done the great man justice and that you enjoy the new adventures to come.”

Doctor Who is available to stream on BBC iPlayer. Check out more of our Sci-Fi coverage or visit our TV Guide to see what's on tonight.

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