With 3D and cinema screening, the 50th anniversary episode of Doctor Who will be looking to the future. However, An Adventure in Space in Time, which will also be celebrating the show's half-century, will dramatise its beginnings at the BBC.
Written by Sherlock and Doctor Who writer Mark Gatiss, An Adventure in Space and Time stars David Bradley as original Who actor William Hartnell and Jessica Raine as the show's producer Verity Lambert. Steven Moffat, executive writer and producer behind Doctor Who, is also producing the one-off drama.
Gatiss, who is a life-long Doctor Who fan, said that he had wanted to tell the story behind the makings of Doctor Who and the people involved for years. An Adventure in Space and Time is his "love letter to Doctor Who", he says, and he hopes that the fans, as well as Who rookies, will enjoy "the struggle of talented people (almost) accidentally creating a legend".
Bradley, who is best known for his portrayal of caretaker Argus Filch in the Harry Potter film franchise, said that he "really admires" current Doctor Matt Smith as well as Hartnell. Bradley says playing the actor who first created the Doctor was "an experience [he] will always remember".
Raine said that she recognised some of her own determination in the character of Verity Lambert, who was a formidable woman determined to forge a career in television. "I guess I didn’t quite realise how determined I was to act, I really did plug away for it for a while," Raine said, "so I suppose I am similar in a way."
Brian Cox,who plays former BBC head of drama Sydney Newman, remembers meeting Newman when he first worked at there in 1965. "Sydney brought a breath of fresh air to the stuffy BBC," Cox explains. "He had a very different approach."
Cox adds that despite Newman's criticism of Lambert's overspending and his dislike of the pilot of Doctor Who, he gave the drama another chance: "I think he was very revolutionary, I think he really did create a standard."
An Adventure in Space and Time will air in November.
Only here for Brian Cox, tbh. Will you watch, ONTD?