Doctor Who: cast announced for Mark Gatiss docudrama

News Louisa Mellor 30 Jan 2013 - 07:35

David Bradley, Brian Cox, Jessica Raine, and Sacha Dhawan are all to appear in Doctor Who docudrama An Adventure in Space and Time...

In one of those 'of course!' casting decisions, it's been announced that David Bradley (below), best known in geek circles as Game of Thrones' Walder Frey, Harry Potter's Argus Filch, and Dinosaurs on a Spaceship's ruthess trader Solomon, is to play William Hartnell in forthcoming Who docudrama, An Adventure In Time and Space

Written by Who's own Mark Gatiss, the ninety-minute fiftieth anniversary special drama will cover the period leading up to the BBC broadcast of Doctor Who's first episode, An Unearthly Child, on the 23rd of November 1963. When the news arrived it was in development, we took a nostalgic wander back through the events leading up to Doctor Who's genesis, here.

Bradley told the BBC, "I'm absolutely thrilled. I first heard about this role from Mark [Gatiss] while watching the Diamond Jubilee flotilla from the roof of the National Theatre. When he asked if I would interested, I almost bit his hand off!" continuing, "Mark has written such a wonderful script not only about the birth of a cultural phenomenon, but a moment in television's history. William Hartnell was one of the finest character actors of our time and as a fan I want to make sure that I do him justice. I'm so looking forward to getting started."

Also confirmed as appearing in the period drama is veteran actor Brian Cox as Sidney Newman:

In the role of producer Verity Lambert will be Call The Midwife's Jessica Raine: 

Playing An Unearthly Child director Waris Hussein, will be Sacha Dhawan: 

An Adventure in Space and Time is due to begin filming in early February.


Follow our Twitter feed for faster news and bad jokes right here. And be our Facebook chum here.

Disqus - noscript

Bradley! Genius.
If they can cast Carl Ann Ford that well then this show is made!

Can they also persuade him to appear at Doctor #1 in a full 11 character storyline too? :)

it is very obvious when you see it.

I wonder if Gatiss has always had him in mind?

That was my thought. Now that they've found someone who could probably pull it off convincingly it would be daft to pass up the opportunity to see him take part in a multi-doctor story.

Yeh a recasting worked great for 5 doctors ! If only they can convince Sean Pertwee to be 3rd Doctor!

Brian cox is rocking the Roger Delgado look there

And David Troughton for the Second!

I really hope Sydney Newman gives Hartnell adamantium claws. Verity Lambert calls it Adam Adamantium Lives.

This is a ridiculous idea, in my opinion!! For what it's worth, I thought casting Richard Hurndall as Hartnell in the 5 Doctors was also ridiculous - he looked and acted nothing like Hartnell! Maybe it would work for the people that have never actually seen a William Hartnell story, but for those of us that recastings please!

This is a brilliant casting decision for Hartnell's part! The rest of the choices look great too. I'm now a little less anxious about them filling the roles of Carole Ann Ford, William Russell, and Jaqueline Hill. I can't wait to see how this turns out!!

I don't think it worked for the 5 Doctors....unless someone had never seen a Hartnell episode. The only part that worked was the wig. There was no resemblance there at all. I did like The 5 Doctors, but Richard Hurndall didn't really do it for me. I think a recasting of any Doctors would be a complete disaster of EPIC proportions. Especially these days when all the DVD's are available for people to see. Back in 1983, you couldn't get copies of older stories, so it was easier to be fooled...if you catch my meaning.

I dunno. These days people are more savvy with these things.

replacing a Doctor whose original actor is still alive is different to finding someone who will step in to recreate a role by someone who is now deceased. It's not like most of the nuWho audience would have the patience to sit through the older shows anyway, most likely all they know about the first couple of Doctors is a few images and some clips, which gives a guest actor room to interpret the original.

That's totally disrespectful to fans of the original show! Insulting even. How do you recast Troughton and Pertwee?! No serious fan of the original show would go for that. Gimme a break! That would be so laughably bad it wouldn't even be worth, why do it at all? A recasting will never happen, people, so let's just move on. Moffat would never allow that.....All we need are Dr's 8,9,10 and 11. They all still look like they did when they appeared on Who. That would work for me.

Not the best comparison. Richard Hurndall played the Doctor, David Bradley will be William Hartnell, who for small parts of the docudrama will also be in character as the Doctor.

I'm pretty certain William Hartnell and the Doctor were quite different people.

The docudrama is not connected to the TV series in terms of budget. And by all accounts they're planning to blow a season's worth of budget on the anniversary episode (especially if it does feature all 11 Doctors). Rather one fantastic episode than 10 episodes of regular episodes. Quality over quantity, every time.

LEE...I was responding to people's ideas about recasting older doctors to appear in the 50 anniversary. If you'd bothered to take the time to read through this and see who I was responding to, you'd have known that. I'm well aware of what a "docudrama" is and what it entails for David Bradley.I'm also well aware of who William Hartnell and Richard Hurndall were..... And, as for your condescension...I think you know what you can do with that....God, you're an idiot!......Really... what is the point of you replying to something if you're not going to take the time to read? Wow, LEE, no offence, but you just brought this discussion to a whole new level of stupid! Please read next time before you assume that I'm an idiot!! Cheers!
I'm actually very happy about David Bradley being cast in this part. That's fantastic news!!

I'm hoping they'll reveal who'll be playing Carole Ann Ford, William Russell and Jacqueline Hill tomorrow

I would imagine most of nuWho has been disrepectful to fans of the original show to some degree.

I'm not saying that it should be a regular thing but certainly for special episodes I would be all for it. I want to see new stories with older versions of the Doctor and realistically that isn't going to happen with a lot of the original actors. Thankfully, it's a TV show so they can just recast the role. I don't think it takes anything away from the original actors, but may even breathe new life into them, so to speak.

Interesting theory. I don't think the new show has been disrespectful to the fans at all. For the most part, it's been very respectful.

How about newcomer Carly Bawden (whom I saw as Eliza in My Fair Lady last weekend) as Carole Ann Ford? She has not yet made the leap from theatre to TV & film, and I think playing the actress who helped launch the longest running sci-fi show in the history of television would certainly be a good place to start that phase of her career. As for William Russell, I would cast the actor Mark Dexter (who appeared in the first/last story featuring Melody Pond/River Song as a character called 'the dad') in that role.

Since the relaunch they've taken great liberties with some of the canon and characters as well making the Doctor more of a romantic hero (although I guess you could say he's just more well-rounded).

The show these days bears little resemblance to classic Who apart from a few iconic props and set pieces (regeneration, seeing the tardis for the first time). The stories themselves have tended to become more mythological rather than metaphorical too.

There's always been the odd nod to the past just to show that it's supposed to be a continuation but on the large it doesn't really care how precious fans feel about it, if they want to do a story that ignores or rewrites something previously established, they'll do it.

For starters, I love the new series, and it bears more than a little resemblance to the classic series, my friend.....and with the exception of the Doctor's age (which has now been fixed by Moffat) and a few little Russellism's, most of the canon has been pretty accurate. Obviously, there have been some big changes and, for the most part, I like them. TV is different now, so of course the series is going to be different. I enjoy the new series and find that it has been very RESPECTFUL of its heritage. I've been a Who fan for over 30 years, Omniaural, so I don't actually need an information session....thanks anyway.

Writing as someone who remembers watching the very first episode of Dr. Who with my youngest son then aged 7, and as someone who at that time lived in Mayfield in Sussex where William Hartnell also lived, and with whom I occasionally chatted in the village pub, I would LOVE to see David Bradley playing William Hartnell playing the 1st Doctor in a whole season or two of the regular series. The opportunity for some good science-fiction themes based on a recycling of time, but with the opportunity of making different decisions because he has "been there before", and of developing the factors involved in Time Lord regeneration so that the Doctor can "rewind" his Time Lord DNA back to the earlier model (thereby saving himself from ending his regenerations, which are supposed to be limited to 12) are surely not to be missed? I suppose I must "dream-on!"

I really had the hots for her in 1963. She also appeared in the cinema version of "Day of the Triffids".

New suggestion for the actress who will end up playing Carole Ann Ford - Daisy Keeping: like Carly Bawden, she has physical similarities and possesses some of the mannerisms of the young woman who played The Doctor's granddaughter. I wish they'd let us know who they've cast in this role, along with William Russell and the late Jacqueline Hill, by tomorrow. We've been kept waiting long enough, I reckon...

No problem. Just explaining my view of the show. It's always good to hear what other people think, though even if I don't always agree!

I wish they'd make an announcement on the casting for the roles Carole Ann Ford, William Russell and Jacqueline Hill sometime in the next 24 hours...they said the cast readthrough took place last week, so it seems logical to assume that they have found three actors to play these parts: how come they won't reveal thse cast members?

Did you get out of bed the wrong side that day.

No offense or condescension meant. My comment regarding the portrayal of Bill vs 1st Doctor was genuine. I missed the top post specifically about recasting for a multi doctor story, which was an innocent mistake on a long thread. People scan comment threads, posts or conversations are sometimes missed. I would have taken no offense from a correction, but I do from your rage nerd response.

"No offence, but you just brought this discussion to a whole new level of stupid!"

You clearly intended offense with that statement. It's an insult and addressed to me by name and is unnecessarily rude. I hadn't made any assumptions about any individual commenting here, but I am now offended by you and your reply. I hope you will take a moment to apologise.

What you said to me was, "I'm pretty certain William Hartnell and the Doctor were quite different people."
That wasn't intended to be condescending? You think that I'm not aware that they're different people?
Perhaps you didn't intend it to sound that way, but that sounds pretty condescending to me.

It wasn't. People often assume an actor must be much like the part they play, and can be surprised when they have completely different mannerisms and accent. Some even adopt a public character different to their own for interviews etc. Even physically, Bill was of course in makeup and wig when in character, which some people today won't realise.

You said "Richard Hurndall as Hartnell", that's what my reply was in reference to.

As I said, this is a misunderstanding and I am offended that you have flown off into such a rage over it. I am offended, whether you start your sentence with "no offence" or not.

I've just seen your recent comment history and most of it seems to be you calling calling people "moron", "idiot" and "douche" in rotation! I'm sure that was someone that also provoked you, but really.. calm down. Ignore the trolls, and stop assuming every comment contains an insult if you look for it.

If you accept that this was a misunderstanding and that you reply was inappropriate, I'm happy to draw a line under this.

Get over it, this was weeks ago. Thanks.

I will say that I like your profile pic....I love Mr. Men....seriously...Mr. Lazy was my very first book.

Well, you have good taste in books. There are those who love classic Who and think the new stuff is a travesti. Two minutes watching the new Mr Men Show (Cartoon Network) would show them how fortunate they have been.

I had hoped for an apology, or at least for you to withdraw the offensive comments. Instead I have "get over it", which is possibly better than a "whatever".

If my comment had caused you offense, I apologise. It was not intended as such, but misunderstandings can easily happen.

See, that wasn't difficult. Don't you think this site would be a nicer place if we had a little more of that?

How regeneration came to be:

"Doctor! You're dying! You'll lose your life!"
"I'll find another."

Sponsored Links