Mark Gatiss confirms Doctor Who creation drama

News Louisa Mellor 9 Aug 2012 - 10:15

Sherlock and Who-writer Mark Gatiss has confirmed he’s writing a drama about the creation of Doctor Who…

It’s the news we thought we saw coming a few weeks ago: writer and actor Mark Gatiss (The League Of Gentlemen, Doctor Who, Sherlock, Being Human...) confirmed this morning that he is indeed writing a drama about the inception of Doctor Who.

On Twitter today, after yesterday's short tease promising "Very exciting announcement coming soon…" Gatiss typed the following message:"'One day, I shall come back'. Thrilled to announce I’m writing a long-cherished drama about the creation of Doctor Who!"

The 90-minute drama forms part of the BBC's 2013 Doctor Who 50th anniversary celebration, and will follow in the footsteps of the Beeb's previous 'making-of' period dramas including 2008's The Curse Of Steptoe, 2010's excellent The Road To Coronation Street, and 2011 Morecambe and Wise biopic, Eric And Ernie.

Provisionally titled An Adventure In Space And Time, Gatiss is writing the script, which will be overseen by Steven Moffat and Who producer Caroline Skinner. In addition to his writing credits and appearances on post-2005 Doctor Who, Gatiss has also worked on Big Finish audio stories and the P.R.O.B.E spin-off VHS series.

"This is the story of how an unlikely set of brilliant people created a true television original" Gatiss told the Radio Times, "And how an actor - William Hartnell - stereotyped in hard-man roles became a hero to millions of children. I've wanted to tell this story for more years than I can remember! To make it happen for Doctor Who's 50th birthday is quite simply a dream come true."

There's plenty of scope in the real-life run-up to Doctor Who's 1963 debut, including budgetary problems, the now-familiar controversy over the show's scare-factor, the ground-breaking work of producer Verity Lambert, and more. 

We'll bring you casting news on who'll be playing Hartnell, Nation et al as soon as we have it, though we may have sniffed out a clue as to one possible cast-member. In what could be an unrelated exchange (but we're very much hoping isn't), Mark Gatiss told Sherlock actress Louise Brealey yesterday to "Wait. Wait" when she asked Twitter to cast her in a marvellous TV part. Could Gatiss already have his Verity Lambert in mind? 

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