Doctor Who 50th Anniversary: David Bradley Is First Doctor

The BBC has announced an impressive cast for An Adventure In Space And Time, the BBC docudrama about the creation of Doctor Who back in the early 60s, which will form part of Doctor Who’s 50th Anniversary celebrations.

Harry Potter’s David Bradley (Argus Filch) will portray William Hartnell, the first Doctor. Bradley appeared in Doctor Who last year as Solomon in “Dinosaurs On A Spaceship” (and what a great performance that was). Intriguingly, he will be playing the role aged 70, whereas William Hartnell was a mere 55 when he first played the Doctor.

Former Hannibal Lecter Brian Cox will play the BBC’s Head of Drama Sydney Newman, who is credited with the creation of the show, while Doctor Who’s first producer, Verity Lambert, will be played by Call The Midwife’s Jessica Raine. Waris Hussein, the director of Doctor Who’s first ever episode “An Unearthly Child”, will be played by Sacha Dhawan (History Boys, Last Tango In Halifax).

An Adventure in Space And Time has been written by Mark Gatiss (Sherlock, Doctor Who), while the director is Terry McDonough (Breaking Bad, The Street). It will air in  November to coincide with Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary.

“I’m absolutely thrilled,” says Bradley. “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 be interested, I almost bit his hand off! 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.”

Gatiss added, “What a cast! I’m utterly delighted that everyone’s favourite Time Lord will be in such brilliant and stellar company. We have a terrific team who can’t wait to tell the fascinating and surprising story of how the Doctor began his journey through Space and Time.”

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