Site Menu

November 4th, 2013 73 comments

We earn a commission for products purchased through some links in this article.

An Adventure In Space And Time Thurs 21st 9.00PM

An Adventure In Space And Time

Thursday 21st November 9.00PM BBC2

This special one-off drama travels back in time to 1963 to see how the beloved Doctor Who was first brought to the screen.

Actor William Hartnell felt trapped by a succession of hard-man roles. Wannabe producer Verity Lambert was frustrated by the TV industry’s glass ceiling. Both of them were to find unlikely hope and unexpected challenges in the form of a Saturday tea-time drama, time travel and monsters!

Allied with a team of brilliant people, they went on to create the longest-running science fiction series ever, now celebrating its 50th anniversary.

Written by Mark Gatiss

Executive produced by Mark Gatiss, Steven Moffat and Caroline Skinner

Directed by Terry McDonough

Starring David Bradley (William Hartnell); Jessica Raine (Verity Lambert); Sacha Dhawan (Waris Hussein); Lesley Manville (Heather Hartnell) and Brian Cox (Sydney Newman).

David Bradley plays William Hartnell

Acclaimed actor David Bradley talks here about taking on the portrayal of an actor he greatly admired and transforming himself into the Doctor.

A popular screen star, well regarded by his peers, William Hartnell was born in St Pancras, London in 1908. He appeared in numerous plays, films and TV shows, often playing the ‘tough guy’ role as typified by his character in the comedy ‘The Army Game’, which ran from 1957 to 1961, just prior to Doctor Who.

When he was first approached, Hartnell was widely reported to have been unconvinced by the role of Doctor.

“It has to be said”, explains David, “after some initial reluctance to do something for children’s TV, I think he was quickly convinced that it was the right thing for him to do. He felt quite insecure about it as it was new territory for him, but once he started he embraced the whole idea of the part.”

An Adventure In Space And Time tells the story behind the beginnings of Doctor Who and the team of personalities behind it. Known as a perfectionist, Hartnell was widely regarded as cantankerous by colleagues. But as David explains the script for ‘Space And Time’ reveals a full picture of Bill, including the good and the bad.









  • Scott’s TARDIS

    November 21st, 2013 - 10:27pm

    I thought this was EXTREMELY good. I genuinely felt upset near the end when they told William Hartnell that he had to go. 🙁

  • CrazyDoctorWhoGuy

    November 17th, 2013 - 8:56pm

    by the way in my opinion the science of doctor who is boring and not my style I dont really get it because it doesnt really even talk about the showits supposed to be saying the science about!!

  • CrazyDoctorWhoGuy

    November 9th, 2013 - 9:33pm

    If you miss it you can do bbc Iplayer cos its on bbc two

  • CrazyDoctorWhoGuy

    November 9th, 2013 - 9:32pm

    it goes on for 1 hour and 30 mins

  • Robert Taylo

    November 9th, 2013 - 9:30pm

    it goes on for 1 hour and 30 mins

  • Robert Taylor

    November 9th, 2013 - 9:29pm

    it goes on for 1 hour and 30 mins

  • RYCBAR123

    November 6th, 2013 - 9:11pm

    I love reading things like this because it proves that, no matter what age you are, from child to adult, everyone can love Doctor Who! Whovians are the best!

  • Scott’s TARDIS

    November 6th, 2013 - 8:54pm

    Get the BBC iPlayer app?

  • the 13th doctor

    November 6th, 2013 - 6:33pm

    Nice suggestion, thanks! 🙂

  • MasterKasterborous

    November 6th, 2013 - 5:14pm

    You can go to your nearest Library to watch it on iPlayer there. Though you cannot stream live TV at a library you can watch old programs.

  • the 13th doctor

    November 6th, 2013 - 4:37pm

    But thanks for trying to help 🙂

  • the 13th doctor

    November 6th, 2013 - 4:36pm

    Using my phone and it doesn’t posses the ability to use iplayer
    I don’t own a computer 🙁

  • Scott’s TARDIS

    November 6th, 2013 - 8:04am

    Buy if you’re online, just type it in on google?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

By clicking submit you agree to our terms and conditions (below), we reserve the right to edit or delete inappropriate messages.

Comment rules

The Doctor Who site welcomes constuctive comments related to the news article in question. Links posted in comments may not be displayed. We reserve the right to delete or edit any post entirely at our discretion. If you leave unacceptable comments your IP address will be banned and reported

Click here to read full comments terms and conditions