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January 30th, 2013 44 comments

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David Bradley to play William Hartnell

David Bradley to play William Hartnell in Celebration of Doctor Who

As part of the BBC’s blockbuster celebrations to mark the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who, David Bradley (Harry Potter) is set to play the first ever Doctor, the iconic William Hartnell in the BBC Two drama ‘An Adventure in Space and Time’.

‘An Adventure in Space and Time’ will tell the story of the genesis of Doctor Who – first aired on 23 November 1963 – and the many personalities involved. The BBC’s Head of Drama Sydney Newman, credited with the creation of the show, will be portrayed by Brian Cox (The Bourne Supremacy, The Bourne Identity) and the producer, Verity Lambert, by ‘Call the Midwife’ star Jessica Raine. The director of the first ever episode, ‘An Unearthly Child’, Waris Hussein, will be played by Sacha Dhawan (History Boys, Last Tango In Halifax).

Commenting on his upcoming role, David Bradley, said:

“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 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.”

The one-off 90-minute BBC Cymru Wales produced drama is written by Mark Gatiss who will also act as executive producer alongside Steven Moffat and Caroline Skinner.

Mark Gatiss, executive producer and writer, said:

“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.”

Filming begins at the beginning of February at Television Centre before moving to Wimbledon Studios. It is produced by Matt Strevens (Misfits, Skins) and directed by Terry McDonough (Breaking Bad, The Street).



  • the astronaut of death

    February 7th, 2013 - 8:17pm

    Gi have just found out that matt smith is going to be in a Hollywood film called how to catch a monster at it starts filming in APRIL

    and Steven Moffatt said doctor the 50th anniversary is going to filming in APRIL


    February 7th, 2013 - 12:48am


  • Some bloke

    February 6th, 2013 - 7:08pm

    yes but only really because he featured at the beginning of the story with the ‘One day, I shall come back…’ speech If they use small clips of the actual show, when they show the filming of it, then maybe 🙂

  • doctor smith

    February 6th, 2013 - 6:22pm

    hmm i like him. i hope in the end credits they put his name in because i watched the five doctors and it said william hartnell


    February 6th, 2013 - 10:09am

    A newcomer to acting called Claudia Grant is said today to be playing Carol Ann Ford / Susan Foreman.

  • drjakeyoung

    February 3rd, 2013 - 7:37pm

    totally agree with you

  • Don’t diss the sonic!!!

    February 3rd, 2013 - 6:58pm

    it just doesn’t make any sense

  • Some bloke

    February 3rd, 2013 - 3:54pm

    i agree

  • That Wi-Fi over there

    February 1st, 2013 - 8:58pm

    isnt it odd that this film is longer than the 50th anniversary special? shouldn’t they make the 50th anniversary special 90 mins & this film 60 mins?

  • booboo

    January 31st, 2013 - 9:56pm

    i think most people know the 1st 3 are dead but to be honest it wont be much of an anniversary if the others aren’t included in some shape or form

  • Mr Zarbi

    January 31st, 2013 - 6:54pm

    I think he’s better than Hurndall he has the Hartnell anger.

  • Rooners

    January 31st, 2013 - 4:22pm

    I dont think you read my comment properly. I understand he is playing the role of the actor, William Hartnell in the drama…I am merely speculating on whether that could be a clever way of introducing him as the First Doctor in a multi-story episode. However, you clearly have inside knowledge, so this wont be happening…but it was an interesting idea


    January 31st, 2013 - 2:38pm

    No, David is not playing the 1st Doctor as part of an 11 Doctors story [which won’t ever be happening anyway so fan’s hoping for a multi-Doctor story of all the Doctors might as well just get over it, cos the first 3 are dead, they won’t look good if brought back CGI form, the Baker Doctors lets be honest with ourselves here are porky, and old Christopher Eccleston wan’t nothing to do with Doctor Who now what so ever since he quit], his playing William Hartnell as part of a story called ‘An Adventure in Space and Time]’ showing the making of Doctor Who in during 1963.

  • Rooners

    January 31st, 2013 - 12:57pm

    It will be interesting to see if this drama will act as a segue into a 50th Anniversay multi doctor story featuring the 1st Doctor played by non other than….David Bradley….Hmmmm…I wonder 🙂

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