Ever since it was announced that Mark Gatiss would be writing and executive producing ‘An Adventure in Space and Time,’ Whovians around the world have been excited about the project that would tell the tale of how the beloved series, ‘Doctor Who’, fought adversity to get on the air. One of the most important roles that had to be cast was the role of William Hartnell, the man who became the first face of the Doctor. David Bradley was given this distinguished part and we now have a first look of the man playing the Time Lord from Gallifrey!
Production has been underway for a couple weeks now and while Gatiss has teased several images from the shoot, the photo of Hartnell with his wife Heather (played by Leslie Manville) below showing the two in full costume is rather sweet.
Regarding the role, Bradley had stated:
“I’m absolutely thrilled. I first heard about this role from Mark 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.”
While Bradley is best known for his role as Argus Filch in the ‘Harry Potter’ film franchise, Whovians will recognize him as Solomon from the episode ‘Dinosaurs on a Spaceship’. He will be joined by Bryan Cox who will portray Sydney Newman, BBC’s head of drama during the 1960’s and who some credit as the creator of ‘Doctor Who’. Cox (‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’, ‘X2’) also has a Whovian connection as he was the voice of the Elder Ood in ‘End of Time, Part One’.
Verity Lambert, one of the original producers of the series, will be played by Jessica Raine (‘Woman in Black’, ‘Call the Midwife’) but Whovians will see her first in the upcoming episode “Phantom of the Hex” as Emma Grayling slated to air on March 30th. A nice nod was given to Lambert in the episode ‘Human Nature’ during the scene when John Smith talked his mom named Verity.
As for the First Doctor’s companions, Claudia Grant will portray Carol Ann Ford, the actress who played the Doctor’s granddaughter Susan, Jemma Powell (‘Hex’, ‘Alice in Wonderland’) will play Jacqueline Hill, the actress who had the role of history teacher Barbara Wright, and Jamie Glover (‘Waterloo Road’, ‘Jupiter Moon’) will play William Russell, the man who was science teacher Ian Chesterton. Glover will have his work cut out for him as the real William Russell will also have a role in the film playing someone named Harry.
‘An Adventure in Space and Time’ currently has no confirmed air date but will be shown this year on the BBC and BBC America as part of the ‘Doctor Who’ 50th anniversary celebration.
“I’m utterly delighted that everyone’s favorite Time Lord will be in such brilliant and stellar company,” Gatiss said in a recent press release. “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.”
Check out the first image of Bradley as Hartwell and let us know if you’re as excited as we are to see this biopic!
Source: Radio Times