It’s not very often that fans will find a movie based on the creation of a television series. But the 50th anniversary of “Doctor Who” isn’t going unnoticed by BBC, and it’s about time some of the history of the show gets recorded for future generations.
That’s exactly what Mark Gatiss is doing with “An Adventure in Time and Space,” the biopic that has since brought on some familiar faces to play, well, familiar faces.
The biggest name is David Bradley, who gained fame with international audiences as Mr. Finch in the Harry Potter films. He’ll take on the man who introduced the world to The Doctor in the first place, the late William Hartnell.
“I’m absolutely thrilled,” Bradley said in a release. “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.”
Bradley, who himself has appeared in the “Doctor Who” episode “Dinosaurs on a Spaceship,” said he is looking forward to working with Gatiss, who has been both a special guest on “Doctor Who” himself as well as a writer for the series.
“Mark has written such a wonderful script not only about the birth of a cultural phenomenon, but a moment in television’s history,” Bradley said. “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.”
Bradley wasn’t the only actor named to the project, which is expected to begin filming next month. Bryan Cox will play Sydney Newman, the head of drama at the BBC in the 1960s, who many credit as the creator of “Doctor Who.” Cox played William Stryker in 2003’s “X2,” and also played the voice of the Elder Ood in the “Doctor Who” episode “The End of Time, Part 1.” Fans may recognize Cox most recently as the curator for the primate refuge in “Rise of the Planet of the Apes.”
Jessica Raine has been cast as Verity Lambert, one of the original producers of “Doctor Who.” Raine played the nanny in the recent horror film “The Woman in Black,” and has also appeared in “Doctor Who,” as Emma Grayling in the upcoming episode “Phantom of the Hex.”
Sacha Dhawan will play Waris Hussein, the director of the “Doctor Who” pilot “An Unearthly Child.” Dhawan played Manmeet in the short-lived NBC comedy “Outsourced.”
Of the characters cast so far, only Hussein is still alive, although he retired from directing in 2002 — three years before “Doctor Who” was resurrected.
“I’m utterly delighted that everyone’s favorite Time Lord will be in such brilliant and stellar company,” Gatiss said in a 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.”
“An Adventure in Time and Space” is expected to air on both BBC and BBC America later this year as part of the anniversary celebration of “Doctor Who.” It will be filmed in London.