34 user 17 critic

An Adventure in Space and Time (2013)

A dramatisation of the early years of Doctor Who (1963), with the story revolving around BBC executive Sydney Newman, novice producer Verity Lambert and actor William Hartnell.



4,178 ( 172)

Watch Now

With Prime Video

1 win & 8 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

With the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who (1963) approaching, former Doctors Peter Davison, Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy try to sneak onto the set of the anniversary special.

Director: Peter Davison
Stars: Sean Pertwee, Olivia Colman, Peter Davison
Doctor Who Confidential (2005–2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Behind the scenes of the making of Doctor Who with the cast, crew and directors.

Stars: Russell T. Davies, David Tennant, Steven Moffat
Pond Life (2012)
Short | Comedy | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Prequel to series seven of Doctor Who (2005); five short films show the home life of Amy and Rory, while The Doctor has a few adventures of his own.

Stars: Arthur Darvill, Karen Gillan, Matt Smith
Doctor Who (TV Movie 1996)
Adventure | Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

The newly-regenerated Doctor takes on the Master on the turn of the millennium, 31 December 1999.

Director: Geoffrey Sax
Stars: Paul McGann, Eric Roberts, Daphne Ashbrook
Night and the Doctor (TV Mini-Series 2011)
Short | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

This series takes place in the TARDIS asks the question "what does the doctor do when his companions are asleep"?

Stars: Matt Smith, Karen Gillan, Alex Kingston
The Science of Doctor Who (TV Movie 2013)
Documentary | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

British physicist Brian Cox lectures on the nature of time and space, black holes, time dilation and the possibility of time travel a la Doctor Who by using experiments featuring celebrity ... See full summary »

Directors: Steve Smith, Ashley Way
Stars: Brian Cox, Matt Smith, Jim Al-Khalili
Short | Comedy | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Before the Doctor can settle down to married life, he must face one last confrontation with his deadly enemy of certain death - the Master.

Director: John Henderson
Stars: Rowan Atkinson, Richard E. Grant, Jim Broadbent
Doctor Who: Space and Time (TV Short 2011)
Short | Comedy | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

The Doctor, Amy, and Rory get stuck in a time paradox within the T.A.R.D.I.S.

Director: Richard Senior
Stars: Matt Smith, Karen Gillan, Arthur Darvill
Doctor Who: Dreamland (TV Mini-Series 2009)
Animation | Adventure | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

While visiting a local diner, The Doctor finds an alien artifact and ends up on a mission to save the Rivesh Mantilax from the danger of the Viperox and the U.S. Military.

Stars: David Tennant, Georgia Moffett, Tim Howar
Doctor Who: Shada (Video 1992)
Adventure | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

This unfinished story from the television series Doctor Who (1963) was released on video with linking material from Tom Baker. When a dangerous artifact goes missing from the study of ... See full summary »

Director: Pennant Roberts
Stars: Tom Baker, Lalla Ward, Christopher Neame
Animation | Adventure | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

In this animated adventure The Doctor and Martha Jones trek through space and time in a race against the galaxy's greatest despot, Baltazar, to follow a complex trail of clues to discover ... See full summary »

Director: Gary Russell
Stars: David Tennant, Freema Agyeman, Anthony Head
Doctor Who: Good as Gold (TV Short 2012)
Short | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Amy reminds The Doctor he needs to have an adventure once in a while, the Doctor complies and sets the TARDIS to its "adventure setting". After a series of malfunctions, the ship lands in ... See full summary »

Stars: Elliot Barnes-Worrell, Karen Gillan, Sarah Louise Madison


Cast overview, first billed only:
Ross Gurney-Randall ...
Roger May ...
Douglas Camfield
Charlie Kemp ...
Harry - Security Guard
Mervyn Pinfield
Rex Tucker
Heather Hartnell
Cara Jenkins ...
Judith Carney
Toby Hadoke ...


In 1963 Sydney Newman, progressive head of BBC TV's drama department, wants to fill a Saturday tea-time slot with a show with youth appeal and hits on the idea of an august figure, like a doctor, leading a group of companions on time travel adventures. He engages inexperienced young producer Verity Lambert to expand the idea. Fighting sexist and racial bigotry Verity and young Indian director Waris Hussein persuade crusty character actor William Hartnell to play the doctor figure and, despite technical hiccups and competition with coverage of the Kennedy assassination, the first episode of 'Doctor Who' is born. As the show becomes a success Hartnell displays an obsession with his character but, after three years, ill health catches up with him and he starts to forget lines. Newman tells him that Doctor Who will 'regenerate' and he will be replaced by younger actor Patrick Troughton. Though attached to the part and reluctant to give it up Hartnell wishes every success to Troughton, the... Written by don @ minifie-1

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

22 November 2013 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Avantura u vremenu i prostoru  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



See  »

Did You Know?


William Hartnell was 55 when cast in Doctor Who, David Bradley was 71 when cast as Hartnell. In real life Patrick Troughton was 12 years younger than Hartnell, in the film he is played by Reece Shearsmith who is 27 years younger than Bradley. See more »


In the opening scene where William Hartnell is driving across Barnes Common, he stops at real police call box. When the constable is leaving the box, he opens the door inwards, as with the TARDIS. Genuine police box doors, due to the lack of space inside,open outwards. See more »


William Hartnell: [repeating lines said by the Tenth Doctor] I don't want to go.
See more »


References The Leopard (1963) See more »


Doctor Who Theme
Written by Ron Grainer
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A Perfectly Balanced Tribute
12 November 2013 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I was privileged to attend the premier at the National Film Theatre. The audience was asked not to give away any spoilers, so I'll respect that wish (not that I wouldn't have done so anyway, of course).

The programme was far more emotional that I had expected and the audience's reaction - laughs, tears and much rapt silence - showed I wasn't alone. Admittedly, the place was packed with Doctor Who fans, so it was hardly going to send any of them to sleep, but they could also have been counted on to be highly critical of any factual errors.

The time frame covers 1963 to 1966 and is as much a biography of William Hartnell, the first Doctor, as the early years of the show he fronted. The Doctor is played by David Bradley (no complaints from me about his crotchety but committed portrayal) and is pretty much throughout seen as ailing in physical health or mental agility, which seems like a true depiction but is rather unfortunate for his legacy as someone often described, in his earlier years, as a fine character actor. Hartnell's granddaughter, who was in attendance at the post-screening Q&A) referred to the fact that prided himself on remembering his lines, so his problems with this as depicted here should be taken into context, although it would have been a tall order for the programme to have tried to focus on any more of the man's life without overrunning its 90 minute time.

Many of the key production staff have key roles, although (as writer Mark Gatiss acknowledged during the Q&A) not all of them were included as to do so would have been made the programme too difficult to follow. Thus there is no David Whitaker, for example, but there is much screen time for the Sydney Newman, the Canadian Head of Drama at the BBC, amusingly played by Brian Cox. His pivotal role in appointing and supporting Verity Lambert, the Doctor Who producer, was one of the unexpected revelations here.

Without giving away any really key moments (and there are plenty of lovely surprises) the show is both reverential of the programme as well as poking fun at the ridiculousness of making a prime time science fiction programme on a BBC budget with no computer technology and live editing. Plenty more such contrasts abound: the daleks are both funny and awesome at the same time; Hartnell's crotchety but committed personality is shown to be a benefit and a hindrance.

If you are even slightly interested in Doctor Who I'm sure you'll love it as much as the audience who gave it a standing ovation. Young children would probably be unlikely to find much of interest in it but older ones with more than a 30 second attention span may well enjoy it. Considering that much of the story of the programme is known to many of us and that there are no deaths or love affairs involved (that's not a spoiler - surely you weren't expecting that?) it is to its credit that it managed to be so entertaining for a film-length duration.

51 of 53 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: