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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.



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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

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22 November 2013 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Avantura u vremenu i prostoru  »

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Did You Know?


Anneke Wills has the odd distinction of being both an actor and a character in the same production. Wills plays the uncredited role of a party guest, while Elle Spicer plays Anneke Wills during her tenure as Polly on "Doctor Who". 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 »


[a cameraman catches his first sight of a Dalek]
Cameraman: What the hell's that? A sink plunger and an egg-whisk? Oh well, if they can't take over the universe they might at least be able to whip up a decent omelette.
See more »


References Compact (1962) See more »


Doctor Who Theme
Written by Ron Grainer
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26 December 2013 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

If I had to sum this up in one word, I would: 'Beautiful".

"One day, I shall come back..." I live in Australia, and this special was screened on ABC1 at 8:50PM on Sunday November 24, immediately after an encore screening of "The Day of the Doctor". I only got to see the first fifteen minutes or so before being told to go to bed, however I was recording it. When I watched most of it the next night, it changed everything.

It was only a few days ago that I watched the special in full for the first time. (It was the third time I'd sen it, however the first in one full sitting). I was home alone, so nobody got to see me crying.

That's what happened. The cast and crew of "An Adventure In Space And Time" have created a drama filled with action, emotion and, importantly, history. I congratulate writer Mark Gatiss for his success with the wonderful script. I feel he captures the essence of all seen in the programme as they were in 1963 perfectly. Of course it is an ultimate dream, I Definitely would do something like this, and he has made a work of equisite art of it. Mr Gatiss, your love letter to "Doctor Who" is truly 'fantastic!'.

The actors cast as roles are evidently well-thought of. I particularly liked Jesscia Raine's portrayal of producer Verity Lambert, David Bradley's performance as the original Who, William Hartnell; and also Sacha Dhawan's living performance as first director Waris Hussein. All capture what it must have been like during the pioneering days of the series. The portrayal of William Hartell by David Bradley is what made me cry. Hartnell had his hearts broken at least twice, and to see the man who began it all so sad, it nearly broke mine. I also liked the cameo roles from two original companions: actors William Russell and Carole Ann Ford, as the Guard and the Mother, Joyce respectively. Also, the surprise of seeing Matt Smith opposite the First Doctor is a highlight, showcasing that, although no one knew it at the time, the show would reach a golden 50-year landmark. Who'd have thought? These roles added to the spirit, the magnificence on how "Doctor Who" has touched the lives of millions of people.

In all, this docudrama fittingly celebrates the Fiftieth Anniversary of the world's longest-running Sci-Fi series. It's emotional, historical, educational, and inspiring. It made me cry, and I haven't done that since David Tennant left in "The End of Time: Part Two".

The cast and crew definitely should go ahead and recreate classic/missing Doctor Who stories. Why not? They've got the cast, the production values, the spirit.

Congratulations to all involved in the making of this special. It was definitely a highlight of 2013, the year of all time. A fitting way to celebrate the best television show on the planet, or indeed the universe.


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