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David Bradley to play first Doctor Who in new BBC drama

David Bradley

Story by Jack Foley

DAVID Bradley is to play William Hartnell, known as the “first Doctor”, in a new BBC drama about the creation of Doctor Who.

An Adventure in Space and Time will tell the story of the genesis of the popular sci-fi drama in the early 1960s and is being made to mark the show’s 50th anniversary.

Bradley, known to millions for his role as Filch in the Harry Potter series, said he was “absolutely thrilled” to be cast, particularly as he has previously been seen in the long-running series as the character of Solomon in 2012 episode Dinosaurs on a Spaceship.

He told the BBC: “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 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.”

Bradley will be joined on the drama by Call The Midwife actress Jessica Raine and Scotland’s Brian Cox.

Raine will play the producer Verity Lambert, while Cox is Sydney Newman, the BBC head of drama credited with the creation of the show.

Filming will begin in February at BBC Television Centre before moving to Wimbledon Studios. It will be aired on BBC2 as a one-off drama.

The script has been penned by regular Doctor Who scribe Mark Gatiss, who will also serve as executive producer alongside Steven Moffat and Caroline Skinner.

An Adventure in Space and Time is one of a number of programmes that will mark Doctor Who’s anniversary later this year.

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