William Russell, who played the original First Doctor’s companion Ian Chesterton, in An Adventure in Space and Time
BBC AMERICA is set to premiere An Adventure in Space and Time, a film drama about the creation of Doctor Who, as part of the channel’s celebration of the long-running sci-fi series’ 50th anniversary. Frequent Who scriptwriter Mark Gatiss has already been announced as writer, and he’s also serving as executive producer alongside current Doctor Who execs Steven Moffat andCaroline Skinner. The film is a co-production between BBC AMERICA and BBC Cymru Wales and will air later in 2013.
Doctor Who first hit the BBC airwaves on November 23, 1963, and an impressive cast has been assembled to play the personalities behind the show’s earliest days. David Bradley, best known as Argus Filch in the Harry Potter movies, has taken on the role as actor William Hartnell, who played the series’ very first Doctor. Call the Midwife star Jessica Raine, already cast in the Season 7, Part 2 premiere of Doctor Who, is set to play producer Verity Lambert, and the great Brian Cox (The Bourne Supremacy, Adaptation.) is on board as Sydney Newman, BBC’s then-Head of Drama. Meanwhile, The History Boys‘ Sacha Dhawan will play Waris Hussein, director of Doctor Who‘s premiere episode, “An Unearthly Child.”
Read more at Anglophenia
io9 has a great piece on the unlikely beginning to what would become one of the greatest television shows of all time:
These days, Doctor Who is approaching its 50th anniversary as one of the most successful television shows of all time. But originally? Doctor Who was a small show that the BBC expected to run for a few episodes, and then vanish forever. The show had a tiny studio and huge cameras, and a shoestring budget. But the people who were making the show were outsiders, who were anathema to the entrenched BBC culture.
At the Gallifrey One convention in Los Angeles, we were thrilled to hear from Waris Hussein, who directed the very first Doctor Who episode, about how an East Indian teamed up with a Canadian and a young woman to revolutionize television science fiction.
Hussein took part in a panel at Gallifrey about “Doctor Who in the Sixties,” alongside stars William Russell (Ian) and Maureen O’Brien (Vicki). And even though we kind of knew thatDoctor Who was an upstart program that many people within the BBC were opposed to, we didn’t realize quite how much the odds were against this show…
Please click through to read the rest.