HomeAll postsDoctor Who docudrama and the 11 Doctor special

Doctor Who docudrama and the 11 Doctor special

Eleven Doctors

Four of the Five Doctors - Tom Baker was trapped in Shada
Four of the Five Doctors;
Tom Baker was trapped in Shada

The much-anticipated 50th anniversary special of Doctor Who is expected to follow in the footsteps of iconic episodes like ‘The Three Doctors‘ that opened the tenth season and 20th anniversary special ‘The Five Doctors‘.  TG Daily says:

The BBC’s 50th Anniversary special will include parts for all 11 incarnations of the Doctor.  All 8 surviving actors have already signed on to play their parts, but the first three actors, William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton, and Jon Pertwee are no longer with us, and thus cannot sign on to be a part of this grand project. Currently, it’s theorized that their parts will be played by digitally modified footage from their surviving episodes.


Doctor Who 50th anniversary to be commemorated with a docudrama

No, I’m not saying Doctor Who *is* a docudrama, I’m saying they’re *making* a docudrama about Doctor Who.  An Adventure In Space And Time is a docudrama about the origins of Doctor Who, intended to celebrate Who‘s 50th anniversary.

The BBC has created an archive dedicated to the genesis of Doctor Who where the public can access a number of documents and photos about the creation of Doctor Who the TV series in the early 1960s.  Related links on the same page delve into more recent developments in the series.  Apparently this genesis archive is some of the source material referenced for the upcoming docudrama.

Mark Gatiss is writing the 90 minute telemovie to dramatically recreate Doctor Who‘s beginnings in 1963.  Terry McDonough (Breaking Bad, Hell on Wheels) will direct, so hopefully he’ll avoid overt sentiment in favour of dramatic flair and realism.

Doctor Who: David Bradley as William Hartnell, the first Doctor
David Bradley as William Hartnell, the first Doctor

David Bradley (Filch from Harry Potter) is well-cast as William Hartnell, the first Doctor.  Brian Cox will play the BBC Head of Drama Sydney Newman.  Jessica Raine (Call the Midwife) will play Verity Lambert, Doctor Who’s first producer.  Sacha Dhawan will play the director, Waris Hussein.

Whose Doctor Who was the first Doctor Who documentary, a sixty minute special originally broadcast in 1977.  Wikipedia says

Introduced by Melvyn Bragg, the show featured many clips from episodes of the show transmitted to date, along with interviews of cast and fans, including families, children, students, teachers, psychologists and educationalists. Tom Baker and outgoing producer Philip Hinchcliffe both contributed interviews, while behind-the-scenes footage of the recording of The Talons of Weng-Chiang (the most recently broadcast adventure) from rehearsals and pre-production planning, were included.

The show was never repeated on the BBC, but has been included on both the original and ‘special edition’ DVD releases of The Talons of Weng-Chiang.

Many of the Clips from Doctor Who episodes were shown in monochrome in this documentary despite originally being shot in colour; the BBC wiped the original master tapes of these episodes and only held monochrome 16mm film copies.  Can anyone cry ‘Sacrilege’?!

In 1993 Kevin Davies proposed a dramatisation of the beginning of Doctor Who to celebrate the 30th anniversary; this idea was rejected in favour of a documentary that became the sixty minute special Doctor Who: Thirty Years in the TARDIS.

Mark Gatiss originally proposed a docudrama on the origins of Doctor Who in 2003 for the 40th anniversay; he was told there was no timeslot nor budget available for such a program.

Considering the lack of support from the BBC for Doctor Who back in the 1960s and again when Doctor Who was cancelled, Steven Spielberg offered to take on Doctor Who and the Beeb refused, later selling it to the Canadians then cancelling The New Adventures book series amidst rights fights in the 1990s, I’m curious to see how accurate their exposure of themselves will be.  I expect it’ll be more warm’n’fuzzy than brutally honest.

It only took a couple of days for Wikipedia to put up a page for Adventures in Space and Time.


In addition to the links above, I looked at these links:



Nalini is an award-winning writer and artist as well as managing editor of Dark Matter Zine.


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