David Bradley Cast As William Hartnell In Behind-The-Scenes Doctor Who TV Movie

By David Wharton | Updated


There’s been tons of news and rumors surrounding this year’s celebration of Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary, ranging from new audio dramas to short stories to speculation about which past cast members will return. One noteworthy event that has been somewhat overshadowed is An Adventure in Space and Time, a TV movie that will explore the show’s creation. Now it has been announced that David Bradley, perhaps best known for his role as Argus Filch in the Harry Potter films, will play the role of actor William Hartnell, beloved by Who fans as the First Doctor.

First announced back in August, An Adventure in Space and Time was written by Doctor Who veteran Mark Gatiss, who previously penned episodes of the series such as “The Unquiet Dead” and “A Good Man Goes to War.” In addition to giving memorable life to Potter’s Filch, Bradley’s extensive resume also includes a recent appearance on Doctor Who itself, where he appeared as the villainous Solomon in this past fall’s “Dinosaurs on a Spaceship.” The cast of An Adventure in Space and Time also includes Brian Cox as BBC Head of Drama Sydney Newman, one of the classic British show’s creators; Jessica Raine as show producer Verity Lambert; and Sacha Dhawan as Waris Hussein, who directed the first episode.

Bradley had this to say about the role:

I’m absolutely thrilled. I first heard about this role from Mark [Gatiss] while watching the Diamond Jubilee flotilla from the roof of the National Theatre. When he asked if I would be 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.

And here’s Gatiss, who is also executive producing the 90-minute TV movie alongside Steven Moffat and Caroline Skinner:

What a cast! I’m utterly delighted that everyone’s favourite Time Lord will be in such brilliant and stellar company. We have a terrific team who can’t wait to tell the fascinating and surprising story of how the Doctor began his journey through Space and Time.

There’s no official airing date for An Adventure in Space and Time just yet, but we can probably expect it in the fall, alongside many other Doctor Who specials and retrospectives.