Talk about good casting! We’ve known for some time that Harry Potter’s David Bradley had been cast to play Doctor Who actor William Hartnell in An Adventure in Space and Time, an upcoming TV movie about the creation of the show. Now the BBC has released the first official still from the movie, and damn if the resemblance isn’t uncanny.
Bradley played crusty Hogwarts caretaker Argus Filch in the Harry Potter films, has recently been seen as Walder Frey in HBO’s Game of Thrones, and also has a role in Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg’s upcoming The World’s End. And actually, he’s also already appeared in Doctor Who, playing a nasty sort named Solomon in last year’s “Dinosaurs on a Spaceship.” There’s no question that he’s a solid actor, and when he was cast I thought he was a great choice, but it is kind of amazing to look at him and Hartnell side by side.
An Adventure in Space and Time was penned by regular Who contributor Mark Gatiss, who wrote episodes such as “The Crimson Horror” and “A Good Man Goes to War.” The docudrama explores the creation and early years of the show, and in addition to Bradley, it stars Brian Cox as BBC Head of Drama Sydney Newman, who is often credited as the show’s creator, as well as Reece Shearsmith as Second Doctor actor Patrick Troughton and Jessica Raine as producer Verity Lambert.
Gatiss had nothing but praise for Bradley, saying, “David Bradley brings every ounce of his talent, humor and presence to the role of William Hartnell. It’s a wonderfully touching and subtle performance and I’m immensely proud of both him and the film.”
Shearsmith has kind words for the actor as well, recently telling Digital Spy that Bradley is “absolutely brilliant.”
An Adventure in Space and Time will air this November as part of Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary celebrations. In addition to the TV movie, current and soon-departing Doctor Matt Smith will be making his swansong in a special 50th anniversary episode, alongside Tenth Doctor David Tennant, Billie Piper as Rose Tyler, and John Hurt as…well, you know. The anniversary special will also be filmed in 3D and then screened in various theaters around its native country.
And after that, Who fans have the Christmas special to look forward to, not to mention a new Doctor. Smith announced last month that he would indeed be leaving the show, countering earlier statements that suggested he’d be staying on for at least another year. So far there’s been nothing but rumors about who might take over the role, although Torchwood actor John Barrowman has some ideas on the subject…