With only two weeks left before the worldwide premiere of Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary special, The Day of the Doctor, the BBC has shifted the promotional machine into full gear. It was only yesterday that we got an epic trailer for the special, and now they’ve posted yet another one online — check it out above!
This one is definitely a bit more ominous than yesterday’s trailer, with more focus directed toward John Hurt’s Doctor, and the foreboding around what he did that was so terrible that all his later incarnations have tried to forget about him. Hurt himself delivers a couple of lines that seem positively packed with bad mojo: “Great men are forged in fire. It is the privilege of lesser men to light the flame.” Which raises the question: does Hurt’s Doctor consider himself the great man, or the one lighting the flame? If the latter, then who are the greater men? Perhaps the Doctor’s incarnations that were to follow?
Once again, we only see a few glimpses of Billie Piper as Rose Tyler. We speculated based on yesterday’s trailer that the Rose we see in The Day of the Doctor will be, at least part of the time, “Bad Wolf” Rose, her incredibly powerful, time-bending self after she looked into the heart of the TARDIS. Given that she’s seen here telling Hurt’s Doctor that “the moment is coming,” that possibility seems even more likely. Clearly, the stakes will be high during this adventure of the three Doctors.
The new trailer isn’t all gloom and doom, however. Today’s video also gives us a bit more of the interplay between David Tennant and Matt Smith as the Tenth and Eleventh Doctors, respectively. We’ve got dueling catchphrases, dueling sonic screwdrivers, and Ten criticizing Eleven’s tastes in interior decorating. But even among that humor, we get a dark moment: when Ten says, “For once, I would like to know where I’m going.” And Eleven responds, “No, you really wouldn’t.”
Of course, there’s another cool bit of Doctor Who-ery in our near future: the TV movie An Adventure in Space and Time. Starring Harry Potter’s David Bradley as William Hartnell, the actor who played the First Doctor, the movie explores the legendary series’ early days. And Adventure in Space and Time premieres on Thursday, November 21 in the U.K., and on Friday, November 22 in the States. The Day of the Doctor will then premiere the very next day, on Saturday, November 23.
You can read the full press release for An Adventure in Space and Time below.
DOCTOR WHO’S FIRST DOCTOR REGENERATED IN BBC AMERICA’S
AN ADVENTURE IN SPACE AND TIME PREMIERING NOVEMBER 22
The story of how it all began stars David Bradley, Jessica Raine and Brian Cox
What do you get when you mix C.S. Lewis with H.G. Wells, and sprinkle in a bit of Father Christmas? An alien Time Lord exploring space and time in a Police Box spaceship called the “TARDIS” (Time And Relative Dimension in Space). On November 23, 1963, a television legend began when the very first episode of Doctor Who was broadcast on BBC One. Fifty years later, the genesis story is retold in a new BBC AMERICA co-production film celebrating the 50th anniversary of the franchise, An Adventure in Space and Time, premiering Friday, November 22, 9:00pm ET/PT on BBC AMERICA.
Travel back to witness the genius that was the first Doctor, William Hartnell (David Bradley, Game of Thrones, Broadchurch) and the unlikely production team behind the series, Verity Lambert (Jessica Raine, Call the Midwife), Waris Hussein (Sacha Dhawan, After Earth) and Sydney Newman (Brian Cox, The Bourne Identity, X2: X-Men United). From writer and executive producer Mark Gatiss (Sherlock, Doctor Who), executive producers Steven Moffat (Doctor Who, Sherlock) and Caroline Skinner (Doctor Who, The Fades) and director Terry McDonough (Breaking Bad, The Street), the stylish drama reveals the struggles and ultimate triumph of the British series created to “keep the sports fans and kids hooked.”
“An Adventure in Space and Time is principally a human interest story you can enjoy even if you know nothing about Doctor Who,” says writer and executive producer, Mark Gatiss. “You’ll see the story of some amazing people who come together under extraordinary circumstances to create this wonderful thing that is still with us today.”
An unlikely trio of misfits set out to create a genre series that all ages would love. A 55-year-old actor conceivably at the end of a frustrating career, a former production assistant fighting to make her mark in television, and a foreign born, novice director were tasked with bringing a vision for an exciting new science fiction story to life. William ‘Bill’ Hartnell, displeased with his career, was presented with a chance to break out of the hard-man roles he’d become known for. And with the instincts of first time producer, Verity Lambert and first time director, Waris Hussein, The Doctor was born. As the success of the show grew, William went from unhappy curmudgeon to beloved television star who relished his career resurgence and found a new lease on life. But all good things come to an end. How will Bill face leaving behind the part that has made him a hero to millions of children? And can the show survive without him? Journey back fifty years through space and time to witness the exciting beginning and untimely end of the First Doctor in this touching drama.
THE DOCTOR – “We can’t have Doctor Who without Doctor Who, can we?” – William Hartnell
William Hartnell (David Bradley)
Aged 55, William Hartnell was already a well established character actor primarily known for playing gruff, military parts. Unhappy with being typecast, Hartnell was approached about playing the lead in a new children’s drama. Initially reluctant, he accepted the role which would change his life and make him a beloved household name. Serving the series from 1963-1966, Hartnell’s Doctor was a doting yet difficult father figure and fierce opponent. But behind the character, Hartnell, committed to his role, saw his world changing rapidly and his health taking a turn for the worse. As those he’d come to rely on moved onward and upward, he was left alone to carry the show they’d built together on his shoulders. A feat that ultimately proved too difficult for him to complete.
Mark Gatiss on David Bradley: “I’d had David Bradley in mind for the part of William Hartnell for some time and I probably asked him before I should have!” says Gatiss. “I was watching the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee regatta from the National Theatre, and asked David then and there and he responded ‘I’ve just done one!’ [David Bradley had appeared as Solomon the trader in Doctor Who’s “Dinosaurs on a Spaceship”]. I explained that this was a chance to play William Hartnell in a very different story and he was thrilled. He’s absolutely magnificent in the film. He plays Bill Hartnell’s journey from a grumpy old man to a pied piper figure with touching brilliance.”
THE PRODUCER – “If feathers don’t ruffle, nothing flies…” – Verity Lambert
Verity Lambert (Jessica Raine)
Newman needed a producer for his new show and was determined that, having worked with her before, Verity Lambert was the right woman for the job. At the time, there were no female executives at the BBC so this appointment was groundbreaking. He described her as “bright, gutsy and full of piss and vinegar.” Lambert enjoyed great success producing Doctor Who until 1965 and was later behind huge hits including The Naked Civil Servant, A Cry in the Dark and Jonathan Creek. She was awarded an OBE (Order of the British Empire) for her services to film and television production in 2002 and passed away in 2007. The Doctor Who Christmas special from that year “Voyage of the Damned” is dedicated to her memory.
THE DIRECTOR – “It’ll never work…when do we start?” – Waris Hussein
Waris Hussein (Sacha Dhawan)
British-Indian television director, Waris Hussein, was a surprise choice to direct the very first episode of Doctor Who. At 24, he was young and relatively new to the BBC, having joined only three years previously as a trainee. He returned to the series to direct the seven part 1964 adventure Marco Polo, the entirety of which is currently missing.
THE EXECTIVE – “No bug-eyed monsters!” – Sydney Newman
Sydney Newman (Brian Cox)
As Head of Drama for the BBC, and a life-long science fiction fan, Canadian film and television producer, Sydney Newman, was responsible for the idea and the development of this new sci-fi series. With successful credits including The Avengers and The Forsyte Saga, Newman wanted to find a producer who had “piss and vinegar in their veins.” Making history with his vision, Newman brought on BBC’s first female producer to bring his creation to life.
The Daleks – the mangled and mutated remains of the Kaled people, placed in metal war machines by the Kaled’s chief scientist, first appeared in the series in 1963, earning the show 10 million viewers.
“So what do I know about anything…” – Sydney Newman
Mark Gatiss on the film’s importance: “This is a story that I’ve always wanted to tell. In fact I pitched it for the 40th anniversary ten years ago and now it’s finally happening! I wanted to write it because I grew up with Doctor Who and even though Jon Pertwee was my Doctor, the legend of how the show began has always been there for me, in my blood. From how the show started small, then along came the Daleks, and ultimately, how the part changed William Hartnell’s life – this is a story that had to be told.”
William Russell (Jamie Glover)
William Russell was cast as school teacher, Ian Chesterton, in the very first story of Doctor Who and continued to play the role until the 1965 adventure The Chase. Since then he has performed in numerous theatre and television productions and has been an avid supporter of Doctor Who, lending his voice to numerous audiobooks and commentaries. He also appears in An Adventure in Space and Time.
Jacqueline Hill (Jemma Powell)
An established stage actress, Jacqueline Hill, played the role of history teacher Barbara Wright and became one of the first people to travel through space and time in the TARDIS. Hill’s character left in the same episode as William Russell’s Ian Chesterton. Shortly afterwards she gave up acting to raise a family but returned to the series in 1980 to play high priestess Lexa in Meglos alongside Fourth Doctor, Tom Baker. Hill passed away in 1993.
Carole Ann Ford (Claudia Grant)
Young actress Carole Ann Ford won the role of the Doctor’s granddaughter, Susan Foreman after an initial appearance in Z-Cars. She played the character until 1964 when she became the first companion to leave the TARDIS when Susan stayed on a future Earth to rebuild it after a Dalek invasion. Ford stayed in acting until 1997 and reprised her role as Susan for the 1983 episode The Five Doctors. She also appears in An Adventure in Space and Time.