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Doctor Who – Creation drama for 50th Anniversary

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Doctor Who - Carole Ann Ford, Jacqueline Hill), William Russell and William Hartnell
Doctor Who - 1963: The Doctor's grand daughter Susan (Carole Ann Ford), Barbara (Jacqueline Hill), Ian (William Russell) and the Doctor (William Hartnell) © 1963 BBC

On November 23rd 2013 Doctor Who will be fifty years old. The series will be celebrating this itself with some nods and winks as yet undisclosed. However BBC 2 have commissioned it’s own drama titled An Adventure In Space And Time which will endeavour to re-create how the series was created. 

There will be actors playing the producers, writers, executives and William Hartnell (the first Doctor) in an attempt to show the real drama there was in making the early shows. It will be like The Hour except the show will not be a news programme but Doctor Who!

The BBC has done this sort of thing before with Coronation Street in 2010 called The Road to Coronation Street.

They also made Hattie in 2011. This told was more personal and told some of the real life of star Hattie Jacques. Comedian and fellow actor Eric Sykes (who died last month) was critical of the show at the time and was quoted as being “very sad” that parts of the late actress’s life where “being raked over”.

After both of these shows many fan’s of Doctor Who (of which this drama’s writer Mark Gattis is of course one) said how wonderful it would be if the start of Doctor Who could get the same treatment.

I should mention I an also one of those people being both of fan of the show and having a fascination for how television was and is made. In fact I have talked to many of the people involved with the show’s early years including the man credited as being the show’s creator Sydney Newman.

The Doctor Who re-creation of its start, An Adventure In Space And Time, should be fascinating for fans as well as nostalgia lovers. Hopefully it will be as accurate as possible and avoid criticism while still making a fascinating drama.

Doctor Who: An Adventure In Space And Time
Official Information

The BBC today announces that a special BBC TWO drama has been commissioned to mark the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who next year.

An Adventure In Space And Time will tell the story of the genesis of Doctor Who since its first broadcast on 23 November 1963. Exploring all aspects of the longest running science fiction series to date, the special one-off 90-minute drama will also look at the many personalities involved in bringing the series to life.

Written by Mark Gatiss, it is executive produced by current Doctor Who showrunner, Steven Moffat, and Caroline Skinner.

The single drama was commissioned by Ben Stephenson Controller, Drama, and Janice Hadlow, Controller of BBC Two.

Mark Gatiss said: “This is the story of how an unlikely set of brilliant people created a true television original. And how an actor – William Hartnell – stereotyped in hard-man roles became a hero to millions of children. I’ve wanted to tell this story for more years than I can remember! To make it happen for Doctor Who‘s 50th birthday is quite simply a dream come true.”

Steven Moffat, Executive Producer, said: “The story of Doctor Who is the story of television – so it’s fitting in the anniversary year that we make our most important journey back in time to see how the TARDIS was launched.”

The production and transmission schedule will be confirmed next year, along with casting.