Buckle in, sci-fi fans, the BBC is set to produce a "Doctor Who" television movie.
Well, sort of. Instead of a feature-length episode of the offbeat high adventure series, the network plans to give viewers a behind-the-scenes glimpse at how the series came to be in "An Adventure In Space And Time."
David Bradley (perhaps best known as the Hogwarts caretaker Argus Filch in the "Harry Potter" film series) has already been cast to portray the actor who too the role of the first ever Doctor, William Hartnell. Additionally, veteran Brian Cox ("The Bourne Supremacy", "X-Men 2") has joined the project to play BBC drama head Sydney Newman, the man credited with the creation of the popular series. Jessica Raine ("Call The Midwife") will play original producer of the series Verity Lambert, while Sascha Dhawan will portray the director of the first ever episode, "An Unearthly Child", Waris Hussein.
Bradley said of taking on the role of the First Doctor, "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."
Much of the series' talent will be along for the ride for this behind-the-scenes look. Frequent series writer Mark Gatiss will handle scripting duties, while he, Steven Moffat, and Caroline Skinner will executive produce. Perhaps the best news of all is that viewers won't have to wait long to see the final product: filming is to begin next month for an air date later this year, which also marks the 50th anniversary of the science fiction classic.