An Adventure in Space and Time 2013


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This fantastic one-off drama travels back in time to 1963 to see how the beloved Doctor Who was first brought to the screen. Actor William Hartnell felt trapped by a succession of hard-man roles. Wannabe producer Verity Lambert was frustrated by the TV industry‚s glass ceiling. Both of them were to find unlikely hope and unexpected challenges in the form of a Saturday tea-time drama, time travel and monsters! Allied with a team of brilliant people, they went on to create the longest-running science fiction series ever, now celebrating its 50th anniversary. An Adventure in Space and Time is written by Mark Gatiss, executive produced by Mark Gatiss, Steven Moffat and Caroline Skinner and directed by Terry McDonough. David Bradley (Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, Broadchurch) plays the lead role of William Hartnell while Jessica Raine (Call the Midwife, The Woman in Black) co-stars as the first ever producer of Doctor Who, Verity Lambert. The stellar cast is joined by Sacha Dhawan (Waris Hussein), Lesley Manville (Heather Hartnell), and Brian Cox (Sydney Newman). A must see drama for all doctor who and drama fans alike.

Brian Cox, David Bradley
Rental Formats:

Product Details

  • Feature parental_guidance
Runtime 1 hour 23 minutes
Starring Brian Cox, David Bradley, Jessica Raine, Sacha Dhawan, Lesley Manville
Director Terry McDonough
Rental release 2 December 2013
Main languages English
Hearing impaired subtitles English

Other Formats

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

85 of 88 people found the following review helpful By Mr. D. K. Smith TOP 500 REVIEWER on 22 Nov. 2013
Format: DVD
Ever since the first pictures began to leak out earlier in the year there has been a buzz that Mark Gatiss' An Adventure In Space and Time would be something special - and it didn't disappoint.

It had a lot of ground to cover - from the launch of the show in 1963 to the departure of William Hartnell in 1966. In the main, it succeeded beautifully, although there's one caveat which I'll come too in a minute.

Essentially, AAISAT was the story of four people - William Hartnell (The Doctor), Verity Lambert (Producer), Waris Hussein (Director) and Sydney Newman (BBC Head of Drama and the "father" of the series). With only 85 minutes running time it did mean that many other people's important contributions went unrecorded, such as the first story editor David Whitaker and the designers Raymond Cusick and Barry Newbery. But this was inevitable, and the decision to focus on four key people did make dramatic sense.

Cast-wise it would have been difficult to get any better than this. David Bradley was outstanding as Hartnell, capturing both his abrasive side and his more considerate nature. Brian Cox (despite a moustache that looked painted on) was good fun as the brash Canadian, Newman. And Sacha Dhwan and Jessica Raine gave lovely performances as Hussein and Lambert - two outsiders (one an asian, one a woman) who dared to breach the conservative BBC.

The re-creations - Totters Lane, the Dalek city, the breathtaking TARDIS console room - were a massive treat, as were the numerous cameos from some of the great and good of the series' past.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mr. R. W. Graham VINE VOICE on 24 Nov. 2013
Format: DVD
It's 1963 and the head of the BBC's drama department Sydney Newman has an idea for a children's scifi series something that will educate children and will be fun and different and absolutely no ridiculous bug eyed monsters or alien death rays or mutated monsters or all that other juvinile scifi rubbish! He hires young producer Verity Lambert at the time the BBC's first and youngest female producer who hires respected actor William Hartnell who at first is reluctanct to do tv but is fed up of being typecast as army characters of tough guys but is drawn in as the character of The Doctor and the show itself is different and a tv legend is born. An absolutely superb tv drama about the creation of Doctor Who and the struggles to bring the show to the screen with superb performances from David Bradley as William Hartnell, Jessica Raine as Verity Lambert and Brian Cox as Sydney Newman. Watch out for cameos from William Russell one of the first companions and Matt Smith. This is an absolutely perfect 50th anniversary present and a must see for Doctor Who fans and even if you have no interest in Doctor Who or scifi this can still be seen as an excellent heartbreaking quality drama.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Tim Bradley on 19 Aug. 2014
Format: DVD
This review is for Timelord007 who is a huge `Doctor Who' fan.

"One day I shall come back! Yes, I shall come back!", William Hartnell the First Doctor, `The Dalek Invasion of Earth'

This is a lovely and touching tribute to the people who made `Doctor Who' possible including the magnificent William Hartnell.

This is `An Adventure in Space and Time'! A docu-drama shown on BBC2 on Thursday 21st November 2013 to celebrate 50 years of `Doctor Who'. I watched this very special drama on that night it was shown, and really enjoyed seeing how the history of `Doctor Who's' creation was dramatized before my eyes. It's beautifully written and wonderfully produced by Mark Gattis that left me in tears after I first saw it. It still has me in tears after watching it recently.

Mark Gattis is well known to `Doctor Who' fans for being a writer of many novels, audios and TV episodes of `Doctor Who' as well as playing Professor Lazarus in `The Lazarus Experiment'. It turns out Mark Gattis has been trying to get a commemorative docu-drama on the origins of `Doctor Who' for over 10 years. He proposed the idea to the BBC back in 2003 when `Doctor Who' celebrated its 40th anniversary. But it didn't come about as the BBC weren't interested and `Doctor Who' wasn't on TV at the time. Now for the 50th anniversary, Mark put forward his idea again that was readily accepted by BBC. With the go-ahead, Mark was about to write and produce the drama and the result is a wonderful nostalgic trip back in time to see the history of how it all began with `Doctor Who' back in 1963.

I was aware already of the origins of `Doctor Who' and how it was created behind-the-scenes with numerous people involved such as Sydney Newman and Verity Lambert.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By JasonEIrving on 21 Nov. 2013
Format: DVD
Almost 50 years after the show started, Mark Gatiss sends us back to where it began!

No, not a junkyard on Totter's Lane, even further back than that, to the world of the smoky BBC offices of Sydney Newman. To the casual fan, this may seem like a slight bore, a documentary, or nothing exciting. However, those who took the time to see the broadcast will see that Mark Gatiss has orchestrated a masterpiece.

Pulling in bucket loads of elements surrounding the creation of Sci-Fi legend Doctor Who, Gatiss expertly combines Billy Hartnell's lack of self belief in inspiring generations, Sydney Newman's belief in Verity Lambert's production, helping her overcome the glass ceiling blocking her, Waris Hussein's pressure in successfully directing the first episodes, and later on, Billy's reluctance to leave and eventual realisation that this show will continue without him, becoming more of a legend than just a mere TV program.

Despite the historical and social plot strings, the acting is spectacular. David Bradley throws himself into Hartnell's shoes, and his heartbreaking moment of realisation of leaving the show is utterly spellbinding. Reece Shearsmith, even though he only appears for mere minutes, manages to capture the vivacity of Pat Troughton perfectly. The costumes and recreations of historical scenes are amazing and accurate, an old style Cyberman sat having a cigarette next to the TARDIS, a Dalek operator complaining about the cramped interior, and, in the opening scenes, Bradley walking into the TARDIS' perfectly recreated interior, and gazes up solemnly at the set one more time.
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