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82 of 85 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "You can't have Doctor Who without Doctor Who, can you?"
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...
Published 9 months ago by Mr. D. K. Smith

versus
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Something lacking somewhere
It is a pleasant watch but somehow lacking. I know a fair bit about the origins of 'Dr Who' and about Hartnell's life and problems but very little came across in this programme. It started like a biopic of Verity Lambert then suddenly, with hardly any lead up, she leaves. Like following a dead end. I never felt we were following Hartnell's story, just witnessing isolated...
Published 4 months ago by M. Jones


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82 of 85 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "You can't have Doctor Who without Doctor Who, can you?", 22 Nov 2013
By 
Mr. D. K. Smith (South Wales, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: An Adventure in Space and Time [DVD] (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.

But with a timeframe of three years there were times when things seemed a little condensed, and my only real criticism of Mark Gatiss' script is that whilst Hartnell's difficulty with lines was well illustrated, we maybe could have done with a scene that made it clear that Hartnell was a very good actor who gave many fine performances during the three years he was in the show, right up until the end when he was far from well.

There's no doubting the love Gatiss has for both the show and Hartnell, but a short scene with Lambert and Newman discussing Hartnell's line-fluffs with Lambert championing Hartnell's performance was sadly missing. Hartnell was technically a very good actor and his years of experience in films meant that he instinctively understood the camera. An off-told story (and something else that it would have been nice to see in the show) related to Hartnell's knowledge of when the camera was focused on him in close up - so his movements were restricted - and when the camera was further away - then he could be more expansive in his gestures. This is the sort of small detail that would have illustrated how good Hartnell was - otherwise you could come away from this programme thinking that Hartnell was just an old duffer who couldn't remember his lines.

But that apart, there was so much to enjoy here and by the end, with an ailing Hartnell forced to leave the part he loved, it was truly heartbreaking.

The surprise cameo at the end was a nice touch and an acknowledgement that today Doctor Who owes everything to one person - not Sydney Newman, not Verity Lambert, not even Dalek creator Terry Nation - but William Hartnell. If he hadn't made the Doctor such a compelling character then the series would never have endured. On the eve of the programme's 50th anniversary AAISAT is a fitting tribute to an old-fashioned actor who started something which still entertains today, and, I'm sure, for many more years to come.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The origin of Doctor Who, 24 Nov 2013
By 
Mr. R. W. Graham (Lincoln, U.K.) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: An Adventure in Space and Time [DVD] (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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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful celebration! An utter masterpiece!, 21 Nov 2013
This review is from: An Adventure in Space and Time [DVD] (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.

The DVD release, although a while off, does include the perfectly-recreated scenes such as the first encounter with the Doctor, The Doctor's final speech to his granddaughter, and a 'festive greeting' perhaps from the fabled lost Christmas broadcast 'The Feast of Steven?'

An utter masterpiece celebrating 50 years of Doctor Who, the people who started it all, and of course, the wonderful William Hartnell, played with style, gravitas and an air of humbleness.

I would easily give such a beautiful piece of drama more stars if I could. Definitely a must buy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Origins of a TV Series - Celebrating 50 years of `Doctor Who', 19 Aug 2014
This review is from: An Adventure in Space and Time [DVD] (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. They were determined in the `Doctor Who: Origins' documentary from the 'The Beginning' DVD box set. I also discovered more behind-the-scenes information about William Hartnell's tenure in other documentaries including the `The End of the Line' documentary on 'The Gunfighters' DVD. But this is the first time that the behind-the-scenes `Doctor Who' has been dramatized and for the 50th anniversary it's very appropriate to tribute to those who made this show possible with such love and nostalgic to it. It's a great drama. I wish though that they made this into black-and-white instead of colour as it would have made it more authentic and like 1960s television.

`An Adventure In Space and Time' begins with a prologue scene in 1966, where William Hartnell is on his last day making 'The Tenth Planet', the last story of his tenure in `Doctor Who'. Saddened and heartbroken about leaving, Bill Hartnell has his life flashing before his eyes as we're taken back via the TARDIS year-o-meter to 1963 where it all started.

The story of how `Doctor Who' was created begins with Sydney Newman, the brand-new Head of Drama at the BBC. He comes up with an idea for a science-fiction children's show to be broadcast on Saturdays in-between `Grandstand' and `Juke Box Jury'. He calls up Verity Lambert, a former production assistant to help him with making this brand-new show by promoting her to be producer of the series. Verity takes the challenge, and with the help of director Waris Hussein, they make `Doctor Who'. They cast William Hartnell as the Doctor, and through rocky and false starts fraught with production problems, they make something really special.

This is definitely a nostalgic tribute to the 1960s at the BBC as well as to William Hartnell and `Doctor Who'. I was really impressed by how Mark Gattis dramatizes the origins story and imbues it with such love and heartfelt dedication that is brought to life by the actors through emotion and warmth. This is a story about how a successful TV show was created and how the producers and director struggled against immense pressure to make this show work. It was a period of rocky starts and fraught with production problems such as the troubled making of the pilot episode which had to be re-shot at the insistence of Sydney Newman who didn't like what was in it including the abrasive Doctor and 49th century reference. There was also the assassination of President J.F. Kennedy that was announced before the first episode of `Doctor Who' was shown that was repeated again the following week to give the show another chance. And then there was the Daleks, who despite Sydney Newman's veto on them saying no robots or BEM (bug-eyed monsters), were the monsters that made the success of what `Doctor Who' becomes today.

I really like some of the behind-the-scenes making aspects of the story that would definitely please fans. As well as featuring the Daleks from the first Dalek story in this drama, there's also the Menoptra from 'The Web Planet' and the first Cybermen from 'The Tenth Planet' that was a delight to see. Although it was quite a shock to see a Cyberman smoking a cigarette on set. There's lots of 60s people smoking in this drama including William Hartnell. It was also delightful to seeing the actors in the drama making the classic Who stories during the William Hartnell days such as 'Marco Polo', 'The Reign of Terror' and classic scenes from 'The Dalek Invasion Of Earth' including the Daleks parading over Westminster Bridge. Also spectacular was seeing the original 1960s TARDIS set, built especially for this commemorative docu-drama.

The cast of this docu-drama includes David Bradley playing William Hartnell. I've seen David before in a BBC production of `Our Mutual Friend' by Charles Dickens, where he acted alongside two other `Doctor Who' actors including Paul McGann and David Morrisey. He was also in the `Harry Potter' films and has appeared in `Doctor Who' with Matt Smith in the story `Dinosaurs on a Spaceship' as well as doing the Shansheeth voices in `The Sarah Jane Adventures' story `Death of the Doctor'.

David is brilliant as William Hartnell in this, looking and sounding like him! I was terribly impressed with David's performance as Bill Hartnell. There's a moment when he's holding his lapels and having his eyes wide open like William Hartnell does when he's being persuaded by Verity Lambert and Waris Hussein to play the part of `Doctor Who'. I really like how Hartnell's career is touched since with being fed up of playing sergeant-majors and tough roles in movies, he's given the chance to play a children's hero on TV. And it's really terrific when David performs those scenes depicting Bill Hartnell really loving the job playing the Doctor. There's a scene when Bill Hartnell gets to sign an autograph for a boy fan in the park that was really sweet and touching and also when he plays with children in the park who love him being the Doctor in the series. But there's also the irascible side of Bill Hartnell that's touched upon, especially when he fluffs on his lines or when he doesn't get on with fellow actors or directors in the show. There's one point where he gets really annoyed when things don't go right with the TARDIS set not working and he has to do it himself. It's exactly what would have happened back in the 60s with Bill Hartnell playing `Doctor Who' and David Bradley does those scenes really well. One wishes David could have played the First Doctor for `The Five Doctors' back in 1983 for the 20th anniversary.

There's also Jessica Raine playing Verity Lambert, `Doctor Who's first producer. Jessica is well known for the TV series `Call The Midwife' and has appeared in `Doctor Who' with Matt Smith in the story called `Hide'. Jessica does a remarkable job playing Verity, who is a woman struggling in a man's world that becomes a female producer. Verity is promoted by Sydney Newman to make this show work, and she's a strong person getting through the pressures put on her with the help of director Waris Hussein. I really like how Verity asserts herself in this drama in getting designer Peter Brachacki to make the TARDIS for her; as well as standing up to Sydney Newman at times. Verity is the one who makes her case about putting the Daleks forward and saying they're not `bug-eyed monsters'. She's also the one who demands a repeat on the first episode of `An Unearthly Child' before the second due to the assassination of President Kennedy. Verity is someone that Bill Hartnell sees as his rock and really likes during the making of this show since she cast him and had faith in him from the start. It's a sad moment when during the story, Verity leaves the series to pastures new and Bill is saddened by her going.

Sacha Dhawan appears in this drama playing Waris Hussein, the first `Doctor Who' director. I really like how Sacha plays Waris in this special drama. He plays Waris as someone who doesn't know what to do when he gets the scripts of the `cavemen' story and is appalled and shocked by what he's got to do to film the story at Lime Grove Studio D, the worst studio in the BBC according to him. Waris says `it'll never work' but with persuasion and encouragement from Verity is willing to make a start and go forward with making this work. You could really feel the pressure that Waris must have gone through when making the pilot episode under appalling conditions in Lime Grove Studio D, and Sacha portrays those scenes really well and convincingly. I like it when Verity and Waris share scenes together in becoming friends as well as work colleagues to make the show work and how they convince William Hartnell to accept the part of the Doctor. It was a delightful moment when Verity and Waris cheer their victory of winning 10 million viewers from `Doctor Who's first Dalek story.

There's also Brian Cox playing Sydney Newman, the BBC's Head of Drama and the man who came up with the idea of `Doctor Who' in the first place. I've seen Brian Cox before when he played Striker in `X-Men 2' and he did the voice of the Ood Elder in the David Tennant story `The End of Time'. Brian plays Sydney very convincingly and authentically as the man who comes up with terrific ideas and gets people like Verity to make them work for him. He promotes Verity to be producer having confidence in her, and is very blunt pushing her forward to making assertive decisions about producing. I like that scene when he meets William Hartnell during rehearsals. Sydney disapproves of the pilot episode of `Doctor Who' and takes Verity and Waris out to lunch at a Chinese restaurant to tell them to make it again with changes. Sydney also disapproves of the Daleks and is persuaded by Verity to go ahead with them since she believes it's good strong stuff. I like that scene when Sydney calls Verity into his office and he tells her they got 10 million viewers on the first `Dalek' story and he says "Well done, kid!" which is a lovely moment.

Lesley Manville plays Heather, William Hartnell's wife in the drama. I really like how William Hartnell's family life is touched upon and that Heather and his granddaughter Judith `Jessica' Carney bring the personal touch and heart of this drama. Heather is concerned for her husband when he's out of work from the start, and is pleased when he's called to do a leading part in a children's TV series. She's delighted when he becomes a success with `Doctor Who'. I like the scene where Heather comforts her husband that the first episode of `Doctor Who' is really good despite the news of Kennedy's assassination beforehand and the scenes where they're both in the park and Bill's getting fan attention from kids. But Heather also shows concern for Bill as during the story he goes through ill health and has problems remembering his life and gets sick during the night. Heather tries to talk to Verity about Bill Hartnell's condition on the hardening of the arteries and asking for the workload to be reduced despite at that point Verity is about to leave the producer's chair to John Wiles, her successor. It's clear that Heather is concern for her husband, and doesn't want to make him leave the series since he enjoys `Doctor Who' so much.

The rest of the cast playing `Doctor Who' actors include the three companions with William Hartnell at the beginning. There's Jamie Glover (Julian Glover's son) as William Russell playing Ian Chesterton; Jemma Powell as Jacqueline Hill playing Barbara Wright and Claudia Grant as Carole Ann Ford playing Susan Foreman. There are also brief cameos of actors playing companions in `Doctor Who' during the press call photo shoots with William Hartnell. These include Anna-Lisa Drew as Maureen O'Brien playing Vicki; Edmund C Short as Peter Purves playing Steven Taylor; Sophie Holt as Jackie Lane playing Dodo Chaplet; Robin Varley as Michael Craze playing Ben Jackson and Ellie Spicer as Anneke Wills playing Polly. I like how press call photos with Bill Hartnell and companions is depicted as through the years of his tenure, it starts from how happy he is to how sad he is towards the end. There's also Nicholas Briggs playing Peter Hawkins who did the original voice of the Daleks in the 60s. See if you can spot him during a certain scene when the cast and crew are making the first Dalek story.

There also actors playing behind-the-scenes personnel at the BBC in the drama. There's Jeff Rawle as Mervyn Pinfield, `Doctor Who's associate producer (who appeared in `Doctor Who' before in `Frontios' with Peter Davison as well as `The Sarah Jane Adventures' in the story `Mona Lisa's Revenge'). There's Ian Hallard as Richard Martin, director on `The Daleks' and `The Daleks' Master Plan' (who done a number of Big Finish audios of `Doctor Who' including `Primeval' and `The Company of Friends'). There's also Andrew Woodall as Rex Tucker, a BBC director who takes a dislike to Verity Lambert and walks out; Sam Hoare as Douglas Camfield, a classic director working on the show and Mark Eden (who played Marco Polo in `Doctor Who') as Donald Baverstock, controller of BBC1, who tells Sydney Newman to `kill Doctor Who'.

There's also cameos and small appearance from real `Doctor Who' stars in this special drama. There's William Russell playing Harry, a car park attendant at the BBC; Carole Ann Ford as Joyce, a woman in the street; and attending Verity's leaving party there's Jean Marsh (who played Sara Kingdom in `The Daleks' Master Plan'); Anneke Wills and Donald Tosh (`Doctor Who's' script editor for season 3). There's also Toby Hadoke who plays a Bartender at the BBC bar.

It was nice to set some of the drama filmed at the BBC Television Centre in London before it closed down. This is after all where it started with `Doctor Who' and it's such a tribute to a place where many classic Who stories were filmed, especially the ones with William Hartnell back in the early 60s.

As the story approaches its conclusion, Bill Hartnell ill health is depicted as he's getting flat out from the busy work schedule and his bad-temper is growing worse. It's so sad and heart-breaking to see scenes where Hartnell's not as happy and is finding too much with the workload and his declining health. The BBC producers including Sydney Newman see that too and consider what to do as they can't have ``Doctor Who' without `Doctor Who' can they?'.

There's a really heart-breaking scene where Bill Hartnell meets Sydney Newman is in his office and Sydney is telling Bill about their new plans to `regenerate' the show. Sydney tells Bill that they want to go on with `Doctor Who' but not with him. Bill is heart-broken and the scene is beautifully played between David Bradley and Brian Cox in it. Sydney tells Bill who they've got in mind to replace him with as the Doctor, and Bill approves as they've chosen Patrick Troughton and says they've made a right choice. It's a very sad scene to watch as by mutual consent Bill agrees to give up the role he's enjoyed playing for three years.

The scene where Bill Hartnell comes home to tell his wife Heather what's happened in his meeting with Sydney is equally heart-breaking. Bill is accepting of his decision to leave, but it's also clear that he was reportedly heartbroken. In the scene, Bill breaks down in tears saying, "I don't want to go' and it a really moving scene especially when Heather comforts him. I was in tears when I saw this scene as David Bradley really does that scene well with Bill becoming deeply upset about leaving `Doctor Who'.

We then return to the making of `The Tenth Planet', where Bill Hartnell is about to do his final scene and meets Patrick Troughton (played by Reece Shearsmith). I found the meeting between these two men really lovely and charming as Patrick is so humble towards Bill Hartnell. Patrick tells Bill that he's `scared stiff', but Bill reassures him saying he'll be alright. I'm sure that's what would have happened back in 1966 when those two men did meet.

Then we have a final moment which I did not expect to see as when Bill's at the TARDIS console ready to film his last scene, he looks up and sees Matt Smith before him. Matt Smith played the Eleventh Doctor, the current Doctor at the show's 50th anniversary. It's a lovely moment where the two Doctors look at each other and smile without saying a word, as it acknowledges and is telling Bill Hartnell that the show still carries on after 50 years and it's all down to him and he is never forgotten. It was another moment that had me bursting into tears and was such a sweet moment.

We then have some words of tribute given to the real Sydney Newman, Verity Lambert, Waris Hussein and William Hartnell who made the show possible to be here today before we see some actual footage of William Hartnell making that famous speech to Susan from `The Daleks' Master Plan' where he says "One day I shall come back! Yes I shall come back!" It's a lovely way to tribute to William Hartnell and end the special drama before coming to the end credits.

The special features on the DVD for `An Adventure In Time and Space' include the following.

There's `William Hartnell: The Original' which was a special touching featurette show after `An Adventure In Space and Time' was shown on BBC2. It features some original footage of William Hartnell being interviewed as well as featuring statements from people who knew him such as Jessica Carney (William Hartnell's granddaughter); Carole Ann Ford; William Russell; the real Waris Hussein and Peter Purves; and also from people such as Terrance Dicks (`Doctor Who's script editor during the 70s); Peter Davison (the Fifth Doctor); Matt Smith (the Eleventh Doctor) as well as David Bradley who played William Hartnell and Mark Gattis who wrote and produced `An Adventure In Space and Time'.

There's also `The Making of An Adventure' which is a documentary focusing on the behind-the-scenes making of `An Adventure in Space and Time'. This is narrated by the real Carole Ann Ford who played Susan; and includes interviews with David Bradley; Jessica Raine; Sacha Dhawan; Brian Cox; the real Waris Hussien; the real William Russell; Mark Gattis, etc.

There's also `Reconstructions' on scenes from some of the `Doctor Who' stories that I enjoyed such as scenes from `An Unearthly Child' and the original pilot. Watching David Bradley (as William Hartnell/The Doctor); Jamie Glover (as William Russell/Ian Chesteron); Jemma Powell (as Jacqueline Hill/Barbara Wright) and Claudia Grant (Carole Ann Ford/Susan Foreman) in those reconstructed scenes from the original episodes was so surreal and so exciting that it made want to see `An Unearthly Child' reconstructed in full with those four actors playing those characters again. There's also a reconstructed `Regenerations' scene from `The Tenth Planet' of William Hartnell (David Bradley) into Patrick Troughton (Reece Shearsmith) into surprisingly Jon Pertwee (Mark Gatiss). There's also the reconstructed `Farewell to Susan' from `The Dalek Invasion of Earth' and the `Festive Greeting' from `The Daleks' Master Plan'.

There are title sequences to watch from the original `Doctor Who' series in 1963 as well as `An Adventure in Space and Time' and two deleted scenes cut out from the story.

`An Adventure in Space and Time' is a wonderful and touching tribute to `Doctor Who's' 50th anniversary as this docu-drama is a brilliant dramatization of how `Doctor Who' was made. I like to thank Mark Gattis for coming up with this wonderful drama. But it's also important to thank the original contributors to the show like William Hartnell and Verity Lambert, as it wouldn't be for them that this drama would be made as well as for `Doctor Who' lasting for 50 years.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, and not just for Doctor Who die-hards, 19 Jun 2014
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This review is from: An Adventure in Space and Time [DVD] (DVD)
As a child I had a fear of the original theme music for Doctor Who, so I missed out on the series, apart from little glimpses now and then, when I was being especially 'brave'. As an adult I still find that famous theme music unnerving, though not in the new series, where Murray Gold has updated it to something less eerie, and probably upset a lot of die-hards in the process. With my fear in mind, I approached An Adventure In Space and Time with some trepidation when it was on TV. I confess to having recorded it to watch during the day, which is ridiculous coming from a 40-year old! However, I am delighted that I didn't miss what has to be one of the best one-off drama's of recent times.

I wondered if some of the 'in' jokes would go over my head, but they didn't, which is a testament to how Doctor Who is ingrained in our culture, but also says something about the way this drama is written. It isn't trying to be clever, or quirky. It's trying to tell a story, which is about one man, William Hartnell, every bit as much as it is about a TV legend.

All of the performances are outstanding, but David Bradley steals the show. My brother is old enough to remember when Doctor Who started, and he says that Bradley's portrayal of Hartnell is uncanny. Jessica Raine is also wonderful as Verity Lambert, whose story is told in a sympathetic and engaging way. Some drama's portraying women encroaching on a masculine world go overboard on the feminist agenda. I didn't feel that with this. Every step of the way the viewer roots for Lambert, engaging in her story just as much as Hartnell's.

In short, I loved An Adventure In Space and Time. I've now got the DVD. Oh, and that old theme music still makes me nervous, but I have the strangest feeling that it is supposed to do exactly that.
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33 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Emotional & Brilliant Tribute To Doctor Who, 22 Nov 2013
By 
Timelord007 (The Tardis) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: An Adventure in Space and Time [DVD] (DVD)
Positive.
1)David Bradley as William Hartnell a Bafta beckons surely.
2)The in jokes & cameos, How many did you spot?
3)Emotional in parts especially it's final ten minutes.

Negative.
It wasn't on long enough.

Trivia.
I spotted the following Cameos in this film, William Russell, Carol Anne Ford, Mark Eden, Nicholas Briggs voicing the Daleks, Toby Hadoke, Anneke Wills, Jean Marsh & Matt Smith, How many did you spot?

Dvd.
Running time 90 minutes, Region 2.

Review.
As i write this i have tears streaming down my face...Why?

Because the last ten minutes of this exellent produced & directed film that is superbly written by Mark Gatsis is just wonderful as this film details the origins of Doctor Who featuring Brian Cox as Sidney Newman & Jessica Raine as Verity Lambert.

This film documents a script to screen approach of the trials & tribulations in getting this to the tv screen were near impossible odds, From the small studio of Lime Grove that when it gets hot in the studio set's off the sprinklers to a failed pilot being re-recorded & to a repeat viewing the following Saturday of episode 1 due to The assassination of President Kennedy.

But the real star performer here is David Bradley as William Hartnell showcasing him as a cantankerous old man & yet gives the performance this twinkle in his eye as he goes from being dismissive of the role of the Doctor to loving the part of a children's hero.

The scenes were David plays William Hartnells failing health is touching & emotional as he slowly loses his grip on the role becoming irritating & forgetful that forced Sidney Newman to eventually re-cast the part using what was to become regeneration to replace the lead actor with Patrick Troughton.

The final scenes were William Hartnell is let go by the BBC & breaks down by the fire at home had this reviewer in tears as Hartnell echoes a line quoted by another Doctor Who actor.

But the final shot were William Hartnell prepares for his regeneration scene is the real tearjerker as William Hartnell sees the image of Matt Smith as the Doctor standing along side him in the Tardis acknowledging to him that the show will continue for many many year's to the present 50th Anniversary & beyond.

This film has it all from great references to Doctor Who, A great script by Mark Gatsis, Cameos from past cast members & exellent all round performances lead to this being a must buy purchase for fan's of Doctor Who.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deeply Moving..., 21 Nov 2013
By 
G. M. Twitchett "gazzymodo" (london) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: An Adventure in Space and Time [DVD] (DVD)
I remember clearly the impact Dr Who had on me as a six year old child in 1963. I was full of wonder for this unique atmospheric new drama, with the most Incredible Theme Music i had ever heard. William Hartnell was captivating and charismatic as the Doctor. His companions likable and memorable. One would have to be my age (or older ) to have experienced the first ever entrance of the Daleks which was mesmerising and so totally
original . It was the year of the Beatles and
James Bond. A time of real excitement in Britain. 50 years on, the Beatles, James Bond & Dr Who are more popular than ever !
Mark Gattiss has done a Brilliant job with this drama. William Hartnell's final scene in the Tardis had an unexpected feature which i personally found very moving and emotional.
I think the drama will appeal more to the First wave of fans (although i may be wrong) those who followed William Hartnell's Doctor.
I enjoyed it immensely, and will buy the DVD.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great for your collection, 3 Feb 2014
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This review is from: An Adventure in Space and Time [DVD] (DVD)
Very moving, not sure I could watch it too many times but the likeness of the actors and attention to detail is amazing.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A true adventure that must be seen, 21 Nov 2013
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This review is from: An Adventure in Space and Time [DVD] (DVD)
If you, like me, are a long standing Doc Who fan who owns all the available DVD's from the Hartnell era and just loves the show - you are going to love this. Mark Gattis has given us one of the best bits of dramatic t.v. in years. Revealing, moving and sad the story of William Hartnell's time in the Tardis deserved to be told and boy has it been told well. The acting, staging and music are all fantastic and the whole production really brings the 60's Doc to life. The fact that the dvd has various extras is a real bonus. BUY THIS - BRILLIANT, I didn't want it to go - to paraphrase a famous Time Lord.
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35 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible!!, 21 Nov 2013
This review is from: An Adventure in Space and Time [DVD] (DVD)
What a fantastic story of the First Doctor, William Hartnell.
Extremely well written and Acted by all involved,
And very moving ending, I had a tear or two,
I will be ordering this, and would recommend all Doctor who fans to purchase this also,
A highly deserved 5 stars.
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An Adventure in Space and Time [DVD]
An Adventure in Space and Time [DVD] by Terry McDonough (DVD - 2013)
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