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78 of 81 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 4 months ago by Mr. D. K. Smith

versus
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 days ago by M. Jones


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78 of 81 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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31 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Emotional & Brilliant Tribute To Doctor Who, 22 Nov 2013
By 
timelord007 (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
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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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8 of 9 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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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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12 of 14 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
(REAL NAME)   
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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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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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fabulous and moving tribute to William Hartnell, Sidney Newman and Verity Lambert, 22 Nov 2013
By 
P. COOK - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: An Adventure in Space and Time [DVD] (DVD)
I have just watched this on iplayer and have to agree with many reviewers. A very touching and nostalgic piece of television which brought the 'crotchetty old man' to a wider audience. Great casting too. another reviewer thought that Richard Hurndall would have been good, trouble is he's still dead.
very moving in the last ten minutes.
strongly reccomended.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect piece of television drama, 21 Nov 2013
By 
R. Adams "rick1138" (Cheltenham, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: An Adventure in Space and Time [DVD] (DVD)
This drama is one of the most amazing things I have watched for a long time, so moving and has so many hidden 'in-jokes' for the die-hard fans. The extras make this DVD an even more essential purchase.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars what can one say, 21 Nov 2013
This review is from: An Adventure in Space and Time [DVD] (DVD)
i was amazed at the content, exactly as i remember it down to every detail. This has to be the best part of the fifty celebrations, outstanding.
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23 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, 21 Nov 2013
By 
J. V. Jones "Gamekeeper" (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: An Adventure in Space and Time [DVD] (DVD)
I don't usually bother with reviews but this story had me gripped from the start, by the end I was sitting on the floor in front of the telly, just like I did when I was a kid watching the original Hartnell. The end moved me to tears and was a complete surprise and really touching. I will buy this DVD and a Blu ray when it comes out, extremely well written and deserving of 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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