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An Adventure in Space and Time [DVD]
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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.
DVD extra features include:
• Leaflet featuring programme images and an exclusive foreword by writer and executive producer Mark Gatiss
• William Hartnell: The Original
• The Making of An Adventure - narrated by Carole Ann Ford
• Reconstructions: - Scenes from An Unearthly Child and the pilot - Regenerations - Farewell to Susan - Festive Greeting
• The Title Sequences
• Deleted Scenes - The Radiophonic Workshop - Verity's Leaving Party
The disc also contains English subtitles for the hard of hearing, audio description and audio navigation.
The main feature contains a 5.1 soundtrack.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
How can get all that into one feature? By concentrating on a couple of things...
Beginning in 1966, with a scene that lays some symbolism on a unsubtly, it then flashes back to three years before. When Canadian Producer Sydney Newman [Brian Cox] wanted to fill a gap in the saturday evening schedules. A show about an eccentric time traveller was the idea they devised. He trusted Verity Lambert [Jessica Raine] to produce the programme. The very idea of a woman doing such an important role at the bbc in 1963 was not something many went along with.
Her choice for leading man was William Hartnell [David Bradley] a professional actor of many years, who'd become stereotyped in hard man roles. A complex man who could be difficult to work with.
Little did any of them know they were creating a tv institution...
As ever, the BBC never let you down with period drama. And this recreates the time of it's setting, the fashion and the way tv was produced back then, absolutely perfectly. The script has to condense a lot down. Some people, such as head of serials Donald Wilson, who was heavily involved at the time, get written out. And it barely touches on the behind the scenes troubles in the show's third year. But it manages to get the story by focusing on two main things.
Firstly, Verity Lambert's struggles and ultimate success. Jessica Raine does very well in portraying a lady who had to find the inner strength that Syndey Newman knew she had.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
As part of the 50th anniversary it was nice to see this nostalgic lookback into the origins of the series back in 1963 and the special features of deleted scenes are also nice... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
I clearly remember hiding behind the settee for the original Dr Who, and here we have a drama based around the making of those early series. Thoroughly enjoyable.Published 1 month ago by IF
This is not the Premium edition as advertised here. This is a standard edition without the DVD extras, artwork or the special box, it also appears to have been a return that has... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
This DVD gave an excellent account of making of the first Doctor Who series. The portrayal of William Hartnell was particularly good and interesting.Published 3 months ago by Ian
I absolutely loved this. I think it's the best thing Mark Gatiss has ever done. A perfect cast with the perfect script. A fabulous tribute to the early Doctor Who. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Jodie