Doctor Who 50th Anniversary: Mark Gatiss says writing the biopic was his “love letter to the show”!

by Anna Howell


With the Doctor Who 50th anniversary celebrations just around the corner, show writer Mark Gatiss has opened up about his inspiration about one of the specials due to be broadcast.

Doctor Who aired for the very first time on November 23rd, 50 years ago and to mark this landmark birthday the BBC are broadcasting a whole heap of specials as way of celebration.

On the anniversary itself a special episode entitled The Day of the Doctor, which stars current Time Lord and companion, Matt Smith and Jenna-Louise Coleman and their predecessors David Tennant and Billie Piper along with a guest appearance from John Hurt playing a never-before-seen version of the Doctor (thought by many to be 8.5) will be shown in homes and cinemas around the world.

But over on BBC2 there is also to be a biopic, entitled Doctor Who: And Adventure in Space and Time, which will star David Bradley as the first ever Doctor William Hartnell, as we are introduced to the story behind the now iconic BBC family sci-fi series.

An Adventure in Space and Time has been written by Gatiss who has described the biopic as his love letter to the show:

“This is my love-letter to Doctor Who! In this 50th anniversary year, I hope fans will enjoy and be thrilled by it and all the kisses to the past it’s laden with.

“Principally, it’s the story of how Doctor Who was created, so we concentrate on the very beginnings and the first few episodes.

“There are lots of treats for the fans but it’s also the story of William Hartnell, the first Doctor and how the part transformed his life.”

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On having to condense the story down to fit in the 90 minute special, he continued:

“I had to focus it down. Simple as that. This is a drama, not a documentary, and though it’s extremely painful to have to leave out some people who played a huge part, it makes dramatic sense. You simply can’t do everyone justice in 90 minutes. For instance, the story of how Terry Nation and Ray Cusick created the Daleks is almost a film all on its own!”

Doctor Who: An Adventure in Space and Time is due to air around the 50th anniversary next month on BBC2.

Doctor Who will air its 50th anniversary episode The Day of the Doctor on UK BBC1 screens and cinemas, as well as in 75 other countries simultaneously, on November 23rd.