The only confirmed element of the BBC's celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of Doctor Who, the TV movie revolving around the origins of the show itself from Who writer and writer Sherlock co-creator Mark Gatiss, now has a cast and actual production dates.
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Perhaps most interestingly, David Bradley--best known in America probably as Argus Filch in the Harry Potter movies, but who also appeared just this season in Chris Chibnall's "Dinosaurs on a Spaceship"--will play William Hartnell, which strikes me as a very intriguing approach to the famously flinty star. (Insert Richard Hurndall joke here.)
Sydney Newman and Verity Lambert, acknowledged enough as the primary creators Doctor Who as to be referred to in parental terms in "Human Nature," will be played by Brian Cox (of the Bourne movies) and Jessica Raine; Sacha Dhawan, who appeared in The History Boys and the embarrassing sitcom Outsourced, will play the Waris Hussein, the young director of the seminal Who pilot story, "An Unearthly Child."
"I'm absolutely thrilled," said Bradley. "I first heard about this role from Mark [Gatiss] while watching the Diamond Jubilee flotilla from the roof of the National Theatre. When he asked if I would be interested, I almost bit his hand off!" In gratitude, one assumes.
The TV movie, to be directed by Terry McDonough, is a co-production of BBC America and BBC Cymru Wales, so expect to see it here later this year alongside the UK transmission. Production starts this month.
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