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Plot: A dramatisation of the early years of Doctor Who (1963), with the story revolving around BBC executive Sydney Newman, novice producer Verity Lambert and actor William Hartnell. Runtime: 90 mins Release Date: 22 Nov 2013
I only started watching the new series just this summer, but I'm hooked! In Belgium, Doctor Who isn't well known, so that explains a lot why I'm a rather new fan. I've wanted to start watching the Classic Who's, but I never got to it. After seeing this, I just can't say anything else but WOW! I now understand that Doctor Who has such a legacy and we are so priviliged that it's still on! I loved the cast and how they showed us even the dark side of themselves, by showing us that they didn't really care about the budget of the show when it just started.The movie <more>
was fantastic, it really touched me, I cried... a lot!So I think I'm ready now to watch the Classics, but now, first of all, the 50th, so every Whovian out there, young, new, classic fan or new fan, Happy 50th, Happy Day of the Doctor!!!May we have 50 years and more!!
An Adventure in Space and Time chronicles the birth of Doctor Who, and broadly covers the period 1963-66, the tenure of the first Doctor William Hartnell. Without giving too much away I hope , this drama really centres on the original creation of the show - the strength of character of Sidney Newman and his idea for a Saturday tea-time sci-fi programme, the uncertainties of female - unheard of in the early 60's first-time producer Verity Lambert and Indian director Waris Hussein, and the crotchety Hartnell, dragged from his typecast grumpy on-screen persona to play the grouchy but <more>
mischievous and mysterious alien Doctor. It latterly moves forward apace, and concludes with a weary Hartnell basically having been removed from the show and reluctantly handing over to his successor at the end of The Tenth Planet in 1966.The first thing to say is that nobody does these self-referential television movies better than the BBC. Mark Gatiss' excellent script teases the initial wonder and subsequent popularity of the show out beautifully, but doesn't shy away from the many budgetary and performance shortcomings that are clearly there on-screen if you re-watch the original material. The casting is universally superb, as are the performances David Bradley as Hartnell especially and this is a handsomely mounted production full of nostalgia and pathos, with a clear undying love for the source material. The scene near the conclusion demonstrates this the best, with a tired Hartnell staring into the distance on "his" TARDIS set, wondering what will become of "his" show and "his" Doctor after he leaves - to be confronted by a grinning but clearly reverential Matt Smith as the latest incarnation - is bursting with the magic and charm that made the early show the phenomena it was, and demonstrates why it's still on today. No true fan could watch this without welling up I suspect.It's the last drama to have been made at BBC Television Centre in Shepherd's Bush prior to its closure, and it never looked finer. Well done BBC. I couldn't think of a better tribute to one of your greatest creations. One final note - many of the early Who's were wiped and no longer exist in the archives. Why not reassemble the cast of this drama and do shot-for-shot B/W remakes to plug the gaps? I'd certainly watch - and I bet there are legions of fans who'd say the same after watching this.
Agree or disagree - nobody does drama like the BBC. This was a nostalgic pleasure from beginning to end.The production and acting were excellent with David Bradley giving a really sympathetic performance in the role of William Hartnell.The rest of the cast were really good too and captured the spirit of the excitement that must have been generated for such a radical show.I loved seeing colour versions of all the old props and who couldn't smile at seeing a Cyberman enjoying a cigarette between takes. There were other moments that reminded me of the times when the show was first out - with <more>
children pretending to be Daleks.I was 5 years old in 1963 and still remember watching the first episode. That makes me 55 now - the same age as William was when he first played the role and also Peter Capaldi the new Doctor.Of course I'll never have a time machine to revisit the 1960's but with a great program like this to take you there - Who needs a Tardis.PS I hope you spotted the cameo roles by four of the good Doctor's original companions.
Well-Produced Biography of Dr. Who & William Hartnell (by GenevaDuck)
One thing the BBC always does extremely well is period drama. In this case, despite the fact you know how it ends, you are drawn into the story of William Hartnell's time as the first Doctor and your heart breaks with his when he is told he is being replaced.David Bradley give an outstanding performance as William Hartnell, an excellent character actor who sees his career in decline to the point he is being asked to star in a 'kiddie' show that is going to make him immortal. Bradley plays Hartnell with all his faults, but he also makes you feel sympathetic towards him. I believe <more>
this movie will give Dr. Who fans a new appreciation for Hartnell and his contributions to the series beyond being the First Doctor who seemed to be forever flubbing his lines.I would have given this 10 stars, but the Matt Smith cameo at the end made me sigh and ask "Why did they do that?"
This reverential depiction of the origins of "Dr. Who" on the BBC and the tenure of William Hartnell as the eponymous character are mandatory stuff not to be missed. David Bradley is splendidly cast as the irascible Hartnell, and we get to see the trials and tribulations that tyro producer Verity Lambert Jessica Raine endured on the set and off the set at the hands of her mentor Sydney Newman Brian Cox and her snobbish fellow co-workers. The men were suspicious of a woman invading their hallowed realm as the first female producer. The Daleks are on hand and just as murderous as <more>
ever. One scene on London Bridge has a director scolding a man in the Dalek chassis because he never hit his marks. The perils of shooting in a small studio are presented with considerable humor. The lights overheat in the cramped studio and the sprinkler system erupts and drenches everybody. Initially, Newman railed against robots or bug-eyed monsters in "Dr. Who" so imagine his surprise when he read about the Daleks. Matt Smith has a cameo. This glimpse into the past will bring up young Dr. Who fans up to snuff on the history of the program, while others will enjoy the reenactment for its old sake. The scene when Verity gets a production designer to create Tardis is cool. The origin of the landmark Dr. Who theme is revealed, too.
Way better send-up then the 50th Anniversary Special... Weirdly. (by WakenPayne)
Okay, I watched this quite a while ago and the reason is that I am becoming a fan of Doctor Who, old and new. William Hartnell's Doctor is actually one of the few that takes a bit of time to get used to. If you haven't seen them then... He isn't as likable of a character as his later incarnations. Why am I bringing this up? Well if this movie can get me teary eyed about Hartnell leaving then I congratulate them for succeeding as well as they did.It's 1963 and Sydney Newman, being a well respected show-runner has a new vision in mind for a kids show to pass the time, nothing <more>
really special. About a centuries old alien that takes his granddaughter and her 2 Earth teachers on adventures on any point in the universe at any time, at first it doesn't go right with the original pilot having an almost unlikeable title character so after re-shooting the Kennedy Assassination occurs, so they decide to do what they can to make sure it lasts past them in cavemen times trying to search for fire again. So their next story, much to the dismay of Newman is about intergalactic exterminating aliens, They're called Daleks. You wouldn't know them. The rest seems to be history.Before I start giving this praise across the board on other things. The casting is brilliant. Everyone looks like the people they're playing and David Bradley does an A+ performance as William Hartnell, getting down the mannerisms and the way he talked to a tee. If anyone didn't do a good job, it was the guy they got to play Patrick Troughton. They look nothing alike, I don't think he even acted like him, either his persona of The Doctor or otherwise I've seen interviews with him . But the best thing about this movie is by far how they portrayed Hartnell, not only in acting but in writing. You feel the fact that while Hartnell was a grumpy old man, he towards the end loved doing the show and to see him want to go on but has to face up to the fact that he can't, it's done perfectly. Actually, maybe not perfectly but I'll get to that.Probably the worst thing about it is that it drops some hints towards the new show and the fact that yes, Doctor Who is the most replaceable TV character of all time. Repeatedly Hartnell says he's irreplaceable even dropping it in conversation, It just sounds very stilted and it's almost like "Yes, we get it!". Oh and I also didn't like the Matt Smith cameo. I get it was the whole "look how far this show has come" but he's just thrown in there. Maybe something better would be that he looks at all the Doctors from 3 onwards to 11, I don't know - I just think it dated an otherwise timeless television movie.So, I would recommend it to anyone who's a fan of either show, people wanting to see a phenomenally well done underdog story or people wanting to see a well done true story movie, even if sometimes it took liberties with that happened. Either way, most of my complaints were me nitpicking because there is a lot that this does right.
Like All Good Stories, Bigger on the Inside (by boblipton)
As part of the 50th anniversary celebration of Doctor Who, the BBC has produced this movie about the origins and Bill Hartnell years of the TV show. Writer Mark Gatiss, a longtime Whovian, has dug through all the stories and legends and has produced a fine script.The thesis of the movie is that Sydney Newman chose a novice producer, Verity Lambert, who proceeded to build an unlikely team: the first Indian director of the BBC; an actor frustrated at his lack of advancement; and the already worn out facilities at Lime Grove. Somehow she managed to hold this together long enough to create a <more>
series which has prospered for half a century, despite the best the suits at the BBC could do.There's some fine casting in this one, especially David Bradley as William Hartnell. It's rather shocking to me to see him, clean-shaven and well dressed and he gives a fine performance as the William Hartnell of the standard story: old, collapsing under the impact of ill health, but unwilling to give up his claim to fame.That's not precisely the reality of the matter. Doctor Who ran on a killing schedule during Hartnell's term: forty episodes a year, dialogue filled with scientific bafflegab. Almost anyone would have crumbled under it.Still, the story as written is cogent and should please the series' fans. the production values are top notch and the actors are excellent and look like the ones who played the original roles. I'd like to give a shout out to the stand outs, but I'd have to name just about every member of the cast.This movie probably won't appeal to people who are not rabid fans of the show, but for those who, like me, are, it's a great treat.
In the middle of the celebrations for Doctor Who's 50th Anniversary, came this docudrama about how the series came to be. It spans 1963 to 1966. It begins, as we see at the end, with Hartnell's post final scenes. The Tardis then metaphorically travels back to 63.Though it is a film about Hartnell, it must be said that this is also the story of Verity Lambert and Sydney Newman. Played wonderfully by Jessica Raine and Brian Cox. But it is David Bradley, who gives the performance of his life as both the 'First Doctor' and William Hartnell. He comes across initially as a bitter <more>
man, disillusioned by the typecast roles he kept getting. In fact, I was worried that the portrayal of him may cloud our love of him. I need not to have worried. The way the story progressed and the obvious love Hartnell had for the role of the Doctor not only on screen but in public, was heartwarming.It was wonderful to see William Russell and Carole Ann Ford play characters within this. It must be said that a number of other Who Illumni were featured too. Mark Eden, Nicholas Briggs and Jean Marsh to name but a few. Also, and it had been rumoured, a lovely touch was, near the end, seeing Bradley's Hartnell look across the Tardis console and see 'Eleventh Doctor' Matt Smith. A really wonderful nod to just how much of an institution Who is and how long it would last.Back to Bradley though, as I said, the progression of the story shows what a wonderful man Hartnell was. It was great to hear a mention of his part in Brighton Rock, a film everyone must see as a classic of British film. Some scenes of note that stand out include, when Hartnell is clearly beginning to get the onset of his failing memory, it was moving and very hard to watch. The clear love he has for the roll comes across and this needs to be put firmly at the door of Mark Gatiss who wrote it. Though Bradley really does bring it alive. One scene, which will be remembered is of Hartnell breaking down after being forced to quit. His line "I don't want to go" and subsequent tears, bought me to tears too. Interestingly Tennant's same line when he was about to regenerate, saw me in floods too.The recreation of the Tardis looked beautiful and the attention to detail was astounding. The Daleks have never felt and looked more sinister since the Tom Baker era, I would say. So plaudits are deserved there. It must be added that this was more aimed at an older audience, not so much for children. The post watershed airing, the use of the word p**s and the fact that today's generation will not only have a limited attention span but their interest in Hartnell's era may not be suited the fast paced current era of young Who fans.This really is a wonderful docudrama to watch and I highly recommend it to any older Who fan. It really is a trip of nostalgia and a reminder how close Who came to not being continued. Equally so, it is a telling reminder that Doctor Who was William Hartnell. There were no regenerations as we look back from today's point of view. It really does show how heartbreaking it was for Hartnell to have to give up. It is also sad to document is decline into illness.If you haven't seen it already, search it out. It really is that good!
Of course, as a die hard Doctor Who Fan, this film really contained few surprises for me, or I would imagine for any other DW fans who watched it know this story.The irony is, that if William Hartnell hadn't had his health issues, the BBC would have never been forced to write in the "Regeneration" plot device that has kept the show alive this day.The scenes with Bradley as Hartnell are kind of touching, where you see an actor who really never quite hit the level of fame he wanted, getting the role of a lifetime and then watching it slip through his fingers because of his own <more>
physical ailments.The portrayal of Verity Lambert as a visionary was great as well. Let's be honest, most of the things that we associate with Doctor Who- The Tardis, It's bigger on the inside and looks like a police box The Daleks, the Cybermen, all came from this era of the series.Kudos also for the recreation of 1960's era England.