Being prepared in time for the franchise’s 50th anniversary, BBC Two has hired “Sherlock” actor/co-creator and “The League of Gentlemen” scribe Mark Gatiss to pen a historical drama telemovie about the creation of “Doctor Who” in the early 1960’s says Airlock Alpha.
No cast or director is attached as yet to the project, going by the title “An Adventure in Space and Time”, but an air date is already scheduled – November 23rd 2013.
“This is the story of how an unlikely set of brilliant people created a true television original, and how an actor, William Hartnell, stereotyped in hard-man roles became a hero to millions of children” says Gatiss.
Originally developed as an educational-themed family show, the sci-fi series followed a grandfatherly time travelling human alien known as The Doctor who explores the universe with several human companions.
Over time it explored more adult sci-fi concepts and became a UK cultural institution and worldwide phenomenon throughout the 70’s and early 80’s before dropping in public perception and disappearing from the airwaves in 1989. Revived in 2005, the show has once again become a worldwide smash.
No word if any of the other ten actors to have officially portrayed The Doctor will appear onscreen though the telemovie is expected to explore “the life of the series over the decades”. One obvious bit of casting would be getting “Robin Hood” actor Sam Troughton to play his grandfather Patrick Troughton who starred as the second incarnation of The Doctor once Hartnell left the series.
Gatiss, who was seen onscreen earlier this year as Mycroft Holmes in the second season of “Sherlock” and as the Old One vampire Mr. Snow in the fourth series of “Being Human”, has quite the familiarity with ‘Who’. He has penned five of the show’s episodes since the revival and played the key role in the 2007 episode “The Lazarus Experiment”.
This project comes in addition to what many expect to be a high profile anniversary special episode of the show itself to air sometime next year. Details of that are being kept ultra top secret.
The seventh season of ‘Who’ since the revival began is expected to go to air at the end of this month.