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The BBC has revealed new Doctor, but don’t worry, we’re not looking at Matt Smith’s replacement just yet.
Instead, the U.K. broadcaster announced that Harry Potter veteran David Bradley will play original Doctor Who star William Hartnell in An Adventure in Time and Space, the 90-minute television docudrama that will tell the story of the sci-fi franchise form its first broadcast in 1963. The project is part of Doctor Who‘s big 50th-anniversary celebration.
Bradley, who bares more than a passing resemblance to the late Hartnell, is best known for his role as Argus Filch in the Harry Potter films. However, he also appeared on the Doctor Who spinoff The Sarah Jane Adventures, and even played Solomon in the recent Doctor Who episode “Dinosaurs on a Spaceship.” He’ll be joined by Jessica Raine (The Woman in Black) and Brian Cox (X2, The Bourne Supremacy) as producer Verity Lambert and BBC Head of Drama Sydney Newman, respectively.
“I’m absolutely thrilled,” Bradley said in a statement. “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! Mark has written such a wonderful script not only about the birth of a cultural phenomenon, but a moment in television’s history. William Hartnell was one of the finest character actors of our time and as a fan I want to make sure that I do him justice. I’m so looking forward to getting started.”
As Bradley mentioned, the project has been written and co-executive produced by Mark Gatiss, co-creator of one of the BBC’s other hit shows Sherlock. Sherlock co-creator and Doctor Who rejuvenator Steven Moffat will join him in executive producer duties.
An Adventure in Space and Time does not yet have a release date, but is expected to debut sometime later this year.