“An Adventure in Time and Space” is a fascinating and emotional look into the creation of one of the most iconic and enduring science fiction series of all time: Doctor Who. Written by Mark Gatiss and directed by Terry McDonough, the film is a biopic of the show’s creators and the challenges they faced in bringing it to the airwaves.
The film focuses on the early years of Doctor Who, and the central figures of the story are William Hartnell, the actor who played the original Doctor, and Sydney Newman, the BBC’s Head of Drama and the man who commissioned the series. David Bradley and Brian Cox give powerful and nuanced performances as Hartnell and Newman, respectively, and their relationship is at the heart of the film.
The film begins in 1963, with the BBC facing a decline in ratings and a need for new, innovative programming. Newman sees an opportunity in the science fiction genre, and is convinced that a family-friendly show with an educational component could be a hit. He commissions a team of writers and producers, led by Verity Lambert and Waris Hussein, to create the show.
But the road to getting Doctor Who on the air is not an easy one. The team faces resistance from various quarters, including some within the BBC itself. Hartnell, who is initially hesitant to take on the role of the Doctor, also has to deal with his own personal demons, including his deteriorating health.
Despite the obstacles, the team persists, and Doctor Who makes its debut on November 23, 1963. The first episode, “An Unearthly Child,” is a resounding success, and the show quickly becomes a cultural phenomenon.
The film does an excellent job of capturing the spirit of the time, and the sense of excitement and innovation that surrounded the creation of Doctor Who. The attention to detail is impressive, and the film is a love letter to the series and its creators.
“An Adventure in Time and Space” is not just for Doctor Who fans, but for anyone interested in the behind-the-scenes story of how a television series is made. It’s a fascinating and moving look at the creative process, and the determination and passion that goes into bringing a show to life. This TV feature was well-received by critics and Doctor Who fans, and it was nominated for several awards, including a BAFTA for Best Single Drama.