7:30 pm EST, January 29, 2013

David Bradley to play original ‘Doctor Who’ William Hartnell in 50th Anniversary Special

The BBC announced a very cool casting for the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special An Adventure in Space and Time: The very first Doctor will be played by David Bradley!

Known to Harry Potter fans as Argus Filch, Bradley will portray William Hartnell in the BBC 2 drama being created to commemorate 50 years of Who.

According to a press release, An Adventure in Space and Time “will tell the story of the genesis of Doctor Who – first aired on 23 November 1963 – and the many personalities involved. The BBC’s Head of Drama Sydney Newman, credited with the creation of the show, will be portrayed by Brian Cox (The Bourne Supremacy, The Bourne Identity) and the producer, Verity Lambert, by ‘Call the Midwife’ star Jessica Raine. The director of the first ever episode, ‘An Unearthly Child’, Waris Hussein, will be played by Sacha Dhawan (History Boys, Last Tango In Halifax).”

Bradley spoke about his own casting, saying he’s “absolutely thrilled.”

“I first heard about this role from Mark [Gatiss] while watching the Diamond Jubilee flotilla from the roof of the National Theatre,” he explained. “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.”

Filming begins this February, and the 90-minute special will air later this year. We had originally learned about this special program in August.

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