Rumours have been flying around for some time that the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who‘s first broadcast in November 1963 might be marked with some form of drama, and actor/writer/producer Mark Gatiss has finally confirmed that something is afoot.
“‘One day, I shall come back’,” Gatiss said on his twitter account this morning, quoting the first Doctor’s farewell speech to his granddaughter Susan in 1964 (a line reused at the start of The Five Doctors) ”Thrilled to announce I’m writing a long-cherished drama about the creation of ‘Doctor Who’!”
According to the BBC twitter feed, the drama will be entitled “An Adventure in Space and Time” and will be broadcast on BBC 2 during the anniversary celebrations. Gatiss was involved with a comic look back at the creation of the show for the Doctor Who Night which caused some controversy with its comments about the casting of the later classic Doctors.
The full press release reads:
AN ADVENTURE IN SPACE AND TIME TO MARK THE DOCTOR’S 50th BIRTHDAY
The BBC today announces that a special BBC TWO drama has been commissioned to mark the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who next year.
An Adventure in Space and Time will tell the story of the genesis of Doctor Who since its first broadcast on 23 November 1963. Exploring all aspects of the longest running science fiction series to date, the special one off 90 minute drama will also look at the many personalities involved in bringing the series to life.
Written by Mark Gatiss, it is Executive Produced by current Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat and Caroline Skinner. The single drama was commissioned by Ben Stephenson Controller, Drama and Janice Hadlow, Controller of BBC TWO.
Mark Gatiss, Writer, said:
“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. I’ve wanted to tell this story this for more years than I can remember! To make it happen for ‘Doctor Who’s 50th birthday is quite simply a dream come true”.
Steven Moffat, Executive Producer, said:
“The story of Doctor Who is the story of television – so it’s fitting in the anniversary year that we make our most important journey back in time to see how the TARDIS was launched.”
The production and transmission schedule will be confirmed next year, along with casting.