BBC confirms we'll see how the Time Lord came to be for Who's 50th

Contributed by
Dec 17, 2012

It seems like we've been talking about what the BBC will wind up doing for Doctor Who's 50th anniversary next year almost as long as the show's been on the air, but we're finally making some progress. Though we still don't know which Doctors might be on board to join Matt Smith for an anniversary special, the BBC has just confirmed that at least one other big project is on the way.

Longtime Who writer Mark Gatiss announced this week that he's been tasked with writing a 90-minute drama for the BBC telling the story of how Doctor Who first made it to TV screens back in 1963. Titled An Adventure in Time and Space, the film will tell the story of how one of the most iconic television series of all time first came to be.

"This is the story of how and 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," Gatiss said. "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."

Gatiss, whose name you might recognize as the co-creator of Sherlock, has been involved with the revived Who series since the beginning. His contributions as a writer include "The Unquiet Dead" (season one), "The Idiot's Lantern" (season two), "Victory of the Daleks" (season five) and "Night Terrors" (season six). He's also written four Doctor Who novels and several Who short stories, and like many who work on the show, he's a lifelong fan.

So while Steven Moffat and company are telling the story of the Doctor's present (and past, and future), Gatiss has been tasked with telling the story of the Doctor's nonfictional origins. We don't know yet when An Adventure in Space and Time will air, but the very first episode of Doctor Who debuted Nov. 23, 1963, so it's probably a safe bet we can look for this in late 2013.

(Via Bleeding Cool)

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