An Adventure In Space And Time: an appraisal by: GF Willmetts.

If ever there was some expectation with ‘An Adventure In Space And Time’ showing the origins of ‘Doctor Who’, then it fulfilled it in the past 90 minutes this Thursday night. Fans of ‘Doctor Who’ will know that scriptwriter Mark Gatiss has hit all the right points simply because we’re all familiar with the key points in the history both on and off the screen. Added to this is showing some more insight into actor William Hartnell and how he fell in love with the role and later had to be dragged from it as his health deteriorated.

There are some delightful moments, especially seeing the Doorlocks, excuse me, Daleks, Menoptera and the odd Cyberman. There were moments of sheer glee spotting things in the background. About the only thing they glossed over was William Russell and Jacqueline Hill’s departure but I guess Carole Ann Ford’s departure was deemed the stronger choice. The flavour of the early 60s BBC Television Centre and Lime Grove Studios is caught perfectly.

An Adventure In Space And Time: an appraisal
An Adventure In Space And Time: an appraisal

All the actors breathed life into the parts. When compared to the real people in the end credits, it’s obvious why they were chosen. David Bradley as William Hartnell was a brilliant choice. When he shows his likeness with the first Doctor Who Annual, it was made to be like him than Hartnell which made a lot of sense and I suspect Who fans will be wondering where they can get that version. Brian Cox brought Sidney Newman to life. So, too, does Jessica Raine as Verity Lambert and Sacha Dhawan as Waris Hussein. Obviously, the focus is on these people so if you were expecting to see script editor David Whitaker or even Terry Nation, you’re likely to be disappointed.

At Verity Lambert’s leaving party, I wonder how many of you will spot the currently aged Jean Marsh singing. I suspect fans will go over the scenes and see how many other people are hidden away. I did wonder if I spotted the back of Matt Smith in one of the early scenes. As I was writing this appraisal up, I checked the complete cast list on IMDB and there are a lot of people getting their faces in there.

Speaking of whom, the final scenes of transition will undoubtedly not leave a dry eye in any house that saw it tonight as it linked the past to the present.

Absolutely brilliant.

GF Willmetts

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