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Published on October 17th, 2010 | by Andrew Reynolds

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Gatiss Moonlights With Wells

Doffing his cap to one of Sci-Fi’s (and literature’s) greatest minds writer/actor Mark Gatiss (Victory of the Daleks, The Unquiet Dead and The Lazarus Experiment‘s Professor Lazarus)  is set to appear in a new BBC4 TV Movie based on The First Men in the Moon – H. G. Wells’ seminal take on the evils of British Colonialism.

Not as well known as The Time Machine or War of the Worlds; the novel concerns the fanciful concept of a Victorian business man Julius Bedford (Rory Kinnear) and an eccentric scientist,  Professor Cavor (Mark Gatiss) traveling to the moon via the magic of anti-gravity paint – Cavorite.

Only once they leave their quaint homespun craft they come into close contact with the Moon’s insectoid race of Selenites.

The debt Doctor Who owes to Herbert George Wells is simple; no Wells, no Doctor Who. The obvious starting place would be The Time Machine. Published in 1895 the novel was the first to popularise time travel – influencing thousands of other works of fiction in the process.

The novel is also an early example of the “Dying Earth” sub-genre which Doctor Who has plundered on many occasions- one particular Wellsian paradigm would be the First Doctor Serial The Daleks.

Wells himself has made a few appearances in the Whoinverse such as Sixth Doctor tale Timelash and in IDW’s stand alone tale The Time Machination featuring the Tenth Doctor and various references to Timelash.

Written by Gatiss and directed by Damon Thomas (who previously collaborated on The Worst Journey In The World and Crooked House) The First Men in the Moon airs Tuesday, October 19th at 9:00pm on BBC4 and again on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday.

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About the Author

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Everyone has a favourite Doctor and mine - just for his honesty, his fairness and his ability to not notice the Master's awful, awful disguises/anagrams (Sir Gilles Estram!?!) - has to be the Fifth Doctor, Peter Davison. The stories didn’t serve him as well as his acting served those stories.




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