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Published on July 23rd, 2012 | by Andrew Reynolds

Doctor Who’s Birthday Docudrama?

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Frankie Howerd: Rather You than Me, The Road to Coronation St. and The Curse of Steptoe. All fantastic television specials dramatizing the events surrounding the programmes and TV personalities that have changed the way we perceive the genre and those who helped define its inception.

One such inception that seems absolutely ripe for dramatization is Doctor Who, which according to this recent posting on the BBC Careers page (via Doctor Who News), could soon have its own origins turned into a BBC docudrama.

The posting (now close3d) called for a new producer with a ‘passion for drama and a knowledge of Doctor Who’ and that the applicant should preferably have knowledge of period drama.

The production itself is a single drama for BBC Two and will take place at the Roath Lock Studios in Cardiff Bay for a five-month term.

The possibility of Doctor Who becoming the subject of such a drama was broached on The Graham Norton Show in February when Doctor Who actor/writer Mark Gatiss was asked if he was involved in such a production.

Naturally, there was no direct answer:

“I’m writing on the back of my hand, now, what a good idea that would be!”

Other than similar productions there is precedent for Gatiss’ involvement – he has already contributed to 1999′s Doctor Who Night on BBC2, including a spoof documentary on commissioning the series, The Pitch of Fear.

So who would you like to see involved in such a project? Is Gatiss a good choice? Who would you like to see in the roles of Sydney Newman or Verity Lambert? Would you like to see a former Doctor play a role? Who’d play William Hartnell?


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About the Author


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.

10 Responses to Doctor Who’s Birthday Docudrama?

  1. avatar Drew says:

    Gatiss should write it and play all the parts himself, League of Gentlemen style!

  2. avatar CastellanSpandrel says:

    Haven’t a clue about the casting but wouldn’t be surprised if this happened and have posted re: this on the forum ages ago.

    The angle would surely be about the difficulties of a young woman (Verity Lambert) working in a male-dominated profession in the early 60s.

    Would be lovely to see re-enactments of filming of early Who; particularly the first Daleks story.

  3. avatar Stellaflora says:

    Who’d play William Hartnell?
    Whoever they’re casting to play the First Doctor in the 50th special of course. ^-^
    (crosses fingers and hopes for The 11 Doctor’s to come true. :p)

  4. avatar Drew says:

    VERITY: Andrea Riseborough or Felicity Jones.
    SYDNEY NEWMAN: Dan Ayckroyd or Mike Myers (both proud Canadians capable of doing dramatic work).
    WILLIAM HARTNELL: Simon Callow (or David Tennant acting on his knees)
    DALEKS: Nick Briggs

    • avatar Marty-poo says:

      Anton Lesser would play a cracking william hartnell

  5. avatar Charles Norton says:

    I seem to remember that Mark Gatiss was talking about a Hartnell drama about ten years ago. It was in DWM. Perhaps it’s being brought out of mothballs.

  6. avatar Francis Cave says:

    Wasn’t there a mini drama on one of the BBC channels only a year or two ago??

    I seem to recall it featuring an actress playing Verity Lambert at the start of her involvement in the series.

    • avatar Jason says:

      Francis, you maybe mean a nine-minute independent production called ‘Verity: Men, Bitches and Daleks’ that’s available on youtube at ; the only BBC production, I think, was a documentary.

      • avatar Francis Cave says:

        Yes that was it!!

        Funny, I could have sworn I had seen it on TV.

        The Memory Cheats as a certain producer used to say!

  7. avatar Mugen Pharoah says:

    This has blatantly been on the cards for a while…I think there have been mild hints in DWM over the past year. Also I bet they will double up the First Doctor’s rebuilt TARDIS set for an appearance in the main series too…

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