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Duration: 1 hour, 30 minutes

A special one-off drama that travels back to 1963 to see how Doctor Who was first brought to the screen. Actor William Hartnell felt trapped by a succession of hard-man roles. Wannabe producer Verity Lambert was frustrated by the TV industry's glass ceiling. Both of them were to find unlikely hope and unexpected challenges in the form of a Saturday tea-time drama. Allied with a team of unusual but brilliant people, they went on to create the longest running science fiction series ever made.

Followed by William Hartnell: The Original, a five-minute documentary looking at how William Hartnell shaped the Doctor and his legacy. Featuring rare archive footage and new interviews with many who worked with him, including Carole Ann Ford, Peter Purves and Waris Hussein, as well as Matt Smith, Peter Davison and Hartnell's granddaughter Jessica Carney.

Last on

Christmas Day 2013 16:15 BBC Two

Credits

William Hartnell
David Bradley
Verity Lambert
Jessica Raine
Sydney Newman
Brian Cox
Waris Hussein
Sacha Dhawan
Heather Hartnell
Lesley Manville
William Russell
Jamie Glover
Jacqueline Hill
Jemma Powell
Carole Ann Ford
Claudia Grant
Mervyn Pinfield
Jeff Rawle
Rex Tucker
Andrew Woodall
Douglas Camfield
Sam Hoare
Judith Carney
Cara Jenkins
Arthur
Charlie Kemp
Len
Roger May
Richard Martin
Ian Hallard
Delia Derbyshire
Sarah Winter
Peter Brachacki
David Annen
Donald Baverstock
Mark Eden
Reg
Ross Gurney-Randall
Alan
Reece Pockney
Writer
Mark Gatiss
Producer
Matt Strevens
Director
Terry McDonough

Broadcasts

Enter the World of Doctor Who

Enter the World of Doctor Who

50 years of adventure! Join the Doctor for great clips, trailers, news and fun!

Behind the Scenes Special

The Dawn of the Doctor…

Go behind the scenes with key contributors and special exclusive footage!

Buy online

Available on: DVD

From suppliers including: BBC Shop

Where to buy

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