Doctor Who Anniversary Drama Re-Edited for a Touching Surprise

An Adventure in Space and Time has had an update.

An Adventure in Space and Time BBC promo image
Photo: BBC

Well, it was supposed to have been a surprise. Fifteenth Doctor Ncuti Gatwa let the cat somewhat out of the bag at the GQ Men of the Year awards on November 16, when he announced to The Mirror “I shouldn’t say this but I shot a scene, somehow, with the first ever Doctor, William Hartnell.”

Doctor Who fans put two and two together, correctly guessing that Gatwa didn’t mean the actual William Hartnell, who passed away in 1975, but the version of him played by actor David Bradley – first in 2013 docudrama An Adventure in Space and Time about the creation of Doctor Who, and subsequently in “The Doctor Falls”, “Twice Upon a Time” and “The Power of the Doctor”.

Knowing that An Adventure in Space and Time had yet to appear as part of BBC iPlayer’s extensive Whoniverse, and was scheduled for a BBC Four repeat on the night of the 60th anniversary, a re-edit was expected. After all, there was no other reason to have kept the 79-minute drama from iPlayer until November 23rd – it’s not as though any of the creative team’s family members were putting a spanner in the works.

The scene Gatwa and Hartnell shared was a silent exchange between the First and Fifteenth Doctors in An Adventure in Space and Time’s closing moments, which had originally been shared between Bradley/Hartnell and a digitally added Matt Smith’s Eleventh Doctor, who was in the TARDIS at the time of the 50th anniversary.


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