“I’m absolutely thrilled.. Mark has written such a wonderful script, not only about the birth of a cultural phenomenon, but a moment in television’s history. Hartnell was one of the finest character actors of our time and as a fan I want to make sure that I do him justice. I’m so looking forward to getting started.”
The role of BBC Head of Drama, Sydney Newman, credited with creating Doctor Who, has gone to Scottish actor, Brian Cox (the voice of the Elder Ood in The End of Time). Founding producer Verity Lambert will be portrayed by Call the Midwife actress, Jessica Raine, who also stars as Emma Grayling in forthcoming episode, Phantoms of the Hex. Director of An Unearthly Child, Waris Hussein will be played by Manchunian, Sacha Dhawan (from Last Tango in Halifax).
Casting news for the other leads, William Russell (Ian Chesterton), Jacqueline Hill (Barbara Wright) and Carole Ann Ford (Susan Foreman) has not yet been announced.
Matt Strevens (Misfits, Skins) has been appointed producer, and Terry McDonough (The Street) will direct the serial.
Gatiss, also joining Steven Moffat and Caroline Skinner as executive producers, said:
“What a cast! I’m utterly delighted that everyone’s favourite Time Lord will be in such brilliant and stellar company. We have a terrific team who can’t wait to tell the fascinating and surprising story of how the Doctor began his journey through Space and Time.”