William Hartnell

Greatest TV Pilots, Doctor Who, “An Unearthly Child”

Setting aside how iconic Doctor Who has become, in watching its pilot episode “An Unearthly Child”, it’s stunning how ambitious and magical the episode still feels; it’s not hard to see why the show has lasted 50 years.

David Bradley as William Hartnell in An Adventure in Space and Time

‘An Adventure in Space and Time’ an affecting, overly sentimental love letter to Who

As a love letter to the creation of Doctor Who, Mark Gatiss’ An Adventure in Space and Time gets a lot right. It’s faithful, it features excellent performances, and it is appropriately wistful about a series that has become an institution. Unfortunately, by adhering so closely to this notion of fond remembrances, the film limits its potential, becoming little more than a curiosity for interested Whovians. Doctor Who, which just celebrated the 50th anniversary of its debut, is a television phenomenon, arguably more popular now than when it burst onto the scene in 1963 with its incredibly popular second story, The Daleks. Given Who’s less-than-smooth journey from concept to broadcast and the many colorful people involved with its creation, a TV movie exploring the series’ beginnings makes narrative and commercial sense, particularly during its Golden Jubilee year. An Adventure in Space and Time delivers on this promise, showing the genesis of the characters and Who’s now famous title sequence, sound effects and music, and set design. For those uninterested in how a bobbin and some punched out cardboard gave viewers the TARDIS, however, there’s only so much to hold on to.

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