David Bradley Returns As The First Doctor!

Yesterday, Big Finish announced two box sets featuring David Bradley as the First Doctor, alongside the cast of An Adventure In Space and Time. The first box set, scheduled to be released soon after this years Christmas special, Twice Upon A Time, features two stories, The Destination Wars by Matt Fitton and The Great White Hurricane by Guy Adams. Then, in July 2018, the second box set will be released, containing a further two stories, The Invention of Death by John Dorney and The Barbarians and The Samurai by Andrew Smith. Read on after the break for the full Press Release…

Materialising just after Christmas, The First Doctor Adventures features David Bradley reprising his role in a new set of stories for a very familiar, yet very new, Doctor.

Following his stellar portrayal of William Hartnell in BBC Two’s An Adventure in Space and Time, David Bradley (Game of Thrones, Harry Potter, Broadchurch, Captain America) is set to star as the First Doctor in this year’s BBC One Doctor Who Christmas Special alongside Peter Capaldi. And now Big Finish Productions, in arrangement with BBC Worldwide, are giving this reimagined First Doctor another chance to explore the cosmos!

Joining David Bradley are his co-stars from An Adventure in Space and Time reprising their roles as the iconic rst TARDIS team. Jamie Glover (Elizabeth, Waterloo Road, Holby City) plays Ian Chesterton, Jemma Powell (Alice in Wonderland, Angel, Foyle’s War) plays Barbara Wright, and Claudia Grant (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child) plays Susan – the Doctor’s granddaughter and the original ‘Unearthly Child’.

The adventures of the First Doctor are all about discovery,” says script editor and writer Matt Fitton, “finding out what this infinite universe contains, and also who our fellow travellers are. As we journey with Ian, Barbara, Susan and the mysterious Doctor, we come to see what they are capable of when confronted with the strange, the unjust and the dangerous.

Executive producer Nicholas Briggs: “Having worked with David twice now on TV, it’s great to be working with him again. Matt and his team of writers have come up with such a beautifully authentic set of scripts. We forget how different Doctor Who was, back in those early days – and here it all is, painstakingly recreated. I find that rather thrilling.

I’ve always been a great admirer of David Bradley’s work”, says executive producer Jason Haigh-Ellery, “and thought that he was an excellent choice to play William Hartnell in An Adventure in Space and Time. After his brilliant performance, we immediately thought about bringing David in to play the First Doctor for Big Finish – it took us a while – but we got there in the end! I’m so looking forward to seeing David in the Christmas Special and then listening to his further adventures with us.

This series of adventures pays homage to the beginning years of Doctor Who, and each of the four episodes in each story will be given an individual title (which will be revealed on the Big Finish website). Two of the four stories are historical, focusing on tales from Earth’s history pre-1963. Back in its first few years, Doctor Who was intended to be an educational programme using time travel as a means to explore scientific ideas and famous moments in history, while still captivating the minds and imaginations of generations to come.

Not only will the Doctor be exploring our history, but he will also encounter strange new life forms – the Dalmari and the Ashtallans. And in a Big Finish exclusive, the First Doctor will encounter his greatest foe, the first incarnation of fellow Time Lord, the Master!


David Richardson, producer:
An Adventure in Space and Time was truly a magical production, and David Bradley, Jamie Glover, Claudia Grant and Jemma Powell did such beautiful jobs of playing the actors who in turn were playing the roles of the First Doctor and his companions. We’ve been talking for some time about doing The First Doctor Adventures with this crew, and this year it all came together – and what a joyous surprise to then learn that David Bradley was to play the First Doctor in the Doctor Who Christmas Special too! So it’s 1963 all over again. The black and white TV has warmed up and the TARDIS is about to land inside a storage area on a futuristic alien world. Season One of Doctor Who just got some brand new adventures…

Matt Fitton, writer and script editor:
The adventures of the First Doctor are all about discovery – finding out what this in nite universe contains, and also, who his fellow travellers are. As we journey with Ian, Barbara, Susan and the mysterious Doctor, we come to see what they are capable of when confronted with the strange, the unjust, and the dangerous. For me, being able to recreate this era with such a marvellous cast, is a privilege: we get to discover the wonder of Doctor Who all over again. The Destination Wars takes inspiration from those earliest sci-fi serials – the likes of The Daleks, The Keys of Marinus and The Space Museum – bringing them into the now, with brand new takes on some familiar (and perhaps surprising!) elements.

Guy Adams, writer:
That first year of Doctor Who was such a mad, beautiful world of adventure. From pre-history to Skaro, fifteenth century Mexico to the Sense Sphere. It exudes class and invention. To have the opportunity to channel that – and in a pure historical no less – was one of the most exciting commissions I’ve had to date. And to do it in such exciting company! David Bradley, Jemma Powell, Jamie Glover and Claudia Grant… I’d travel with them anywhere.

The Great Blizzard of 1888 was a historical event I’ve always wanted to write about. One of the most severe blizzards ever recorded, a terrifying wave of wind and snow and ice that brought New York to a standstill (and not just New York, it moved across a huge chunk of the east coast). It killed hundreds of people and trapped countless more as the world around them became lethal. To drop the Doctor and his travelling companions into that – and gang warfare too – was too rich a mix to ignore.”

If you’ve made it this far, I can give you a little treat of the individual episode titles for the box set too!

The Destination Wars
1. Journey To The Future
2. The Father of Invention
3. The Destination Wars
4. Prisoners of Time

The Great White Blizzard
1. The Coming Storm
2. The Frozen City
3. The Killer In The Snow
4. River of Doom


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