Turns out Christmas won’t be the only time we hear David Bradley play the First Doctor.

In Doctor Who: The First Doctor Adventures, award-winning actor David Bradley will take on the role of the Doctor’s first incarnation. The series will comprise two volumes with two stories apiece, coming out in January and July 2018 respectively.

The Original

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.

Each volume will comprise of two four-part stories, with each episode getting its own title. These will be revealed on the Big Finish website closer to release. Volume One will include ‘The Destination Wars’ by Matt Fitton and ‘The Great White Hurricane’ by Guy Adams. Volume Two will feature ‘The Invention of Death’ by John Dorney and ‘The Barbarians and the Samurai’ by Andrew Smith. One story is even set to feature The Master!


David Bradley and Claudia Grant
David Bradley and Claudia Grant

Joining the First Doctor’s wanderings in the fourth dimension will be a familiar cast in semi-familiar roles. Jamie Glover will play Ian Chesterton, Jemma Powell as Barbara Wright and Claudia Grant (left) will play the Doctor’s granddaughter, Susan. The release reunites the cast of Mark Gatiss’ 2013 docudrama ‘An Adventure in Space and Time‘. In that film, the cast played the actors whose roles they are now inheriting. David Bradley’s turn as William Hartnell saw him meet the incumbent Eleventh Doctor, played by Matt Smith, in a vision.

Executive producer Nicholas Briggs said: “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.

Twice Upon a Time

David Bradley will, of course, play the First Doctor on TV shortly before the first volume is released. He made a surprise cameo at the end of series ten leading in to the 2017 Christmas Special, ‘Twice Upon a Time‘. He called out to Peter Capaldi’s Twelfth Doctor as both incarnations are set to face their regenerations. We’ve already mentioned David Bradley’s appearance as William Hartnell in ‘An Adventure in Space and Time’. But that wasn’t his first encounter with the Whoniverse. He also portrayed Solomon in the 2012 episode ‘Dinosaurs on a Spaceship’ which also pitted him against Matt Smith’s Doctor.

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.

‘The First Doctor Adventures’ volumes one and two are available to pre-order now from the Big Finish website. Volume One is available for £23 on CD and £20 for download. It can also be purchased as a bundle with Volume Two for £45 CD and £40 download.


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