The outpouring of love for this wonderful film from writer Mark Gatiss after it aired was quite extraordinary. Indeed, the screening I attended, which included the odd cynical journo, was awash with tears and warmth. Gatiss really did create a slice of heaven with An Adventure in Space and Time. Having watched it five or six times now, I can genuinely say this has been the highlight of the anniversary year, it is utter perfection.
I’ve already posted a review, which you can check out HERE so I shan’t bore you with my further thoughts but one thing I rather foolishly omitted from this piece was any comment on the beautiful soundtrack from Edmund Butt. It really did lift the special into new realms with jaunty moments, notably the intro, but also those deeply affecting and emotional moments, such as the breakdown of Hartnell on set. Butt’s work is incredible and it was most remiss of me not to flag this up in my initial review. I hope this sees a release by itself in the future.
Gratifyingly, we’re given some top special features to complement An Adventure in Space and Time. First up, William Hartnell: The Original – a very brief look at Hartnell from those who knew him and those filming An Adventure. It’s very touching, and includes that infamous recently found interview footage, with his real life granddaughter Jessica and television granddaughter Carole Ann Ford making some heartfelt contributions. Sadly, it’s just too short but appreciated nonetheless.
The Making of An Adventure, narrated by Carole Ann Ford, is a fun look at the genesis of Doctor Who drama including interviews with all the main players and some mightily impressive behind-the-scenes action. And just check out the footage of writer Mark Gatiss dressed as The Third Doctor – wonderful stuff! Again, a lovely piece and grateful to have it, but all too short.
Best of all the extras are the Doctor Who reconstructions. Presented as would have been broadcast, these are delightful examples of just how fastidious the filmmakers were in recreating the past. Highlights include the regenerations of Hartnell into Troughton into Pertwee, played by Gatiss (which should have really been a deleted scene, technically), and the hilarious “Festive Greeting” from The Daleks’ Master Plan; where old Billy H turned to camera and wished everyone at home a Happy Christmas.
Completing the set are two Deleted Scenes which feature an extended scene at The Radiophonic Workshop and a most excellent appearance of a Monoid at Verity’s Leaving Party. Weirdly, the original trailer shown at both Paris Comic Con and SDCC earlier this year doesn’t make it onto this DVD – shame, as it really was a terrific trail.
In short if you haven’t seen An Adventure in Space and Time yet then you really, really need to – and I cannot think of a better way than this terrific DVD set.