Synopsis: A biographical TV film about the creation of Doctor Who, and William Hartnell as the First Doctor (the original, you might say).
• A heartfelt story that aimed to remind us all about the joy that Doctor Who always was.
• David Bradley is perfect as imperfect William Hartnell, who played the irascible and mysterious First Doctor. He was so perfect that he later played the First Doctor in the main show and audio dramas.
• The rest of the cast rounded out the film perfectly, particularly Jessica Raine as Verity Lambert and Brian Cox as Sydney Newman, Doctor Who’s co-creators.
• As a dramatization, the story excludes or alters some details for not always clear reasons, and that understanding can take away from the well executed story.
This TV film all but came out of nowhere, yet seemed a long-time coming. It can be easy to assume that the show became completely different over time. The show certainly has evolved, and one can speculate as to how the old fashioned William Hartnell would feel about Jodie Whittaker! Yet, the show’s big hearts have never really changed, and nor should they. It has always been a bit of a fairy tale told as science-fiction. And like true fairy tales, the stories can be complicated. Hartnell may not have been known to be the easiest coworker, but he had helped to create something far more endearing than any likely dreamed. Indeed, its progressive tones of strong women characters and dark heroes saving the universe was ahead of its time. It was a far-cry from the black and white Cold War era it was born in. The film may glaze over some people and details, but a good quote is always worth paraphrasing to better describe sometimes. The message of the show and film are one in the same: change is difficult, but worth it for the sake of continuing and assuring a positive legacy.
Doctor Who Franchise
Rotten Tomatoes — 95%