An Adventure in Space and Time Combo Pack Review

     Actors: David Bradley
  • Directors: Terry McDonough
  • Format: Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: BBC Home Entertainment
  • Release Date: May 27, 2014
  • Run Time: 90 minutes



            As popular as “Doctor Who” has been for so many decades and various incarnations, it is rather difficult to imagine the struggle that the series first faced with the creation of those defining first episodes. The BBC provides a predictably heartfelt recreation of these humble origins with An Adventure in Space and Time, strengthened by a solid cast of performers playing performers. This story may be a work of non-fiction, but it is sure to attract the many sci-fi fans that have made “Doctor Who” the longest running series of its kind.


            There were many factors involved in the creation and eventual production of the extremely low-budget sci-fi serial in the early 1960s, and this 90-minute TV-film touches on many of them, but the focus of the narrative remains on BBC executive Sydney Newman (Brian Cox), novice producer Verity Lambert (“Call the Midwife” star Jessica Raine), director Waris Hussein (Sacha Dhawan), and unlikely star William Hartnell (David Bradley). The film begins with Newman’s unpopular decision to appoint a woman as the producer, and it is Lambert’s first opportunity to be more than an assistant. We follow as each crucial player is added, and the film ends with the last departure from the show, which would continue long after without them.


    The show has a shoestring budget, but Lambert plays many roles as she is forced to placate notoriously crotchety actor Hartnell into believing he is a huge star. Ironically, it did not take long at all before “Doctor Who” really did make him a huge star. Many actors would follow, but this film is more interested with the exits of these initial crucial players, beginning with Hussein and ending with Hartnell. Despite only having a 90-minute running-time, An Adventure in Space and Time manages to cram in plenty of historical facts, not to mention some clever references to the “Doctor Who” world that fans are sure to enjoy.


    The bonus DVD included has the first “Doctor Who” adventure, as seen in the film. This disc has additional bonus material, on top of the extras on the Blu-ray disc that are exclusive to the TV film. There is a making-of feature, which is narrated by actress Carole Ann Ford. Also included are some deleted scenes, but perhaps the coolest of the extras are the recreated scenes from the series, shot with the original Marconi cameras.


    Entertainment Value: 6/10

    Quality of Filmmaking: 7.5/10

    Historical Significance:  6/10

    Special Features: 8.5/10

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