BBC announces ‘Doctor Who’ biopic to mark show’s 50th anniversary

Mark Gatiss to pen one-off drama focusing on the genesis of the long-running sci-fi series

The BBC has commissioned a Doctor Who biopic to mark the show’s 50th anniversary.

According to a BBC press release, the one-off 90-minute drama will “tell the story of the genesis of Doctor Who since its first broadcast on 23 November 1963″. It promises to “explore all aspects of the longest running science fiction series to date,” while also “looking at the many personalities involved in bringing the series to life”. Titled An Adventure In Space And Time, the biopic will air on BBC Two at some point next year (2013).

The script will be written by Mark Gatiss, who has a close association with the show, having starred in a 2007 episode called ‘The Lazarus Experiment’ and written four other instalments of the long-running sci-fi series. Gatiss has also penned numerous Doctor Who novels and audio plays.

Discussing the focus of the biopic, Gatiss explained: “This is the story of how an unlikely set of brilliant people created a true television original. And how an actor – William Hartnell – stereotyped in hardman roles became a hero to millions of children. I’ve wanted to tell this story this for more years than I can remember! To make it happen for Doctor Who‘s 50th birthday is quite simply a dream come true.”

An Adventure In Space Of Time will also feature creative input from current Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat. He added in a statement: “The story of Doctor Who is the story of television – so it’s fitting in the anniversary year that we make our most important journey back in time to see how the TARDIS was launched.”

Casting, production and transmission deals for the biopic will confirmed at a later date. Meanwhile, the new season of Doctor Who is expected to begin on BBC One later this month, although the exact broadcast date has yet to be confirmed.