Bradley is best known for playing Hogwarts caretaker Argus Filch in the Harry Potter film series. He is also an established theatre actor with a career that includes a Laurence Olivier Award for a supporting role in a production of King Lear.
This won't be Bradley's first involvement with the worlds of Doctor Who. He played Solomon in last year's episode Dinosaurs on a Spaceship and provided a Shansheeth voice in the 2010 Sarah Jane Adventures story Death of the Doctor.
An Adventure in Space and Time will tell the story behind the creation of Doctor Who and the many personalities involved. The BBC’s Head of Drama Sydney Newman, credited with the creation of the show, will be portrayed by Shakespearean actor Brian Cox, who voiced the elder Ood in the 2009 Doctor Who episode The End of Time.
Doctor Who's first producer, Verity Lambert, will be played by Call the Midwife star Jessica Raine (shortly to appear in one of this year's episodes), while the director of the first serial, Waris Hussein, will be played by Sacha Dhawan, best known for his appearances in The History Boys and Last Tango In Halifax. (Some photos of Waris and Sacha together can be seen courtesy of the Radio Times.)
Commenting on his upcoming role, Bradley said:
I’m absolutely thrilled. I first heard about this role from Mark [Gatiss] while watching the Diamond Jubilee flotilla from the roof of the National Theatre. When he asked if I would be interested, I almost bit his hand off! Mark has written such a wonderful script not only about the birth of a cultural phenomenon, but a moment in television’s history. William Hartnell was one of the finest character actors of our time and as a fan I want to make sure that I do him justice. I’m so looking forward to getting started.The one-off 90-minute BBC Two drama has been written by Doctor Who writer and actor Mark Gatiss, who will also act as executive producer alongside Steven Moffat and Caroline Skinner. Gatiss said:
What a cast! I'm utterly delighted that everyone's favourite Time Lord will be in such brilliant and stellar company. We have a terrific team who can't wait to tell the fascinating and surprising story of how the Doctor began his journey through Space and Time.
The readthrough for the drama took place yesterday, with Gatiss describing the day as "thrilling and moving". Filming starts at the beginning of February at BBC Television Centre before moving to Wimbledon Studios. It is being produced by Matt Strevens (Misfits, Skins) and directed by Terry McDonough (Breaking Bad, The Street).
The film is a co-production between BBC America and BBC Cymru Wales and will air both sides of the Atlantic in November, after being premièred at the BFI in London.