Potter actor signs on to play 1st Doctor in Who 50th special

Doctor Who is turning 50, and it's celebrating by going back to the very beginning.

One of the most fun things the BBC has been planning for the good Doc's big five-oh is a special, An Adventure in Space and Time, which would dramatize how Doctor Who first got started.  It's being written by Who scribe and longtime fan of the show Mark Gatiss, but the big news is that the show has finally been cast.

If you're going to tell this story, one of the biggest challenges comes in the form of recasting the actor who played the original Doctor, William Hartnell.  It's been a long time since 1963, and both Hartnell and his '80s replacement, Richard Hurndall, have long since passed on.  So who do you get to fill the role?

Hartnell's Doctor was known for being a bit doddering and often a little mean.  With that in mind, the BBC have made a masterstroke by hiring veteran actor David Bradley, who recently appeared in last year's Who episode Dinosaurs on a Spaceship as the big baddie.  Most of us know him, though, through Harry Potter as the villainous Argus Filch.

That really is inspired casting -- even looking at him you can see a bit of the Hartnell about him.  In fact, we're now wondering if perhaps we might not see Bradley again if that whole 11 Doctors thing turns out to be true.  Hmmm ...

(via BBC America)