Doctor Who Blog

Looking for a Sydney Newman

You may have heard the announcement that one of the ways that Doctor Who‘s 50th Anniversary is to be celebrated next year is with a new docudrama entitled An Adventure in Space and Time written by Who stalwart Mark Gatiss, which will dramatize the creation of the programme back in 1963. Amongst the principal players in the creation of Doctor Who was Producer Verity Lambert, Script Editor David Whitaker, actors William Hartnell, William Russell, Carole Ann Ford and Jacqueline Hill, director Waris Hussain, and originator and instigator of the whole project, Canada’s own Sydney Newman.

With Newman being the only non-Brit amongst the group (even if you also include Donald Wilson, Rex Tucker, Alice Frick and Joanna Spicer (who Verity Lambert had a key meeting to save the show with even before the programme’s first episode had been made)), his casting will likely be the trickiest. I’m hoping that they actually decide to cast a Canadian in the part rather than a British actor or an American. I’m not holding my breath with that, but it does beg the question of just who (amongst Canadian actors) they could cast as Sydney Newman. Louis Del Grande? Michael Ironside? Both are probably too old now even if they were suitable. Any thoughts from our readership?


I don’t expect to see a Canadian fill this role, but I can imagine Toby Jones. He can do an effective N. American accent I guess.

Posted by Andrew B  on  08/14  at  11:33 AM

I’ll do it!

Posted by Doug Grandy  on  08/14  at  12:25 PM

Joshua Jackson of Fringe will probably be free by the time the cameras roll on this. Nathan Fillion would get the general SF fandom audience but he’s too tied up with Castle these days.

Posted by Alex  on  08/16  at  09:19 AM

As I’ve said Bill Nighy for William Hartnell.

How about Clive (Mark Benton) for Syd?

Posted by Ryan  on  08/16  at  01:01 PM

Kiefer Sutherland

Posted by Colleen  on  08/17  at  11:20 AM

Actually Toby Jones ain’t so bad. He looks a lot like Newman and he can do that accent reasonably well. But if we were casting actual North Americans, I’d pick Michael Gladis (Paul Kinsey from Mad Men). A little young for the part but could be aged up. If I had to look at a Canadian actor then Nicholas Campbell. In a heartbeat.

I’m for Robert Carlyle as Hartnell. Bill Nighy seems a bit old now. Actually, Peter Davison would be pretty cool as Hartnell.

Posted by Graeme  on  08/22  at  12:11 PM

Call me crazy but I think David Bradley would make an excellent William Hartnell.

Posted by Christopher Waldrop  on  08/22  at  02:52 PM

  I’m trying to locate any of Sydney Newman’s 3 daughters. If anyone knows anything about them, could you please e-mail me with the information off-line.

Posted by ltoolis  on  08/29  at  02:28 PM

I am a daughter

Posted by Jennifer Newman  on  10/07  at  05:39 PM

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