The BBC has commissioned a drama about the creation of Doctor Who.
Programme writer Mark Gatiss, who announced the drama’s commissioning on Twitter, said he was “thrilled”.
Doctor Who first aired on BBC One in 1963 with William Hartnell playing the Timelord and ran until its cancellation in 1989.
After the show’s cancellation the corporation continued to produce merchandise, including books, videos and games based on the series.
In 1996 it co-produced a TV movie with Universal Television which starred Paul McGann as the Doctor.
The project failed to lead to a series but in 2003 the sci-fi drama was revived by BBC One controller Lorraine Heggessey with Queer as Folk writer Russell T Davies at the helm.
When it aired in 2005 the show was an instant hit, winning audiences of 10m and spawning two spin-off series, Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures.
Written by long-time fan and TV writer Mark Gatiss, the origins drama will form part of next year’s 50th anniversary celebrations.
Entitled An Adventure In Space And Time, the 90-minute special will tell the story of the show’s genesis and explore all aspects of the series to date. The BBC says it will also look at the many personalities involved in bringing the series to life.
Gatiss said: “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 hard-man roles became a hero to millions of children.
“I’ve wanted to tell this story for more years than I can remember! To make it happen for Doctor Who’s 50th birthday is quite simply a dream come true.”
Steven Moffat, the show’s current Executive Producer, added: “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.”
A seventh series, starring Matt Smith as the Doctor, will air on BBC One later this year.