David Bradley as William Hartnell (the First Doctor) in front of the TARDIS

David Bradley returns for a new First Doctor Unbound audio series

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The star reunites with his TARDIS crew for a series of “Technicolor” adventures, unburdened by series continuity. 

In recent years, Doctor Who audio producers Big Finish have recast the earliest Doctors, launching them in their own ongoing ranges. Stephen Noonan plays the First Doctor, while Michael Troughton has taken on his father’s role as the Second Doctor.

Prior to this however, David Bradley was the audio First Doctor following his appearance as William Hartnell in the 50th anniversary docudrama An Adventure in Space and Time. With the actors who played his companions, Jamie Glover, Jemma Powell and Claudia Grant, he recorded ten adventures across five boxsets.

David Bradley has also appeared onscreen the First Doctor in Doctor Who proper. First, he was opposite Peter Capaldi for the cliffhanger ending of ‘The Doctor Falls’, which led into 2017’s Christmas Special ‘Twice Upon A Time’.

David Bradley as the First Doctor (A Guardian of the Edge)

Later, he popped up as a “Guardian of the Edge” inside the Doctor’s mind for Jodie Whittaker’s final story.

The First Doctor Unbound

Now, David Bradley’s version is returning to audio for an intriguing new series. The First Doctor Unbound range promises stories that break free from the bounds of continuity, inspired by the spirit of the 1960s Dalek movies.

It’s an interesting move from Big Finish, framing Bradley’s incarnation in the same continuity-busting place as the late David Warner’s Unbound Doctor. Or Colin Baker’s recent Doctor of War.

Producer David O’Mahony said:

“The Peter Cushing feature films of the 1960s were our stylistic inspiration here – the lighter tone, the spirit of high adventure, the true Technicolor nature of the storytelling. We want all these adventures to have that bank holiday or Sunday afternoon feeling.

 “We combined this with the brilliant cast of the BBC’s anniversary special An Adventure in Space and Time, led by the legendary David Bradley. Working with such a wonderful cast and an exceptional creative team, we have created a time fracture leading to a separate universe… it might not be canon (or is it?), but it’s going to be brilliant!

“I cannot tell you how excited I am to be taking charge of The First Doctor Unbound. Similarly to the Lost Stories range, making these stories unbound to the television continuity of Doctor Who gives us a wonderful creative freedom to explore characters, stories and styles.

“The hunger to create new stories and be inspired by various parts of the Whoniverse has driven so many wonderful Big Finish productions – to bring in this Doctor and set him on these adventures is like unearthing a treasure trove of potential and exciting tales.”

Doctor Who – The First Doctor Unbound Volume 1 is released in September 2025. It’s available to pre-order now on collector’s edition CD box set + download, or download only, exclusively from Big Finish.

To celebrate the announcement, David Bradley has recorded a version of William Hartnell’s famous speech from the end of ‘The Dalek Invasion of Earth: Flashpoint’, which was also used to launch ‘The Five Doctors’…