Richard Curtis: Writing ‘Doctor Who’ Prepared Me for Doing ‘About Time’

Bill Nighy, Domhnall Gleeson, Rachel McAdams and Richard Curtis at the premiere of About Time on August 8, 2013 in London. (Photo: Jon Furniss/Invision /AP)

Bill Nighy, Domhnall Gleeson, Rachel McAdams and Richard Curtis at the premiere of About Time on August 8, 2013 in London. (Photo: Jon Furniss/Invision /AP)

About Time, an ever-so timey-wimey rom-com written and directed by Richard Curtis, arrived in limited release on November 1, ahead of a nationwide expansion this Friday (November 8). It tells the story of young British man (Domhnall Gleeson) who learns from his father (Bill Nighy) that he can time-travel and re-experience key moments in his life, which all comes in handy in his awkward but promising romance with a lovely but dotty American expat (Rachel McAdams). (Did we mention that his time-traveling vehicle is a cupboard?)

If there’s a slight Whovian tint to the film, know that it was entirely intentional. Curtis wrote an episode of the long-running sci-fi series Doctor Who back in 2010 titled “Vincent and the Doctor,” which brought the Doctor and Amy Pond in the midst of the tragic 19th century painter Vincent Van Gogh. (About Time star and longtime Curtis cohort Nighy appeared at the end of the episode in a tear-jerking scene.)

Curtis told us, “The Doctor Who episode I wrote was definitely part of the education to be able to write this movie.” Watch our interview with him, as well as a bit of Bill Nighy talking about his role in “Vincent and the Doctor.”

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Plus, where would the About Time crew go if they had the power to time-travel? Bill Nighy would correct a few bad hairdos.

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And here’s Nighy’s scene from the “Vincent and the Doctor” episode. If your eyes don’t at least well up, I will question your humanity.

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See more:
Brit Binge Watching: Five Richard Curtis Films Available to View Online
New Romantic Comedy ‘About Time’ Offers Welcome Glimpse of London Sights
Armando Iannucci: “I Want To Write A ‘Doctor Who’ Episode”

Kevin Wicks

Kevin Wicks founded BBCAmerica.com's Anglophenia blog back in 2005 and has been translating British culture for an American audience ever since. While not British himself - he was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri - he once received inordinate hospitality in London for sharing the name of a dead but beloved EastEnders character. His Anglophilia stems from a high school love of Morrissey, whom he calls his "gateway drug" into British culture.

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