An Unearthly Child

An Unearthly Child (sometimes referred to as 100,000 BC) is the first serial of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It was first broadcast on BBC TV in four weekly parts from 23 November to 14 December 1963. Scripted by Australian writer Anthony Coburn, the serial introduces William Hartnell as the First Doctor and his original companions: Carole Ann Ford as the Doctor's granddaughter, Susan Foreman, with Jacqueline Hill and William Russell as school teachers Barbara Wright and Ian Chesterton. The first episode deals with Ian and Barbara's discovery of the Doctor and his time-space ship TARDIS in a junkyard in contemporary London. The remaining episodes are set amid a power struggle between warring Stone Age factions who have lost the secret of making fire.

The show was created to fill a gap between children's and young adult programming. Canadian producer Sydney Newman was tasked with creating the show, with heavy contributions from Donald Wilson and C. E. Webber. Newman conceived the idea of the TARDIS, as well as the central character of the Doctor. Production was led by Verity Lambert, the BBC's first female producer, and the serial was directed by Waris Hussein. Following several delays, the first episode was recorded in September 1963 on 405-line black and white videotape, but was re-recorded the following month due to several technical and performance errors. Several changes were made to the show's costuming, effects, performances, and scripts throughout production.

The show's launch was overshadowed by the assassination of John F. Kennedy the previous day, resulting in a repeat of the first episode the following week. The serial received mixed reviews, and the four episodes attracted an average of six million viewers. Retrospective reviews of the serial are favourable. It later received several print adaptations and home media releases.

001 – An Unearthly Child
Doctor Who serial
Unearthly Child 2
Ian and Barbara moments after forcing their way into the TARDIS
Directed byWaris Hussein
Written by
Script editorDavid Whitaker
Produced by
Incidental music composerNorman Kay
Production codeA
SeriesSeason 1
Length4 episodes, 25 minutes each
First broadcast23 November 1963
Last broadcast14 December 1963
← Preceded by
Followed by →
The Daleks


Unearthly Child
The title screen of the first episode of Doctor Who

At Coal Hill School, teachers Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright have concerns about pupil Susan Foreman, who has an alien outlook on England. When the teachers visit her address to investigate, they encounter a police box and hear Susan's voice inside. An old man arrives, but refuses to let the teachers inside the police box. They force their way inside to find Susan in a futuristic control room that is larger than the police box exterior. Susan explains that the object is a time and space machine called the TARDIS and the old man is her grandfather. The unnamed old man, whom Ian and Barbara refer to as the Doctor, says that he and his granddaughter are wanderers in the fourth dimension, exiled from their own planet. Refusing to let Ian and Barbara leave, the Doctor sets the TARDIS in flight and ends up in the Stone Age.

Za, the leader of a primitive Paleolithic tribe, attempts to make fire. A young woman called Hur warns him that if he fails to do so, the stranger called Kal will be made leader. After exiting the TARDIS, the Doctor is kidnapped by Kal, who witnesses him light a match. Kal takes the Doctor back to the tribe and threatens to kill him if he does not make fire; Ian, Barbara and Susan intervene, but the group is imprisoned in a large cave. With the help of Old Mother, who believes that fire will bring death to the tribe, they escape from the settlement but are intercepted and recaptured before reaching the TARDIS. Kal says they will be sacrificed if they do not make fire. While Ian tries to start a fire, Kal enters the cave and attacks Za, but is killed. Ian gives a burning torch to Za, who shows it to the tribe and is declared leader. Susan notices that placing a skull over a burning torch makes it appear alive; when Hur enters the cave, she is faced with several burning skulls, and screams in terror, allowing the group to flee to the TARDIS and escape through time and space to a silent and unknown forest. Unnoticed by the crew, the radiation meter rises to "Danger".



In December 1962, BBC Television's Controller of Programmes Donald Baverstock informed Head of Drama Sydney Newman of a gap in the schedule on Saturday evenings between the sports showcase Grandstand and the pop music programme Juke Box Jury. Baverstock figured that the programme should appeal to three audiences: children who had previously been accustomed to viewing television during the timeslot, the teenage audience of Juke Box Jury, and the adult sports fan audience of Grandstand.[1] Newman decided that a science fiction programme should fill the gap.[2] Head of the Script Department Donald Wilson and writer C.E. Webber contributed heavily to the formatting of the programme, and co-wrote the programme's first format document with Newman;[3] the latter conceived the idea of a time machine larger on the inside than the outside, as well as the central character of the mysterious "Doctor", and the name Doctor Who.[4][a] Production was initiated several months later and handed to producer Verity Lambert—the BBC's first female producer—and story editor David Whitaker to oversee, after a brief period when the show had been handled by a "caretaker" producer, Rex Tucker.[4]

Casting and characters

In Webber's original production documents, the character of the Doctor (referred to as "Dr. Who") was a suspicious and malign character who hated scientists and inventors, and had a secret intention to destroy or nullify the future; Newman rejected this idea, wanting the character to be a father figure.[6] Tucker offered the role of the Doctor to Hugh David; having spent a year working on Knight Errant Limited and not wanting to be tied to another series, David turned down the role.[7] Tucker envisioned a young actor to play the Doctor with aged make-up; however, Lambert favoured an older actor to avoid preparation time and add authenticity to the role. The part was turned down by actors Leslie French, Cyril Cusack, Alan Webb and Geoffrey Bayldon; Cusack and Webb were reluctant to work for a year on a series, while Bayldon wished to avoid another "old man" role.[8] Lambert and director Waris Hussein invited William Hartnell to play the role; after several discussions, Hartnell accepted, viewing it as an opportunity to take his career in a new direction.[9]

The Doctor's companion was originally named Bridget or "Biddy", a 15-year-old girl eager for life. Her teachers were Miss Lola McGovern, a 24-year-old timid woman capable of sudden courage, and Cliff, a "physically perfect, strong and courageous" man.[4] Bridget was renamed Suzan/Suzanne Foreman, later changed to Susan, and writer Anthony Coburn made her the Doctor's granddaughter to avoid any possibility of sexual impropriety implicit in having a young girl travelling with an older man; Newman was reluctant about the idea, as he wanted the character to have human naivety.[10] Miss McGovern later became history teacher Miss Canning, and Susan's birth name briefly became "Findooclare".[11] When the show's bible was written, the two teachers were renamed Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright.[12] Chesterton was much more violent in earlier drafts of the script.[13] William Russell was chosen to portray Chesterton, being the only actor considered by Lambert to do so.[14] Tucker held auditions for the roles of Susan and Barbara on 25 June 1963; actresses Christa Bergmann, Anne Castaldini, Maureen Crombie, Heather Fleming, Camilla Hasse, Waveney Lee, Anna Palk and Anneke Wills were all considered for the role of Susan, while Sally Home, Phyllida Law and Penelope Lee were considered for Barbara.[15] Following Tucker's departure from production, Lambert was in talks with actress Jacqueline Lenya to play Susan, but the role was ultimately given to Carole Ann Ford, a 23-year-old who typically played younger roles.[16] Lambert's friend Jacqueline Hill was chosen to play Barbara.[17]


The programme was originally intended to open with a serial entitled The Giants, written by Webber,[18] but was scrapped by June 1963 as the technical requirements of the storyline—which involved the leading characters being drastically reduced in size—were beyond their capabilities, and the story itself lacked the necessary impact for an opener. Due to the lack of scripts ready for production, the untitled second serial from Coburn was moved to first in the running order.[19] The order change necessitated rewriting the opening episode of Coburn's script to include some introductory elements of Webber's script for the first episode of The Giants; as a result, Webber received a co-writer's credit for "An Unearthly Child" on internal BBC documentation.[20] Coburn also made several significant original contributions to the opening episode, mostly notably that the Doctor's time machine should resemble a police box, an idea he conceived after seeing a real police box while walking near his office.[20]


Unearthly Child pilot
William Hartnell and Carole Ann Ford in the original recording of the first episode, which was later scrapped due to technical issues. Several changes were made before the final recording, including the character's costumes and mannerisms; the Doctor's suit and tie was replaced with an Edwardian outfit, and he became more affectionate towards Susan.[21]

The show remained unnamed in April 1963, simply referred to as The Saturday Serial. It was provisionally scheduled to begin recording on 5 July, to be aired on 27 July, but was delayed.[22] A pilot recording was scheduled to begin filming on 19 July; if successful, it could be broadcast on 24 August.[23] Production was later deferred for a further two weeks while scripts were prepared, and the recording on 19 July was rescheduled as a test session for the dematerialisation effect of the TARDIS.[24] The show's initial broadcast date was pushed back to 9 November, with the pilot recording scheduled for 27 September and regular episodes made from 18 October;[25] the broadcast date was soon pushed back a week to 16 November, due to the BBC's athletics coverage on 9 November,[26] and later to 23 November.[27] The show was granted a budget of £2,300 per episode, with an additional £500 for the construction of the TARDIS.[28]

Tucker was originally selected as the serial's director, but the task was assigned to Hussein following Tucker's departure from production.[20] Some of the pre-filmed inserts for the serial, shot at Ealing Studios in September and October 1963,[29] were directed by Hussein's production assistant Douglas Camfield.[30] The first version of the opening episode was recorded at Lime Grove Studios on the evening of 27 September 1963, following a week of rehearsals. However, the recording was bedevilled with technical errors, including the doors leading into the TARDIS control room failing to close properly. After viewing the episode, Newman ordered that it be mounted again. During the weeks between the two tapings, changes were made to costuming, effects, performances, and scripts.[21][b] The second attempt at the opening episode was recorded on 18 October, with the following three episodes being recorded weekly from 25 October to 8 November.[20]

Themes and analysis

Scholar Mark Bould discusses how the serial establishes Doctor Who's socio-political stances in his 2008 essay "Science Fiction Television in the United Kingdom". He writes, "The story represents the separation/reunion, capture/escape, pursuit/evasion that will dominate the next twenty-six years, as well as the program's consistent advocacy of the BBC's political and social liberalism." He cites Ian and Barbara's attempt to teach a cavewoman kindness, friendship and democracy, writing "a tyrant is not as strong as the whole tribe acting collectively".[32] Scholar John R. Cook reflected in 1999 that the presence of teachers as companions echoes Doctor Who's original educational remit.[33] The New Scientist noted, in 1982, that the serial was set in the Stone Age because the show's original intention was "to bring to life the Earth's history".[34]

Lawrence Miles and Tat Wood argue that the cavemen's focus on fire is meant to stand in for all technology, thus linking the latter three episodes with the questions of generational change raised by the first episode and its focus on suspicion of children, and tying that to a discussion of technological progress, including the nuclear bomb. They also argue that, contrary to the tendency to treat the story as a one-episode introduction to the series followed by "three episodes of running around and escaping" that the piece should be considered as a single, dramatic whole that is "about making four people who barely know one another learn to trust each other".[35]


Broadcast and ratings

EpisodeTitleRun timeOriginal air dateUK viewers
Appreciation Index
1"An Unearthly Child"23:2423 November 19634.463
2"The Cave of Skulls"24:2630 November 19635.959
3"The Forest of Fear"23:387 December 19636.956
4"The Firemaker"24:2214 December 19636.455

The first episode was transmitted at 5:16 p.m. on Saturday 23 November 1963. The assassination of John F. Kennedy the previous day overshadowed the launch of a new television series;[36] as a result, the first episode was repeated a week later, on 30 November, preceding the second episode.[36] The first episode was watched by 4.4 million viewers (9.1% of the viewing audience), and it received a score of 63 on the Appreciation Index;[36] the repeat of the first episode reached a larger audience of six million viewers.[31] Across its four episodes, An Unearthly Child was watched by an average of 6 million (12.3% of potential viewers).[36] Episodes 2–4 achieved ratings of 5.9, 6.9 and 5.4 million viewers, respectively.[31] Mark Bould suggests that a disappointing audience reaction and high production costs prompted the BBC's chief of programmes to cancel the series until the Daleks, introduced in the second serial in December 1963, were immediately popular with viewers.[37]

The serial has been repeated twice on the BBC: on BBC2 in November 1981, as part of the repeat season The Five Faces of Doctor Who, achieving average audience figures of 4.3 million viewers;[c] and on BBC Four as part of the show's 50th anniversary on 21 November 2013, achieving an average of 630,000 viewers.[d]

Critical response

The serial received mixed reviews from television critics. Michael Gower of the Daily Mail wrote a short favourable review of the first episode, claiming that the ending "must have delighted the hearts of the Telegoons who followed". A reviewer in the Daily Worker stated that they "intend following closely" to the show, describing the ending as "satisfying". Variety felt that the script "suffered from a glibness of characterisations which didn't carry the burden of belief", but praised the "effective camerawork", noting that the show "will impress if it decides to establish a firm base in realism". After the second episode, Mary Crozier of The Guardian was unimpressed by the serial, stating that it "has fallen off badly soon after getting underway". She felt that the first episode "got off the ground predictably, but there was little to thrill", while the second was "a depressing sequel ... wigs and furry pelts and clubs were all ludicrous". Conversely, Marjorie Norris of Television Today commented that if the show "keeps up the high standard of the first two episodes it will capture a much wider audience".[39]

Retrospective reviews are mostly positive towards An Unearthly Child. Referring to the serial while discussing the early years of Doctor Who in 1982, the New Scientist's Malcolm Peltu praised the script, acting and direction, but criticised the dated scenery.[34] In 2008, Radio Times reviewer Patrick Mulkern praised the casting of Hartnell, the "moody" direction and the "thrilling" race back to the TARDIS.[40] Christopher Bahn of The A.V. Club in 2010 labelled An Unearthly Child an essential serial to watch for background on the programme. In his review, he noted that the first episode is "brilliantly done; the next three together could be about a half-hour shorter but get the job done". He praised the characters of Ian, Barbara, and the mysterious Doctor, but noted that he was far from the character he would become and Susan was "something of a cipher" with the hope she would develop later.[41] In a 2006 review, DVD Talk's John Sinnott called the first episode "excellent", but felt the "story goes down hill a bit" with the introduction of the prehistoric time period. He cited the slower pace, the discussions in "Tarzan-speak", and the lack of tension or high stakes.[42]

Commercial releases

In print

Writer David Whitaker omitted An Unearthly Child from the first spin-off novelisation, Doctor Who in an Exciting Adventure with the Daleks (later retitled Doctor Who and the Daleks and Doctor Who - The Daleks), with Ian and Barbara's entrance into the TARDIS leading directly into an adaptation of the second televised serial, The Daleks. Historian James Chapman highlights this as a reason that, in an age before home video, many people believed the Dalek serial to be the first Doctor Who story because the novelisations published by Target Books were the "closest that fans had to the original programmes".[43][e] Terrance Dicks wrote the Target novelisation of this story, initially published as Doctor Who and an Unearthly Child on 15 October 1981 with a cover by Andrew Skilleter. The release also received several translations worldwide.[f] A verbatim transcript of the transmitted version of this serial, edited by John McElroy and titled The Tribe of Gum, was published by Titan Books in January 1988. It was the first in an intended series of Doctor Who script books.[45] In 1994, a phonecard with a photomontage of the episode was released by Jondar International Promotions.[46]

Home media

The story was originally released on VHS on 5 February 1990, with a cover designed by Alister Pearson. The unaired pilot was released as part of The Hartnell Years on 3 June 1991, and with Doctor Who: The Edge of Destruction and Dr Who: The Pilot Episode on 1 May 2000. A remastered version of the serial was also released on VHS on 4 September 2000; for the DVD release on 30 January 2006, the serial was released as part of Doctor Who: The Beginning alongside the following two serials, with several special features, including audio commentaries and comedy sketches.[47] It was also released in the US and Canada on 27 May 2014 as part of the Blu-ray set for An Adventure in Space and Time.[48]



  1. ^ Hugh David, an actor initially considered for the role of the Doctor and later a director on the programme, claimed that Rex Tucker coined the title Doctor Who. Tucker said that it was Newman who had done so.[5]
  2. ^ The original episode, retroactively referred to as the "pilot episode", was not broadcast on television until 26 August 1991.[31]
  3. ^ The 1982 broadcast of the serial achieved viewing figures of 4.6, 4.3, 4.4 and 3.9 million viewers, respectively.[31]
  4. ^ The 2013 broadcast of the serial achieved viewing figures of 0.83, 0.71, 0.52 and 0.46 million, respectively.[38]
  5. ^ Cornell et al. report that the second serial overshadowed An Unearthly Child to such an extent that many people believed that Terry Nation, writer of The Daleks, created Doctor Who; this error became so prevalent that it was mistakenly included in an edition of the board game Trivial Pursuit.[44]
  6. ^ The novel was translated to different languages:[46]
    • The French version with the title Docteur Who Entre en scène (Doctor Who Takes the Stage) was translated by Jean-Daniel Brèque and published in February 1987
    • The German version Doctor Who und das Kind von den Sternen (Doctor Who and the Child from the Stars) was translated by Bettina Zeller and published in 1990.


  1. ^ Howe, Stammers & Walker 1994, p. 3.
  2. ^ Howe, Stammers & Walker 1994, p. 166.
  3. ^ Howe, Stammers & Walker 1994, p. 182.
  4. ^ a b c Molesworth, Richard (2006). Doctor Who: Origins. 2 Entertain.
  5. ^ Howe, Stammers & Walker 1994, p. 173.
  6. ^ Molesworth 2006, 15:55.
  7. ^ Ainsworth 2015, p. 38–40.
  8. ^ Ainsworth 2015, p. 53–54.
  9. ^ Ainsworth 2015, p. 55.
  10. ^ Ainsworth 2015, p. 45–46.
  11. ^ Ainsworth 2015, p. 51.
  12. ^ Ainsworth 2015, p. 50.
  13. ^ Ainsworth 2015, p. 52.
  14. ^ Ainsworth 2015, p. 57.
  15. ^ Ainsworth 2015, p. 48.
  16. ^ Ainsworth 2015, p. 58.
  17. ^ Ainsworth 2015, p. 59.
  18. ^ Howe, Stammers & Walker 1994, pp. 181–2.
  19. ^ Howe, Stammers & Walker 1994, p. 186.
  20. ^ a b c d Howe, Stammers & Walker 1994
  21. ^ a b Ainsworth 2015, p. 77–79.
  22. ^ Ainsworth 2015, p. 27.
  23. ^ Ainsworth 2015, p. 38.
  24. ^ Ainsworth 2015, p. 44–47.
  25. ^ Ainsworth 2015, p. 49.
  26. ^ Ainsworth 2015, p. 56.
  27. ^ Ainsworth 2015, p. 63.
  28. ^ Molesworth 2006, 13:20.
  29. ^ Ainsworth 2015, p. 67.
  30. ^ Howe, Stammers & Walker 1994, p. 220
  31. ^ a b c d Ainsworth 2015, p. 95.
  32. ^ Bould 2008, p. 214.
  33. ^ Cook 1999, p. 116.
  34. ^ a b Peltu 1982, p. 177.
  35. ^ Wood & Miles 2006, pp. 17–22.
  36. ^ a b c d Chapman 2006, p. 25.
  37. ^ Bould 2008, p. 215.
  38. ^ "Doctor Who Guide: broadcasting for An Unearthly Child". The Doctor Who Guide. News in Time and Space. 2018. Archived from the original on 16 February 2018. Retrieved 16 February 2018.
  39. ^ Ainsworth 2015, p. 91.
  40. ^ Mulkern, Patrick (30 September 2008). "An Unearthly Child". Radio Times. Immediate Media Company. Archived from the original on 16 February 2018. Retrieved 16 February 2018.
  41. ^ Bahn, Christopher (5 June 2011). "Doctor Who (Classic): "An Unearthly Child"". The A.V. Club. Onion, Inc. Archived from the original on 16 February 2018. Retrieved 16 February 2018.
  42. ^ Sinnott, John (1 April 2006). "Doctor Who: The Beginning". DVD Talk. Archived from the original on 16 February 2018. Retrieved 16 February 2018.
  43. ^ Chapman 2006, p. 26.
  44. ^ Cornell, Day & Topping 1993, p. 303.
  45. ^ Coburn 1988, pp. 4, 7.
  46. ^ a b Ainsworth 2015, p. 96.
  47. ^ Ainsworth 2015, p. 98.
  48. ^ Lambert, David (5 March 2014). "Doctor Who DVD news: Announcement for An Adventure in Space and Time". Archived from the original on 16 February 2018. Retrieved 16 February 2018.


  • Ainsworth, John, ed. (2015). "100,000 BC and The Mutants (aka The Daleks)". Doctor Who: The Complete History. Panini Comics, Hachette Partworks. 1 (4).
  • Bould, Mark (2008). "Science Fiction Television in the United Kingdom". In J.P. Telotte (ed.). The Essential Science Fiction Television Reader. University Press of Kentucky. ISBN 0-8131-2492-1.
  • Chapman, James (2006). Inside the Tardis: The Worlds of Doctor Who. I.B.Tauris. ISBN 1-84511-162-1.
  • Coburn, Anthony (1988). McElroy, John (ed.). Doctor Who - The Scripts: The Tribe of Gum. London: Titan Books. ISBN 1-85286-012-X.
  • Cook, John R. (1999). "Adapting telefantasy: the Doctor Who and the Daleks films". In Hunter, IQ (ed.). British Science Fiction Cinema. Psychology Press. ISBN 0-415-16868-6.
  • Cornell, Paul; Day, Martin; Topping, Keith (1993). The Guinness Book of Classic British TV. Guinness. ISBN 0-85112-543-3.
  • Howe, David J.; Stammers, Mark; Walker, Stephen James (1994). Doctor Who The Handbook: The First Doctor – The William Hartnell Years 1963–1966. London: Doctor Who Books. ISBN 0-426-20430-1.
  • Peltu, Malcolm (21 January 1982). "Dr Who". New Scientist. 93 (1289). ISSN 0262-4079.
  • Wood, Tat; Miles, Lawrence (2006). About Time Volume 1. Mad Norwegian Press.

External links

Alethea Charlton

Alethea Blow Charlton (9 August 1931 – 6 May 1976) was a British actress.

Coal Hill School

Coal Hill School is a fictional school in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who and its spin-off series Class. It is located on Coal Hill Road in the Shoreditch area of London.The school first appeared in the first episode of Doctor Who, "An Unearthly Child", in 1963, and has had numerous appearances ever since. Several major characters in the two shows' history are depicted as students or faculty members at Coal Hill. In the original 1963–89 run of Doctor Who, Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright are teachers of student Susan Foreman, while in the 50th Anniversary Special "The Day of the Doctor" and in the 2005 revival's eighth and ninth series, Clara Oswald teaches English classes. All of the main characters of Class are students at the Academy, along with one teacher, Miss Quill; the school is renamed Coal Hill Academy in the series.

Companion (Doctor Who)

In the long-running BBC television science fiction programme Doctor Who and related works, the term "companion" refers to a character who travels with, or shares the adventures of, the Doctor. In most Doctor Who stories, the primary companion acts as an audience surrogate. They provide the lens through which the viewer is introduced to the series. The companion character often furthers the story by asking questions and getting into trouble, or by helping, rescuing, or challenging the Doctor. This designation is applied to a character by the show's producers and appears in the BBC's promotional material and off-screen fictional terminology. Until the modern revival of the series in 2005, the term was rarely used on-screen. The Doctor also refers to the show's other leads as his "friends" or "assistants"; the British press have also used the latter term.

Doctor Who (season 1)

The first season of British science fiction television programme Doctor Who was originally broadcast on BBC TV between 1963 and 1964. The series began on 23 November 1963 with An Unearthly Child and ended with The Reign of Terror on 12 September 1964. The show was created by BBC Television head of drama Sydney Newman to fill the Saturday evening timeslot and appeal to both the younger and older audiences of the neighbouring programmes. Formatting of the programme was handled by Newman, head of serials Donald Wilson, writer C. E. Webber, and producer Rex Tucker. Production was overseen by the BBC's first female producer Verity Lambert and story editor David Whitaker, both of whom handled the scripts and stories.

The season introduces William Hartnell as the first incarnation of the Doctor, an alien who travels through time and space in his TARDIS, which appears to be a British police box on the outside. Carole Ann Ford is also introduced as the Doctor's granddaughter Susan Foreman, who acts as his companion alongside her schoolteachers Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright, portrayed by William Russell and Jacqueline Hill, respectively. Throughout the season, the Doctor and his companions travel throughout history and into the future. Historical stories were intended to educate viewers about significant events in history, such as the Aztec civilisation and the French Revolution; futuristic episodes took a more subtle approach to educating viewers, such as the theme of pacifism with the Daleks.

The first eight serials were written by six writers: Whitaker, Anthony Coburn, Terry Nation, John Lucarotti, Peter R. Newman, and Dennis Spooner. The show was developed with three particular story types envisioned: past history, future technology, and alternative present; Coburn, Lucarotti, and Spooner wrote historical episodes, Nation and Newman penned futuristic stories, and Whitaker wrote a "filler" serial set entirely in the TARDIS. The serials were mostly directed by junior directors, such as Waris Hussein, John Gorrie, John Crockett, Henric Hirsch, Richard Martin, Christopher Barry, and Frank Cox; the exception is experienced director Mervyn Pinfield, who directed the first four episodes of The Sensorites. Filming started in September 1963 and lasted for approximately nine months, with weekly recording taking place mostly at Lime Grove Studios or the BBC Television Centre.

The first episode, overshadowed by the assassination of John F. Kennedy the previous day, was watched by 4.4 million viewers; the episode was repeated the following week, and the programme gained popularity with audiences, particularly with the introduction of the Daleks in the second serial, which peaked at 10.4 million viewers. The season received generally positive reviews, with praise particularly directed at the scripts and performances. However, many retrospective reviewers noted that Susan lacked character development and was generally portrayed as a damsel in distress, a criticism often echoed by Ford. Several episodes were erased by the BBC between 1967 and 1972, and only 33 of a total of 42 episodes survive; all seven episodes of Marco Polo and two episodes of The Reign of Terror remain missing. The existing serials received several VHS and DVD releases as well as tie-in novels.

Eileen Way

Eileen Mabel Elizabeth Way (2 September 1911 – 16 June 1994) was an English actress who appeared in film and television roles in a career dating back to the 1930s. She trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art from the age of 16.She was in some of the first productions of Tennessee Williams' plays in Great Britain, including playing the role of the Mexican Woman in A Streetcar Named Desire, and appeared at the Bristol Old Vic and Nottingham Playhouse.She appeared in the TV series Doctor Who, in the serials An Unearthly Child (as Old Mother, the programme's first on-screen death) and The Creature from the Pit (as Karela), as well as in the 1966 film Daleks' Invasion Earth 2150 A.D. (as Old Woman), based on the serial The Dalek Invasion of Earth (1964). She also appeared in the second series of Poldark (1977) as Aunt Agatha; Century Falls; Upstairs, Downstairs; By the Sword Divided; Inspector Morse; Bergerac; and Ripping Yarns.

She was married to the psychiatrist Felix Warden Brown.

Ian Chesterton

Ian Chesterton is a fictional character in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who and a companion of the First Doctor. He was played in the series by William Russell, and was one of the members of the programme's very first regular cast, appearing in the bulk of the first two seasons from 1963 to 1965. In a film adaptation of one of the serials, Dr. Who and the Daleks (1965), he was played by Roy Castle, but with a very different personality and backstory. Ian appeared in 16 stories (77 episodes).

Jeremy Young

John H. Young (born 1934, Liverpool), known professionally as Jeremy Young, is an English actor of Scottish descent.Young has numerous television credits, including Deadline Midnight (1960), Doctor Who (appearing as caveman Kal in three episodes of the first serial An Unearthly Child in 1963) and Coronation Street as nightclub owner Benny Lewis in 1972. His film credits include appearances in The Wild and the Willing (1962), Crooks and Coronets (1969), Eyewitness (1970), Hopscotch (1980) and Photographing Fairies (1997).

He has worked for BBC Radio and teaches and directs at the Court Theatre Training Company which is part of the Courtyard, London.

Young was married to actresses Coral Atkins and later to Kate O'Mara from 1961 to 1976.

John and Gillian

John and Gillian, a young brother and sister, are characters in the TV Comic strip based on the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who. The stories featuring them were drawn first by Neville Main, then by Bill Mevin and finally by John Canning. They first appeared in the story The Klepton Parasites (issues 674 to 683). They began by looking for their grandfather, the Doctor, in a junkyard. This paralleled the events of the television series' first episode "An Unearthly Child", although in the strip, the junkyard was at No. 16 instead of No. 76.

The Doctor did not appear to have met them prior to their first appearance, but they were aware of him as being an "inventor or something" and he identified them as soon as they entered the TARDIS, saying, "You must be John and Gillian..." This lack of surprise on his part indicated his awareness of the possibility of them turning up at some point. During their visit, John playfully touched a control button and transported them to the 30th century, where they helped the peaceful Thains to defeat a race of alien invaders, the Kleptons. At the end of the tale it seemed that the Doctor was about to make an attempt to return his grandchildren to the 20th century, but this was not taken up in the second story, which commenced with a crash-landing for the three on an asteroid and went on to tell of their involvement in the quest for a moss with medicinal qualities.

John and Gillian travelled with the Doctor for many adventures and fought against many enemies, including the villainous "Great Ixa", the space pirate Captain Anastas Thrax, the ant-like Zarbi (from the televised story The Web Planet), the spherical Gyros robots and even the Pied Piper in what amounted to a sequel to Robert Browning's famous poem. A later story introduced the Trods, cone-shaped robotic creatures that ran on static electricity, created for the strip by artist John Canning as surrogate Daleks, since the latter could not at that time be used as Terry Nation had sold the rights to the Doctor's arch-enemies elsewhere; namely, City Publications' TV Century 21. After TV21's comic strip The Daleks came to an end, Polystyle Publications obtained the rights, and the Daleks swept onto the front cover of issue 788 of TV Comic in the first instalment of The Trodos Ambush, in which they massacred the Trods.

John and Gillian, who now appeared to be teenagers, remained with the Doctor for many more comic strip adventures until the first part of Invasion of the Quarks (issues 872 to 876), when the Doctor enrolled them in the galactic university on the planet Zebadee. This was their last appearance in the TV Comic strip.

List of Doctor Who VHS releases

This is a list of Doctor Who serials and episodes that have been released on VHS.

List of Doctor Who composers

This is a list of composers for the science fiction television series, Doctor Who. It is sortable by a number of different criteria. The list defaults to ascending alphabetical order the composer's last name.

List of Doctor Who producers

This is a series of lists of those who have received a producer credit (executive, associate, etc.) on the long-running British science fiction television programme Doctor Who. The definition of producer has changed over the years, as has the nature of television production. Therefore, the list is just of those receiving a producer credit on-screen and not those who have effectively fulfilled producers' roles for the show, such as Terrance Dicks' brief tenure as producer before the arrival of Barry Letts, and a brief spell by David Maloney in 1978 when Graham Williams was incapacitated. It also excludes those who have produced Doctor Who outside the regular series only, such as animated or charity episodes, and in other media, such as the audio dramas from Big Finish Productions.

List of television shows set in London

This is a list of television shows set in London.

Mervyn Pinfield

Mervyn Pinfield (28 February 1912 - 20 May 1966) was a British television producer and director working for the BBC during the 1950s and 1960s. He was the associate producer on the BBC television series Doctor Who from the first episode of An Unearthly Child to The Romans, during Verity Lambert's tenure as producer.

Pinfield was a highly experienced producer and director. Before joining the BBC early in the 1950s to work on live drama at Alexandra Palace, he spent over four years in 'weekly rep' as Director/Theatre Manager at the Royalty Theatre, Morecambe.

In 1963, he was appointed to the position of Associate Producer for Doctor Who to support the less-experienced Verity Lambert, as Doctor Who was the first program for which she was the Producer. He also directed Episodes 1 to 4 of The Sensorites, The Space Museum and Episodes 1 & 2 of Planet of Giants for the series, and worked as director on other BBC series such as Compact (Day Of Deliverance and Fare Thee Well For I Must Leave Thee), The Monsters, and The Franchise Affair.

Pinfield was also known as the inventor of an early type of teleprompter, or autocue, which he called the Piniprompter.

In 2013, as part of the programme's 50th anniversary celebrations, the BBC broadcast the docudrama An Adventure in Space and Time, which recounted the creation and early days of Doctor Who. Pinfield was portrayed by Jeff Rawle.

Norman Kay (composer)

Norman Forber Kay (5 January 1929 – 12 May 2001) was a British composer and writer.

Kay, who was born in Bolton, was educated at Bolton School, the Royal Manchester College of Music and the Royal College of Music. Kay composed the incidental music for three serials in the first season of Doctor Who, including the very first, An Unearthly Child, as well as The Keys of Marinus and The Sensorites.

Besides this work, he also provided the music for many of the Out of the Unknown stories and productions such as Late Night Horror in 1968, as well as many other television productions. He also scored the 1968 comedy heist film Diamonds for Breakfast. Kay also worked as a music critic for The Daily Telegraph. He was the first British musician to write a study on Dmitri Shostakovich, a work that was well received.In 1969 Kay married Janice Willett, a former producer with ABC Television, and the couple had a daughter. Kay died in 2001 of Motor Neurone Disease aged 72.

Remembrance of the Daleks

Remembrance of the Daleks is the first serial of the 25th season of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. The serial was first broadcast in four weekly episodes from 5 October to 26 October 1988. It was written by Ben Aaronovitch and directed by Andrew Morgan.

In the serial, alien time traveller the Doctor (Sylvester McCoy) and his companion Ace (Sophie Aldred) travel back to 1963 to retrieve the Hand of Omega, a powerful device created by the Doctor's Time Lord race, and keep it from the Daleks.

The serial contains many references to the history of the show, featuring settings from the first Doctor Who episode, An Unearthly Child, such as Coal Hill School and the junkyard at 76 Totter's Lane.

In a variety of reader polls conducted by Doctor Who Magazine from 1998 onwards, Remembrance of the Daleks has consistently been voted as one of the greatest Doctor Who stories of all time.

Rex Tucker

Rex Tucker (20 February 1913 - August 10, 1996) was a British television director in the 1950s and 1960s.

He was born in March in the Isle of Ely, Cambridgeshire. Tucker joined the BBC in 1937 to work in radio where he remained for several years before moving to TV work. In 1954 Tucker wrote and directed The Three Princes which featured future Doctor Who producer Barry Letts and actor Roger Delgado who later became well known for playing the Doctor's opponent The Master. Amongst his work, he was a driving force during the formative stages of Doctor Who in 1963, acting as a caretaker producer prior to the arrival of Verity Lambert. Tucker's friend, the actor and director Hugh David — whom Tucker had actually approached about playing the leading role in the series — later claimed in interviews that it was Tucker who had named the series Doctor Who, although Tucker himself credited Sydney Newman with this. Tucker was also the director originally assigned to the first serial, An Unearthly Child, and later it had been planned that Tucker would direct more of the programme's introductory season. However, these commitments did not work out, and ultimately he directed only The Gunfighters in 1966. During the last episode, The O.K. Corral, a dispute arose between Tucker and then producer Innes Lloyd over the editing of the episode, leading to Tucker requesting that his credit be excised.

In 2013 the BBC commissioned a docudrama about the creation and early days of Doctor Who, called An Adventure in Space and Time, as part of the programme's fiftieth anniversary celebrations. Tucker appears as a character in the drama, played by actor Andrew Woodall.

Susan Foreman

Susan Foreman is a fictional character in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. The granddaughter and original companion of the First Doctor, she was played by actress Carole Ann Ford from 1963 to 1964, in the show's first season and the first two stories of the second season. Ford reprised the role for the feature-length 20th anniversary episode The Five Doctors (1983) and the 30th anniversary charity special Dimensions in Time (1993).

Waris Hussein

Waris Habibullah (born 9 December 1938), known as Waris Hussein, is a British-Indian television director and film director best known for his many productions for British television, including early episodes of Doctor Who and the Thames Television serial Edward and Mrs Simpson (1978).

Whose Doctor Who

Whose Doctor Who (a.k.a. 'Whose Dr. Who') was a 60-minute television documentary, (part of the BBC's The Lively Arts series) which was first transmitted on Sunday, 3 April 1977, on BBC 2.

The programme was the first in-depth documentary chronicling the long-running BBC TV series Doctor Who, being first broadcast the day after the final episode of the show's fourteenth season was transmitted on BBC1. Introduced by Melvyn Bragg, the programme features many clips from episodes of the show transmitted to date, along with interviews of cast and fans, including families, children, students, teachers, psychologists and educationalists. Tom Baker and outgoing producer Philip Hinchcliffe both contributed interviews, while behind-the-scenes footage of the recording of The Talons of Weng-Chiang (the most recently broadcast adventure) from rehearsals and pre-production planning, were included.

The show was never repeated on the BBC, but has been included on both the original and 'special edition' DVD releases of The Talons of Weng-Chiang.

The programme was produced and directed by Tony Cash, with Bill Morton as Executive Producer.

Clips featured in the documentary came from the following Doctor Who serials (or episodes):

The Zarbi, The Seeds of Death, Doctor Who and the Silurians*, Genesis of the Daleks, An Unearthly Child, The Three Doctors, Robot, Terror of the Zygons, The Daleks, The Mind Robber, Planet of the Spiders, The Time Warrior, The Claws of Axos*, The Invasion, The Talons of Weng-Chiang, Spearhead from Space, Terror of the Autons*, The Hand of Fear, The Seeds of Doom, Pyramids of Mars, The Monster of Peladon, The Krotons, The Dimensions of Time , The Brain of Morbius, The Time Monster*, The Dæmons, The Waking Ally, Planet of the Daleks, The Face of Evil, and Four Hundred Dawns.

'*'Clips included from these episodes were shown from monochrome 16mm film copies, the original colour videotapes had been wiped. See also Doctor Who missing episodes.

Doctor Who: Skaro television and film stories
Television episodes
Minor appearances
Dr. Who film appearances
See also
Doctor Who episodes
Season 1

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