Doctor Who (1963)

BBC (ended 1989)
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  • Cast & Crew
  • William Hartnell

    The First Doctor [ 1963-1966 ]

  • Patrick Troughton

    The Second Doctor [ 1966-1969 ]

  • Jon Pertwee

    The Third Doctor [ 1970-1974 ]

  • Tom Baker

    The Fourth Doctor [ 1974-1981 ]

  • Peter Davison

    The Fifth Doctor [ 1982-1984 ]

  • Photos (11)
  • show Description
  • "My name is William Hartnell, and as Doctor Who, I make my debut on Saturday 23rd November at 5.15." Doctor Who is the longest-running science fiction TV series in history, airing initially from 1963 to 1989. The series told the story of the Doctor, a mysterious traveller in space and time, whose TARDIS can take him and his companions anywhere in time and space. Inevitably he finds evil at work wherever he goes… The series was postponed indefintely in 1989, but fans of the series would not allow it to die, and a whole cottage industry was created around original novels and audio-only productions. There was an abortive attempt to renew the franchise as a series of telemovies in the U.S., but ratings for the pilot were judged insufficient. In 2003, the BBC announced that, at long last, it would commission a revival of Doctor Who. The series, initially starring Christopher Eccleston as the Doctor, was launched in 2005. You can read about the new series here. Traditionally listed by production, the data on this site has now been amended to TV.com standards and lists each of the 697 broadcast episodes from the original series. I hope that you find the site useful, and that it might act as a springboard to the wider world of Doctor Who appreciation. TheOldBillmoreless

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  • TheOldBill

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  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (1572)

    • The Doctor: I tell you, before your ancestors first learned about the wheel, my ancestors had made travelling through time and space a game for children!

    • The Doctor: We are not of this race. We are not of this earth. Susan and I are wanderers in the fourth dimension of space and time, cut off from our own people by distances beyond the reach of your most advanced science.

    • Susan: The TARDIS can go anywhere. Barbara: TARDIS? I don't understand, Susan. Susan: Well, I made up the name TARDIS from the initials, Time And Relative Dimension In Space. I had thought you'd both understand when you saw the different dimensions inside from those outside.

    • Ian: Let me get this straight. A thing that looks like a police box, standing in a junkyard, it can move anywhere in time and space? Susan: Yes. The Doctor: Quite so. Ian: But that's ridiculous!

    • (Barbara lends Susan the book on the French Revolution.) Susan: Thank you very much. It will be interesting. I'll return it tomorrow. Barbara: That's not necessary. Keep it until you've finished it. Susan: I'll have finished it.

    • The Doctor: You say you can't fit an enormous building into one of your smaller sitting rooms? Ian: No. The Doctor: But you've discovered television, haven't you? Ian: Yes. The Doctor: Then by showing an enormous building on your television screen, you can do what seemed impossible, couldn't you?

    • The Doctor: You still think it's all an illusion? Ian: I know that free movement in time and space is a scientific dream I don't expect to find solved in a junkyard. The Doctor: Your arrogance is nearly as great as your ignorance.

    • The Doctor: I tolerate this century, but I don't enjoy it.

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    Notes (1245)

    • A version of the pilot episode, consisting of the first section and the first take of the second section, was finally broadcast on BBC-2 in 1991. An alternative cut of the pilot episode, consisting of the first section and the third take of the second section, was included on The Hartnell Years video (BBCV 4608, 1991). All of the recorded footage was included on The Edge of Destruction and Dr Who: The Pilot Episode video (BBCV 6867, 2000) and The Beginning DVD box set (BBCDVD 1882, 2006).

    • The pilot episode went unbroadcast until 26 August 1991, when it was shown on BBC 2 as part of a special day's programming to mark the closure of Lime Grove studios. Many fans were annoyed and upset that there was no forewarning that this alternative version was to be shown rather than the original broadcast version.

    • The first part of the pilot episode is a single take of all of the scenes leading up to the recording break, at the point where Barbara was about to enter the police box. There are three takes of the second half of the episode, comprising all of the scenes inside the TARDIS. The TARDIS doors failed to shut properly on the first take, the second take was cut almost immediately, and the third take was similar to the first, but with the doors shutting properly and no other major hiccups.

    • Recording of the pilot episode took place between 8.30pm and 9.45pm on Friday 27 September 1963 in Studio D of the BBC's Lime Grove Studios,London.

    • Rehearsals for the pilot episode took place between Saturday 21 and Thursday 26 September 1963 at a drill Hall at 117 Walmer Road, London W2.

    • DVD: Doctor Who: An Unearthly Child released as part of the Doctor Who: The Beginning box set (BBCDVD 1882) in January 2006. Released in U.S.A./Canada (Warner Home Video E2487) in March 2006. Video: Doctor Who: An Unearthly Child (BBCV 4311) released in February 1990. Released in U.S.A./Canada (Warner Home Video E1096) in January 1991. Remastered version (BBCV 6959) released in September 2000.

    • Novelisation: Doctor Who and An Unearthly Child by Terrance Dicks (ISBN 0 426 20144 2) first published by W H Allen in 1981.

    • This serial replaced the planned opening story of the season entitled The Giants in which the Doctor tries to take his three companions back to earth, but they return as miniature people in a classroom.

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    Trivia (1581)

    • This episode features one of the rare shots through the door of the TARDIS. As Barbara rushes in, both the outer "police box" doors and the inner "roundel" doors are visible.

    • Revealing Mistake: When the Doctor is rebuking Susan for letting Ian and Barbara find the TARDIS, the shadow of a stage hand can be seen on the TARDIS wall behind them.

    • Revealing Mistakes: The boom mike makes a quick appearance about 18 minutes in, when the camera switches from a close-up of the Doctor and Susan to a medium shot of all four characters.

    • Revealing Mistakes: During the long continuous handheld shot of Ian and Barbara exploring the junk yard, the shot gets a little too handheld. When Ian and Barbara first touch the TARDIS, the cameraman trips – the image jumps up and down and a clunk is audible.

    • In this version, Susan reveals that she and the Doctor come from the 49th century. In the broadcast version, she only says that she was born in another time and place.

    • Continuity: The Doctor uses the same control to electrocute Ian that Susan used to close the door.

    • When this episode was first aired, there was a power failure affecting Britain. Only about 4·4 million people saw it.

    • Susan is seen not knowing how many shillings are in a pound and the explanation she gives is that she thought the UK was on the decimal system. The UK would actually switch to a decimal currency system seven years later, on 15 February 1971.

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    Allusions (141)

    • The Doctor: Beau Brummel always said I looked better in a cloak.

      The Doctor references the 19th century English fashion arbiter who created the "dandy" look of Regency England.

    • The "alligator in the sewer" sequence here may be a take on the urban legend of pet alligators being flushed down into the sewer and growing to massive sizes.

    • Vicki mentions that the Daleks invaded Earth 300 years before her time, clearly referencing the events of The Dalek Invasion of Earth.

    • Ian refers to pools of acid, clearly referencing the events of The Sea of Death.

    • When Ian wants to use Barbara's cardigan, she says, "Not again!" referencing the destruction of her cardigan in The Dimensions of Time.

    • The sailing ship, whose crew is scared into jumping overboard by the appearance of the Dalek time machine, is revealed to be the Mary Celeste. This was the ghost ship, found off the coast of Portugal in December 1872, and made famous by Arthur Conan Doyle's story of the fictional Marie Celeste, which is found intact, with the crew's breakfast cooking and their tea still hot. This episode provides an explanation for the mysterious scratch marks on the railing (made by a Dalek falling overboard) as well as the fate of the crew and the captain's wife and baby daughter, all seen jumping overboard in panic at the sight of the Daleks.

    • The Space Security Agent Marc Cory seems to be inspired by the popularity of James Bond. At one point, he even shows his ID card and says, "Licensed to kill".

    • This four-part adventure is based (very loosely) on Homer's The Iliad.

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  • Fan Reviews (45)
  • Unbeatable Classic One!

    By BunnyBaby, Jun 05, 2013

  • Doctor Who

    By MadamStacey, Dec 22, 2011

  • 1963-1996

    By shawnlunn2002, Oct 28, 2007

  • Timelord and his companions as they travel through time/space saving the ones they come across. You learn about people interaction and some scientific theories.The BBC did not give the show enough money over look the set up, enjoy the show. And check out

    By archangelwho, Oct 23, 2005

  • The longest-running Science Fiction show in the history of television, Doctor Who really raised the bar for intelligent TV.

    By DavidBarro, Feb 20, 2011

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