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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.
The date the companions travelled to was not given in this episode. The Doctor indicated that the "yearometer" was broken and gave the date only as "zero".
Susan never takes the book about the French Revolution home. "Remembrance of the Daleks" shows the book in Ian's lab. How does it get in there? Ian and Barbara leave Susan alone in Barbara's classroom, not Ian's lab.
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?
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?
The Doctor: But you've discovered television, haven't you?
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.
The Doctor: Have you ever thought what it's like to be wanderers in the fourth dimension… to be exiles?
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.
Filling in the Gaps
The short story "Playtime" takes place during this episode, just before Ian and Barbara follow Susan into the junkyard. The main character of the story is seven-year-old Sarah Jane Smith. The story is written by Vanessa Bishop. The story is in the 1992 Holiday Special of Doctor Who Magazine.
The film inserts for this episode were shot on Stage 3A of the BBC's Ealing Studios on Thursday 19th September 1963.
There are two versions of the first episode: a pilot version and the broadcast version.
The TARDIS was originally intended to change shape to blend in with its surroundings upon each new landing, but budget restrictions made this unfeasible. Due to the first episode being transmitted the day after JFK's assassination, it was repeated the following week when people were more likely to be watching TV.
Doctor Who was conceived as an ongoing series, lasting for at least 52 weeks, consisting of various stories each of between four and seven episodes.
The first 118 episodes (1963-1966) were aired with individual episode titles, and the final episode of each serial would commonly link directly into the first of the next. No episode titles were broadcast for the first 25 serials. Over the years, the titles of the first 25 serials has been the subject of much discussion.
In June 1963, Anthony Coburn assigned the working title "The Tribe of Gum" to his draft script, and internal BBC documents refer to "Doctor Who and the Tribe of Gum". By October 1963, the production was being referred to internaly as "Dr. Who and a 100,000 BC". Camera scripts, normally a reliable guide, refer to "Serial A". Overseas sales documents consistently refer to the serial as "Dr. Who and the Tribe of Gum". A tenth anniversary tribute magazine from the BBC's Radio Times in 1973 named each of the first 25 serials after its opening episode, so the serial was incorrectly renamed as An Unearthly Child. Unlike some of the other titles on this list, this new title for Serial A stuck. A novelisation in 1981, and a video release in 1990, both adopted the new form.
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