Jodie Whittaker to 'quit Doctor Who' after end of next series. Which may be of interest to the
five or six viewers still watching
I watched An Unearthly Child again the other night.
It may seem technically primitive but the first chapter in particular is absolutely essential viewing for all Doctor Who fans. And that original BBC Radiophonic Workshop music sounds really good!
This is first ever Doctor Who storyline, introducing the concept of the doctor, the TARDIS, and the companions. With William Hartnell as the original Doctor, not quite used to human beings yet despite residing in a junkyard on a London sidestreet for at least several months. His interaction with new human companions Barbara and Ian is absolutely paranoid, and they have lots of rude things to say to each other. I know it's not until after the Daleks storyline they start to relax and trust each other.
Most of the first episode in particular (An Unearthly Child proper) is focusing on Susan the granddaughter, first showing us all the clues that she's not as human as she appears and guessing what the explanation could be. It'd be nice to be able to watch this fresh without knowing the answer. The line "oh right you haven't adapted to the decimal system yet" in particular would have been experienced differently by an audience in 1963. It is Susan who explains the concept of the TARDIS as the Doctor will barely acknowledge Ian and Barbara. Susan is actually a fascinating character in the very first episode, but in later episodes will be given fewer lines and become more of a passive character who frequently requires rescuing.
The name Doctor Who comes from Ian and Barbara assuming his name must be Doctor Foreman, since that is the name Susan gave to register at the earth school. Hartnell smiles sarcastically and mutters "Doctor Who?" as he continues to antogonise his uninvited guests.
It is in the second episode the Doctor and Susan remark the TARDIS's camouflaging unit has suddenly gotten stuck, it had always worked before. Susan lists a couple of objects the TARDIS had camouflaged as previously, though I couldn't quite make them out.
Remaining three episodes are really their own selfcontained storyline, a trip back to caveman days helping our ancestors discover fire and become slightly more civilized (introducing an unspoken time travel paradox to the origins of human civilization: it wasn't the Monolith that intervened, it was those four people in the TARDIS). Hartnell's Doctor is so paranoid at this point, he actually intends to kill an injured caveman so they can get away faster while Ian and Barbara are trying to save him. I don't think even Hartnell would ever consider doing that again. A dark moment for a children's show!
It is established right away the Doctor cannot control the TARDIS, though not stated how long it has been since he stole it. (It'd be most of a decade before we would even learn he's a TimeLord from Gallifrey). Final shot is the TARDIS arriving on Skaro...
There was another version of the first episode filmed *, an unaired pilot where Susan's backstory is different and more specific. I think she's a princess from the planet Findooclare or something like that, not related to the Doctor at all, but I gather that raised the question of what this old man was doing with such a young girl so that got rewritten. But that was never a problem with all the other young girls various Doctors would travel round with for the next sixty years...
I'd forgotten this thread existed. I am not a fan of the rebooted series but have many fond memories of the original "classic" episodes.
I have been mulling over a project for a classic review thread on here. I've rewatched all of Hartnell and Troughton including the Fan Produced cut & paste & audio transpositions. I feel a bit uncertain about posting it now. It'd be a very long review thread.
I'd love to see more classic Doctor Who discussion @chrisno1 if you've got thoughts from your recent viewings you should put them into words and let us all see.
only problem with this thread is people keep complaining about the recent series, it'd be nice to separate the two topics out and let the classic discussion develop. But I'm sure of we see a couple of those epic chrisno1 reviews here folks'll join in and talk about the good stuff everybody likes.