Summary: This docudrama looks at the Hartnell era of Doctor Who, as its first executive producer Verity Lambert and her mentor Sydney Newman (BBC’s head of serials at the time) look to create a brand new science fiction series that will be both fun and educational. The cast includes David Bradley as William Hartnell, Jessica Swaine as Verity Lambert, and Sacha Dawan as Warrin Hussein (director of “An Unearthly Child”, Doctor Who‘s pilot episode).
With William Hartnell stepping down, Innes Lloyd brought in Patrick Troughton. Like his predecessor, Troughton continued to lay down the foundation of the show, and became the Doctor many successors attempt to emulate in some way.
“There are some corners of the universe which have bred the most terrible things. Things that act against everything we believe in. They must be fought.”–The Moonbase
About Patrick Troughton
Troughton was born in 1920, in Middlesex. He attended the Embassy School of Acting and later joined the Tonbridge Repertory Company. One of Troughton’s most famous roles prior to the Second Doctor was in Robin Hood (he was the first the play the title character on television).
Troughton left the show in 1969, citing both a hectic schedule and concerns about being typecast in science fiction. He would return as the Second Doctor for three Multi-Doctor stories before his death in 1986.
“One day, I shall come back. Yes, I shall come back. Until then, there must be no regrets, no anxieties. Just go forward in all your beliefs and prove to me that I am not mistaken in mine.”–“The Dalek Invasion of Earth
Welcome to my new “Overview” series. This will provide you with basic information on each Doctor. I will give you info on the actor, the companions, and the impact he had on the show’s history. I will close with an opinion on the era as a whole and recommend my favorite episodes.
About William Hartnell
William Hartnell was the son of Lucy Hartnell, an unmarried mother, and was raised in a foster family. He started out as an actor in 1928 in the play Miss Elizabeth’s Prisoner, where he met his wife, Heather McIntyre. His first movie was Say It With Music. Most of his roles were either comic characters or “tough guys”. It was his role in The Sporting Life that inspired Doctor Who’s co-creator Verity Lambert to cast him as the first Doctor. Tired of being typecast and intrigued at the aspect of acting in a children’s show, he took the job.
William Hartnell struggled with atherosclerosis, which resulted in what many fans call “Hartnell flubs.” He retired from acting after he was replaced by Patrick Troughton, but returned to the role of the Doctor for one last time in “The Three Doctors”. He died in 1975.
In a Nutshell:
- Catch Phrases: “What’s that?” “Hmm?” “My child/boy”, “Goodness, gracious me!”
- Many episodes from Hartnell’s era are missing. Some serials have replaced these episodes with animated reconstructions.
- Classic Doctor Who was broadcast in a serial format, with each episode usually running for 25 minutes. For most of Hartnell’s era, each episode had an individual title. This stopped with “The Savages”.
- First appearance of the Daleks: “The Daleks”
- First “pure historical” episode: “Marco Polo”
- First “pseudo-historical episode: “The Time Meddler”
- First Cybermen episode/First regeneration episode: “The Tenth Planet”
Writer: Lance Parkin
Director: Gary Russell
Running Time: 1 hour, 9 minutes
Summary: Davros has joined the Scientific Elite, and has begun his unorthodox experimentation on Kaleds and Thals. However, an accident may take him down an even darker path.
Writer: Terrance Dicks
Director: Jason Haigh-Ellery
Executive Producers: Nicholas Briggs and Jason Haigh-Ellery
Companions: Jason (David Banks), Crystal (Clair Huckle)
Running Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes (including extras)
Summary: The Doctor and his companions, Jason (a nobleman from the French Revolution) and Crystal (a nightclub singer) battle the Cybermen, Daleks, and a mercenary named Delilah. Did I mention this is a musical?
Writer: Gary Hopkins
Director: Gary Russell
Producer: Gary Russell and Jason Haigh-Ellery
Running Time: 1 hour, 17 minutes
Summary: Davros is being placed on trial by the Daleks. While the trial proceeds, Davros recounts his past. In part one, the war between the Kaleds and the Thals has begun, and Davros is raised by elitist parents, both of whom have different goals for him. Calcula wishes for her son to become a scientist, while his father Colonel Nasguard wants him to carry on the military tradition. They pass on their hatred and ambitions to their children, including his sister Yarvell. As the war escalates, Nasguard is killed in battle, and Calcula enlists Davros in the study of genetics.