Saturday, November 23, 1963: 'Doctor Who'

DR. WHO? That is just the point. Nobody knows precisely who he is, this mysterious exile from another world and a distant future whose adventures begin today. But this much is known: he has a ship in which he can travel through space and time -- although, owing to a defect in its instruments he can never be sure where and when his "landings" may take place. And he has a great-grandaughter Susan, a strange amalgam of teenage normality and uncanny intelligence.
     Playing the Doctor is the well-known film actor, William Harnell, who has not appeared before on BBC-TV.
     Each adventure in the series will cover several weekly episodes, and the first is by the Australian author Anthony Coburn. It begins by telling how the Doctor finds himself visiting the Britain of today: Susan (played by Carole Ann Ford) has become a pupil at an ordinary British school, where her incredible breadth of knowledge has whetted the curiosity of two of her teachers. These are the history teacher Barbara Wright (Jacqueline Hill), and the science master Ian Chesterton (William Russell), and their curiosity leads them to become inextricably involved in the Doctor's strange travels.
     Because of the imperfections in the ship's navigation aids, the four travellers are liable in subsequent stories to find themselves absolutely anywhere in time -- past, present or future. They may visit a distant galaxy where civilisation has been devastated by the blast of a neutron bomb or they may find themselves journeying to far Cathay in the caravan of Marco Polo. The whole cosmos in fact is their oyster.
     -- Radio Times, November 21
* BBC website: @
* BBC America website: @
* Watch episode 1, "An Unearthly Child": @
* "The Genesis of Doctor Who" (from BBC): @
* "The Changing Face of Doctor Who" (from BBC archives): @
* Entires from BBC episode guide: @ and @
* Doctor Who Online website: @
* Doctor Who Reference Guide: @
* "12 Must-Own Books" (from BBC America): @ 

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