The changing face of Doctor Who

Patrick TroughtonWith the series’ two most recent producers reporting that actor William Hartnell has become nearly impossible to work with, the first steps are taken to regenerate Doctor Who by hiring a new actor to play the part: Patrick Troughton. In closed-door meetings at the BBC, producer Innes Lloyd and BBC Head of Drama Sydney Newman (who also happens to be Doctor Who’s creator) offer Hartnell the chance to leave, and – having already taken the liberty of contacting him to gauge his interest in the part – contract actor Patrick Troughton to replace Hartnell as the Doctor. Hartnell, suffering from arteriosclerosis, accepts the escape hatch and agrees to leave the series. Lloyd and Newman begin brainstorming ideas to explain the radical change in the Doctor’s look, agreeing that the time has finally come to firmly establish that the Doctor is not human at all. Lloyd envisions a tough “pirate captain” persona for the new Doctor, a notion ultimately rejected by Newman, who instead proposes that the character be played as a “cosmic hobo,” an idea which Troughton likes much better. None of this activity is revealed to the press or the public for some time.