An Unearthly Child

Doctor WhoIn London, 1963, teachers Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright discuss their most problematic student at Coal Hill School, one Susan Foreman. Susan’s knowledge vastly exceeds that of her instructors in science, but she has also been known to challenge long-standing historical facts…yet she also has some things completely wrong, including one occasion where she notes that British currency isn’t on the decimal system “yet.” Ian and Barbara follow Susan discreetly when she walks home one night, and the teachers are puzzled when home seems to be a junkyard. When they follow her into the junkyard, Susan has disappeared, and the only place she could have gone is a police call box which is emitting a strange hum. Moments later, an elderly man appears, apparently determined to enter the police box himself. Ian and Barbara force their way in, along with the old man, and find that the police box is actually a time-space vehicle, bigger on the inside than out. They also discover that neither Susan nor her grandfather, a mysterious and irritable man known only as the Doctor, are human beings. The Doctor, worried that Ian and Barbara will draw unwelcome mass attention to the presence of his ship (called the TARDIS), hastily sets it into motion over everyone’s protests, and when Ian and Barbara next step out of the doors of the TARDIS, they are no longer on Earth as they know it.

Season 1 Regular Cast: William Hartnell (The Doctor), William Russell (Ian Chesterton), Jacqueline Hill (Barbara Wright), Carole Ann Ford (Susan Foreman)

written by Anthony Coburn
directed by Waris Hussein
music by Norman Kay

Guest Cast: Derek Newark (Za), Althea Charlton (Hur), Jeremy Young (Kal), Howard Lang (Horg), Eileen Way (Old Mother)

Broadcast from November 23 through December 14, 1963

LogBook entry & review by Earl Green […]

The Daleks

.Doctor WhoThe TARDIS arrives on the distant planet Skaro, which seems at first to be uninhabited, except for fossilized animals. When the Doctor, Susan, Ian and Barbara discover a city constructed by an advanced civilization, there is a difference of opinion on whether or not to explore it. But the Doctor deems it necessary due to a shortage of mercury in the TARDIS’ fluid link system. After wandering aimlessly in the city for a while, the travelers discover two horrifying things – their growing fatigue is a sign of radiation sickness from Skaro’s toxic environment, and there are still living creatures inhabiting Skaro. One race, the pacifist humanoid Thals, try to maintain their primitive culture in the face of adversity. The other race, metallic monstrosities known as the Daleks, intend to wipe the Thals out – along with the Doctor and his companions, unless they assist the Daleks in their genocidal plan.

written by Terry Nation
directed by Christopher Barry and Richard Martin
music by Tristram Cary

Guest Cast: Robert Jewell, Kevin Manser, Michael Summerton, Gerald Taylor, Peter Murphy (Daleks), Peter Hawkins, David Graham (Dalek voices), John Lee (Alydon), Philip Bond (Ganatus), Virginia Wetherell (Dyoni), Alan Wheatly (Temmosus), Gerald Curtis (Elyon), Jonathan Crane (Kristas), Marcus Hammond (Antodus)

Broadcast from December 21, 1963 through February 1, 1964

LogBook entry & review by Earl Green […]

Edge Of Destruction

.Doctor WhoThe Doctor, Susan, Ian and Barbara are sprawled across the floor of the TARDIS console room after some kind of accident. The TARDIS itself won’t let them exit, and gives very vague readings as to what may be outside. And something appears to be affecting the minds of its occupants…could that something be the TARDIS itself, trying to warn them of their own impending doom?

written by David Whitaker
directed by Richard Martin and Frank Cox
music not credited

Guest Cast: none

Broadcast from February 8 through 15, 1964

LogBook entry & review by Earl Green […]

Marco Polo

Doctor WhoThe TARDIS lands in the Himalayas in 1289, and promptly breaks down, stranding the Doctor, Ian, Susan and Barbara. Fortunately for them, a caravan is passing through and they are able to secure shelter. Ian and Barbara are impressed to learn that their new benefactor is none other than Marco Polo himself, on his latest passage to Cathay from Venice. But they are less enthused when Marco reveals that he intends to take the Doctor’s “flying caravan” to Peking as a gift for Kublai Khan, who will hopefully be impressed enough to continue to grant Marco safe passage. The Doctor and his companions continue traveling with Marco and his own suspicious companion, the Mongol warlord Tegana. Susan befriends a young girl named Ping-Cho, who is being transported to meet her future husband in an arranged marriage. The Doctor doesn’t give up hope that he will have an opportunity to recover the TARDIS, but he may have to travel with Marco for months to sieze it.

Order this story on audio CDwritten by John Lucarotti
directed by Waris Hussein and John Crockett
music by Tristram Cary

Guest Cast: Mark Eden (Marco Polo), Derren Nesbitt (Tegana), Zienia Merton (Ping-Cho), Leslie Bates (the man at Lop), Jimmy Gardner (Chenchu), Charles Wade (Malik), Philip Voss (Acomat), Philip Crest (Bandit), Paul Carson (Ling-Tau), Gabor Baraker (Wang-Lo), Tutte Lemkow (Kuiju), Peter Lawrence (Vizier), Martin Miller (Kublai Khan), Basil Tang (Foreman), Claire Davenport (Empress), O. Ikeda (Yeng)

Broadcast from February 22 through April 4, 1964

Notes: Guest star Zienia Merton would later become a semi-regular cast member on the 1970s ITV science fiction series Space: 1999, as Moonbase Alpha crewmember Sandra Benes. The master tapes of this episode were destroyed by the BBC in the early 1970’s, and no video copies exist, though it has been released as a narrated, audio-only story on CD.

LogBook entry & review by Earl Green […]

The Keys Of Marinus

Doctor WhoThe TARDIS lands on the planet Marinus, a world whose seas are filled with acid and whose beaches are sand fused into glass. They investigate a fantastic building, but at the same time something else is investigating the TARDIS – a tall creature in what appears to be a black skinsuit. Inside the building, more of these creatures are encountered, and Ian saves a man who’s being threatened by one of the beings. The man, Arbitan, tells the Doctor and his friends the story of the Conscience, a machine that was built to be the perfect impartial judge and evolved into a device that eliminated crime from Arbitan’s society by controlling the thoughts of the population. But when a rebel group aided by the Voords arrived, four of the Conscience’s five keys were hidden to prevent the Voord from ruling over Marinus with its mind control. Arbitan enlists the Doctor’s help to search for the missing keys, and to make sure he has the time travelers’ help, he prevents them from reaching the TARDIS. They undertake a lengthy quest across Marinus, through lawless frozen wastelands, enduring moving vegetation, and visiting a ruined city whose inhabitants use hypnotic means to trick visitors into seeing an opulent palace. They even find a counterfeit Conscience key. But when they return with the four keys, they find Arbitan dead and the Voords in control.

written by Terry Nation
directed by John Gorrie
music by Norman Kay

Guest Cast: George Couloris (Arbitan), Martin Cort, Peter Stenson, Gordon Wales (Voords), Robin Phillips (Altos), Katharine Schofield (Sabetha), Heron Carvic (voice of Morpho), Edmund Warwick (Darrius), Francis de Wolff (Vasor), Michael Allaby (Larn), Alan James, Anthony Verner, Peter Stenson, Michael Allaby (Ice Soldiers), Henley Thomas (Tarron), Raf de la Torre (Senior Judge), Alan James, Peter Stenson (Judges), Fiona Walker (Kala), Martin Cort (Aydan), Donald Pickering (Eyesen), Stephen Dartnell (Yartek), Dougie Dean (Eprin)

Notes: This episode marks the first time that the TARDIS is actually seen materializing on screen. William Hartnell was absent from episodes 3 and 4 to take a brief vacation, so those episodes focus instead on Ian and Barbara’s adventures.

Broadcast from April 11 through May 16, 1964

LogBook entry & review by Earl Green […]

The Aztecs

Doctor WhoThe TARDIS lands in the ancient empire of the Aztecs, a culture that has always fascinated Barbara for its mix of scientific and technological achievement and brutal savagery. Exploring with Susan in tow, Barbara quickly discovers that the Aztecs aren’t in the past tense here – the time machine has brought its passengers to the height of that civilization, a time when being caught in the temple vaults is punishable by death. When the Aztecs do discover the two women there, Barbara takes advantage of her and Susan’s “futuristic” appearance by explaining that they are the embodiment of the god Yetaxa and his handmaiden. Quickly installed as a god in the temple, Barbara decides to push history along a different course, declaring the Aztecs’ bloody human sacrifices will no longer be needed – over the Doctor’s protests.

Download this episodewritten by John Lucarotti
directed by John Crockett
music by Richard Rodney Bennett

Guest Cast: Keith Pyott (Autloc), John Ringham (Tlotoxl), Ian Cullen (Ixta), Margot van der Burgh (Cameca), Tom Booth (Victim), David Anderson (Captain), Walter Randall (Tonila), Andre Boulay (The Perfect Victim)

Broadcast from May 23 through June 13, 1964

LogBook entry & review by Earl Green […]

The Sensorites

Doctor WhoIn the distant future, the TARDIS lands aboard a human spacecraft whose crew claims that they are under siege by creatures called the Sensorites, who can influence their thoughts. Captain Maitland warns the Doctor and his friends to leave immediately and assures the time travelers that they can do nothing for the ship’s crew, but by the time they return to the TARDIS, it’s too late – the lock has been removed and the doors cannot be opened. The Doctor resolves to help the human crew fight the influence of the Sensorites. The ship is boarded by spacewalking Sensorites, who are able to exert mental control over Maitland and his crew, though the Doctor and his companions are able to fight off that control, and they begin to show the humans how to do the same. But the Sensorites quickly detect that someone aboard has powerful telepathic abilities of their own, and they use that mind-link to open peaceful negotiations – through Susan. The Doctor and his friends, and the ship’s human crew, are invited to visit the Sensorites’ home planet, Sense-Sphere, where the Sensorites reveal their fear of humanity visiting their world to exploit it for the molybdenum on its surface. Worse yet, a previous human expedition to Sense-Sphere has come and gone, but many of its crew died after leaving the planet. When Ian falls ill, the Doctor discovers that the water is poisoned – and Ian is only the latest victim. But are the Sensorites – who claim that they are peaceful – behind the plot? Time is running out for the Doctor to find out.

written by Peter R. Newman
directed by Mervyn Pinfield (episodes 1-4) & Frank Cox (episodes 5-6)
music by Norman Kay

Guest Cast: Stephen Dartnell (John), Ilona Rogers (Carol), Lorne Cossette (Captain Maitland), Ken Tyllson, Joe Grieg, Peter Glaze, Arthur Newell (Sensorites), Eric Francise, Bartlett Mullins (Elders), John Bailey (Commander), Martyn Huntley, Giles Phibbs (Survivors)

Notes: Again due to actress Jacqueline Hill being on vacation, the character of Barbara is absent for much of The Sensorites. This episode leaves no doubt that the Doctor and Susan are from a world other than Earth; her description of orange skies and trees full of silver leaves was taken on board in numerous later novels, and was finally depicted – briefly – in the 2007 episode The Last Of The Time Lords. (Previous episodes that visited Gallifrey – which wasn’t named until 1974 – usually didn’t adhere to that description, likely for budgetary reasons.)

Broadcast from June 20 through August 1, 1964

LogBook entry & review by Earl Green […]

The Reign Of Terror

Doctor WhoOffended by Ian, the Doctor is determined to return his two passengers to their rightful place and time. But neither Ian nor Barbara is surprised to find that, while they have indeed returned to Earth, the TARDIS has put them in the path of history again, this time bringing them to the eve of the French Revolution. The time travelers stumbling into a farmhouse being used as a staging area for opponents of the Revolution, where they are captured by the Revolutionary soldiers – except for the Doctor, who’s left for dead when the barn is burned down. A scraggly youngster helps the Doctor to escape, but his companions are rounded up and scheduled for execution. Ian learns of the presence of a British spy among the Revolutionaries, and this knowledge saves his life; Barbara and Susan are eventually liberated by forces fighting against the Revolution. The Doctor adopts a disguise to free his friends from prison, but by the time he arrives, they have all already gone their separate ways; the Doctor tries to convince Robespierre to put an end to the executions, to no avail. Eventually, all four of the time travelers’ actions get them rounded up and returned to prison to await execution once more – unless, of course, their sentences are delayed by Napoleon’s uprising against Robespierre…

written by Dennis Spooner
directed by Henric Hirsch
music by Stanley Myers

Guest Cast: Pete Walker (Small Boy), Laidlaw Dalling (Rouvray), Neville Smith (d’Argenson), Robert Hunter (Sergeant), Ken Lawrence (Lieutenant), James Hall (Soldier), Howard Charlton (Judge), Jack Cunningham (Jailer), Jeffrey Wickham (Webster), Dallas Cavell (Overseer), Denis Cleary (Peasant), James Cairncross (Lemaitre/Sterling), Roy Herrick (Jean), Donald Morley (Renan), John Barrard (Shopkeeper), Caroline Hunt (Danielle), Edward Brayshaw (Colbert), Keith Anderson (Robespierre), Ronald Pickup (Physician), Terry Bale (Soldier), John Law (Barrass), Tony Wall (Bonaparte), Patrick Marley (Soldier)

Notes: The scenes of the Doctor making his way to Paris on foot are the first-ever location footage shot outside the studio for Doctor Who…but they feature not William Hartnell, but a costumed extra made up to look like him.

Broadcast from August 8 through September 12, 1964

LogBook entry & review by Earl Green […]