Outpost GallifreyDoctor Who

Home |  News |  Reviews |  Reference |  Gallifrey One |  Cons & Fandom |  Bookstore |  Ambrosia |  Time Meddlers |  LADWVS
Reference Home |  Doctors:  First • Second • Third • Fourth • Fifth • Sixth • Seventh • Eighth • Film • Miscellaneous

The First Doctor: William Hartnell

   1963-1966

Doctor Who was launched in 1963 at the hands of television veterans Verity Lambert, Mervyn Pinfield, Sydney Newman and Donald Wilson. Ostensibly created as a children's program for the fall 1963 television schedule, Doctor Who was commissioned for 13 episodes and was never expected to continue for much longer. Thanks to the right circumstances at the right time -- terrific casting, clever writing, strong production values, state-of-the-art techniques, and these tin-plated pepperpots that shouted "Exterminate!" -- that expectation was quickly overturned, and the programme soon became one of Britain's most cherished and beloved television legends.

William Hartnell, a crotchety actor known for his versatility in a wide range of stage, television and film roles, was chosen as the Doctor, a role he would play for nearly three and a half years. Carole Ann Ford (Susan), William Russell (Ian) and Jacqueline Hill (Barbara) would join him as the weary travelers in the London Police Box whisked about on adventures through the cosmos. All three would eventually leave by the end of the second season, to be replaced by cast members Maureen O'Brien (Vicki), Peter Purves (Steven Taylor), Adrienne Hill (Katarina), Jean Marsh (Sara Kingdom), Jackie Lane (Dodo), Anneke Wills (Polly) and Michael Craze (Ben Jackson).

Historical adventures were the staple of these early days; trips to Marco Polo's China, Palestine, the Aztec Empire, revolutionary France, ancient Greece and Rome, and even the Old West were among the travelers' many journeys. These were balanced by trips to far-off alien worlds, damaged spaceships and empires of exotic lands -- as well as trips to present and future Earth, wherein lay the Doctor's most devastating enemies: the vicious Daleks and the cold and calculating Cybermen. These first days laid the foundation for the mythos of Doctor Who; at this time, he was still an enigma, a mysterious traveler from an unknown time who was on the run from his own people. Not a clue to be found to bely his unique history and civilization.

Hartnell left the role in 1966 at the height of the series' popularity, handing off the lead to Patrick Troughton. He continued to make appearances for several years, including a return to the series in 1973's "The Three Doctors" before his untimely death in 1976. Much of the era still exists, despite the BBC's purges of the mid-1970's; many episodes were found in unlikely locations domestically and overseas.


All Doctor Who story synopses taken with permission of the authors from The First Doctor Handbook by David J. Howe, Mark Stammers and Stephen James Walker. Please note that some of the photos seen on these pages are rare photos, including one never before published ("Galaxy 4"); our special thanks to Derek Handley for his help in providing these photos.

 SEASON ONE
 
Title
Serial
 
Serial #
  Broadcast Dates   Companions   Archive  
# Eps
An Unearthly Child
A
 
1
  23 Nov 63 - 14 Dec 63 Ian, Barbara, Susan   All  
4
The Daleks
B
 
2
  21 Dec 63 - 01 Feb 64 Ian, Barbara, Susan   All  
7
The Edge of Destruction
C
 
3
  08 Feb 64 - 15 Feb 64 Ian, Barbara, Susan   All  
2
Marco Polo
D
 
4
  22 Feb 64 - 04 Apr 64 Ian, Barbara, Susan   None  
7
The Keys of Marinus
E
 
5
  11 Apr 64 - 16 May 64 Ian, Barbara, Susan   All  
6
The Aztecs
F
 
6
  23 May 64 - 13 Jun 64 Ian, Barbara, Susan   All  
4
The Sensorites
G
 
7
  20 Jun 64 - 01 Aug 64 Ian, Barbara, Susan   All  
6
The Reign of Terror  
H
 
8
  08 Aug 64 - 12 Sep 64 Ian, Barbara, Susan   1, 2, 3, 6  
6
                     
 SEASON TWO
 
Title
Serial
 
Serial #
  Broadcast Dates   Companions   Archive  
# Eps
Planet of Giants
J
 
9
  31 Oct 64 - 14 Nov 64 Ian, Barbara, Susan   All  
3
The Dalek Invasion of Earth
K
 
10
  21 Nov 64 - 26 Dec 64 Ian, Barbara, Susan   All  
6
The Rescue
L
 
11
  02 Jan 65 - 09 Jan 65 Ian, Barbara, Vicki   All  
2
The Romans
M
 
12
  16 Jan 65 - 06 Feb 65 Ian, Barbara, Vicki   All  
4
The Web Planet
N
 
13
  13 Feb 65 - 20 Mar 65 Ian, Barbara, Vicki   All  
6
The Crusade
P
 
14
  27 Mar 65 - 17 Apr 65 Ian, Barbara, Vicki   1, 3  
4
The Space Museum
Q
 
15
  24 Apr 65 - 15 May 65 Ian, Barbara, Vicki   All  
4
The Chase
R
 
16
  22 May 65 - 26 Jun 65 Ian, Barbara, Vicki, Steven   All  
6
The Time Meddler
S
 
17
  03 Jul 65 - 24 Jul 65 Vicki, Steven   All  
4
 
 SEASON THREE
 
Title
Serial
Serial #
Broadcast Dates Companions Archive
# Eps
Galaxy 4
T
18
11 Sep 65 - 02 Oct 65 Vicki, Steven None
4
Mission to the Unknown
T/A
19
09 Oct 65 (none) None
1
The Myth Makers
U
20
16 Oct 65 - 06 Nov 65 Vicki, Steven, Katarina None
4
The Daleks' Masterplan
V
 
21
  13 Nov 65 - 29 Jan 66 Steven, Katarina, Sara Kingdom   5, 10  
12
The Massacre of St. Bartholomew's Eve
W
 
22
  05 Feb 66 - 26 Feb 66 Steven, Dodo   None  
4
The Ark
X
 
23
  05 Mar 66 - 26 Mar 66 Steven, Dodo   All  
4
The Celestial Toymaker
Y
 
24
  02 Apr 66 - 23 Apr 66 Steven, Dodo   4  
4
The Gunfighters
Z
 
25
  30 Apr 66 - 21 May 66 Steven, Dodo   All  
4
The Savages
AA
 
26
  28 May 66 - 18 Jun 66 Steven, Dodo   None  
4
The War Machines
BB
 
27
  25 Jun 66 - 16 Jul 66 Dodo, Ben, Polly   All  
4
 
 SEASON FOUR
 
Title
Serial
Serial #
Broadcast Dates Companions Archive
# Eps
The Smugglers
CC
28
10 Sep 66 - 01 Oct 66 Ben, Polly None
4
The Tenth Planet
DD
29
08 Oct 66 - 29 Oct 66 Ben, Polly 1, 2, 3
4


Guide pages by Shaun Lyon with Robert Franks. Graphics and screen captures courtesy Robert Franks, Michael Palmer, Greg Bakun, Steven Hill (DW Image Archive) and Tim Neal (On Target). Some photos are provided to us by Derek Handley including rare photographs and composites for the Loose Cannon reconstructions; our thanks to Derek for the ability to use these rare photos. All story synopses are excerpts from "Doctor Who: The First Doctor Handbook" by David J. Howe, Mark Stammers and Stephen James Walker, originally published by Virgin Publishing and copyrighted to the authors; these synopses have been reprinted with the kind permission of Mr. Howe. Acknowledgement is made to the following persons for their research and/or information, some of which has been utilized in preparation of this document: Andrew Pixley, Shannon Patrick Sullivan, Dominique Boies, Jason Fraser, Steve Roberts. All photos are copyrighted to the BBC, and are used here solely for informational purposes and to demonstrate the stories; no infringement is intended upon the BBC. For corrections, additions or suggestions, email Shaun Lyon.