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An Unearthly Child - The Tenth Planet, The Three Doctors & The Five Doctors

William Hartnell
The First Doctor
(1963 - 1966 & 1973)
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 William Hartnell played the part of The Doctor as a wonderfully eccentric grandfather figure with a heart of gold, crotchety and prone to criticise others for their perceived stupidity, but with a sharp intellect and a concern for others especially his 'granddaughter', Susan. However, as further material has been published over the years, we have learned even more about The Doctor’s life prior to his initial departure from Gallifrey, as well as the circumstances that resulted in him leaving his home in the first place.

The Aztecs
The Aztecs
 However, even amid all the answers we have learned over the years about The Doctor’s past prior to the show, his exact origins are a mystery. Some sources suggest that his father was a Time Lord known as Ulysses while his mother was a human from the Victorian era known as Penelope Gate, with the Eleventh Doctor in particular mentioning that he was once an infant to the point of donating what he claimed was his old cot to the newborn child of his current companions ("A Good Man Goes to War"), but other information suggests that The Doctor is the ‘reincarnation’ of the Other, one of the first, greatest and most mysterious Time Lords to ever exist, potentially greater even than Rassilon and Omega, who sacrificed himself to create the genetic Looms that allowed Gallifrey to continue despite the curse of sterility imposed on the planet by their one-time ruler, the Pythia. Neither one of these two possibilities have ever been expressly confirmed or denied as being the truth, but when the generally stagnant nature of Time Lord society is taken into account, it is clear that the independently-thinking Doctor is far from being a normal Time Lord regardless of the precise details of his origins.

 Despite these mysteries, however, it is known for a fact that, while at school, The Doctor was a surprisingly independent individual for a Time Lord, preferring to do his own thing rather than automatically obey all the rules and restrictions that were forced upon him by the society he lived in. Although he lived in the house of Lungbarrow, only his cousin Innocet was ever kind to him, with his other relatives teasing him for his attitude, and being seen as a bit of an outsider even by his fellow student in the Deca, the ten most elite students of their year of the academy (who included his future enemies, such as Koschei (The Master), Ushas (The Rani), Mortimus (The Meddling Monk), and Magnus (War Chief)). Koschei and The Doctor in particular were close friends ever since they were children, their family estates being close by each other ("The End of Time"), although The Doctor also dealt with his share of bullying from children such as Torvic and Anzor, their treatment being so rough that The Doctor accidentally killed Torvic as a child (Although a subsequent deal with Death transferred his guilt and memory of this action to The Master) ("Master") and he retained a fear of Anzor well into his sixth incarnation ("Mission to Magnus"). At some point during his career at the Academy, The Doctor wandered into the cloister room that served as the physical representation of the Matrix archives and was trapped for four days until he did the impossible and escaped, musing that he was driven slightly mad from what he witnessed, as well as learning the true secret of an ancient prophecy of a hybrid that would destroy Gallifrey ("Heaven Sent/Hell Bent"). During one particularly low moment in his life, when temporarily suspended from the Academy for his rebellious attitude, The Doctor convinced his friends Rallon and Millenia to accompany him on a quick trip away from Gallifrey to confront the being known as The Celestial Toymaker, resulting in Ruath being taken as the Toymaker’s host and Millenia being trapped in his toyshop as a living doll. The Doctor was released, but only because the Toymaker foresaw that he would be a worthy opponent later in life when he’d had the chance to mature. Although The Doctor was expelled from the academy as a result of his actions, he was eventually re-admitted after acquiring his doctorate, but despite earning the personal attention of teachers such as Borusa ("The Deadly Assassin") and Azmael ("The Twin Dilemma"), his rebellious attitude meant that he never committed himself to his studies, to the point that he never even bothered taking his time-travel proficiency test ("Festival of Death"), and only passed his qualifying exams to become a Time Lord with 51% on the second attempt (Although one source suggests that he did this to avoid attracting attention to himself to make it easier for him to leave Gallifrey later ("Tears of the Oracle")).

The Web Planet
The Web Planet
Although he began to earn a more public reputation when he campaigned for the destruction of the Miniscopes, believing them to be offensive to the life-forms used within them ("Carnival of Monsters" and "The Empire of Glass"), The Doctor's reputation on Gallifrey continued to go downhill, his life tainted by his knowledge of the prophecy about the hybrid. Eventually forbidden to return to his family home and ‘replaced’ by a new Cousin in the form of Owis, The Doctor was nevertheless invited back when Quences, the head of his family house of Lungbarrow, was called upon to read his will, but refused to do so until The Doctor was present, having decided to make him his successor. During a confrontation with his cousin Glospin - who sought to taunt The Doctor about proof he'd obtained that seemed to prove The Doctor wasn't a member of the House of Lungbarrow - the sudden appearance of the Hand of Omega drove Glospin off and forced The Doctor to flee in an old Type 40 that had left itself unlocked ("The Doctor's Wife") after the ship was recommended to him by a fragment of his future companion Clara Oswald ("The Name of The Doctor"), accidentally travelling into Gallifrey's distant past. Arriving in the strangely familiar streets of his world's past, The Doctor met a strangely familiar girl who instantly recognised him as her grandfather, and, somehow, he knew that her name was Susan. Together, they departed Gallifrey to explore Time and Space, knowing that neither of them could ever return home again.

 Already intrigued by Earth since childhood ("Divided Loyalties"), The Doctor's interest in the planet increased when his initial trip led him to Earth's moon and gave him a chance to watch a 'first contact' video ("The Beginning"). During a brief trip to a human colony in the future, The Doctor adopted his old nickname as an official title for himself for the first time when he was given the clothing of a Doctor after his old clothes was damaged ("Frayed"), subsequently developing an increased interest in humanity that led to him deciding to establish a home for himself on Earth in 1963. After breaking the Time Lord’s anti-interference policy - a belief so deeply ingrained into Time Lord society that The Doctor was initially unable to do anything against it despite his own nature - by defeating a being called the Cold ("Time and Relative"), The Doctor was first directly introduced to an audience in the middle of a dark and gloomy junkyard on a foggy night in London. The first impression is of a cantankerous old man who is very angry and quick to blame others like when schoolteachers, Barbara Wright and Ian Chesterton, force themselves inside the TARDIS, leaving him feeling that he has no other choice but to take off with them inside, leaving him unable to take them back to their own time due to his currently-erratic piloting skills - implied to be the result of either damage to the ship or security programs created by his own people ("Heart of TARDIS") and with the TARDIS’s chameleon circuit swiftly becoming stuck as a police box. ("An Unearthly Child").

 However, his quick and intelligent mind, and his keenness for solving problems and for talking his way out of difficult situations, meant that he was soon respected by Barbara and eventually Ian who both realised that under his gruff exterior was a person who they could trust, the initial hostility between the group swiftly ending after they worked together to defeat the Daleks ("The Daleks") and save the TARDIS from destruction in the Big Bang ("The Edge of Destruction"). The Doctor also grew to respect both of them when he realised that they were not a threat to him or Susan and that their abilities could be used to his advantage, with Ian in particular helping The Doctor handle the more physical side of their adventures through time and space. The two of them as a whole provided The Doctor with the human influence that he would greatly need in his travels through the universe and his fights against evil wherever he found it, encouraging him to get involved in some of the affairs he found himself discovering during his travels as they investigated various strange mysteries on the planets they arrived on, their presence providing The Doctor with his first glimpse of humanity’s potential as a species as well as inspiring his own passion for travel even further.

 Throughout the whole of the First Doctor's era his exact origins were never revealed, except that he is not from Earth, although his truly alien origins were concealed due to him only possessing a single heart (Time Lords grow the second one upon their first regeneration, as revealed in "The Man in the Velvet Mask") and no reference being made to his explicit age. He liked to get his own way and was always eager to investigate, despite frequent warnings to his companions about thedangers of interfering in case they ended up being ‘carried away with the flood’ of events they couldn’t change "The Reign of Terror"). As a result, in his early days he typically only became involved in the affairs he encountered when outside circumstances prevented him from leaving directly, such as when a component of the TARDIS was lost during their temporary captivity by the Daleks ("The Daleks"), when outside forces prevented them from returning to the TARDIS ("The Sorcerer's Apprentice", "The Keys of Marinus"), or simply losing the TARDIS key, although he clearly still felt a great deal of compassion and respect for the people involved, praising the resolve of the people of Sarath as they fought to survive even as their moon fell towards their planet ("City at World's End").

His initially rigid opposition to interference was particularly reflected in his clothing; while other Doctors tend to wear the same clothes regardless of the era they are currently visiting, this Doctor regularly altered his attire to better blend in to the past eras he visited, even wearing a toga during his time in Rome ("The Romans"), although he retained his Victorian-based costume when visiting the future and other planets. However, as time went on, while he still protested against the casual interference of his old friend Mortimus - now known as The Meddling Monk - as he attempted to alter the outcome of the Battle of Hastings simply because he thought it would be 'more fun my way' ("The Time Meddler"), as time went on, The Doctor began to recognise that he had a duty to protect the innocent where he could, standing up for those who needed a champion in their darkest moments against the forces of those who would seek power at the cost of others.

He was always protective towards all of his companions but especially Susan and was always concerned for her safety and well-being, particularly after he violated his peoples' rules against changing history to protect mankind from a dystopian 2006 created by flawed time-travel experiments and the power of the ruthless Machine ("The Time Travellers"). As a result, when The Doctor realised that Susan was quickly growing up and had fallen in love with a resistance fighter on Earth, he forced her to leave him by locking her out of the TARDIS. 'One day, I shall come back. Yes, I shall come back. Until then, there must be no regrets, no tears, no anxieties. Just go forward in all your beliefs, and prove to me that I am not mistaken in mine. Goodbye, my dear. Goodbye, Susan' ("The Dalek Invasion of Earth"). (A promise that he eventually fulfilled in his eighth incarnation ("Legacy of the Daleks" and "An Earthly Child")).

While he still protested against the casual interference of his old friend Mortimus - now known as the Meddling Monk - as he attempted to alter the outcome of the Battle of Hastings simply because he thought it would be ‘more fun my way’ ("The Time Meddler"), The Doctor now recognised that he had a duty to protect the innocent where he could, standing up for those who needed a champion in their darkest moments against the forces of those who would seek power at the cost of others. His initially rigid opposition to interference is particularly reflected in his clothing; while other Doctors tend to wear the same clothes regardless of the era they are currently visiting, this Doctor regularly altered his attire to better blend in to the past eras he visited, even wearing a toga during his time in Rome ("The Romans"), although he retained his Victorian-based costume when visiting the future and other planets.

The Crusade
The Crusade
 Following Susan’s departure, he came to see some of his subsequent companions, such as Vicki and Dodo , as being almost ‘Susan substitutes’, each of them reminding him of his granddaughter in some way, although this apparent desire to ‘keep’ some part of Susan with him on his travels ended after his first regeneration. Although he sometimes argued with companions such as Steven and Ian on various ethical matters, his dedication to and affection for his friends remained evident regardless of their personal conflicts, particularly when Steven attempted to leave him and he was briefly left alone in the TARDIS for the first time since his travels began, The Doctor began to wonder whether he should return home before he recognised that he couldn't do such a thing yet ("The Massacre of St. Bartholomew's Eve"). Although he briefly sought solitude as he prepared for his imminent regeneration ("The Man in the Velvet Mask"), after Dodo's departure ("The War Machines") he was clearly grateful when he realised that Ben Jackson and Polly had wandered into the TARDIS ("The Smugglers").

Although he was initially more willing to commit murder than his later selves, a confrontation with his eighth self and Ian Chesterton's own reaction to his near-efforts soon prompted The Doctor to re-evaluate his old arrogance, The Doctor coming to appreciate the value of life and avoid confrontation. Mostly, he was content to observe in the background and develop plans, although he was never afraid to take centre stage when the occasion called for it, such as when he confronted the power-hungry sorcerer Gramling ("The Sorcerer’s Apprentice") or stood up to the ruthless Schirr terrorists known as the Ten-Strong, who had terrorised Earth’s future empire for decades ("Ten Little Aliens"). He would only get involved fighting against injustice and oppressors when events got out of control and then only resorting to violence where necessary preferring to use diplomacy. He did however at times become so engrossed with events happening around him that he allowed his judgement to become clouded. His passion for discovery and righting the wrongs of the universe made him a truly likeable Doctor if not frustrating at times for his companions, most notably with his habit of constantly getting Ian’s name wrong (Calling him everything from ‘Chesterfield’ to ‘Chatterton’), and his relationship with later companion Steven Taylor could be occasionally strained due to Steven’s desire to help others being countered by The Doctor’s concerns about interfering with history, even if Steven eventually came to accept that The Doctor simply adopted a larger view rather than dismissing Steven’s concerns ("The Massacre of St. Bartholomew's Eve" and "Salvation").

Despite his age and apparent absent-mindedness, this Doctor’s mind and burned as sharply as any of his other selves, allowing him to quickly deduce that a massive spaceship being constructed on the distant planet of Sarath was a fake based on nothing more than a couple of casual slips of the tongue and a visual estimation of its mass and power capabilities ("City at World’s End"). Despite his initially darker nature, he still valued independence over conformity, satisfied with the destruction of the Conscience of Marinus despite its role in bringing peace to Marinus as he felt that machines could never dispense true justice in place of humans ("The Keys of Marinus") and expressing distate for the Elders' oppression of the Savages despite the benefits of their life-draining technology in preserving their own citizens ("The Savages").His strength of will was also significant, when faced with the Gods of Myth, beings whose powers and abilities were based around the belief others had in them, The Doctor escaped being burnt to death because his belief in himself outweighed the belief that an entire park full of people had in the God who had hurled a fireball at him ("Salvation"), and on another occasion he was able to single-handedly hold back a mental pulse capable of immobilising eight people with only his mind, although it left him fatigued from the effort ("Ten Little Aliens").

The Celestial Toymaker
The Celestial Toymaker
 Even though he had a keen mind The Doctor did suffer sometimes from poor health and would at times become breathless when trying to keep up with his more active and younger companions, a fact that often frustrated him given his relative youth by Time Lord standards. Although he could be sprightly when called upon, such as when he fought against a skilled martial artist ("The Eleventh Tiger") or against his robotic duplicate ("The Chase"), he typically paid for it later by being even more fatigued than usual afterwards. For a time he attempted to resist his approaching regeneration, afraid at the thought of losing a part of himself in the transformation, even trying to set things up so that his companions would leave him alone when the moment to change finally came to pass, influencing Steven Taylor to serve as leader of a group of humans in the distant future ("The Savages") and sometimes contemplating doing the same to Dodo ("The Man in the Velvet Mask"). Despite his attempts to die alone, however, he finally became unable to resist the change after exposure to the cold environment of the South Pole and the energy-draining effects of Mondas during his first encounter with the Cybermen. With Earth saved and the Cybermen defeated, The Doctor returned to the TARDIS and collapsed, before, in front of new companions Ben and Polly, he changed into a much younger and dark haired man ("The Tenth Planett").

 The character of the First Doctor also appeared in the 10th anniversary story "The Three Doctors" (Albeit trapped in a time eddy and only able to advise his two future selves), and also the 20th anniversary special "The Five Doctors", the role of which was played by Richard Hurndall. His mental ‘ghost’ also appeared to the Seventh Doctor’s companion Ace when she was trapped in The Doctor’s mind during the final fight against the Timewyrm ("Timewyrm: Revelation"), where he was portrayed as an elderly Librarian guarding The Doctor’s memories inside his mind. Despite his greater physical age and short temper compared to his other selves - indeed, the Fourth Doctor once referred to his first incarnation as ‘the grumpy one’ ("Dimensions in Time") - during later meetings he would often mentally outstrip his future incarnations, deducing the true nature of the Game of Rassilon before the Second, Third and Fifth Doctors ("The Five Doctors"), swiftly working out how the amnesic Eighth Doctor might regain his memories ("The Eight Doctors") (Although the Eighth gave the First a lecture on morality at the same time) and quickly identifying the true purpose of the time bridge sent by Omega to capture the Third Doctor, the Second Doctor later confirming that he had a great deal of respect for his first incarnation’s advice ("The Three Doctors").


Book - Venusian Lullaby
Venusian Lullaby
(Paul Leonard)
Book - The Plotters
The Plotters
(Gareth Roberts)
Book - The Witch Hunters
The Witch Hunters
(Steve Lyons)
Book - The Time Travellers
The Time Travellers
(Simon Guerrier)
       
BBC BOOK
BBC BOOK
BBC BOOK
BBC BOOK

William Hartnell - The Actor
Carry on Sergeant
Carry on Sergeant (1958)
(with Bob Monkhouse)
 Born in 1908 William Hartnell developed an early ambition to become an actor and in l924 he joined the Sir Frank Benson's Shakespearean Company. Further theatre work followed and from 1929 he started playing small film roles mainly as the main lead in 'quota quickies' - short, cheap films made very quickly in a few weeks. These included the comic fantasy I'm an Explosive in 1933, Swinging the Lead in 1935 and Midnight at Madame Tussaud's in 1937.

 Following the outbreak of the Second World War he was drafted into the Royal Artillery Corps as a private. But after only eleven months he was discharged for medical reasons. With the help of friends he managed to gain parts in films again. These were mainly wartime films and included They Came by Night in 1940 and in 1942 They Flew Alone, Flying Fortress and Sabbotage at Sea.

The Night We Dropped a Clanger
The Night We Dropped
a Clanger (1959)
 But it was not until 1943 that his career really took off when he played an unyielding army sergeant in the film The Way Ahead. Other film appearances continued including: The Goose Steps Out in 1943, The Bells Go Down in 1944, Brighton Rock and the Rex Harrison thriller Escape which also starred Patrick Troughton both in 1947, The Pickwick Papers in 1952, The Ringer also in 1952 and Will any Gentlemen? which also starred Jon Pertwee in 1953. Further 'tough guy' roles followed including the 1956 films Private's Progress andThe Yangtse Incident. In 1957 he played the star role as an army officer in the Granada TV comedy series The Army Game. This was then followed by the 1958 'Carry On' film Carry On Sergeant and the 1959 films Shake Hands with the Devil, The Mouse That Roared and The Night We dropped a Clanger.


This Sporting Life
This Sporting Life (1963)

 By the sixties he played his most famous role in the 1963 film This Sporting Life. It was his appearance in this film and his role as gruff military types that brought him to the attention of Verity Lambert, the first producer of Doctor Who. At first he was not keen with the idea of working in children's television but as soon as he learnt what was being planned he was hooked. William Hartnell was in the role of The Doctor for three years from "An Unearthly Child" in 1963 to "The Tenth Planet" in 1966. He was closely identified with the role as he once commented 'Everyone calls me Doctor Who and I feel like them' and within a year he had become a household name. The main reason for his leaving the show was due to his failing health which made it more difficult for him to remember his lines so making him become more frustrated. Also the show was no longer the same as when he started. William Hartnell saw the show as a children's programme and so he disagreed with the more adult direction it was now heading for.

 After Doctor Who he continued to work for television and he was in an episode of BBC's Softly, Softly series in 1968. He also returned to the theatre including one of the title roles in the 1968 Bristol Old Vic's production of Brother and Sister. In 1973 he returned to the role of the First Doctor in the 10th anniversary story "The Three Doctors". However, due to his increased ill health his involvement was only a few short film inserts which were used on the TARDIS scanner.

 Unfortunately, less than three years later, on the 24th April 1975, he died aged 67.

The Television Companions
Susan An Unearthly Child - The Dalek Invasion of Earth & The Five Doctors Carole Ann Ford
Barbara Wright An Unearthly Child - The Chase Jacqueline Hill
Ian Chesterton An Unearthly Child - The Chase William Russell
Vicki The Rescue - The Myth Makers Maureen O'Brien
Steven Taylor The Chase - The Savages Peter Purves
Katarina The Myth Makers - The Daleks' Master Plan Adrienne Hill
Sara Kingdom The Daleks' Master Plan Jean Marsh
Dodo The Massacre of St. Bartholomew's Eve - The War Machines Jackie Lane
Polly The War Machines - The Faceless Ones (2nd Dr story) Anneke Wills
Ben Jackson The War Machines - The Faceless Ones (2nd Dr story) Michael Craze
Monsters & Villains
 The first ever monster to appear on Doctor Who were the Daleks who appeared in the second story "The Daleks". Despite the decree that there was to be no 'bug eyed monsters' the Daleks changed the future of Doctor Who forever. They proved to be so popular that they not only returned for another 4 stories with the first Doctor but throughout every other incarnation of The Doctor. It is also reported that if it was not for the success of the Daleks then Doctor Who would not have continued beyond the initial 13 episodes that were planned.

 Other monsters and villains include historical figures, The Meddling Monk, The Monoids, The Toymaker, WOTAN and his War Machines, and, in the last story featuring the First Doctor, the Cybermen.

Memorable Moments
Barbara and Ian watch The Doctor
Barbara and Ian watch The Doctor outside the TARDIS
 When Ian and Barbara first enter the TARDIS and find that they are not in an ordinary Police Telephone Box, but in a much larger room than is possible. Something which for Ian and Barbara was a complete shock. The same could be said for the viewers watching this first episode ("An Unearthly Child"). Possible the best Doctor Who episode ever.

 In the First Doctor's last story, when the TARDIS takes them to the cold environment of the South Pole, Polly and Ben became increasingly concerned for The Doctor's health as he is showing signs of fatigue and becomes weaker as the story progresses. At the very end of the story they both return to the TARDIS to find that The Doctor has collapsed and is lying on the console room floor. Powerless to help, and before their very eyes, The Doctor's face shimmers and his whole body transforms into a much younger person played by Patrick Troughton ("The Tenth Planet"). An end of an era had arrived and Doctor Who would never be the same again.

 
Parts of this article were compiled with the assistance of David Spence who can be contacted by e-mail at djfs@blueyonder.co.uk
 
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