Read an Excerpt
By Mark Campbell
Oldcastle BooksCopyright © 2011 Mark Campbell
All rights reserved.
Notes on the format:
Cast: Principal artistes only
Crew: If 'Music' is unlisted, no specially composed music was used
Broadcast: Original UK transmission dates, followed by average rating in millions, with Novelisation (N), DVD, soundtrack CD and Audiobook (A) dates where relevant.
Précis: The set-up in a nutshell.
Observations: Technical notes, locations and miscellaneous trivia.
Verdict: Is it any good?
(Episodes are approximately 25 minutes in duration unless otherwise specified.) [NB All existent episodes up to Doctor Who (156) released on BBC Video between 1983-2003.]
Producer: Verity Lambert | Story Editor: David Whitaker | First Doctor: William Hartnell | Companions: Carole Ann Ford (Susan Foreman), William Russell (Ian Chesterton) & Jacqueline Hill (Barbara Wright)
1. AN UNEARTHLY CHILD (four episodes)
1: AN UNEARTHLY CHILD, 2: THE CAVE OF SKULLS, 3: THE FOREST OF FEAR, 4: THE FIREMAKER
Cast: Reg Cranfield (Policeman), Derek Newark (Za), Jeremy Young (Kal), Alethea Charlton (Hur), Eileen Way (Old Mother), Howard Lang (Horg) | Crew: Director: Waris Hussein; Writer: Anthony Coburn; Music: Norman Kay | Broadcast: 23 November–14 December 1963, 5.9m (N, 1981; DVD, 2006)
Précis: Schoolteachers Ian and Barbara follow their pupil Susan to a junkyard where they meet her grandfather, the Doctor, and are taken back to the Stone Age in his time/space machine ...
Observations: Bernard Lodge and Joe Starie designed Doctor Who's innovative title sequence with specially shot electronic 'howlround' (a video camera capturing its own output from a monitor screen, akin to audio feedback), mixed with surreal footage from Gian Carlo Menotti's television nativity opera Amahl and the Night Visitors. Ron Grainer composed the theme tune, which was arranged by Delia Derbyshire of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. An unbroadcast pilot of the first episode was recorded, with minor changes. Peter Brachacki designed the Tardis interior for the pilot, replicated by Barry Newbery for the transmitted version. A widespread power cut prevented many from seeing the first episode and so it was hastily repeated the following Saturday before episode two.
Verdict: The first episode's collision of mundane reality and science fantasy is audacious. The following cavemen adventure is gritty and violent, and no other story comes close to capturing the discomfort of being uprooted from familiar surroundings and having to survive in a strange, hostile world. 10/10.
2. THE DALEKS (seven episodes)
1: THE DEAD PLANET, 2: THE SURVIVORS, 3: THE ESCAPE, 4: THE AMBUSH, 5: THE EXPEDITION, 6: THE ORDEAL, 7: THE RESCUE
Cast: Philip Bond (Ganatus), John Lee (Alydon), Virginia Wetherell (Dyoni), Alan Wheatley (Temmosus), Gerald Curtis (Elyon), Jonathan Crane (Kristas), Marcus Hammond (Antodus), Peter Hawkins, David Graham (Dalek voices), Robert Jewell, Kevin Manser, Peter Murphy, Michael Summerton, Gerald Taylor (Daleks) | Crew: Directors: Christopher Barry (1, 2, 4–5) & Richard Martin (3, 6–7); Writer: Terry Nation; Music: Tristram Cary | Broadcast: 21 December 1963–1 February 1964, 9m (N, 1964; DVD, 2006; A, 2005)
Précis: The Tardis lands on Skaro, home to the beautiful Thals and the mutated, metallic Daleks ...
Observations: The Daleks were designed by Raymond Cusick, based on a description by Terry Nation. Four fibreglass and plywood props were constructed by Shawcraft Models and, as with most 1960s Dalek stories, life-size cardboard cut-outs were used to swell their ranks. Dalek actors' voices were passed through a ring modulator (an electronic device used in early synthesisers) to give them their unique sound. The Dead Planet was remounted because of an audio feedback problem.
Verdict: Memorable moments abound, particularly episode one's cliffhanger, but the simplistic morality fable sags in the middle and virtually comes to a halt halfway through the last episode. But the conviction of the cast just about carries it off. 7/10
3. THE EDGE OF DESTRUCTION (two episodes)
1: THE EDGE OF DESTRUCTION, 2: THE BRINK OF DISASTER
Crew: Directors: Richard Martin (1) & Frank Cox (2); Writer: David Whitaker; Special Sound: Brian Hodgson | Broadcast: 8–15 February 1964, 10.2m (N, 1988; DVD, 2006)
Précis: The Tardis appears to be under alien control ...
Observations: This unusual two-parter, featuring only the four regular cast members and the Tardis interior, was written to offset overspends on the previous stories, to introduce a 'sideways' narrative (instead of 'past' or 'future'), and to complete the series' probationary run of 13 episodes.
Verdict: Strong imagery, weak plot–it's sometimes painfully slow, although there are some exquisite moments of psychological horror. 6/10
4. MARCO POLO (seven episodes)
1: THE ROOF OF THE WORLD, 2: THE SINGING SANDS, 3: FIVE HUNDRED EYES, 4: THE WALL OF LIES, 5: RIDER FROM SHANG-TU, 6: MIGHTY KUBLAI KAHN, 7: ASSASSIN AT PEKING
Cast: Mark Eden (Marco Polo), Zienia Merton (Ping-Cho), Derren Nesbitt (Tegana), Jimmy Gardner (Chenchu), Charles Wade (Malik), Philip Voss (Acomat), Gabor Baraker (Wang-Lo), Paul Carson (Ling-Tau), Tutte Lemkow (Kuiju), Peter Lawrence (Vizier), Martin Miller (Kublai Khan), Claire Davenport (Empress) | Crew: Directors: Waris Hussein (1–3, 5–7) & John Crockett (4); Writer: John Lucarotti; Music: Tristram Cary | Broadcast: 22 February–4 April 1964, 9.5m (N, 1984; DVD, 2006 [abridged reconstruction]); CD, 2003)
Précis: The Doctor and his companions accompany Marco Polo on his journey to Kublai Khan's court in Peking ...
Observations: Lucarotti had previously written a Canadian radio serial on the same subject. Filmed inserts punctuated the narrative, showing
Marco Polo writing his diary and a map of the route thus far. This was the first Doctor Who story to feature on the cover of the Radio Times.
Verdict: It's a major feat to produce a serial as ambitious as this in Lime Grove's tiny Studio D, and the attention to detail in the script and settings is impressive. The narrative takes place over a period of several months, adding a welcome note of reality to proceedings. 9/10
5. THE KEYS OF MARINUS (six episodes)
1: THE SEA OF DEATH, 2: THE VELVET WEB, 3: THE SCREAMING JUNGLE, 4: THE SNOWS OF TERROR, 5: SENTENCE OF DEATH, 6: THE KEYS OF MARINUS
Cast: George Coulouris (Arbitan), Robin Phillips (Altos), Katharine Schofield (Sabetha), Heron Carvic (Morpho voice), Edmund Warwick (Darrius), Francis de Wolff (Vasor), Dougie Dean (Eprin), Henley Thomas (Tarron), Michael Allaby (Larn), Fiona Walker (Kala), Martin Cort (Aydan), Donald Pickering (Eyesen) | Crew: Director: John Gorrie; Writer: Terry Nation; Music: Norman Kay | Broadcast: 11 April–16 May 1964, 9m (N, 1980; DVD, 2009)
Précis: On Marinus, the Tardis crew hunt for four keys to a strange machine that will overcome they hideous Voords ...
Observations: The Tardis was seen materialising for the first time, albeit as a silent model shot. Hartnell was on holiday for episodes three and four.
Verdict: The series' first turkey, this is a badly written, badly realised homage to old film serials with very shoddy production values. There are effective moments, but not many. 3/10
6. THE AZTECS (four episodes)
1: THE TEMPLE OF EVIL, 2: THE WARRIORS OF DEATH, 3: THE BRIDE OF SACRIFICE, 4: THE DAY OF DARKNESS
Cast: John Ringham (Tlotoxl), Keith Pyott (Autloc), Ian Cullen (Ixta), Margot Van Der Burgh (Cameca), Tom Booth (First Victim), David
Anderson (Aztec Captain), Walter Randall (Tonila), Andre Boulay (Perfect Victim) | Crew:Director: John Crockett; Writer: John Lucarotti; Music: Richard Rodney Bennett | Broadcast: 23 May–13 June 1964, 7.5m (N, 1984; DVD, 2002)
Précis: Barbara is mistaken for an Aztec god in fifteenth-century Mexico ...
Observations: The Doctor's flirtation with Cameca was his only obvious romantic liaison until the 1996 Doctor Who TV movie (156). The story was the first to have episodes videoed at the BBC Television Centre, which opened in 1960. Carole Ann Ford was absent from studio recording for the middle two episodes.
Verdict: John Ringham's hammy Richard III impersonation spoils the seriousness of the story, but the production is strong and there are some well-crafted scenes. 7/10
7. THE SENSORITES (six episodes)
1: STRANGERS IN SPACE, 2: THE UNWILLING WARRIORS, 3: HIDDEN DANGER, 4: A RACE AGAINST DEATH, 5: KIDNAP, 6: A DESPERATE VENTURE
Cast: Ilona Rodgers (Carol), Stephen Dartnell (John), Lorne Cossette (Maitland), Ken Tyllsen (First Sensorite/First Scientist), Joe Greig (Second Sensorite/Second Scientist), Peter Glaze (Third Sensorite), Arthur Newall (Fourth Sensorite), Eric Francis (First Elder), Bartlett Mullins (Second Elder), John Bailey (Commander), Martyn Huntley (First Human), Giles Phibbs (Second Human) |Crew: Directors: Mervyn Pinfield (1–4) & Frank Cox (5–6); Writer: Peter R Newman; Music: Norman Kay | Broadcast: 20 June–1 August 1964, 6.9m (N, 1987; CD, 2008)
Précis: Telepathic balloon-headed aliens terrorise a twenty-eighth century spaceship crew ...
Observations: Peter Glaze was better known for his appearances on the BBC children's show Crackerjack ('Crackerjack!') from 1960 to 1979. Hidden Danger was delayed for a week by an extended edition of Grandstand. Jacqueline Hill took time off from episodes four and five.
Verdict: A spooky first episode gives way to a humdrum story set against the bland environs of the Sense-Sphere. The Sensorites, although initially impressive, end up looking rather silly. 3/10
8. THE REIGN OF TERROR (six episodes)
1: A LAND OF FEAR, 2: GUESTS OF MADAME GUILLOTINE, 3: A CHANGE OF IDENTITY, 4: THE TYRANT OF FRANCE, 5: A BARGAIN OF NECESSITY, 6: PRISONERS OF CONCIERGERIE
Cast: James Cairncross (Lemaître), Jack Cunningham (Jailer), Donald Morley (Jules Renan), Peter Walker (Jean-Pierre), Laidlaw Dalling (Rouvray), Neville Smith (D'Argenson), Howard Charlton (Judge), Jeffry Wickham (Webster), Dallas Cavell (Road Works Overseer), Roy Herrick (Jean), John Barrard (Shopkeeper), Caroline Hunt (Danielle), Edward Brayshaw (Leon Colbert), Keith Anderson (Robespierre), Ronald Pickup (Physician), John Law (Paul Barrass), Tony Wall (Napoleon) | Crew:Director: Henric Hirsch (1–2, 4–6) & John Gorrie (3); Writer: Dennis Spooner; Music: Stanley Myers |Broadcast: 8 August–12 September 1964, 6.7m (N, 1987; CD, 2006)
Précis: The Tardis lands in Paris during Robespierre's infamous Reign of Terror ...
Observations: This story featured the first location filming for the series–Tilehouse Lane, Denham, Bucks, represented a poplar-lined French lane (with Brian Proudfoot doubling for Hartnell), while other brief inserts were filmed in the Gerrards Cross area. William Russell was absent from studio recording for episodes two and three.
Verdict: With a little more humour than on previous occasions, this is a well-observed, albeit slow, historical story in which the Doctor exhibits a suprisingly violent streak. 6/10
Producer: Verity Lambert | Story Editors: David Whitaker (9–10), Dennis Spooner (11–16) & Donald Tosh (17) | First Doctor: William Hartnell | Companions: William Russell (Ian Chesterton 9–16), Jacqueline Hill (Barbara Wright 9–16), Carole Ann Ford (Susan Foreman 9–10), Maureen O'Brien (Vicki 11–17) & Peter Purves (Steven Taylor 16–17)
9. PLANET OF GIANTS (three episodes)
1: PLANET OF GIANTS, 2: DANGEROUS JOURNEY, 3: CRISIS
Cast: Frank Crawshaw (Farrow), Alan Tilvern (Forester), Reginald Barratt (Smithers), Rosemary Johnson (Hilda Rowse), Fred Ferris (Bert Rowse) | Crew: Directors: Mervyn Pinfield (1–3) & Douglas Camfield (3); Writer: Louis Marks; Music: Dudley Simpson | Broadcast: 31 October–14 November 1964, 8.5m (N, 1990)
Précis: A miniaturised Tardis crew try to prevent the manufacture of a lethal insecticide ...
Observations: Appropriately reduced from four episodes to three shortly before transmission (the fourth was originally entitled The Urge to Live), this story featured many large props built by Raymond Cusick. This was the first serial for composer Dudley Simpson and director Douglas Camfield, who would both go on to be prolific contributors to the programme.
Verdict: The fantastic props never fail to impress and the adherence to realism is commendable, but the story drags a little even in its truncated form. 7/10
10. THE DALEK INVASION OF EARTH (six episodes)
1: WORLD'S END, 2: THE DALEKS, 3: DAY OF RECKONING, 4: THE END OF TOMORROW, 5: THE WAKING ALLY, 6: FLASHPOINT
Cast: Peter Fraser (David Campbell), Bernard Kay (Tyler), Alan Judd (Dortmun), Ann Davies (Jenny), Michael Goldie (Craddock), Richard McNeff (Baker), Graham Rigby (Larry Madison), Nicholas Smith (Wells), Patrick O'Connell (Ashton), Jean Conroy, Meriel Hobson (Women in Wood), Peter Hawkins, David Graham (Dalek voices), Robert Jewell, Gerald Taylor, Kevin Manser, Peter Murphy, Ken Tyllsen, Nick Evans (Daleks) | Crew: Director: Richard Martin; Writer: Terry Nation; Music: Francis Chagrin | Broadcast: 21 November–26 December 1964, 11.9m (N, 1977; DVD, 2003; A, 2009)
Précis: On a devastated twenty-second century Earth the Daleks have subjugated the population with brainwashed Robomen ...
Observations: London locations included Westminster and Hammersmith Bridges, Trafalgar Square, the South Bank, the Albert Memorial and Whitehall. The six Daleks were given 'solar energy receptors' on their backs and larger 'bumpers' to navigate exterior terrain. Hartnell was written out of episode four after sustaining an injury during camera rehearsals for Day of Reckoning. The serial saw the programme's second Radio Times cover.
Verdict: Clumsy direction and dire modelwork are symptomatic of this wildly overambitious tale that seems predicated to fail. The moody build-up in the first episode and Susan's farewell scene in the last are nicely done, but in every other way the 1965 big-screen version is superior. 4/10
11. THE RESCUE (two episodes)
1: THE POWERFUL ENEMY, 2: DESPERATE MEASURES
Cast: Ray Barrett (Bennett/Koquillion), John Stuart, Colin Hughes (Didonians), Tom Sheridan (Space Captain Voice/Sand Monster) | Crew: Director: Christopher Barry; Writer: David Whitaker; Music: Tristram Cary | Broadcast: 2–9 January 1965, 12.5m (N, 1987; DVD, 2009)
Précis: On Dido, two survivors of a crashed spaceship are living in fear of a hideous alien ...
Observations: Koquillion was credited as 'Sydney Wilson' for episode one–a pseudonym based on Doctor Who creators Sydney Newman and Donald Wilson–to maintain the secret of his identity. Vicki's character was originally called Lukki.
Verdict: A nice character study with good production values and an effective climax–although why Bennett didn't just kill Vicki is never explained. 7/10
12. THE ROMANS (four episodes)
1: THE SLAVE TRADERS, 2: ALL ROADS LEAD TO ROME, 3: CONSPIRACY, 4: INFERNO
Cast: Nicholas Evans (Didius), Derek Sydney (Sevcheria), Derek Francis (Nero), Bart Allison (Maximus Pettulian), Barry Jackson (Ascaris), Peter Diamond (Delos), Michael Peake (Tavius), Dorothy-Rose Gribble (Woman Slave), Gertan Klauber (Galley Master), Brian Proudfoot (Tigilinus), Kay Patrick (Poppaea), Ann Tirard (Locusta) | Crew: Director: Christopher Barry; Writer: Dennis Spooner; Music: Raymond Jones | Broadcast: 16 January–6 February 1965, 11.6m (N, 1987; DVD, 2009)
Excerpted from Doctor Who by Mark Campbell. Copyright © 2011 Mark Campbell. Excerpted by permission of Oldcastle Books.
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