Monday, 23 November 2009

Happy Birthday Who

And so it was, on the 23rd November 1963, a TV legend was born. When you look at Who now, 46 years later, it, like its current Doctor, has turned into a bit of monster. There´s the classic TV series, the New TV Series, online animated webcasts, radio audio adventures, the odd movie or two, and merchandise of such a bewildering variety it would take a lifetime´s work to get your head round it.

On occassions like these, we should toast those who have been involved in making the show what it is, and none more so than those people involved in those early days of black and white TV.

So, if you haven´t found it already, take a look at the BBC Archive and their ´Genesis of Doctor Who´ collection here. There´s a wealth of information and documentation on the pre-production development of the show, including scans of original documents complete with handwritten notes and comments by the lead players in creating the programme.

If the above scan is hard to read, you can find the text here.

Elsewhere, on the BBC Classic Series website (here) you can find detailed notes on the first pilot episode, the first story, An Unearthly Child, and together with all the subsequent stories. They also have some rather obscure original documents online. And a photo gallerey here.

If you look on thr right sites you can even find a pdf copy of the original script to download, for example from here

Or, of course, you can read the Target novelisation (again you can find pdf´s of these to download) if you don´t already own a copy.

We´re also lucky enough to be able to watch the first story, as the Beeb didn´t wipe the mastertapes like they did with so many later Hartnell and Troughton stories. Perhaps they were so far back in the cupboard they didn´t get to them! One wonders why the first story hasn´t been put up on YouTube or MSN for everyone to enjoy (everyone in the UK that is!), as its already been released for some time on DVD as part the ´The Beginning´ box set. Perhaps they´ll save it until the 50th anniversary.

And the Doctor´s first words in the first episode of the first story?

"What are you doing here?"

Scans shown here are from the Cuttings Archive.

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