We really love early television and early Doctor Who filming. We really love it. And not in a ‘ah look how hilarious and cute that is’ way. We really love it. Knowing they were on tight budget, knowing this was this new science fiction show that could end at any moment if they didn’t deliver something special, knowing that they did everything with no other Doctor Who to draw upon, and not much sci-fi TV either.
We love the rawness, we love the way the actors make you believe that you’re transported somewhere even though its obvious its a TV studio and a painted backdrop. We love the sets, the way you can walk through them, touch them, they are there, the aliens are there, they are people in rubber suits…but they are there to interact with, they are fully dimensional aliens with their own characters. The ships are laid out and you get to imagine wandering down those creepy corridors, hearing the doors open with those electronic sounds knowing that its all being done as-live, everything put together by one group of people all at the same time, all with their own role in bringing the unreal to life. Stagehands open the doors, and the Dalek voice actor stands just off camera delivering his lines, and the gallery guys watch the clock countdown as they get ready to film.
We keep seeing people saying things like ‘nearly all of the First Doc’s episodes are missing’. Reminder:
There are 134 eps in the Hartnell era and there are still about 90 you can watch.
The first two seasons are pretty much all released on DVD except Marco Polo which is missing, and the Crusade (but the two parts may get animated one day who knows? And this story is on the ‘lost in time’ dvd anyway with audio and an intro by old Ian)
The third/fourth season is the worst hit but there’s still ‘the Ark’, ‘the Gunfighters’, ‘The War Machines and ‘The Tenth Planet’ in full now that they’ve animated part 4 of tenth planet.
There are 17 full serials in the Hartnell era that are intact, and many of these have up to 7 episodes in them. There are only 5 completely missing stories in the Hartnell era and every single story has audio/recons to fill in the missing bits if you want them.
You can pretty much watch all of Ian, Barbara, and Susan’s stories without missing anything.
You also miss none of the early development of the show. The first full Dalek story survives, as does the next two Dalek stories. The regeneration story is now available. They even found one part of Galaxy 4 as late as 2011 and its on ‘The Aztecs’ special edition DVD with a reconstruction with it.
Even with the missing episodes, the One era still has more episodes than a lot of other eras.
Don’t want people to be misinformed on this. Please don’t choose to skip the One era based on ‘It all got junked!’ There’s so much to watch and enjoy! And we should cherish them for the miracle that we have any surviving stories!
Also watch the Second era for the same reasons.
Can’t wait for ‘An Adventure in Space and Time’ because it may finally allow people to see what William Hartnell was really like as a person with good points and bad and as an actor and as the First Doctor. Hopefully it will make people realise just how hard they all worked, just how popular they all were, just how magnificent it all was. This is their time finally to be at the front. This era of actors always got the least notice and they still do even though more and more people are going back to watch. People always have to question why they’re your favourites. Because they’re amazing, enough said!
If the programme can get people to stop listening to rumours and old fashioned remarks about Hartnell and the era, and show them what this wonderful (but stressful!) time on Doctor Who was like, then we will be very very happy.
It’s their time for some praise and we’ll be there in November cheering at our TV screen at our favourite actors and crew (most of whom are no longer with us) and it’ll be like they are still alive, and we’re finally getting to see what our favourite Doctor actor was like. We can’t wait.