Doctor Who: An Unearthly Child (Story #1)

7.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 6/10
Visuals: 7/10

Seeing how the epic series began, kind of like the look

Not a huge fan of the original Doctor


Ah crap…I’m guessing this is going to start a trend

It is 1963, and teacher Ian Chesterton (William Russell) and Barbara Wright (Jacqueline Hill) have a problem with a strange new student named Susan Foreman (Carole Ann Ford).  When they follow Susan to her home address, they find a small police box in a junkyard.  The inside of the box is larger than the outside, and Susan calls it a TARDIS (Time and Relative Dimension in Space).  Its “pilot” is Susan’s grandfather the Doctor (William Hartnell) who claims that the TARDIS can travel in time and in space.  When the Doctor, Ian, Barbara, and Susan travel back in time, they find themselves in the Stone Age and prisoners of cavemen.


I’m a child…and you might say a bit unearthly.

Doctor Who:  An Unearthly Child is the first series of the first season of long-running British series Doctor Who.  Sometimes called 1,000,000 B.C., it is composed of four parts that aired between November 23, 1963 to December 14, 1963.  Opposed to more modern episodes of Doctor Who, An Unearthly Child episodes each have a different title (episode 2 is “The Cave of Skulls”, episode 3 “The Forest of Fear”, and episode 4 “The Firemaker”).  The series has been collected as part of The William Hartnell Years as Doctor Who:  The Beginning (which collects Doctor Who Story #1, Story #2, and Story #3).

Doctor Who:  An Unearthly Child starts one of the most important science-fiction series in television history.  Little is established about the Doctor, and his true relationship with Susan Foreman is unclear.  She calls him his grandfather but later episodes of the series, it is sometimes indicate that the Doctor hasn’t had children, but other times it does.  If Susan is his daughter, this also means she is a Gallifreyan.


It’s kind of like 2001, A Space Odyssey…with the TARDIS

The Doctor also is a bit strange.  He doesn’t have that fun loving sense of adventure that many of the other Doctors have.  Maybe it is because he is older, but what makes the Doctor interesting is that he loves what he does.  Here, the main thrust of the story doesn’t seem to be the Doctor as much as his companions Ian and Barbara who are just trying to find out what is going on and keep the Doctor from being killed so they can get home.

Despite being notoriously cheaply shot, I kind of like the look of Doctor Who:  An Unearthly Child.  It does a decent job with its budget.  It is a good start to a series that sometimes flies and other times can be laughably bad…if nothing else, Doctor Who is always interesting.  Doctor Who:  An Unearthly Child is followed by Doctor Who:  The Daleks (which is also contained in Doctor Who:  The Beginning).

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Followed By:

Doctor Who:  The Daleks (Story #2)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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