29 December, 2010

Dr. Who (The Early Years) - Part 13 "The First Doctor In Review"

Notes: By 1966, William Hartnell was finding it increasingly difficult to continue the role of Dr.Who. He was forgetting lines and the work strain was becoming too much. At one point he was slated to leave the series during the 'Celestial Toymaker', but he continued. When he did leave, the show was doing well enough to continue instead of cancelling. So the producers devised a way to 'renew' his character. At this point in the series, it was not called a regeneration and his home planet of Gallifrey or him being a 'Time Lord' were yet unmentioned. William Hartnell later reprised his role as the Doctor in the 1973 episode, 'The Three Doctors'. In 1983, Richard Hurndall stood in for the character of the first Doctor in the story 'The Five Doctors'.
Name: The Doctor 1963-1966
Actor: William Hartnell
January 08th 1908 - April 23 1975
Occupation: Time Traveller
First Seen: Earth, 1963
First Episode: An Unearthly Child (Season 1)
Last Seen: Earth, 1986
Last Episode: Tenth Planet (Season 4)
Special Appearance: The Three Doctors (1972-1973)

Notes: The Doctor is actually the one who spearheads Susan's departure. Sensing she has fallen in love with David Campbell but unwilling to leave the Doctor's side, he locks her out of the Tardis. Susan and the Doctor meet once more when they are both drawn to the 'Death Zone' on Gallifrey as seen in the episode 'The Five Doctors'. The Doctor has recently stated all the Time-lords died as a result of the time war. Susan was not excluded so she's likely deceased. The actress herself moved on from the series when her character was not as she imagined. Initially she thought Susan would be a more sophisticated and intelligent individual, but the producers wanted her to relate to the children watching the show.
Name: Susan 1963-1964
Actress: Carol Ann Ford
June 08th 1940 -
Occupation: Doctor's Grand-Daughter
First Seen: Earth, 1963
First Episode: An Unearthly Child (Season 1)
Last Seen: Earth, 2164
Last Episode: Daleks Invasion of Earth (Season 2)
Special Appearance: The Five Doctors (1983) & Dimensions In Time (1993)

Notes: As a science teacher, Ian had a hard time believing the Tardis could actually travel in time. However, he became an invaluable asset to the crew. Often he'd take the lead in whatever physical needed to be done. He was also very protective of Barbara, Susan and Vicki. When he finally had the opportunity to return home he took it as he missed sitting in a pub having a pint or watching a cricket match. His friendship with Barbara was very evident though there is never any indication they became a couple within the series. William Russell has reprised his role as Ian several times for a few videos of missing episodes where he fills in the missing parts of the story.
Name: Ian Chesterton 1963-1965
Actor: William Russell
November 19th 1924 -
Occupation: Science Teacher
First Seen: Earth, 1963
First Episode: An Unearthly Child (Season 1)
Last Seen: Earth, 1965
Last Episode: The Chase (Season 2)

Notes: When Barbara became overly curious about one of her students, Susan, she enlisted the aid of fellow teacher and friend Ian to figure out what was so 'unearthly' about her. They followed her to her home - the Tardis. This was how Barbara became involved with the Doctor. Though Ian was initially skeptical, Barbara was quick to accept the Tardis as a time machine. As a history teacher she was quite possibly excited to travel with the Doctor even though her and Ian getting off on the wrong foot with the Doctor. As awkward as their relationship started, she was slightly reluctant to leave the Doctor as she came to grow fond of him as a friend. Still, she was happy to return to Earth with Ian where they continue to remain friends. According to rumours, they are currently professors at Cambridge.
Name: Barbara Wright 1963-1965
Actress: Jacqueline Hill
December 17th 1929 - February 18th 1993
Occupation: History Teacher
First Seen: Earth, 1963
First Episode: An Unearthly Child (Season 1)
Last Seen: Earth, 1965
Last Episode: The Chase (Season 2)

Notes: With Susan leaving the show, the producers wanted someone to fill the role of identifying with children. Initially, thoughts were to add the character Jenny (from Dalek Invasion of Earth), though Vicki was ultimately settled on. Vicki is one of the few companions who was actually rescued by the Doctor, she's certainly the first the Doctor actually invites to travel with him. During her tenure with the Doctor she travels to Earth's past frequently. 64A.D., 1066A.D., 1190A.D. and 1200B.C. where she eventually parted ways after falling in love with Troilus, a Trojan Man. Still, she did have a few adventures in future and contemporary times including spending time on a Dalek ship.
Name: Vicki - 1965
Actress: Maureen O'Brien
June 29th 1943 -
Occupation: Civilian
First Seen: Dido, 2493 (Native of Earth)
First Episode: The Rescue (Season 2)
Last Seen: Earth, circa 1200 B.C.
Last Episode: The Myth Makers (Season 3)

Notes: There seemed to be a basic formula the early Doctor Who episodes tried to maintain. A younger person to identify with children and a young male character to do all the action scenes. Steven filled in for Ian once he left. Vicki was the first to be invited aboard the Tardis but Steven was the first stowaway (and there were several). Interestingly, Steven worked with six of the Doctors companions; Ian, Barbara, Vicki, Katarina, Dodo and Sara (If you are counting her as a companion). He had two run ins with the Daleks and witnessed the death of two companions (Katarina and Sara). After leaving Doctor Who, Peter Purves went on to be a presenter for Blue Peter. Through Blue Peter, several lost clips of Doctor Who have been found including some of the first regeneration scene.
Name: Steven Taylor 1965-1966
Actor: Peter Purves
February 10th, 1939 -
Occupation: Military Astronaut
First Seen: Mechanus, year uncertain - 23rd century. (Native of Earth)
First Episode: The Chase (Season 2)
Last Seen: A distant planet in the distant future.
Last Episode: The Savages (Season 3)

Notes: The shortest 'lived' companion of the Doctor depending on how you look at it, being in only two adventures. She had slightly more than 100 minutes of actual screen time. She was introduced late in the 'Myth Makers' episode and died early on in the 'Daleks Master Plan'. She was not only the quickest to leave the series, she was also the first to leave via a death. Though the concept of her character is interesting, it was difficult to write for a character who understood little of what was going on. In fact, till her death she still believed the Doctor to be a god and the Tardis her journey to the after-life. In the end, she sacrificed herself to save the Doctor and Steven.
Name: Katarina 1965-1966
Actress: Adrienne Hill
July 22, 1937 - October 6th 1997
Occupation: Servant
First Seen: Earth, circa 1200 B.C.
First Episode: Myth Makers (Season 3)
Last Seen: Floating in space over Desperus 4000 A.D.
Last Episode: Daleks Master Plan (Season 3)

Notes: As a security agent for Earth, Sara took her job serious. So serious in fact, when she believe Bret Vyon was a traitor she killed him, though being her brother. Sara learns she has been tricked by the real traitor of the Universe - Mavic Chen and sides with the Doctor to defeat him and the Daleks. There is much debate whether Sara can actually be considered a companion of the Doctor. But what really is a companion of the Doctor other than someone who travels with him? True, Jean Marsh only appeared in the Dalek Master Plan, but within the story she travels with the Doctor in the Tardis from Kembal to England in the 1960's, a silent movie set in the 1920's, the planet Tigus, ancient Egypt and then finally back to Kembal. Quite a bit of travel with the Doctor for someone not a companion. Obviously, I consider her a companion.
Name: Sara Kingdom 1965-1966
Actress: Jean Marsh
July 1st, 1934 -
Occupation: Space Security Agent
First Seen: Earth, 4000 A.D.
First Episode: Daleks Master Plan (Season 3)
Last Seen: Kembel, 4000 A.D.
Last Episode: Daleks Master Plan (Season 3)

Notes: Though not involved in the adventure 'Massacre of St. Bartholomew's Eve', the Doctor and Steven meet a character with the same last name. Steven is initially upset the Doctor leaves the character Anne Chaplet die when they leave. The Doctor insists history must take it's course, but Steven has had enough and claims he's leaving at the next stop. However after Dodo stumbles into the Tardis and reveals her last name the pair wonder if she's a descendant of Anne. Of course that means Anne has a child out of wedlock in the year 1572 or keeps her maiden name. Dodo wanders into the Tardis thinking it's a real police box to report an accident but soon forgets the injured child as she's in wonder of the Tardis. Noticing two policeman approaching the Tardis, Steven urges the Doctor to take off. Dodo decides to travel with the crew, stating no one will miss her. Dodo has several adventures with the Doctor but the character doesn't do well and Jackie Lane's contract was not renewed. As a result, she never finished her final story and sent word to the Doctor (off-screen) she was staying in London to rest.
Name: Dorothea (Dodo) Chaplet - 1966
Actress: Jackie Lane
July 10th 1941
Occupation: Civilian
First Seen: Earth, 1966
First Episode: Massacre of St. Bartholomew's Eve (Season 3)
Last Seen: Earth, 1966
Last Episode: the War Machines (Season 3)

Notes: Another example of someone stumbling into the Tardis without realizing what it actually is. Along with Polly, Ben is returning the Tardis key Dodo gave them to return to the Doctor. With the producers not very happy with Dodo's character, Michael Craze is brought in as one replacement for her. Ben Jackson fits into the Ian/Steven roll perfectly and even fills in for the Doctor when he's incapacitated during the Cybermen adventure, 'The Tenth Planet'. This adventure is so stressful on the Doctor, he is forced to regenerate for the first time. Of the early adventures, Ben is one of only eight others to actually witness the Doctor regenerate.
Name: Ben Jackson 1966-1967
Actor: Michael Craze
November 29th 1942 - December 7th 1998
Occupation: Navy
First Seen: Earth, 1966
First Episode: War Machines (Season 3)
Last Seen: Continues to travel with the second Doctor

Notes: Polly met the Doctor while he's investigating Wotan, she was the personal assistant on duty. For the most part, she meets Ben while taking Dodo out to the local club 'the Inferno'. With Dodo hypnotized by Wotan, the Doctor enlists her and Ben's aid in fighting the super computer. Polly is also hypnotized by Wotan but travels with the Doctor instead of resting up. Like Ian and Barbara, Ben and Polly enter the Tardis crew together and leave the Tardis crew together. Besides the 'War Machines', Polly has two more adventures with the Doctor before he regenerates. As Barbara was quicker to accept the concept of time travel, Polly is quicker to accept the regenerated Doctor as who he claims to be. Polly and Ben continue to travel with the Doctor.
Name: Polly 1966-1967
Actress: Anneke Wills
October 20th 1941 -
Occupation: Personal Assistant
First Seen: Earth, 1966
First Episode: War Machines (Season 3)
Last Seen: Continues to travel with the second Doctor.

Next: The Power of Regeneration

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