Doctor Who (1963–1989)
8.4/10
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12 user 7 critic

An Unearthly Child 

Two schoolteachers investigate the personal life of one of their brilliant students and her mysterious grandfather.

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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
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William Russell ...
Jacqueline Hill ...
...
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Storyline

Two schoolteachers, Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright, become concerned by the unusual behavior of their fifteen-year-old student, Susan Foreman. When they follow her home, they meet her mysterious grandfather, the Doctor, and find themselves unwilling passengers on his time ship, the TARDIS... Written by Sarah Hadley

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23 November 1963 (UK)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

After Barbara and Ian leave Susan alone in the class room, the idea that Susan should do something mysterious was a late, unscripted inclusion. In the previously recorded original version, Susan doodled in the book. In this version, it was decided to abandon the doodling, and zoom in on the book instead. The design team asked for a book with an identifiable picture of Robespierre on the cover. See more »

Quotes

Barbara Wright: If I thought I was just being a busy body, I'd go straight home.
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Connections

Featured in Doctor Who Confidential: Lords and Masters (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Three Guitars Mood 2
(uncredited)
Performed by the Arthur Nelson Group
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User Reviews

 
Genuine sense of mystery
13 October 2006 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Perhaps the most important 20 minutes of TV drama ever. FACT!!!! Much of early sixties 'classic' TV comes across as stilted to a modern audience but the Doctor's debut still manages to engage, largely by making the Doctor a mysterious and somewhat menacing figure.

Hartnell's performance here is strong with little sign of his later awkward memory lapses and trips. The mind-blowing concepts of time travel and trans-dimensional engineering (although not named as such) are treated with the awe and respect they deserve through the reactions of unwilling companions Ian and Barbara. Unlike later years where Tardis occupants would just seem to take it in their stride.

Do try to catch the alternate pilot version if you get a chance. The Doctor is even nastier and Susan even more space cadet!


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