Doctor Who: Season 1, Episode 1

An Unearthly Child (23 Nov. 1963)

TV Episode  -   -  Adventure | Drama | Family
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Ratings: 8.4/10 from 702 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 7 critic

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


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


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

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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Release Date:

23 November 1963 (UK)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This serial was released by the BBC on video cassette in February 1990. See more »


Susan Foreman: Is that the book you promised me?
Barbara Wright: Yes.
Susan Foreman: [Barbara lends Susan the book on the French Revolution] Thank you very much. It will be interesting. I'll return it tomorrow.
Barbara Wright: Oh, that's not necessary. Keep it until you've finished it.
Susan Foreman: I'll have finished it.
See more »


Featured in The Culture Show: Me, You and Doctor Who (2013) See more »


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

First episode AMAZING. The rest.....does it's job well enough
22 July 2014 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Review of all 4 episodes Let's start with the first episode of the greatest show ever put on television, Doctor Who, created in 1963 by Sydney Newman and produced by Verity Lambert (And make sure to check out the brilliant docudrama An Adventure In Space And Time for the story on how the series was made) Now, let's get it out of the way. The first episode of Doctor Who is a MASTERPIECE. Hands down. It flows well, it's got a great mystery surrounding Susan and the introduction to the show is pulled off with perfection. Then we go to episodes 2-4. Now, this is where it gets difficult. Episodes 2-4 are not all that great. Nothing really happens except a paper thin "capture and escape" plot along with a tiresome caveman storyline. HOWEVER, episodes 2-4, despite how paper-thin they are, do their job very well in establishing the characters and themes of the show, doing a great job in developing the character of the doctor. So, in conclusion, the first episode is masterful and while episodes 2-4 aren't all that good, they do their job well enough.


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