My Thoughts on Story 001 – “An Unearthly Child”/”100,000 BC”

I figured initially that I’d watch an episode a day and blog about it, and I think that when I get up to the new series, where each episode is generally a self-contained story, I’ll do just that.

But right now, the stories are multi-part epics, and I think that after I watch each story, it might be of some benefit to go back and look at the story as a whole. So here we are.

Unearthly_Child.jpg

As introductory stories go, this wasn’t a bad one. We saw the TARDIS, both inside and out, learned that Susan and the Doctor are aliens, as well as time travelers, met Ian and Barbara, and took a little trip in the Wayback Machine to a point so far back in time that white people hadn’t yet mastered fire. Plus of course we got the first version, and one of the best versions, of the show’s theme music. That’s pretty sweet!

I liked the story overall. I think that it suffered from being longer than it needed to be, and filled with a bit more caveman politics than any sane person wanted. But there was some excellent writing on the part of Anthony Coburn, and some wonderful acting by Williams Hartnell and Russell.

But there’s something about it that just makes it an ok story, and not a great one. Part of it is the caveman politics, but I can’t quite put my finger on what the rest of the issues are.

Whatever they are, they’re why I recommend to new people that they watch the first part of this story, and skip the rest. You really aren’t missing anything.

Next story: The Daleks

Cast
Others
Production
Writer Anthony Coburn
C. E. Webber (episode 1, uncredited)
Director Waris Hussein
Script editor David Whitaker
Producer Verity Lambert
Mervyn Pinfield (associate producer)
Incidental music composer Norman Kay
Production code A
Series Season 1
Length 4 episodes, 25 minutes each
Date started 23 November 1963
Date ended 14 December 1963
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