The First Doctor has died, and a new one has come along. But before we enter the era of the Second Doctor, let’s take a look back in fondness at his predecessor.
When we first see the Doctor, he’s a strange, rather paranoid individual. He’s with his granddaughter, and often seems to be looking over his shoulder. At what, we do not know, though we get some hints later.
He’s a grumpy, prickly, hard-to-like character, who is, at best, borderline tolerant of his companions, and at worst openly hostile.
His attitude softens as he goes on, and by the time the team meet up with the Aztecs, he’s calmed considerably, turning into more of a grandfatherly type.
Things change even more when he runs into another Time Lord; the Monk. The Doctor could have left at just about any point, but he takes a very active role in stopping the Monk from tampering with history.
I haven’t ever been a huge fan of the First Doctor. He was ok, but not great. He was much better once he became the grandfatherly type than he had been as the pickly jerk, but I still never really warmed to the character all that much.
William Hartnell was, sadly, not a well man through most of his time on the series, and it really shows with the various constant absences and vacations, not to mention the problems he often had with remembering some of the more difficult, and occasionally even the easy, lines.
Hartnell didn’t last long past his time off the series. He returned briefly for one appearance in 1973, and then died in 1975. He was only 69.
With the departure of the First Doctor, the series had lost everyone who was in at the beginning. The decks have been cleared, the die has been cast, and we can now move on to the Troughton years.