Published on Friday, November 23, 2012
The Doctor Who Adventures team celebrate 49 years of Doctor Who by watching the very first episode!
"An Unearthly Child" was first broadcast at 5.15 pm on Saturday, 23 November 1963. The DWA gang - Nat, Annie, Nikki, Liza, Craig, Phil, Moray and Simon - watch it on DVD while having their lunch.
The familiar, spooky theme tune begins over the original opening sequence - as strange lights warp and gloop over the screen.
'Love the theme tune,' says Nat. 'So freaky!'
The episode is in black and white (as were all episodes of Doctor Who for its first six years!). We really are watching a piece of history.
The first scene, with the theme tune still playing, shows a policeman exploring a strange junkyard at night, the camera holding on the odd sight of a police box in among all the rubbish.
'It's very dark, isn't it?' says Annie.
'And unsettling,' says Phil. 'Even though nothing's really happening. It's all the music and the darkness.'
We then move to an ordinary school in the day time, where two teachers are worried about one of their pupils. The pupils all have big 1960s hair and heavy make-up round the eyes, which makes the girls watching laugh.
Barbara (history teacher) and Ian (science teacher) offer to drive young Susan home but she prefers to walk in the dark. So her teachers follow her.
'I like it when Susan looks through the book about the French revolution,' says Liza. 'And says, "That's not right!"'
'I like Susan's coat,' says Nikki. 'Very cool.'
But Susan walks to a junkyard instead of a house. When Ian and Barbara follow her inside, Susan has disappeared. Instead they find the police box - which hums with power, as if it's alive. Ian walks all round it, looking for a power cable. And then he and Barbara are interrupted.
'What are you doing here?' asks a cross old man - it's the First Doctor!
'How grumpy is the Doctor!' laughs Moray. 'He's just mean!'
'He looks a bit like Yoda,' says Nikki.
The Doctor denies knowing anything about Susan or where she might be. But then Susan opens the door of the police box - and her teachers push their way on board. Big shock: the police box is bigger on the inside!
'Imagine seeing that for the first time in 1963!' says Moray.
'The TARDIS doors look like huge Lego blocks,' says Annie.
The teachers find themselves in an amazing, brightly lit spaceship, and learn that Susan and the Doctor (her grandfather) are time travellers. The police box - which Susan says she has named the TARDIS - is their ship. Now her teachers know her secret, Susan will have to leave Earth in the 20th century and never return. In fact, the Doctor thinks it would be dangerous to let the teachers go in case they tell anyone what they've seen. So, before they can stop him, he sets the controls...
For the very first time, we hear the sound of the TARDIS dematerialising.
'Thankfully travelling in the TARDIS after this wasn't quite so traumatic,' says Moray. 'It looks like Barbara and Ian are unconscious at the end of the ep. Or maybe they just get travel sick.'
'They're no Amy and Rory!' laughs Craig.
And then the police box isn't in London any more. It stands on a desolate landscape, where a shadowy figure is watching... A caption appears: 'Next episode - The Cave of Skulls.'
The credits roll. The team sit back in awe.
'I really enjoyed that!' says Nat.
'"An Unearthly Child" is one of my favourite ever stories!,' says Moray. 'A dark November night, a strange girl who knows too much about the past and the future, and a police box in a junkyard - magic ingredients for a magical stories. I love this episode so much!'
In fact, Annie asks if we have enough time to watch the next episode. And we do...
Which old Doctor Who story should the DWA gang watch next? Tell us why we should watch it, and what your favourite moment is. Email your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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