Doctor Who Regeneration 01 Series 001: The Unearthly Child (aka 10,000BC aka The Tribe of Gum)
This is the very first episodes of Dr Who, broadcast in November 1963. It consists of 4 episodes of about 23 minutes each.
The first episode is distinct in that it introduces us to Susan Foreman, a mid-teenager who is judged a little odd by two of her teachers. She seems to know an awful lot about some things, things she really shouldn’t know, but then seems very ignorant of some everyday things any normal teenager would be well aware of.
The teachers go to her home, and find an old man who turns out to be her Grandfather, and they then stumble into the famous Tardis. The first episode ends with the Tardis taking flight and them ending up in a barren rocky plain, with an ominous man’s shadow in shot.
The remaining 3 episodes concern a tribe of cavemen, with a struggle for power over who can make fire. One caveman sees the Doctor light a match, and thinks he can make fire from his hands, and various to-ing and fro-ing ensues.
Like many episodes of the Hartnell era, it’s quite stagey, but it does move at a reasonable pace, and sets up the tension reasonably well. There’s lots here that will jar a little with anyone who knows their Who, such as the way the Doctor talks about the Tardis, the things the doctor does when they land (soil tests) which he never does thereafter, and so on. This is perfectly understandable and legitimate, of course, this being the pilot, and their just trying out different concepts/backstory for fit. Some things they get spot on, like the Tardis’s ‘disguise circuit’ failing. Overall, a recommend to watch, if nothing else as a curio.
Rating: ODD, 6/10
Suitable for all ages