Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Doctor Who - 1.1 An Unearthly Child

Watched: Tuesday 31st May 2011
On TV: 23rd November 1963
Episode Type: The 25 minute debut episode of Doctor Who
In 1 Sentence: A great insight into how it all began - and not a bad episode either!
BBC Summary: Schoolteachers Barbara Wright and Ian Chesterton become intrigued by one of their pupils, Susan Foreman, and visit her home address - a junkyard at 76 Totter's Lane - where they meet her grandfather, the Doctor. The Doctor and Susan are aliens who travel through time and space in their ship, the TARDIS, which looks like an ordinary police box but actually houses a huge gleaming control room.The TARDIS arrives on a Palaeolithic landscape, over which falls the shadow of a man.

My Review: Of course, with Doctor Who there is always going to be huge expectations and as I sat down to watch this at ‘TV Heaven’ in the National Media Museum I was eagerly anticipating a good episode. I hadn’t ever seen a ‘classic’ Doctor Who before and as a huge fan of the show I’ve always wanted to delve into the classics. If the DVDs were any cheaper I probably would have them all by now! So when the opportunity arose to watch the first ever episode from 1963 for free in what turned out to be our own private cinema I wasn’t going to pass it up.

What I saw exceeded expectations. Far from the rusty reputation of stiff acting and wobbly sets, the episode was fresh and exciting and I was so proud of Doctor Who for starting off so well. I was fully prepared to be let down, disappointed or worse... bored, but it was completely not the case. The writing was good, the locations and clothes brilliant, but most importantly the camera work was outstanding. My family and I were pleasantly surprised at how modern the camera work was. There were many interesting angles and close-ups that wouldn’t look out of place today.

The story was interesting, and I loved how it ended on a cliff hanger as the Doctor, Susan and her two teachers, Ian and Barbara, landed on a different time and place and... what is that shadow? 
I wish I could see what happens next, but I know that I couldn’t afford the obsession that would surely proceed!

Score: 8.5/10

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