Doctor Who - Documentary s01e02 Episode Script

Doctor Who - Origins

NARRATOR: Doctor Who is a television institution like no other.
It has a legacy that has enthralled and entertained generations of children of all ages for over four decades.
But what of its humble beginnings in the early 1960s? What led to the birth of Doctor Who? It's still a police box.
Why hasn't it changed? Dear, dear, how very disturbing.
I was born in another time.
Another world.
Have you ever thought what it's like to be wanderers in the fourth dimension? Have you? To be exiles.
Can't you see that all this is an illusion? I want to stay! What is going to happen to you? 1963 was a landmark year.
In June, Secretary of State for War John Profumo, was forced to quit the government after his affair with Christine Keeler hit the headlines.
Later that same month, US President John F Kennedy made a significant trip to West Germany at the height of the Cold War.
In August, the Great Train Robbers made off with over £2 million after an audacious railway heist.
Musically, the year began with the likes of Cliff Richard's Summer Holiday riding high in the charts.
But it wasn't long before a popular beat combo from Liverpool began releasing hit after hit after hit.
In the midst of all this, television had started bringing entertainment to the masses like no other medium before it.
The BBC in the early 1960s was experiencing a period of reappraisal.
When Independent Television began transmitting in 1955, the BBC's broadcasting monopoly disappeared.
Commercial pressures began exerting their influence and the battle for the audience had begun.
Changes in technology meant new ways of working.
With the advent of videotape, TVdrama was no longer broadcast live as it had been in the 1950s.
The use of videotape editing and pre-filmed material meant programmes were no longer confined to six sets and four cameras in a single studio.
MAN: Many people had previously thought of BBC Television as radio with pictures.
By the '60s, by the early '60s, however, the BBC was taking real steps to creating a unique identity.
NARRATOR: Such innovation was not always embraced however.
Much of the Corporation's senior management had been around for many years and couldn't or wouldn't move with the times.
What was needed was a new approach.
dnter Sydney Newman.
Up to 1958, I was head of drama for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, and the BBC, for reasons of its own, bought 26 of my Canadian plays, which were one hour in length, and ran them on the BBC, and there was my name at the end of every one as supervising producer, Sydney Newman.
And so my name got known here a bit.
And then crosscut to ABC Television, and Howard Thomas wanted to promote Dennis Vance, who was the head of drama for it, and asked Dennis could he find a replacement for himself.
And that's how I was found and interviewed and flown to England and wined and dined and I accepted the job as head of drama for ABC Television.
NARRATOR: At ABC, he had revolutionised the station's drama output, devising such programmes as The Avengers, Armchair Theatre and the science fiction Pathfinders series.
Newman was lured to the BBC in 1962 by Director of Television, Kenneth Adam, with a promise of being allowed to shake up and reinvigorate the drama output of the organisation.
Kenneth Adam said, ''Would you like to join the BBC?'' And I said it'd be marvellous, you know.
I said, ''What have you in mind?'' He said, ''To take over our Sunday night play.
'' I laughed.
I said, ''You're joking.
'' I said, ''Why should I walk across the street ''to do precisely what I'm now doing in Armchair Theatre?'' We talked a bit about that and then he said, ''Would you like to be head of our drama?'' I said, ''Now you're talking.
'' I think Sydney was brought in, really, to breathe some life into a drama department that had kind of sat on its laurels for quite a long time.
I mean, at that time he had produced the most successful, modern play series that was on television.
The BBC drama were still catering to a highly educated, cultured class rather than the mass audience which was not aware of culture as such and had no real background.
But above all, I felt that the dramas really weren't speaking about common everyday things.
In 1962, the BBC had quite a large drama department which was called the Drama Group, comprising of producers and directors.
Scripting was handled by a much smaller department.
NARRATOR: At the time, the head of the script department was the highly respected Donald Wilson.
Wilson had come to the BBC in 1955 after working successfully in films, having written, directed and produced a number of features since the 1930s.
Donald was a wonderful man and was a very good writer himself.
NARRATOR: darly in 1962, Wilson commissioned a report to assess the feasibility of the BBC producing science fiction serials.
Particularly the adaptation of classic literary works.
The report, written by Alice Frick and Donald Bull of the script department, also looked back at the BBC's own science fiction output citing the Quatermass serials of the 1950s and the 1961 series, A for Andromeda.
In July 1962, Frick and another script department member,John Braybon, were commissioned to write a second report.
This one cautiously concluded that literary science fiction may not be the best option and went on to suggest that, for original material.
ACTOR: ''We consider that two types of plot are reasonably outstanding, ''namely those dealing with telepaths and those dealing with time travelling.
'' NARRATOR: So, while Donald Wilson was contemplating ideas for a science fiction series for the BBC, Sydney Newman joined the Corporation as Head of Drama on December 12, 1962.
Syd brought this breath of fresh air into the stuffiness of the BBC.
With all its invention and all its wonderful storytelling, the BBC had been very stuffy and I don't think Syd had read Dickens.
Certainly not Thackeray.
And as for Jane Austen, I mean she was absolutely dead meat as far as he was concerned.
He wanted something new.
I think he was quite radical and there were quite a lot of old boys sitting around you know, chatting and having a nice time and producing some very good things, but not really looking forward.
NARRATOR: Newman instigated wholesale changes within the BBC.
He quickly disbanded the children's department, decreeing that the drama department would now handle all programmes aimed at a younger audience.
Hello, everyone.
I broke the drama department into three separate departments, a plays department, a plays department, a series department and a serials department, convinced Donald Wilson, whom I became very fond of and I liked when I first met him, and I offered him the job as Head of Serials and he was delighted.
NARRATOR: It was during March 1963 that BBC Chief of Programmes Donald Baverstock sat down with Sydney Newman to discuss the problematic Saturday tea time schedule.
LAMBERT: My recollection of Donald Baverstock was I quite liked him actually, but he was quite aggressive.
Probably no more aggressive to me and the Doctor Who team than he was to everyone else.
He called a spade a spade, I suppose, and if he didn't like something, he would say.
I don't necessarily think he was right.
I think the good thing about him is you were able to butt heads with him and he didn't, kind of, pull rank on you.
NARRATOR: Along with Joanna Spicer, Assistant Controller of Planning for Television, the three of them decided that they needed a programme to fit in between Grandstand and Juke Box Jury.
NEWMAN: The BBC traditionally was very, very strong, as you know, in sports on Saturday afternoon.
The sports usually stopped at 5.
15.
At 5.
45, there was an extremely popular pops programme that catered to teenagers.
In between, however, there was a children's classic serial, Dickens, etcetera.
And the audience was tremendous for sports, then there'd be a big dip in the audience and then they'd start building again at 5:45.
So, in trying to.
I was asked by Baverstock, and this emerged in the programme review meetings, could I dream up some kind of drama that would cater to the children which would be livelier and so on.
NARRATOR: Having been given the go-ahead by Baverstock to develop a programme for a planned 52-week run, Newman turned to Donald Wilson.
Wilson was asked to devise a format for a set of self-contained science fiction serials.
His first point of reference were the two reports on science fiction he'd commissioned back in 1962.
He held an initial meeting on March 26, 1963 to begin work on this new project.
At this meeting were two of the authors of the 1962 reports, Alice Frick and John Braybon, and a writer who had been a member of the now-defunct script department.
Cecil ddwin Webber had been responsible for a number of successful BBC adaptations of classic children's stories and was popularly referred to as ''Bunny''.
The results of this brainstorming session were recorded in a memo sent by Frick to Wilson on March 29.
If anything could be pinpointed as central to the creation of Doctor Who, it is this report.
Donald Wilson was credited with putting forward the idea that the series should contain a time machine.
John Braybon put forward the notion that the series should revolve around some sort of world body of scientific trouble-shooters from the future.
It was generally agreed by all that seven or eight story ideas would be suitable for a 52-week run of the series.
Bunny Webber was given the task of creating the cast of characters the series would need.
He quickly dismissed the idea of having a child or children as characters on the basis that he thought they.
ACTOR: ''Do not command the interest of children older than themselves.
'' NARRATOR: Three main characters were identified as suitable.
-They were described as.
-ACTOR: ''The handsome young man, ''a handsome, well-dressed heroine aged about 30, ''the maturer man, 35 to 40, with some character twist.
'' NARRATOR: These were then loosely woven by Webber into the scientific trouble-shooter's premise the group had discussed.
Sydney Newman reviewed the group's suggestions in early April.
He approved of the idea of having a ship that could travel in time and space.
But he vetoed the scientific trouble-shooter's notion.
Newman wanted to make a partly educational programme and he argued that no one would need to teach a group of scientists anything.
On Webber's notes about child characters, he added.
ACTOR: ''Need a kid to get into trouble, make mistakes.
'' NARRATOR: So he included a young teenage girl in the mix of characters suggested by Webber and also decided to tinker with the ''maturer man'' character.
The idea of Doctor Who was, it was basically a senile old man of 720 years or 60 years of age, who had escaped from a distant planet in a spaceship.
And the spaceship had the capacity to go forward and backward in time.
NARRATOR: Now that Newman was happier with the direction the new series was taking, Donald Wilson got to work making definite plans.
He drew up a production schedule for the series which was now referred to simply as The Saturday Serial.
The first episode was due to be recorded on Friday,July 5.
The opening story was planned to be four episodes in length and a transmission date of Saturday,July 2 7 was pencilled in.
A rough budget was allocated.
£2,300 per episode, with a further £500 put aside for the creation and realisation of the space/time machine.
As April 1963 gave way to May, Sydney Newman appointed Rex Tucker as producer of the new programme.
Tucker had joined the BBC in the 1930s, working mainly in radio.
He'd moved over to television in the 1950s where he worked as a director and producer and had built up a reputation as a specialist in children's drama and classic serials.
Rex Tucker was an enormously kind, gentle, ebullient, generous man.
When I met him, he'd already been at the BBC in the serials department for many years and done a lot of fine things, and had a lot of good actors who were desperate to work for him.
NARRATOR: Tucker was also initially chosen to direct the first four-part story.
A young actor-turned-director called Richard Martin was brought on board to tackle subsequent episodes.
MARTIN: I was seconded to a strange meeting, one of the BBC meetings.
They had these strange meetings.
I didn't know what I was going for.
Rex Tucker, he said, ''Come along, Richard, we're going to a meeting.
'' ''There's a new children's drama being mooted ''by this new man who's just taken over the head of drama, called Sydney Newman, ''and he's written a paper and we're looking to see what sort of possibilities there are.
'' So we all sat round the table.
NARRATOR: Martin and Tucker met several times with Sydney Newman in early May and Newman outlined to them the basic details of the new series.
It was at one of these meetings that it was first given the title of Dr Who.
We had, I think about a three-page document written by Syd.
He said, ''Why don't you have, kind of, a little man come out of here?'' And everyone says, ''Who.
Who are you?'' And he says, ''I'm a doctor.
'' And he says, ''Doctor who?'' He says, ''That's right.
'' ''Okay, that's a good idea.
Make a movie.
'' I mean, it was a little more erudite than that, but it was.
He was an ideas man, you know.
He put it down very simply.
It would've been lovely to have kept that piece of paper, but now it's just in my memory.
We were all faced with these little bits of paper saying, ''How do we make a programme out of this?'' NARRATOR: Bunny Webber sat down with Sydney Newman and Donald Wilson and together they discussed the four main characters needed.
From this, Webber wrote a format document which contained the first character descriptions for the series.
For the Doctor, he wrote.
ACTOR: ''A frail old man lost in space and time.
''They give him this name because they don't know who he is.
''He seems not to remember where he has come from.
''He is suspicious and capable of sudden malignancy.
''He seems to have some undefined enemy.
''He has a machine which enables them to travel together through time, through space, ''and through matter.
'' NARRATOR: Webber then went on to explain what he called ''The secret of Dr Who''.
ACTOR: ''In his own day, somewhere in our future, ''he decided to search for a time or for a society or for a physical condition which is ideal ''and having found it, he stole the machine and set forth on his quest.
''He is thus an extension of the scientist who has opted out, ''but he has opted farther than ours can do, at the moment.
''One the symptom of this is his hatred of scientists, inventors, improvers.
''He can get into a rare paddy when faced.
He malignantly tries to stop progress, ''the future, wherever he finds it, while searching for his ideal, the past.
'' NARRATOR: Sydney Newman vetoed this secret almost straight away.
He explained.
ACTOR: ''Don't like this at all.
''Doctor Who will become a kind of father figure.
I don't want him to be a reactionary.
'' NARRATOR: However, Webber pushed on with what he described as ''The Second Secret of Dr Who.
'' ACTOR: ''The authorities of his own or some other future time ''are not concerned merely with the theft of an obsolete machine.
''They are seriously concerned to prevent his monkeying with time ''because his secret intention, when he finds his ideal past, ''is to destroy or nullify the future.
'' NARRATOR: Newman's handwritten comment next to Webber's typed proposal for the Second Secret reads simply.
ACTOR: ''Nuts.
'' NARRATOR: After Newman's amendments to the format were agreed, Webber had a second stab at drafting the Doctor's character.
This time, Webber made him 650 years old, and dropped hints that the Doctor was fleeing from a galactic war.
The other characters Webber originally drew up for the series were.
ACTOR: ''Bridget or 'Biddy', a withered girl of 15, ''reaching the end of her secondary school career.
''dager for life.
Lower than middle class.
''Miss McGovern, or 'Lola', 24.
Mistress at Biddy's school.
''Timid, but capable of sudden rabbit courage.
''Modest, with plenty of normal desires.
''Cliff.
2 7 or 28.
Master at the same school.
''Might be classed as ancient by teenagers, except that he's physically perfect.
''Strong and courageous.
Gorgeous dish.
''Oddly, when brains are required, he can even be brainy in a diffident sort of way.
'' NARRATOR: He also put forward a proposal for the opening episode of the new series, entitled ''Nothing at the dnd of the Lane''.
It told how Biddy, Lola and Cliff encounter the mysterious doctor who'd lost his memory.
There was this old man wandering around in the fog and he's assisted by two schoolteachers who are walking a girl student home because it's very foggy.
And they say, ''Where do you live?'' And he mumbles he doesn't know where he is, and this is Doctor Who, and he takes them into this junkyard, and here is this old, askew police call box.
He says, ''This is my home, will you please enter?'' And he goes in and disappears and he comes out again, he says, ''Come on in.
'' And they walk in and inside it's a vast spaceship and he doesn't know how to operate it.
NARRATOR: Meanwhile, Anthony Coburn had joined the creative team.
A long-time BBC staff writer, Coburn had moved to dngland from his native Australia some years previously to pursue his writing career.
Coburn was asked to begin work on a potential second story for the new series.
He elected to set his four-part tale in the Stone Age.
Webber, meanwhile, was writing the opening four-part story, which would see the main characters introduced before being reduced in size for the duration of the serial.
A story idea which was suggested by Sydney Newman.
The one concept I had was that they return to Earth, but this time they're the size of ants 'cause I want the children, the audience, to understand the importance of size and the relativities of size, what it would be like.
And they came back into their same classroom where they started, but this time being fearful that some of the other kids are gonna step on them and kill them.
NARRATOR: After the first two episodes of Webber's Giants story were completed, Newman and Wilson began having reservations about the script.
Citing it as being thin on incident and character and having worries about the technical nature of the story, they took the decision to abandon it and instead, promote Coburn's Stone Age story to open the series.
Coburn then adapted Webber's already-written opening episode to fit onto his own story.
At the end of May, 1963, Mervyn Pinfield joined the series as Associate Producer.
He'd directed the BBC science fiction serial, The Monsters, the previous year and would now be responsible for the technical aspects of Doctor Who.
Mervyn Pinfield, who had been sort of seconded into, made into one of the major experimental people trying to push television, the visual side of television, into new dimensions.
There's something very academic about him, he looked very professorial.
He did things by the book.
He was fantastically good at technical, at interesting technical things.
He was very supportive, very serious about the project and did what was necessary to keep it going.
He was invaluable to me.
And I don't know who suggested he should be.
Whether it was Donald or Sydney or both of them, but it was of enormous value to me.
NARRATOR: Meanwhile, the recording and production schedule for Doctor Who had undergone yet more revisions.
The proposed venue for the production, studio D at Lime Grove, had met with objections all round.
MARTIN: Studio D Lime Grove, which is absolutely minute and hot and miserable.
A long sort of corridor of a studio, nothing fitted in it, you couldn't get long shots in it.
So, it was just the wrong place to do anything like that.
LAMBERT: It was like going into a studio that had come out of Noah's Ark, frankly, as far as I was concerned.
It was horrendous.
If it got too hot, the sprinklers would turn on.
NARRATOR: During the middle of June, the production team was joined by 2 7-year-old Verity Lambert.
She became producer of Doctor Who alongside Rex Tucker.
I had been working as a production assistant at a company called ABC Television, which later became Thames Television.
And I had been working on Armchair Theatre, which was a series of plays that went out every night, and Sydney Newman had been the producer before he went to the BBC.
And he phoned me and asked me.
Actually, he phoned me and said, ''Verity, what do you know about children?'' And, of course, I had no children and I said, ''Absolutely nothing at all, as a matter of fact.
'' He said, ''Well, there's a new children's series that we're going to make ''and we're looking for a producer ''and you're one of the people who's been, ''I have suggested, should be seen for the job.
'' At one point, Newman had asked Don Taylor to produce Doctor Who, but although Lambert wasn't necessarily his first choice to produce the programme, he later described hiring her as the wisest decision he ever made.
I didn't feel I had anyone on the staff who seemed right for the kind of idiocy and fun and yet serious underlying intent.
I phoned up my old production assistant at ABC, Verity Lambert, and I offered her a promotion, asked would she come over and be a producer, would she grab the chance? I was interviewed by Sydney and by Donald Wilson.
And I think Sydney had basically said to Donald, ''Listen, I think this girl's really good ''and give her a chance.
'' Anyway, I got the job.
NARRATOR: Also during June, 1963, Waris Hussein came aboard to direct the series opening story.
The altered production dates had now prevented Rex Tucker from helming it.
As a contract director, I was asked one day to report to a room on the fifth floor at Television Centre.
And I walked in and found a young lady, her name was Verity Lambert, sitting in a chair.
The room had one desk and two chairs, and I had been sent four scripts about cavemen and fire being discovered, and I quite honestly didn't know what I was going to do with this.
NARRATOR: Finally, story editor David Whitaker was appointed at the end of June.
Whitaker had spent the previous six years working in the now-defunct script department and was fully conversant with the background of the new programme.
David Whitaker was an extremely good story editor, as well as being a good writer, and, you know, in those days.
I mean, you had to have a watching brief over the character, because we were using so many different writers, to make sure that those characters stay consistent.
NARRATOR: One of Whitaker's first tasks was to work with Anthony Coburn in getting the opening story finished.
Coburn had completed the second episode of the story he was now calling The Tribe of Gum.
He had changed the name of the male schoolteacher to Mr Chesterton and the schoolgirl character was now Susan.
I can honestly say had I had the choice, I would not have commissioned the first serial on the cavemen.
I thought it was extremely difficult to do with a straight face, actually.
NARRATOR: At the end of June, 1963, Rex Tucker held an initial casting session for the roles of Susan and Miss McGovern.
Actresses considered for Susan were Maureen Crombie, Anna Palk, Anneke Wills, Waveney Lee and Camilla Hasse.
For the role of Miss McGovern, he saw Phyllida Law and Penelope Lee.
Ultimately, nothing would come of these casting sessions.
darly in July, Lambert and Hussein began work afresh on casting the series.
They considered a number of actors for the role of the Doctor.
Cyril Cusack was suggested by David Whitaker, and Leslie French was suggested by Mervyn Pinfield.
In fact, French was the actor initially favoured by Lambert as well.
We were looking for an eccentric older man, let's put it that way.
And I felt that both Leslie French and Cyril Cusack had that quality.
And actually, they both.
We did sound them out and both of them said they weren't interested.
The thing about Leslie French was at that time he was very popular working in Italy with Visconti.
He did a number of films with Visconti and I have a feeling that the last thing he needed was to come and do anything like this.
NARRATOR: Lambert eventually decided to approach 55-year-old actor William Hartnell for the role.
William Hartnell was born in 1908 and he'd made his name in numerous British films in the 1940s and the '50s.
NARRATOR: In 1957, he had joined the cast of the TVseries, The Army Game.
And the following year, landed a similar role in the first Carry on film, Carry on Sergeant.
darlier in 1963, he had won major plaudits for his role in the film, This Sporting Life.
Although by this stage in his career, he was concerned that he was becoming typecast in tough-guy roles.
When I first spoke to William Hartnell, he was sort of interested, but quite wary.
It wasn't an easy task persuading him to play this part.
I remember going for at least two lunches with Verity and his questions were, ''Why would I be involved in something like this? ''I don't know why you people are coming to me.
'' He was a very funny character because when I say funny, irascible, he.
Very similar to Doctor Who in many ways, very impatient.
He was a very nice man, but quite prickly.
He went away and then he rang up and he just fell in love with the character, really.
He just really wanted to do it, wanted to play that part.
NARRATOR: The role of Mr Chesterton, now given the first name Ian, went to actor William Russell.
Born in 1924, Russell had appeared in a number of small film roles in the early 1950s.
However, his big break came when he was cast in the title role of the TVseries The Adventures of Sir Lancelot in 1956.
Well, it was.
All I can remember is that Verity asked me to go and have lunch with her.
And I went to the BBC and there was a bar and a club, and we stood talking about the part and she was telling me about it.
And about the series and how she got Bill Hartnell to, you know, play the Doctor, and I admired Bill very much because I thought he was a wonderful screen actor.
I mean, he varied so much and he was so very, very good on screen, I thought.
William Russell I didn't know at all, but I thought he was absolutely right.
I don't think we thought of anyone else.
And again, he wanted to play the part.
NARRATOR: For the role of Barbara, the new name for Miss McGovern, Lambert approached the actress wife of her old friend, Alvin Rakoff.
Jacqueline Hill accepted the offer and was the third member of the cast to join the programme.
Jacqueline Hill was not just the wife of one of my friends, she was a friend of mine.
Very good actress.
She'd been, I think, in America with her husband, Alvin Rakoff, who was a director.
And was back in England and I thought, I don't know whether Jacqueline will do this because, you know, she was one of the quite strong actresses playing very good parts.
And I think it just rather appealed to her, the whole idea of doing something a bit different, and she said yes, which was great.
NARRATOR: It was Waris Hussein who recommended Carole Ann Ford for the role of Susan after seeing her image on a monitor during one of his visits to BBC Television Centre.
My recollection is that I was actually filming Suspense in the studio.
I happened to be looking down into a studio and there was Carole Ann Ford, standing around, waiting for the shots to be lined up and that sort of thing.
I was just watching her off camera as well as on, casually chatting and laughing and doing whatever was necessary to keep one's sanity on the studio floor.
There was something about her and I called up Verity in her office and said, ''Come down here, quickly, quickly.
There's a girl that I think you should look at.
'' She's so vivacious and had a rather, she had that rather odd look, I mean, very pretty, but not in a conventional way.
A rather, sort of, strange look and so I think Waris and I both felt that she looked so good, and, obviously, she was a good actress and she could scream, which was one of the other things.
We just thought she'd be very good at it and indeed I think she was.
NARRATOR: The air date for Doctor Who was now fixed for Saturday, November 16.
Anthony Coburn delivered his revised script for the first episode to David Whitaker.
His main alterations were to the character of Susan, now named Suzanne, whom he described as being of royal blood from the same alien race as the Doctor, and not a schoolgirl from darth.
Although Whitaker liked the idea of Susan not being from darth, he didn't like the royalty idea.
It was decided to make her the Doctor's granddaughter instead.
Verity Lambert was now looking at a number of options for the title music.
I had heard this group, Les Structures Sonores, on a monitor, actually.
And they were French, obviously, from their name, and they played on glass tubes and they created this music by stroking these glass tubes, and it was actually quite out of this world and wonderful and strange.
And I.
And melodic, at the same time it was melodic and.
Anyway, I approached them and they were just too busy.
NARRATOR: At the end of July, she instead approached Desmond Briscoe, head of the BBC's Radiophonic Workshop.
The Radiophonic Workshop was set up in 1958 to provide a service for radio and television, to provide special sounds ranging from science fiction to fantasy.
When sounds are shaped and organised into patterns, the result tends to be musical.
And if you use tape machines and electronic apparatus, and the sounds are of electronic origin, then one is producing electronic music.
Ron Grainer had written some of the most successful signature tunes for Steptoe and Son and various things and I approached him and said what did he think about writing a melodic tune, a melody, but have it on, you know, have it realised electronically? And he just thought this was a fantastic challenge and jumped at the chance.
NARRATOR: Waris Hussein would also visit the Radiophonic Workshop to discuss the sound effects he needed for the opening story.
He met with Brian Hodgson and they discussed one of the key sound effects the series would need, the dematerialisation noise of the Doctor's ship.
The Tardis had to travel through time and space.
They didn't want a rocket ship and so I really had to think very hard about this.
And if you think of the phrase ''the ripping of the fabric'', or ''the tearing of the fabric of time and space'', I wanted to get that sort of rippy, tearing sound.
So I went to a piano we had at the Radiophonic Workshop which had had all its front taken off and there was just the iron frame with the strings.
And I took a key, my mum's front door key, and I scraped it down one of the strings.
That gave me the rippy sort of sound.
We then took that and we changed the speed of it so that we could get different pitches.
We cut those together, literally cutting the tape with a razor blade and sticking it together.
We played it through feedback machines, which meant you actually played the sound back upon itself as it's recording so you get this ripple effect of the echo.
And if you do that when the sound's being played backwards, the echo appears to come towards you.
If you then turn it round so the sound's going forward, it appears to be going away from you.
So things came towards you and went away from you.
I wanted to get that coming and going, the rising and the falling, as well as all of the other stuff.
I wanted to use some white noise, because white noise was the.
We'd just got a white noise generator and we had to use some white noise.
NARRATOR: On Tuesday, August 20, the first filming for Doctor Who was done on stage 3A of the BBC's film studios at daling.
This was material shot for the title sequence of the new series and was designed by Bernard Lodge of the BBC Graphics unit.
I was asked by the producer, Verity Lambert, to come up with some kind of title, lettering.
And I read the script through and there was nothing in the script that sort of necessarily gave me any ideas, but she had some footage already which had been shot for another programme.
She asked me to come over and see this stuff at a viewing theatre at Ealing and when I saw this electronic kind of pattern, it was something that was quite different.
It was something that was so intrinsically televisual that anything that I attempted to do with animated lettering, I knew would look rather clunky.
I suggested that perhaps there's some way we could shoot some more footage and find a way of incorporating, feeding, typography into the system so that it could be distorted, possibly.
It really created a strange kind of Rorshach pattern and this became the, kind of, focus of the title sequence.
They'd get the electronic thing flowing and then we would start tele-recording.
Basically, the camera shooting a monitor, sending a signal round to the monitor on a continuous loop.
It started off by just shining a small torchlight at the monitors so you got a spot of light and then thiswas sent round to the monitor and you got this kind of howl round effect, which was then distorted by means of various gain controls and contrasts and by sort of moving the camera very, very slightly.
And whatever effect you got would then become repeated and sort of degenerate.
We could've had the option of putting the Doctor's face into the first episode.
In fact, during the sequence to create this new material, I think it was a PA, Tony Halfpenny, who stood in front of the camera where, the caption camera, we got this wild effect with the face and Verity said, ''No, no, it's too scary, much too scary.
'' It was an option which she didn't want to use.
I know at that time there was a sort of fashion for putting titles left-ranged or right-ranged or.
And I had a feeling, I had a hunch, that because this was gonna go into this electronic thing, it was gonna create a pattern, that, in a way, the typography didn't want to compete with it.
You didn't want to go through all that metamorphosis and end up with an elaborate science fiction kind of logo.
In order to keep the symmetry of the pattern during the transition, during the morphing into the lettering, we had to make the title symmetrical so that it became flopped.
You know, laterally, sort of flopped over itself.
So you got ''W, Who, W''at the other end.
And then gradually, once the morphing is almost over, then it dissolves through to the straight lettering.
You've got a very, very smooth thing happening.
And I think the smooth thing is complemented by the sort of beat of the music.
Sometimes they need to sort of match each other, sometimes they need to go against each other.
It was one of those happy, accidental marriages, really.
NARRATOR: As the visual elements of the series' title sequence were shaping up, Ron Grainer was finishing work on composing the theme music for the programme.
He handed over his finished score to Delia Derbyshire of the Radiophonic Workshop, asking her to realise it using what he described as ''wind, bubble and cloud effects''.
The first stage in the realisation of a piece of music is to construct the individual sounds that we're going to use.
HODGSON: They worked through the night, they worked through the day and we could hear all these wonderful sounds coming out from the room they were working in.
(DOCTOR WHO THEME PLAYING) And eventually she played it to us and it was just amazing.
Nobody had ever done anything quite like that before.
And Ron, when he heard it for the first time, he couldn't believe he'd written it.
In fact he said, ''Did I write that?'' NARRATOR: At the end of August, senior producer Rex Tucker decided that he should move on from Doctor Who.
I do recall his relief when he was no longer able to be part of it because I don't think he was really very enthusiastic.
From the time I arrived, it was quite obvious that he and I didn't agree on anything.
On anything.
We didn't agree on casting, we didn't really agree on what sort of input I would have.
I mean, he really wanted me just to kind of mind my own business, basically.
So I don't think, even had the series not been put back, that he would've remained there.
I think he was very unhappy.
Not his fault.
I mean, I think he'd been led to believe that really there was this young producer coming in and he could hold her hand and make all the decisions.
And, of course, I'm afraid I wasn't that sort of person.
NARRATOR: On Friday, September 13, a planned test studio recording session for the series was cut short when it was realised that the police box prop that had been selected to represent the Tardis, was too tall to fit into the studio lift at Lime Grove.
The first actual day of filming for the series took place on Thursday, September 19, on stage 3A at the BBC's daling Film Studios.
The few scenes that were recorded included the Tardis arriving on pre-historic darth, as seen at the end of the opening episode.
The following day, Friday, September 20, the four main members of the cast met each other for the first time at a photocall at BBC Television Centre.
We had photographs taken of the four of us at the BBC.
Everyone was quite excited about the BBC as a sort of background 'cause it was this new circular building.
I was very much in awe of William Russell, having seen him in many productions and he was so dishy, he was so good-looking and so super, and I thought that Jackie seemed terrifying.
I thought, ''I'm not going to get on with her!'' But in actual fact I learnt later that Jackie was a very lovely person, but very shy.
And whenever she was confronted with a situation that she was uneasy about, she just got a bit rigid and it made her look a little bit awesome.
Bill I liked immediately.
And we got on terribly well.
NARRATOR: On Saturday, September 2 1, the first day of rehearsals for the first episode of Doctor Who, An Unearthly Child, began.
This was a show that everybody was wondering.
They didn't quite know where it was heading.
They just thought, ''Well, this is the beginning of something but we don't know where it's gonna go.
'' So, we all sat down with a certain sense of occasion.
Sat down? We certainly didn't sit down any time! We got on with it.
You only had four days.
I mean, it was said, ''Right, you over there, let's move.
''Cut the scene through quickly.
''The table will be here, the console will be there.
'' We had to get on with it.
It was moving fast all the time.
The episode was recorded on Friday, September 2 7, in studio D at Lime Grove, between 8.
30 and 9.
45 in the evening.
The episode was recorded in scene order, with the cast having to reposition themselves in the studio in almost real time.
This is why the flashback scenes of Susan only feature Carole Ann Ford on screen, with Jacqueline Hill or William Russell out of shot providing their lines from another set.
Three main sets were constructed in the studio.
Designed by Peter Brachacki, the first was the junkyard in Totter's Lane.
The second was Coal Hill School represented by a corridor and classroom.
The third main set was the interior of the Doctor's Tardis, which took up nearly half of studio D.
The set had been constructed by a freelance company rather than in-house by the BBC.
Brachacki had had a number of initial ideas for the Tardis set, which couldn't be realised within the time and budgetary constraints he had to work with.
Instead of having special controls which were moulded to the operator's hands, the six-sided console was fitted with a numerous array of buttons and switches.
An idea to have translucent wall panels that pulsated when the ship was in flight was also dropped.
The Tardis set was wonderful.
Absolutely wonderful.
I thought it was fantastic and the problem with it in studio D, of course, was that once we got the Tardis set up, we couldn't do anything else.
We always had trouble shutting the door, opening and shutting the doors, which was supposed to have moved marvellously by controlled something or other and come back again.
But of course it used to go, because one door Jack had and the other Bill had, and it would.
It would go like that.
And then we'd get them, so that they could do it smoothly and open it together.
Because it was all man-made.
I mean, there was nothing miraculous or mechanical about it.
It was a terribly ambitious.
It was hard, it was our first day in the studio, we had these awful cameras, we had Sydney coming in at the beginning saying he hated the titles and the title music.
Everybody was under a huge amount of pressure really.
All my wonderful sort of visual shots that I'd designed on paper were now going to have to be manifested by these monstrous cameras that were so heavy that the cameramen couldn't move them.
And to try and compromise, which was a difficulty in itself, there would be times when I'd get somebody shaking his camera, and I'm sitting upstairs in the control room, and he's shaking it because he says, ''Waris, I cannot do what you're asking me to do.
''I've got myself stuck against a whole lot of junk here, ''and I've got a whole lot of junk there, ''and you're asking me to hand-hold this massive thing that doesn't move!'' NARRATOR: The episode cost just under £2,150 to make.
Sydney Newman viewed the opening episode on Monday, September 30, 1963.
He noted down a number of comments as he watched.
ACTOR: ''Music to be very loud.
''What does she draw? ''Bad profile of girl.
Can she be more cheeky? Too dour.
''Old man not funny enough.
''They don't act as if he's locked her in box.
'' Sydney simply called us in.
He called Verity and me in and he said, ''I've seen the first episode.
''I'm gonna take you out to lunch.
'' Which he did.
Chinese restaurant, I believe.
It was in Kensington High Street.
Sat us down and over chop suey told us that he seriously thought of firing both of us.
Sydney took Waris and I to a Chinese restaurant and just went through what he thought wasn't working.
''But,'' he said, ''look, I believe in both of you ''and I'm going to allow you to do it again.
'' For Sydney to put himself on the line makes him into somebody, as far as I'm concerned, who is a hero.
-We'll see you in the morning? -I expect so.
-Good night.
-Good night.
Good night, Susan.
NARRATOR: Saturday, October 12, saw the cast and director reconvene to begin re-rehearsing the opening episode.
A number of minor changes were made to the script in line with Newman's notes and observations.
But that's not right.
An Unearthly Child was recorded again, this time on the evening of Friday, October 18, once again at the Lime Grove, studio D.
At the same time, big decisions were being made about the future of the series based on the costs and the problems encountered during the making of the not-to-be-screened pilot episode.
Donald Baverstock had yet to approve the programme's continued run beyond its initial four episodes.
Donald Wilson protested at the lack of support being shown to the series by the various departments within the BBC.
He argued for an immediate decision to be made on the continuation of the series beyond its first four episodes.
Before going on leave for three weeks, Baverstock sent a memo to Wilson which sent shockwaves through the Doctor Who production office.
Noting the budget overspend on the first two recorded episodes and the projected spend on the three episodes needed to complete the first story, Baverstock had concluded that Doctor Who would be more expensive to make than first thought.
ACTOR: ''Such a costly serial is not one that I can afford ''for this space in this financial year.
''You should not, therefore, proceed any further with the production of more than four episodes.
''In the meanwhile, that is for the next three weeks while I'm away, ''you should marshal ideas and prepare suggestions ''for a new children's drama serial, at a reliably economic price.
'' It all ended eventually with me being called to a meeting in Joanna Spicer's office, and Joanna Spicer was a terrifying woman who had risen very high in the BBC for a woman at that stage.
The design department had said that the whole series was out of control and that this Tardis was costing so much money we'd never be able to pay it off and.
Because I had a very small budget and it obviously cost thousands of pounds.
So I went in there and she kind of faced up to me and said, ''This is ridiculous! What is happening?'' And I had said to her, ''Look, of course, we can't pay for it on one show.
''I'd been told there are 48 half-hours.
''And if this is amortized over 48 half hours, ''we will come in on budget.
''And that's how I've organised it.
'' NARRATOR: A deal was done, which fixed the budget for future episodes of Doctor Who at £2,500 each.
In return for this budgetary commitment, Spicer agreed that Baverstock would now accept extending the BBC's commitment to Doctor Who to an initial run of 13 episodes.
While all these meetings and deals had been going on, the cast and Waris Hussein had spent the week rehearsing the second episode of the opening story.
With production of the programme now falling into a regular weekly pattern of rehearsing an episode between Monday and Thursday and recording the episode on a Friday evening, Doctor Who was now gearing up for the transmission of its opening episode in November.
Although the BBC listings magazine, Radio Times, had promised to feature Doctor Who on the front cover for that week, the series eventually lost out to promotion for the Kenneth Horne radio comedy series, Beyond Our Ken.
This move particularly angered Donald Wilson, who wrote to the editor of the Radio Times.
ACTOR: ''I was unhappy to hear today that the proposal to give Doctor Who ''the front page of the Radio Times had now been abandoned.
''I myself believe that we have an absolute knock-out in this show ''and that there will be no question that it will run and run.
'' NARRATOR: As transmission of the first episode of Doctor Who drew near, there was a renewed healthy confidence in the series among those who were making it at the BBC.
They were given a huge boost when, on November 22, a second block of 13 episodes was confirmed for production, following straight after the initial 13.
But even as the production team received this welcome news, November 22, 1963 would witness events that were to shake the entire world.
PRESENTER: (OVER RADIO) This is the BBC Home Service.
It is with deep regret that we announce that President Kennedy is dead.
He was shot down as he was driving in an open car through the city of Dallas, Texas.
ANNOUNCER: This is BBC Television.
(DOCTOR WHO THEME) NARRATOR: Doctor Who would be unveiled to a public too shocked to pay it full attention.
4.
4 million people tuned in to watch the opening episode which was then repeated the following week as it was felt that the launch of the series had been overshadowed by the news of President Kennedy's death.
As the weeks progressed, the audience size for Doctor Who grew and grew.
Just under seven million people tuned in to watch the first episode of Terry Nation's Daleks story, a figure that would rise to nearly 10.
5 million by the story's conclusion.
The success of Sydney Newman's brain child, Doctor Who, was assured.