Doctor Who - Documentary s03e05 Episode Script

Tomorrow's Times - The First Doctor

NARRATOR: The British Library's newspaper archive in London contains a wealth of hidden information and opinion about Doctor Who.
This series looks at the comments made by the critics and reporters who reviewed the programme for daily newspapers and other publications.
What do these comments tell us about the way the programme was perceived in the days and weeks following the broadcast of the original episodes? -How did you know? -I saw it in The Times.
That's impossible.
The reporter's still here.
Tomorrow's Times.
The world of 1963 was shocked and confused in the wake of President Kennedy's assassination.
The newspapers of Saturday, the 23rd of November were dominated by reports and analyses of this terrible event.
So it's understandable that a new tea-time serial from BBC Television received little initial publicity.
The following Monday, The Mail became the first daily newspaper to review Doctor Who.
(MAN READING) said The Mail's TV critic, Michael Gower.
Unlike many journalists, who would later repeat the myths that Doctor Who was only designed to run for several months, Gower correctly predicted that the new series would have legs.
MAN: "The machine which carries this mysterious old man, "his inordinately precocious granddaughter, "and her unfortunate science and history teachers "will apparently be circumnavigating our screens "for the next 52 weeks, at least.
" The success of the Daleks effectively launched Doctor Who at the end of 1963.
Perhaps aware they had failed to predict the impact made by the Daleks, the journalists of Fleet Street were quick to promote the other monsters making their debuts in 1964.
The Voord were hyped by a number of newspapers, all of whom seemed strangely preoccupied with the actors' rubber costumes.
(WOMAN READING) reported an incredulous Daily Mail on the 11th of April.
WOMAN: "They bounce across BBC TVscreens today "in the first episode of a new Doctor Who space series, "and could rival the dreaded Daleks.
" The Dalek invasion of Earth began in November 1964 and The Daily Mail reported that the BBC's switchboard was jammed with over 400 telephone calls following the first episode's cliffhanger.
(WOMAN READING) Reporter John Sandilands was duly dispatched to the BBC, where he tracked down Doctor Who producer Verity Lambert.
(MAN READING) WOMAN: "I feel no way obligated to bring them back for a third time, "even if this present story is a tremendous success.
" Sandilands seemed to find story editor Dennis Spooner rather less intimidating.
Spooner told him MAN: "Writers have to be divided "into those who can cope with trips back into the past "and those who can write adventures set in the future.
"Very few can do both.
" (MAN READING) As the latest Doctor Who serial continued, The Mail promoted another briefly seen monster, the Daleks' pet, the Slyther.
Actor Nick Evans, whose job it was to bring the creature to life, described his less than enviable task.
MAN: "It's like being inside a boiler suit, "with its hood and lumpy skin made of rubber and plastic "with straggly pieces outside and waggly claws.
"Frankly, it does nothing for my career.
"In any case, I'm playing a Roman slave trader in the next Doctor Who story.
" Writing in the Financial Times on the 6th of January, TC Worsley mistakenly suggested that the original story editor was in fact responsible for devising Doctor Who.
MAN: "Why has its creator David Whitaker "not collected one of the awards being thrown around at this time?" Worsley claimed he overcame his allergy to science fiction to watch the first episode of "The Rescue".
He suspected that the Daleks' absence was only temporary.
(MAN READING) MAN: "Koquillion is a memorable enough name to catch on, "but these beast-machine-men have not the beautiful simplicity "of their predecessors, nor their catchy mode of speech.
" Obviously not a well-informed fan of the programme, the confused Mr Worsley then laid into its production values.
(MAN READING) Worsley then became one of the very first commentators to question Doctor Who's suitability for children.
(MAN READING) On the 23rd of January, 1965, The Times placed "The Romans" high on another list.
(WOMAN READING) WOMAN: "but the new series with Miss Jacqueline Hill "and Mr William Russell in the hands of the slave traders promises well.
"Miss Verity Lambert's production is, once again, flawless.
" As 1965 continued, positive reviews of Doctor Who became increasingly rare.
The programme was frequently criticised for its perceived over-reliance on the Daleks, and its low production values.
On the 15th of February, 1965, "The Web Planet" was slated by the Daily Mail.
(MAN READING) wrote Peter Black.
(MAN READING) Although Doctor Who's ratings peaked during the early part of 1965, the show received very few positive reviews for the remainder of William Hartnell's tenure.
Peter Black became the first of several critics to observe that (MAN READING) Philip Purser, writing in The Sunday Telegraph on the 13th of June, continued the Doctor Who backlash.
Purser was less than impressed by the new Dalek story, "The Chase".
He expressed his disdain with one of the politically incorrect insults of the day.
(MAN READING) MAN: "The Daleks, recalled with increasing frequency "and increasing desperation, are fast-losing their ancient menace.
"One of them has acquired a South London accent "and another is undoubtedly queer.
" (SIGHING) Later that month, the movie Doctor Who and the Daleks premiered in London.
It was met with almost universal derision.
(MAN READING) wrote Phillip Oakes in The Sunday Telegraph on the 27th of June.
(MAN READING) MAN: "but Peter Cushing's Doctor is a pale shadow of the TVgrouch.
" On Monday, the 28th of June, The Daily Mail's Desmond Zwar shared lunch with Dalek creator Terry Nation, and asked him his opinion on the cinematic version of his story.
MAN: "I find that, against my will, I am sort of taken over by the Daleks.
"I've written better things, you know.
"Without wanting to sound too pompous, I hope, "I was a rich scriptwriter before I dreamed up the Daleks.
" The film was a huge success, however, and a sequel, based on the Dalek invasion of Earth, would soon enter production.
Doctor Who's continued ratings success also led to a West End stage play, The Curse of the Daleks.
The Times sent a bemused critic to Wyndham's Theatre on the 22nd of December.
(WOMAN READING) WOMAN: "Gliding sleekly around the stage, "carefully articulating their orders, "they possess a magnetism lacking in the flesh and blood characters.
" On the 5th of February, 1966, The Daily Worker's Stewart Lane previewed the episode "War of God".
Betraying a hint of his newspaper's political agenda, Lane predicted that business concerns would soon dictate the Daleks' return.
(MAN READING) MAN: "After all, the BBC has already granted 60 licences "for the production of Dalek toys, with more still being negotiated.
"And it gets 5% of the wholesale price on each toy.
" In 1966, the historical stories, which were generally interspersed with more fantastical adventures, were proving particularly unpopular with audiences.
It's therefore surprising that David Whitaker's story "The Crusade" was adapted as one of the very first Doctor Who novelisations.
Whitaker had contravened his own advice in the original Doctor Who writers' guide by introducing a potential romance between Ian and Barbara in his first novel, Doctor Who in an Exciting Adventure with the Daleks.
For his next book, Doctor Who and the Crusaders, he experimented with a few more adult themes.
(WOMAN READING) grumbled The Times Literary Supplement of May 19th.
WOMAN: "An undistinguished historical story is neither helped nor hindered "by the intrusion of the ubiquitous Doctor and his young companions.
"What makes a rather silly book just a little disturbing is its tone.
"Barbara is captured by a kinky emir, "who rewards her with a ceremonial flogging, "from which she is rescued later than convention in such stories demands.
" (WOMAN READING) In July 1966, the second Doctor Who film, Daleks' Invasion Earth.
2150 A.
, opened in London.
The critics were just as scathing as they had been about the first film the year before.
(MAN READING) wrote David Robinson in the Financial Times.
He went on to describe the production as (MAN READING) Nina Hibbin, writing in The Morning Star of the 23rd of July, was similarly unforgiving.
(WOMAN READING) WOMAN: "Much of the action takes place in an old warehouse "that was cleared for demolition in 1875.
"Here, a crowd of at least 10 people "is planning a rebellion against the robot invaders.
" As predicted by the critics, the popularity of Doctor Who and the Daleks was on the wane.
1966 was a year of frequent cast changes for the programme, and on the 2nd of August, The Daily Telegraph announced the most serious cast change of all.
(MAN READING) Reporter Norman Haire claimed that the new Doctor, Patrick Troughton, would appear in stories that were tougher, with a greater emphasis on science fiction.
Haire also spoke to Sydney Newman, Doctor Who's co-creator, who explained what he'd looked for in the new Doctor.
MAN: "Our problem in choosing the new Doctor Who was very difficult "because we have decided to make considerable changes "in the personality of the character.
"We believe we have found exactly the man we wanted.
" The departure of William Hartnell received very little attention from a press that was now bored of Doctor Who.
Hartnell told The Times he was leaving because MAN: "I think three years in one part is a good innings, "and it is time for a change.
" The Daily Mail quoted a friend of Hartnell's, who said (WOMAN READING) And so the William Hartnell years of Doctor Who came to an end.
The departure of the show's leading man barely remarked upon by critics who, for the last three years, had been far more interested in Daleks.
(WOMAN READING) said The Observer, summing up the early impact of the programme.
However, unlike newspaper critics, 12 million people can't be wrong.