Dr. Who (The Early Years) – Part 1 “In the Beginning”

Today’s Doctor Who is certainly unlike the series when it originally began. Generally, the episodes were more focused on history. This ‘kids’ program had hopes of teaching children more about history through a fun and unique format. Through this series of articles I hope to explore the changes in Doctor Who over the years. From the original cast, up to Matt Smith and beyond. Who are the characters you might need to know, where do they come from, and what are their intentions? The series began on November 23 1963, just one day after the assassination of President Kennedy. See? You’re learning about history already. The first story, “An Unearthly Child” introduces the main cast. Susan Foreman, a student at Cole Hill School and her two teachers Ian & Barbara. Both teachers find Susan to be a particularly odd student and follow her home.

Susan’s home at 76 Totters Lane turns out to be a junk yard. They follow Susan into a building, but she has disappeared. This is when the two run into the Doctor. The Doctor is a cranky older gentleman who claims to have no knowledge of Susan. Suddenly Susan can be heard coming from inside a London Police Call Box.  Ian forces his way in and discovers the Police Box is much bigger inside than outside.

Angered by their intrusion into his ‘ship’, the Doctor sets the machine in motion explaining to Susan he can’t release Ian & Barbara when they now have knowledge of his TARDIS. Susan explains the name TARDIS means Time & Relative Dimension In Space. The Tardis land on prehistoric Earth and the group get involved in two warring factions of cavemen looking for the secret of fire. The Doctor and his companions manage to escape by all working together. Ian and Barbara beg the Doctor to take them back home but he admits he can’t fully control where the Tardis goes.


WHO: The Doctor *

“The Doctor” is more a title than a name. His true name has never been revealed. Sometimes uses John Smith.

PLANET OF ORIGIN: Gallifrey *It isn’t revealed till years later he is a Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey.

REASON FOR JOINING: Stole the Tardis to run away from the Time-Lords



WHO: Susan (Foreman)

PLANET OF ORIGIN: Presumably Gallifrey

REASON FOR JOINING: Doctors grand-daughter. *Going off the television show itself, its not very apparent why she left Gallifrey with her Grand-Father. Theories range from the death of her parents, to civil strife at home.


WHO: Ian Chesterton

PLANET OF ORIGIN: Earth, circa 1963

OCCUPATION: Science Teacher

REASON FOR JOINING: Kidnapped by the Doctor.


WHO: Barbara Wright

PLANET OF ORIGIN: Earth, circa 1963

OCCUPATION: History Teacher

REASON FOR JOINING: Kidnapped by the Doctor.



NEXT: Enter the Daleks

* If you liked this article and would like to see the rest of the series, make sure you let me know. Send a message or leave a comment.

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