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 001 - An Unearthly Child

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PostSubject: 001 - An Unearthly Child   Fri Mar 08, 2013 3:46 pm

Post reviews, observations, factoids, etc, regarding this story in this topic. Do not post replies to other people's postings here. This information is being compiled for future publication. Please post your name or a suitable alias (initials, for example) for publication purposes.


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SeaDevil
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PostSubject: Re: 001 - An Unearthly Child   Fri Mar 08, 2013 4:01 pm

The pilot episode/first episode itself is extraordinary. William Hartnell as the First Doctor really draws you in with his performance. The TARDIS interior is wonderful as well.

I personally wasn't that interested in the other three episodes and still aren't. Not a very strong start story-wise, apart from the intoduction of the main characters in the first episode.

The "pilot episode" version of the first episode is the only time that William Hartnell wears a regular neck tie rather than the string tie.

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PostSubject: Re: 001 - An Unearthly Child   Fri Mar 08, 2013 4:52 pm

I really love how standoffish and condescending The Doctor is to Ian and Barbara and the moment where he basically kidnaps them is slightly terrifying. I love the Cave of Skulls episode and I think the shots of the final escape back to the TARDIS are iconic.
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PostSubject: Re: 001 - An Unearthly Child   Fri Mar 08, 2013 5:05 pm

The first episode is dark and atmospheric, revealing little about the key character of this new television serial. Who is he, and why is he here?

In the following three episodes, we are given glimpses of his other-worldly nature. We see flashes of his brilliance as he deduces and frames the true killer of the old woman. At times, he seems completely lacking in any compassion or "humanity" as he shows complete disregard for the feelings or lives of others.

We are also given plenty of groan-worthy dialog from the cavemen. "I remember how the meat and fire joined together."

Notable Collectibles:
Unearthly Child Diorama - Product Enterprise
1st Doctor and TARDIS action figure set - Character Options

Keith Bradbury
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PostSubject: Re: 001 - An Unearthly Child   Fri Mar 08, 2013 7:47 pm

Overall, I think what struck me most of all about An Unearthly Child was how...familiar...the whole thing was. Most Pilot Episodes are generally not held in high regard to the later adventures and generally don't follow the later established formula. With Doctor Who...this first adventure really is no different from the hundreds of other adventures the Doctor and his companions have found themselves in. Honestly, I was a little shocked. Rose, when compared to the rest of the first Season of "NuWho" is an extraordinarily dull episode (One of my least favorite of the revived series, with only Love and Monsters ranking below it) filled with extrapolation and explanation. An Unearthly Child feeds it to you in bits and pieces - from the little flashbacks of Susan's rather sporadic knowledge base, to the Doctor's mumblings before setting off for the first time in the TARDIS, the "Exiles" line and being unable to return to their own race, the malfunction of the Chameleon Circuit, and finally the reveal that the Doctor really can't fly the TARDIS...it's all done organically without being forced within the confines of the story.

As an aside, I got a kick out of the observation that the Doctor kept a Notebook that detailed what every machine in the TARDIS did. It just brought back MST3K: The Movie: "Well, look at that. Breech Hull - All Die. Even had it underlined."

Now, what did I think of the much lamented Caveman story that filled Parts 2-4 of this adventure? It seems a somewhat general consensus that the Caveman story stinks. So imagine my surprise when I honestly loved every minute of it. Like I said, it felt like any other numerous adventures. Indeed, I'll even go so far as to say it's in some ways much better then many other adventures, because they devote so much time to the Cavemen Characters.

Za and Kal were fully realized entities, along with Za's Woman (I can't recall if she was given a name or not) and the Old Mother. Yeah, they were stereotypical Cavemen portrayals complete with halting speech, but the underlying story actually made those performances work. The Old Mother was practically a prophet when she mentioned Fire would consume and destroy Man.

I honestly got a real big kick out of it all. The classic adventure tale with the Doctor right in the thick of it.

G.C. Rust
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PostSubject: Re: 001 - An Unearthly Child   Sat Mar 09, 2013 2:38 pm

My fav Dr Who story.
The Tardis interior sound effect from the moment Barbara enters the Police Box, screaming like a shocked computer and then tones down to the familiar hum -( listen to the Photo Gallery on the DVD ),is just amazing.
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PostSubject: Re: 001 - An Unearthly Child   Sun Mar 10, 2013 6:12 pm

This started the Great Adventure that 50 years later, we still enjoy. That puts this episode in a special place. The un-aired version of the pilot was very different. The Doctor was even more crotchety. And the thru the door shot when Barbara entered the TARDIS was amazing, and not seen again until The Snowmen!


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PostSubject: Re: 001 - An Unearthly Child   Mon Mar 18, 2013 6:16 pm

Upon watching this for the first time, the story kept me enthralled until the interactions with the cave people. From that point on, the episodes dragged until giving us a glimpse of the next story.

I enjoyed seeing the seeds planted for things that have stayed with the show through its existence today (the Doctor and Susan separately wondering why the TARDIS didn't change its appearance for example).

After viewing the unaired pilot, I'm glad that slight changes were made. Making the Doctor more likeable (I couldn't help but chuckle with him as he was laughing at Chesterton) was a big plus.

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PostSubject: Re: 001 - An Unearthly Child   Wed Mar 20, 2013 5:09 pm

"It all started out as a mild curiosity in a junk yard." Although uttered by the 1st Doctor in The Sensorites, that phrase sums up the beginning of a cultural mainstay.

I have always considered this to be two separate narratives. It begins with An Unearthly Child for one episode before the second adventure with The Tribe of Gum. Once the ship lands in the prehistoric era, a totally new adventure takes place.

If it weren't for the disheveled appearance of the travelers at the end, viewers could go straight onto The Dead Planet and not even think of the cavemen. Of course we would be deprived of seeing the Doctor express his concern when he notices, "It's still a Police Box, why hasn't it changed, dear dear, how very disturbing." Or even seeing his dark side when he picks up a rock with the intent of killing the cavemen that is slowing them down from returning to the ship and safety.

** Little known trivia -
A young hairstylist worked to create a look for Susan, his name; Vidal Sassoon!
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PostSubject: Re: 001 - An Unearthly Child   Thu May 02, 2013 12:39 am

The first episode was transmitted at 5:15 on Saturday 23 November 1963. The assassination of John F. Kennedy on the previous day overshadowed the launch of a new television series.

"An Unearthly Child"
Broadcast 23 November 1963
4.4 million viewers

"The Cave of Skulls"
Broadcast 30 November 1963
5.9 million viewers

"The Forest of Fear"
Broadcast 7 December 1963
6.9 million viewers

"The Firemaker"
Broadcast 14 December 1963
6.4 million viewers
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PostSubject: Re: 001 - An Unearthly Child   Mon Jan 06, 2014 9:05 pm

My thoughts are pretty similar to the rest above, really. The first episode was fantastic but after that it was quite a boring drag. I wasn't really interested in the cave men. Despite being one of the shortest stories of this season, this one seems to feel longer than others like 'The Daleks' and 'Marco Polo'. However, that first episode makes up for it. A decent 3 stars from me. bounce
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