November 23rd is… TOMORROW! These past 11 days leading to the Doctor Who 50th anniversary, we here at Nerd Bastard’s have shared with you a few of our favorite Whovian things. And on this 50th anniversary eve there’s only one last thing to share, the episode that started it all, “An Unearthly Child.”
Introducing William Hartnell as The Doctor and Carol Ann Ford as his grandaughter, Susan, this very first episode of Doctor Who deals mostly with the discovery of the TARDIS by Susan’s concerned school teachers, Ian Chesterton (William Russel) and Barbara Wright (Jacqueline Hill).
It’s fascinating to see how little the TARDIS has changed, the exterior not at all and interior only in the set dressing. But what’s most strikingly different is The Doctor. An abrasive, suspicious, cranky old man, he’s very little like the charming traveler we’d expect. As the series progresses the First Doctor softens, but in this initial meeting he is quite different from the man he becomes even by his Second regeneration.
For the 50th, in addition to the anniversary special, “The Day of the Doctor,” there’s also Mark Gatiss‘ drama about the early days of Doctor Who starring David Bradley as Hartnell. Airing on BBC America this evening, An Adventure in Space in Time is heartbreakingly wonderful. I was in tears by the end, Bradley’s performance is that moving. It’s a must watch for any Doctor Who fan as the circumstances this show was created by are at times unbelievable. It’s painful to see them suffer through setbacks, struggling to create something we know will be such a hit.
This paired with a –hopefully – fantastic Doctor Who episode would really make for a stellar 50th anniversary celebration. We’ll know how it all goes tomorrow, but An Adventure in Space in Time is treat, and one that has me viewing this episode in a whole new way.