The first season of British science fiction television programme Doctor Who was originally broadcast on BBC TV between 1963 and 1964. The series began on 23 November 1963 with An Unearthly Child and ended with The Reign of Terror on 12 September 1964. The show was created by BBC Television head of drama Sydney Newman to fill the Saturday evening timeslot and appeal to both the younger and older audiences of the neighbouring programmes. Formatting of the programme was handled by Newman, head of serials Donald Wilson, writer C. E. Webber, and producer Rex Tucker. Production was overseen by the BBC's first female producer Verity Lambert and story editor David Whitaker, both of whom handled the scripts and stories.

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  • The first season of British science fiction television programme Doctor Who was originally broadcast on BBC TV between 1963 and 1964. The series began on 23 November 1963 with An Unearthly Child and ended with The Reign of Terror on 12 September 1964. The show was created by BBC Television head of drama Sydney Newman to fill the Saturday evening timeslot and appeal to both the younger and older audiences of the neighbouring programmes. Formatting of the programme was handled by Newman, head of serials Donald Wilson, writer C. E. Webber, and producer Rex Tucker. Production was overseen by the BBC's first female producer Verity Lambert and story editor David Whitaker, both of whom handled the scripts and stories. The season introduces William Hartnell as the first incarnation of the Doctor, an alien who travels through time and space in his TARDIS, which appears to be a British police box on the outside. Carole Ann Ford is also introduced as the Doctor's granddaughter Susan Foreman, who acts as his companion alongside her schoolteachers Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright, portrayed by William Russell and Jacqueline Hill, respectively. Throughout the season, the Doctor and his companions travel throughout history and into the future. Historical stories were intended to educate viewers about significant events in history, such as the Aztec civilisation and the French Revolution; futuristic episodes took a more subtle approach to educating viewers, such as the theme of pacifism with the Daleks. The first eight serials were written by six writers: Whitaker, Anthony Coburn, Terry Nation, John Lucarotti, Peter R. Newman, and Dennis Spooner. The show was developed with three particular story types envisioned: past history, future technology, and alternative present; Coburn, Lucarotti, and Spooner wrote historical episodes, Nation and Newman penned futuristic stories, and Whitaker wrote a "filler" serial set entirely in the TARDIS. The serials were mostly directed by junior directors, such as Waris Hussein, John Gorrie, John Crockett, Henric Hirsch, Richard Martin, Christopher Barry, and Frank Cox; the exception is experienced director Mervyn Pinfield, who directed the first four episodes of The Sensorites. Filming started in September 1963 and lasted for approximately nine months, with weekly recording taking place mostly at Lime Grove Studios or the BBC Television Centre. The first episode, overshadowed by the assassination of John F. Kennedy the previous day, was watched by 4.4 million viewers; the episode was repeated the following week, and the programme gained popularity with audiences, particularly with the introduction of the Daleks in the second serial, which peaked at 10.4 million viewers. The season received generally positive reviews, with praise particularly directed at the scripts and performances. However, many retrospective reviewers noted that Susan lacked character development and was generally portrayed as a damsel in distress, a criticism often echoed by Ford. Several episodes were erased by the BBC between 1967 and 1972, and only 33 of a total of 42 episodes survive; all seven episodes of Marco Polo and two episodes of The Reign of Terror remain missing. The existing serials received several VHS and DVD releases as well as tie-in novels. (en)
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  • The first season of British science fiction television programme Doctor Who was originally broadcast on BBC TV between 1963 and 1964. The series began on 23 November 1963 with An Unearthly Child and ended with The Reign of Terror on 12 September 1964. The show was created by BBC Television head of drama Sydney Newman to fill the Saturday evening timeslot and appeal to both the younger and older audiences of the neighbouring programmes. Formatting of the programme was handled by Newman, head of serials Donald Wilson, writer C. E. Webber, and producer Rex Tucker. Production was overseen by the BBC's first female producer Verity Lambert and story editor David Whitaker, both of whom handled the scripts and stories. (en)
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  • Doctor Who (season 1) (en)
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