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Sat, 23 November 2013
Today marks the 50th anniversary of the British science fiction television series, Doctor Who. While most modern day fans have become so thanks to the reboot of the series in 2005, there are a legion of fans who love all the incarnations of the Doctor, including his first. In celebration of the anniversary, the Spotlight series will take a monthly look at each of the Doctors. We begin where it all began in a little salvage yard on Totters Lane with two teachers attempting to find out the secret of their unusual student. There, they meet the grandfather of the girl, a doctor, played by William Hartnell. He whisk them away through time and space in a time machine in the shape of a British police box. And thus the 50 year adventure begins. John sits down with The G2V Podcast's Arnold T. Blumburg and Scott Alan Woodard to discuss the man and his legacy to the series. They offer suggestions on episodes to watch and also look at how this first incarnation of the Doctor took some time and development to become the Doctor that everyone knows and loves today.
Hartnell's performance in This Sporting Life was noted by Verity Lambert, the producer who was setting up a new science-fiction television series for the BBC, Doctor Who. Lambert offered him the title role. Although Hartnell was initially uncertain about accepting a part in what was pitched to him as a children's series, in part due to his success in films, Lambert and director Waris Hussein convinced him to take the part, and it became the character for which he gained the highest profile and is now most remembered. Hartnell later revealed that he took the role because it led him away from the gruff, military parts in which he had become typecast, and, having two grandchildren of his own, he came to relish particularly the attention and affection that playing the character brought him from children.
Doctor Who earned Hartnell a regular salary of £315 per episode by 1966 (in the era of 48 weeks per year production on the series), equivalent to £4,050 a week in modern terms. Throughout his tenure as the Doctor, William Hartnell wore a wig when playing the part, as the character had long hair.
Hartnell's deteriorating health (he suffered from arteriosclerosis, which began to affect his ability to say his lines), as well as poor relations with the new production team on the series after the departure of Verity Lambert, ultimately led him to leave Doctor Who in 1966.
When he left Doctor Who, the producer of the show came up with a unique idea: since the Doctor is an alien, he can transform himself physically, thereby renewing himself. William Hartnell himself suggested that Patrick Troughton should be cast as the new Doctor, stating that "There's only one man in England who can take over, and that's Patrick Troughton". In the fourth episode of the serial The Tenth Planet, the First Doctor regenerated into Troughton's Second Doctor.
Direct download: Spotlight_-_DOCTOR_WHOs_William_Hartnell.mp3
Category:The Chronic Rift Spotlight -- posted at: 12:29pm EDT