William Hartnell

The 1st Doctor: 1963 – 1966

About the 1st Doctor

The First Doctor appeared to be a frail old man but don’t be fooled. He played deadly games with the Celestial Toymaker, he fooled Roman emperors and French revolutionaries and foiled everything the evil Daleks could throw at him.

The Doctor is a mysterious character and little is known about him except that he has a granddaughter, Susan Foreman, and that they come from another time and place. He has a ship that travels through time and space, the TARDIS, which is currently disguised as a police box (Susan notes that it used to be able to change to blend in with its surroundings), and is bigger on the inside. The Doctor describes himself and Susan as “exiles” without specifying why or even whether their exile is self-imposed. It would not be until the last adventure of the Doctor’s second incarnation that the name of the Doctor’s people (the Time Lords) would be revealed, and the third incarnation before the name of his home planet (Gallifrey) was first spoken.

The series’ first episode opens with a pair of schoolteachers in contemporary (1963) London, Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright, investigating the mystery of Susan, a student who seems confused and even frustrated at how what she is learning in history and especially mathematics seems to be wrong. Following Susan to her supposed home, they discover the TARDIS in a junkyard, surprising both Susan and her grandfather the Doctor, who launches the ship in response to the discovery. Ian and Barbara are involuntarily taken on a journey back to the year 100,000 BC and spend two years adventuring through time and space with the Doctor, who at this point in the series has no control over the navigation systems of the TARDIS.

Seasons Appeared In

1963–1966,
1972–1973
Season 1 (42 episodes)
Season 2 (39 episodes)
Season 3 (45 episodes)
Season 4 (8 episodes)
Season 10 (4 episodes)

Companions