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The First Doctor

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Peri-Peri
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« on: June 10, 2012, 02:52:29 pm »


The First Doctor was the first incarnation of the Time Lord known as the Doctor. Most accounts of him were drawn from close to the end of his life.

Initially, he had as companions his granddaughter Susan Foreman and her kidnapped teachers, Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright. He bade Susan farewell to let her live a happier life with a man with whom she had fallen in love. Later, during a confrontation with the Daleks, the Doctor used one of their time capsules to return Ian and Barbara to their proper time - something he had been unable to manage with the TARDIS.

After Susan's departure, the Doctor gained a new companion in Vicki Pallister. She reminded him of Susan and the Doctor saw her as a surrogate to fill her spot in his travels with Ian and Barbara. Vicki left the Doctor's company, feeling her time with him was over and she needed to move on.

Soon after the departure of Ian and Barbara, the Doctor gained a new companion in Steven Taylor, with whom he had a relatively uneasy relationship. Steven was bitter towards him, blaming him for the deaths of Katarina and Sara Kingdom. However, the Doctor was forgiven and companion Dodo Chaplet joined them on their travels.

Ultimately, Dodo became injured in an adventure and decided to remain home in her own time, while Steven decided to stay and help a civilisation they had encountered.

Right before his battle with the Cybermen of Mondas, the Doctor had gained two new companions in Ben Jackson and Polly Wright, to whom he was much more kind to prevent them from leaving as Steven had.

He met his end after battling the Cybermen for the first time on Earth. He was forced to regenerate into his second body from exhaustion and a loss of strength to maintain his ancient body.
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« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2012, 09:55:49 pm »

I love the First Doctor and I think he is particularly good in this. He really carried the story and showed that he still could. It was nice to see because his role had been minimised in many stories before this.
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« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2012, 09:52:44 pm »

I always think that the First Doctor is great and this isn't an exception. It felt sort of like one last hurrah for him. I know other stories came later but I think this was his final peak.
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« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2012, 08:03:08 pm »

I always think that the First Doctor is great and this isn't an exception. It felt sort of like one last hurrah for him. I know other stories came later but I think this was his final peak.

I would kinda agree with this. I think although he was only 58, William Hartnell looked a lot older and by this time the illness which was to ultimately cost him his life had begun to take hold. Hartnell tends to get overlooked in Classic Who (and I am somewhat guilty of this myself) but his importance in establishing the show cannot be overstated. There were genuine fears that when he decided to leave, the show would have to fold as he was so integral to its success.

I think this does represent his last, great contribution to Doctor Who (neither the Savages nor The Tenth Planet were particularly strong stories for him) and in particular show-cased a model of the Doctor that we have never really seen since. Hartnell was very much a product of his time and it is unlikely we will ever see his style of Doctor again. But when he got it right, he was wonderful.
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« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2012, 10:45:34 pm »

The First Doctor is one of my favourites. I agree with VA, he's often overlooked. Perhaps more than any other Doctor because he doesn't have the good Doctor/bad Doctor debate of others like Colin Baker. He did so much for the show though and really set a standard. He didn't have anyone else to base the character on. He created him. It's a shame his illness got the better of him towards the end but he still always put in a good effort.
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« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2012, 10:50:33 pm »

It's interesting that VA mentioned his age. I've never really thought of that before. It's so easy to think that he is a man heading towards 80
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« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2012, 04:03:52 pm »

Hartnell was my original Doctor, and there's always a part of me that still regards him as the "real" Doctor.  Although he was a bit inconsistent by this stage, I love his performance in this story.

I think this does represent his last, great contribution to Doctor Who (neither the Savages nor The Tenth Planet were particularly strong stories for him)

The Savages came before this - the other later story was The Smugglers.
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« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2012, 02:09:52 pm »

I find a lot of Hartnell's performances to be hit and miss. This was one of the better ones from his last year but was nowhere near the best he was capable of. I think it wasn't lack of effort though. His illness was pretty well documented. It's a shame, but I guess it happens.
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« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2012, 03:44:03 pm »

I think by this point he couldn't go on much longer, and I don't think the current dynamic could have either. From what I have seen on the DVD extras and read in interviews William Hartnell didn't get on at all with Anneke and Michael and she has said a few times how she would have walked had she had to work with him any longer. I think though that rather than being anything personal he was just against all the changes and the comings and goings. He had a good run though and was in some great stories, but I agree with others that this was his final high.
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« Reply #9 on: June 22, 2012, 12:04:03 am »

It's interesting that VA mentioned his age. I've never really thought of that before. It's so easy to think that he is a man heading towards 80

That's what I was thinking! I never would have guessed he was that young. Was it just age though or was he ill with anything specific like cancer or something?
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« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2012, 12:00:23 am »

I think by this point he couldn't go on much longer, and I don't think the current dynamic could have either. From what I have seen on the DVD extras and read in interviews William Hartnell didn't get on at all with Anneke and Michael and she has said a few times how she would have walked had she had to work with him any longer.

I knew things were often frosty on set with him and some of his co-stars but I never realised it had gotten that bad! Shocked
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« Reply #11 on: June 24, 2012, 12:38:11 am »

It's interesting that VA mentioned his age. I've never really thought of that before. It's so easy to think that he is a man heading towards 80

That's what I was thinking! I never would have guessed he was that young. Was it just age though or was he ill with anything specific like cancer or something?

I don't know for sure but I don't think he died of anything like cancer. I think it was just old age and his mind was going a bit. I think he had a stroke as well but I don't know if that was a contributing factor.
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« Reply #12 on: June 24, 2012, 02:13:02 am »

I just checked on Wikipedia.  He suffered from arteriosclerosis, and he had a series of strokes towards the end of his life.  He'd hardly have died simply of old age - he was only 67.
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