First Doctor (1963-1966)

MARCO POLO
Doctor Who’s first historical story, Marco Polo (1964), is rooted in the BBC’s Reithian mandate to ‘inform, educate and entertain’. Dene October investigates how these priorities inform its distinctive storytelling style, and how the absence of broadcast footage affects our view of the text.
THE DALEK INVASION OF EARTH
A compendium of Doctor Who firsts – the first alien invasion, the first returning monster, the first departing companion – The Dalek Invasion of Earth (1964) had a complex genesis and an active afterlife. Jonathan Morris traces its history from story treatment to screen, and beyond to its film and novel adaptations.
THE ROMANS
Jacob Edwards examines The Romans (1965) – an experiment in Doctor Who as comedy which also reinvents the characters’, and the series’, relationship with history. He finds a sophisticated, multi-layered story full of innovation, wit and dubious identity politics.
THE MASSACRE
The Massacre (1966) is a story of disputed authorship produced during a turbulent period, of which no known video copies are known to survive. James Cooray Smith elucidates the ways it draws on its many sources to examine the religious and civil strife which struck Paris in 1572.
THE TENTH PLANET (To be published in October 2020)
Michael Seely examines the origins of the Cybermen – in the first Doctor’s final story The Tenth Planet (1966), in the science and technology of the 1960s, and in the mind of research biologist Kit Pedler, Doctor Who’s first official scientific advisor.