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'The New Doctor Who'.

A memo outlines the character of the second Doctor.

The New Dr. Who.

Appearance. Facially as strong, piercing eyes of the explorer or Sea Captain. His hair is wild and his clothes look rather the worse for wear (this is a legacy from the metaphysical change which took place in the Tardis). Obviously spares very little time and bother on his appearance. In the first serial, he wears a fly- blown version of the clothes associated with this character.

Manner. Vital and forceful - his actions are controlled by his superior intellect and experience - whereas at times he is a positive man of action, at other times he deals with the situation like a skilled chess player, reasoning and cunningly planning his moves. He has humour and wit and also an overwhelmingly thunderous rage which frightens his companions and others.

A feature of the new Dr. Who will be the humour on the lines of the sardonic humour of Sherlock Holmes. He enjoys disconcerting his companions with unconventional and unexpected repartee.

After the first serial - the Daleks - (when the character has been established), we will introduce a love of disguises which will help and sometimes disconcert his friends.

To keep faith with the essential Dr. Who character, he is always suspicious of new places, things or people - he is the eternal fugitive with a horrifying fear of the past horrors he has endured, (these horrors were experienced during the galactic war and account for his flight from his own planet).

The metaphysical change which takes place over 500 or so years is a horrifying experience - an experience in which he re-lives some of the most unendurable moments of his long life, including the galactic war. It is as if he has had the L.S.D. drug and instead of experiencing the kicks, he has the hell and dank horror which can be its effect.

Document Type | Internal Memo

May 1966

Document version




A description is provided for writers on the series for the proposed new Doctor Who, to replace William Hartnell. At the time this is believed to have been written, Hartnell's successor had not yet been cast and - more importantly - Hartnell himself had not agreed to leave the series.

Did you know?

Interviewed for 'Pebble Mill' in 1973, Patrick Troughton confessed that he'd been so worried about typecasting that he'd considered playing the Doctor in black face with a turban. Though no documentary evidence exists to back up this claim, it's known that a variety of other costumes were considered, including that of a sea captain, prior to series creator Sydney Newman deciding that the character should be more like Charlie Chaplin, or 'a cosmic hobo', as Newman put it.

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