The Genesis of Doctor Who | Creating a science fiction hero

Background Notes for 'Dr. Who'

CE Webber and Sydney Newman outline the format for the new 'Doctor Who' series.

Page: 1 2 3 4 Back | Next

Page 2 of the format notes for 'Doctor Who'.

Page: 1 2 3 4 Back | Next

Document Type | Memo

circa 1963

Text version

Writtencirca

1963

Synopsis

In this document, we can see the elements that would help to form 'Doctor Who' finally taking shape. Though the character names would be changed and the attributes of the central role adjusted, this is the first point at which we can recognise the series 'Doctor Who' would become. The brusque pencil notes come from Head of Drama Sydney Newman.

Did you know?

Sydney Newman's note 'Not visual... need tangible symbol' is an interesting one. By the time scriptwriter Anthony Coburn came to pen the first episode, 'An Unearthly Child', this tangible symbol had become a police box, also known as 'Time and Relative Dimension in Space' - or TARDIS for short. Meanwhile, 'Cliff' had evolved into science teacher Ian Chesterton, 'Lola' became Barbara Wright and the 'with-it' Biddy turned into the Doctor's granddaughter Susan. As for the 'Second Secret of Doctor Who', it would be six years before the Doctor's people caught up with him, at the climax to 'The War Games'.

Contributors

More like this...

Documents

A document about possible science fiction dramas.

Science Fiction - BBC Report

WRITTEN c. 1962
4 Pages

A report into whether the BBC should make science fiction drama.

A BBC report looking at sources for possible BBC science fiction stories.

Science Fiction - Follow-up Report

WRITTEN 1962
3 Pages

A report into the kind of stories BBC science fiction dramas might handle.

Format notes for 'Doctor Who'.

Background Notes for 'Dr. Who'

WRITTEN c. 1963
4 Pages

CE Webber and Sydney Newman outline the format for the new 'Doctor Who' series.

Concept Notes for a new science fiction drama.

Concept Notes for New SF Drama

WRITTEN 1963
2 Pages

A summary of ideas for a new science fiction BBC TV series.

'Radio Times' article for 23 November, 1963

'Radio Times' article for 23 November, 1963

WRITTEN 1963
1 Page

A preview of the first 'Doctor Who' episode, 'An Unearthly Child'.

'Radio Times' TV listing, 23 November, 1963

'Radio Times' TV listing, 23 November, 1963

WRITTEN 1963
1 Page

How 'Radio Times' recorded the first episode of 'Doctor Who' in the TV listings.

An audience research report on 'An Unearthly Child'.

Audience Research on 'An Unearthly Child'.

WRITTEN 1963
2 Pages

What the viewers thought of the first episode of 'Doctor Who'.

Galleries

William Hartnell as Doctor Who.

An Unearthly Cast

A gallery of images showing the original stars of 'Doctor Who'.

Sydney Newman, the man credited as the creator of 'Doctor Who'.

The Creators of 'Doctor Who'

The people behind the scenes who brought us TV's greatest science fiction hero.

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.