The Genesis of Doctor Who | Creating a science fiction hero
Document Type | Audience Reaction Report
30 December 1963
Back in 1962, a report on the viability of science fiction as a genre for BBC drama had concluded that it could never guarantee a large TV audience. 'Doctor Who' was inspired by that report and in this document from the BBC Audience Research Department we can finally see whether there was any truth in those early findings. As expected, those who liked the show seem passionate about it, while those who didn't like it appear almost as determined.
The first episode of 'Doctor Who' attracted a modest 4.4 million viewers, but the ratings did rise slowly as the four-part serial progressed. It was with the second story, however, that the series began to gain an ardent following. The introduction of those perennial villains the Daleks added over 6 million viewers to the ratings.
A report into whether the BBC should make science fiction drama.
A report into the kind of stories BBC science fiction dramas might handle.
CE Webber and Sydney Newman outline the format for the new 'Doctor Who' series.
A summary of ideas for a new science fiction BBC TV series.
A preview of the first 'Doctor Who' episode, 'An Unearthly Child'.
How 'Radio Times' recorded the first episode of 'Doctor Who' in the TV listings.
What the viewers thought of the first episode of 'Doctor Who'.
A gallery of images showing the original stars of 'Doctor Who'.
The people behind the scenes who brought us TV's greatest science fiction hero.
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