The Genesis of Doctor Who | Creating a science fiction hero

Audience Research on 'An Unearthly Child'.

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

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Page 2 of an audience research report on 'An Unearthly Child'.

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Document Type | Audience Reaction Report

30 December 1963

Text version

Writtenin

1963

Synopsis

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.

Did you know?

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.

Contributors

Peter Brachacki
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Galleries

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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'

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