So we commence the journey through over 53 years of travels through time and space. Right next to a school in a junk yard, in a little blue box…
I really don’t know what I could possibly say about An Unearthly Child that hasn’t already been said by the millions of people that have already seen it.
Of course my main thought is that the opening episode is the strongest of the four; introducing us to Ian, Barbara, Susan, the Tardis and the Doctor.
If re-watching the first episode has shown me anything, it’s that the image of a policeman walking across a foggy street in front of a junk yard is ingrained into my memory. Those junk yard doors open up all by themselves too don’t they? Probably something to do with the Hand of Omega.
Anyway, the following three episodes that follow are a decent enough historical story, depicting the struggle to make fire between a couple of alpha-male cavemen. We also of course get ‘that’ moment in which the Doctor is about to bludgeon an injured caveman for slowing them down. Oh and the other ‘that’ moment when the Doctor sits down and lights up a pipe – in a family show intended to be educational; unless the message for children was intended to be ‘don’t ever smoke, just in case you get kidnapped by half naked cavemen.’ Fair play.
The characters of Ian, Barbara and Susan aren’t all that fleshed out in the last three episodes, but plenty of time for that. And the Doctor becomes deeply troubled by the Tardis getting stuck in the shape of a police box at the same time as BBC Execs leap for joy at the money saving tactic; little did they know that it would become an iconic image.
The other thing that was slightly different about watching the story again this time, was that I was joined by my fiancée; not too well versed in Doctor Who. Aside from falling asleep after episode one, she occasionally piped up to say that she was awake, before falling back to sleep. Not a great advertisement for the show.
Well would you look at that – I did know what to say about An Unearthly Child…an awful lot.
A thumpingly good seven skull torches out of ten.