Classic Doctor Who (Season 1) TV Show Review

This is a review of the classic series of Doctor Who that first aired in 1963. It is often called Classic Who just as the 2005 series is called New Who. This is how I will differentiate between them in this review. Having watched all of New Who, I will probably make lots of comparisons between them, knowing that it will be a continuation. I really wanted to watch the original series to get a lot of background information and so I could learn more about the Doctor. Warning that this post may contain spoilers.

At first, I was shocked to see how cold, and at times, cruel the Doctor was. He was actually a bit of a jerk. He seemed to be almost the opposite of what he is like now, and that really surprised me. I always pictured the Doctor being the same sort of person, even if his personality did change slightly. Throughout the season he does become kinder and more forgiving, and we see him grow as a person.

The acting tends to be pretty good, except that of Carole Ann Ford (Susan) who is constantly overacting. I understand that a small amount of overacting must occur because of the low quality visual, so we can actually see what’s happening, but I feel like she overdoes it and is excessively melodramatic at times. Although, her acting does dramatically improve in The Sensorites.

Unfortunately, nine episodes of this season are missing, so there may have been references to past episodes that I didn’t get or plot holes that would have been filled had I seen the missing episodes. There are also some facts about the Doctor that simply haven’t been mentioned yet. For example, that he and Susan are Timelords (it’s only mentioned that they’re from another planet).

There were a couple of episodes in the season (or parts of episodes as they can be called) in which the Doctor was barely present or not at all. These parts were really boring. I could barely concentrate on them. It just seems like that without the Doctor it’s just an ordinary TV show. He is the character that makes it interesting, no one else. This shows how good an actor William Hartnell is, but also how badly written some of the scenes without him are.

The music that plays during the show, I have to say is pretty bad. Not just the quality (which is understandable due to the time it was made) but the actual music. In some scenes it will be completely silent with a sudden spurt of music that just stops. It doesn’t flow and is very noticeable. I think this may be due to the era it was made. However, I can’t say the same about the theme music. It’s so similar to that of the show now. Here’s the opening sequence:

Favourite character/actor: The Doctor (William Hartnell)

Least favourite character/actor: Susan Foreman (Carole Ann Ford)

Favourite episode/scene: The Daleks

Least favourite episode/scene: The Keys of Marinus

Rating; 3/5 stars


2 thoughts on “Classic Doctor Who (Season 1) TV Show Review

  1. eggstirmen8 says:

    Keys of Marinus was your least favorite???? Really? Unearthly Child was ….well it was first – and sometimes first is worst. If you are knew to Classic Who, you might want to check out the Key to Time series. You will be jumping way ahead, but it is a classic. Keys to Time uses many of the same conventions of Keys of Marinus, but in a much more effective way.

    What did you think of the Sensorites?

    My son and I are doing Classic Who reviews one ep at a time. Check it out.

  2. mandarox says:

    Keys of Marinus was good at some parts, but there was this one part, when the Doctor wasn’t in it at all, and they were just wandering through a cave and I almost fell asleep in it. I just can’t say that the first episode is the worst, it’s what started it all…

    I am new to Classic Who and as much as I’d like to skip forward (especially to Tom Baker) I want to watch them all in order, just so I can see how they progress and so I don’t miss any.

    The Sensorites were interesting. I think if they were modernised they could do pretty well in the new series, especially if they don’t have to use that device to talk to each other.

    I’ll definitely check out your reviews. Thanks for the comment 🙂

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