Wednesday 24 November 2010

002 An Unearthly Child Part 2: The Cave of Skulls

EPISODE: An Unearthly Child Part 2: The Cave of Skulls
TRANSMITTED: 30 November 1963
WRITER: Anthony Coburn
DIRECTOR: Waris Hussein
SCRIPT EDITOR: David Whitaker
PRODUCER: Verity Lambert
FORMAT: DVD - The Beginning Boxset

Oh it's a cavemen..... watching in 1981 I think I was disappointed to find that the shadow wasn't some alien creature! But back in 1963 Doctor Who had a semi educational brief to show historical situations. So we travel back in time to when Cavemen are learning to make fire, which is the foundation of almost all technology today. In 1981 it bored me to tears, lots of talking about fire and getting menaced by cavemen, it's not even on the same planet as the previous episode.

We do get the famous "Doctor Foreman", "Doctor Who?" exchange between the Doctor and Ian, while Ian & Barbara discuss the mystery of who the old man is. Following a throw away line in an Unearthly Child about having found a spare part we now discover that the Tardis instruments are faulty and what's more it's stuck as a police box where it's meant to change.

You might think it odd now, but the first Doctor Who book wasn't the first Doctor Who story - that honour belongs to Doctor Who and the Daleks. It would be many years before An Unearthly Child was novelised, in 1981, as a tie in to the Five Faces season. Similarly it's not the first story on video (Revenge of the Cybermen) or DVD (The Five Doctors). Non fans (and some actual fans) struggle with Doctor Who not being released in order......

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