An Unearthly Child
Episode / January 25, 2016

Aired 23 November – 14 December 1963 Needing to set the stage, introduce the characters and allow their personalities to begin to show, and start shedding light on where the programme will go in the future, the first episode of any series is- by necessity- burdened with a degree of prologue, information, and initial intrigue. Reviewing ‘An Unearthly Child’ (which this four-story arc will be called despite the total difference of the last three episodes from the first) can be done in one of two ways, either taken in context as just the serial itself or taken as the foundation for what would become the longest-running science fiction series in history. The former approach will be taken, and ‘An Unearthly Child’ sets up the adventures of the Doctor and his companions wonderfully. The first of the four stories is set in 1963 London, the present day at the time of original broadcast. Very quickly we are introduced to Susan Foreman in class at Coal Hill School, and the mystery surrounding her quickly sets the events of the serial and series in motion. Two of her chummy teachers, Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright, label her as something of an outsider with…