A. An Unearthly Child

Season One - 1963/1964

Story Editor: David Whitaker
Writers: Anthony Coburn (1st draft of ep. 1 by CE Webber)
Produced by: Verity Lambert
Director: Warris Hussein
Designers: Peter Brachacki (1) and Barry Newbery (2-4)
Fight Arranger: Derek Ware
Incidental Music: Norman Kay


Two school teachers are perturbed by one of their pupils, Susan Foreman. In some cases she is exceptionally bright, sometimes to the point of overshadowing her teachers. But on occasion she has shown a lack of knowledge of the basics, such as the currency that England was using.

Worried by this the two teachers, Ian and Barbara, decide to follow her to her home in order to talk to her grandfather. Instead they see her enter a junkyard. When they follow her inside there is no sign, although there is a strange, vibrating police telephone box. They hear Susan inside, and when her grandfather returns they barge past him and into the police box - where they find a large, brightly lit, room with a mushroom shaped console in the centre. The Doctor is not happy at the intrusion, and says that if he lets them go free they will inevitably tell someone about what they saw. Before anyone can stop him the Doctor dematerialises the TARDIS.

It re-materialises around 100,00 B.C. where they have to battle to escape from primitive man. The Doctor attempts to take the teachers back to their own time, but the TARDIS materialises on an unknown world.

Regular Cast

  • Susan Foreman: Carole Ann Ford
  • Barbara Wright: Jacqueline Hill
  • Ian Chesterton: William Russell

Guest Cast

  • Horg: Howard Lang (2-4)
  • Kal: Jeremy Young (2-4)
  • Za: Derek Newark (2-4)
  • Hur: Alethea Charlton (2-4)
  • Old Mother: Eileen Way (2-3)
  • Policeman: Fred Rawlings (pilot), Reg Cranfield (1)
  • Schoolchildren: (All 1) Francesco Bertorelli, Carole Clarke, Heather Lyons, Mavis Ransom, Cedric Schoeman, Brian Thomas, Richard Wilson
  • Shadow of Za: Leslie Bates (1, reprise 2)
  • Tribe: (All 2-4) Leslie Bates, Elizabeth Body, Al Davis, Billie Davis, Roy Denton, Jean Denyer, Veronica Dyson, Diane Gay, Bob Haddow, Margot Maxine, Bill Nicholas, Brenda Proctor, Lyn Turner, Doreen Ubells, Frank Wheatley
  • Tribe Children: Janet Fairhead (3-4), Antonia Moss (2), Julie Moss (2), Timothy Palmer (3-4), David Rosen (2-4), Trevor Thomas (2), Elizabeth White (3-4)
  • Double for Kal: Billy Cornelius (4)
  • Double for Za: Derek Ware (4)

Original broadcast on the BBC

Channel Title Date Viewers Rating
BBC 1 1. An Unearthly Child Saturday, November 23, 1963 5:15 PM - 5:40 PM 4.4M 63%
BBC 1 2. The Cave Of Skulls 1 Saturday, November 30, 1963 5:30 PM - 5:55 PM 5.9M 59%
BBC 1 3. The Forest Of Fear Saturday, December 7, 1963 5:15 PM - 5:40 PM 6.9M 65%
BBC 1 4. The Firemaker Saturday, December 14, 1963 5:15 PM - 5:40 PM 6.4M 55%
1: Originally scheduled for 17:15

Click here to show repeat broadcasts on the BBC


  • Ealing Television Film Studios
  • Lime Grove Studio D

Working Titles

Part 2 - 4: The Tribe of Gum

Part 2 - 4: Doctor Who And The Tribe Of Gum

Part 2 - 4: Doctor Who In 100,000 B.C.

Part 4: The Dawn Of Knowledge

The Firemakers

100,000 B.C.


Bernard Lodge was the uncredited designer of the original title sequence, which was accompanied by Delia Derbyshire's arrangement of Ron Grainer's theme tune. Grainer would be credited for virtually every subsequent episode, even after drastic rearrangements of the theme.