Watch Doctor Who Sampler: The First Doctor
- 1 Season
Doctor Who Sampler: The First Doctor is a television program produced by BBC that takes viewers on a trip through time and space with the very first incarnation of the iconic Doctor, played by William Hartnell. This show consists of a compilation of some of the most beloved episodes from the First Doctor's era that first aired during the 1960s.
As the show begins, viewers are introduced to the original Doctor Who, played by Hartnell, and his granddaughter Susan. The pair are living on the planet Gallifrey and are part of a race of beings known as the Time Lords. The Doctor has grown bored with his life on Gallifrey and decides to steal one of the time machines known as TARDIS, which are used by the Time Lords to travel through time and space, and sets off on a wild adventure.
The first few episodes of the program feature the Doctor and his companions traveling through time and space, encountering various alien species and trying to right wrongs across the universe. The show's writing and storytelling style is distinctly different from modern-day Doctor Who, as the program has a more episodic format with each episode showcasing a standalone story. There is less focus on overarching storylines or complicated plot twists, and more attention is given to the characters' individual journeys and the strange and fantastical worlds they discover.
The First Doctor is notably more reserved and grandfatherly in his demeanor than his future incarnations, but he still possesses the same sense of wonder and curiosity that makes the Doctor such an iconic figure. Hartnell's portrayal of the character is nuanced and layered, and he imbues the Doctor with a sense of gravitas that makes him impossible not to love.
The program also includes the character of Ian Chesterton, a science teacher from 1960s England, and his fellow teacher Barbara Wright, who become accidental passengers on the TARDIS when they witness the Doctor and Susan's disappearance from their own time period. The dynamic between these four characters is one of the highlights of the program, as they often find themselves in perilous situations and must work together to find a way out. Ian and Barbara's skepticism toward the Doctor's wild claims and the strange world he inhabits provides a grounding element to the program and allows viewers to experience the world of Doctor Who through a relatable lens.
One of the most memorable episodes in Doctor Who Sampler: The First Doctor is titled "The Daleks". This episode is regarded as a classic of the sci-fi genre and features the Doctor and his companions landing on the planet Skaro, which is inhabited by a race of mutated creatures known as the Daleks. The Daleks are a fan-favorite alien species that have made numerous appearances throughout the series' history, and this episode marks their first appearance. The Doctor and his companions must navigate the treacherous landscape of Skaro and evade the Daleks' deadly extermination powers in order to escape.
Another standout episode is "The Aztecs", which sees the Doctor and his companions travel back in time to the 15th century Aztec civilization. This episode features some stunning set design and costume work, as well as a thoughtful exploration of colonialism and cultural preservation. The Doctor and his companions find themselves caught up in local politics and must navigate a delicate balance between respecting the Aztecs' way of life and preventing the rise of a tyrannical leader.
Overall, Doctor Who Sampler: The First Doctor is an excellent introduction to the world of Doctor Who and offers viewers a chance to see how the series began. The program's focus on standalone stories and character-driven plotlines makes it an accessible starting point for newcomers, while fans of the series will appreciate the chance to revisit some classic episodes from the show's history. The performances from Hartnell and the rest of the cast are all top-notch, and the program's blend of science fiction, fantasy, and history make for an endlessly entertaining viewing experience.
Doctor Who Sampler: The First Doctor is a series that is currently running and has 1 seasons (5 episodes). The series first aired on January 27, 2013.