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Doctor Who: The Hartnell Years (1991)

Sylvester McCoy presents a look at the era of the First Doctor, William Hartnell. Featuring the unbroadcast pilot version of the first ever episode "An Unearthly Child" and the only ... See full summary »


John Nathan-Turner (McCoy segments)


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Credited cast:
Sylvester McCoy ... Himself - Presenter
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Carole Ann Ford ... Susan Foreman (segment "An Unearthly Child") (archive footage)
Julian Glover ... Richard the Lionheart (Crusade segment) (archive footage)
Michael Gough ... The Toymaker (Celestial Toymaker segment) (archive footage)
William Hartnell ... The Doctor (archive footage)
Jacqueline Hill ... Barbara Wright (archive footage)
Jackie Lane ... Dorothea 'Dodo' Chaplet (segment "Celestial Toymaker") (archive footage)
Jean Marsh ... Joanna (Crusade segment) (archive footage)
Maureen O'Brien ... Vicki (Crusade segment) (archive footage)
Peter Purves ... Steven Taylor (Celestial Toymaker segment) (archive footage)
William Russell ... Ian Chesterton (archive footage)


Sylvester McCoy presents a look at the era of the First Doctor, William Hartnell. Featuring the unbroadcast pilot version of the first ever episode "An Unearthly Child" and the only surviving episodes from the stories "The Crusade" and "The Celestial Toymaker". Written by Anonymous

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Release Date:

3 June 1991 (UK) See more »

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Alternate Versions

With the exception of "An Unearthly Child" which was never broadcast, the other episodes featured on this tape were originally broadcast as part of Doctor Who. A recreated version of the complete episode "The Crusade" was later released as Doctor Who: The Crusade. See more »


Follows Doctor Who: The Troughton Years (1991) See more »

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User Reviews

Possibly The Best Years Tape
13 April 2004 | by Theo RobertsonSee all my reviews

This video seems years before its time in so far that it`s very very similar to the extras we now find on DVDs . Unfortunately the idea here came into being down to the simple reason that the BBC decided to erase many of the DOCTOR WHO stories from the 1960s . If the BBC aren`t kicking themselves there`s thousands of DOCTOR WHO fans who want to kick them

The tape doesn`t get off to a good start since we`re treated to an extremely crap " Latin " version of the show`s theme tune and we see Sylvester McCoy without doubt the worst actor to have played the role giving us a brief ( All too brief ) resume of William Hartnell`s acting career . We`re then shown three episode`s from Hartnell`s tenure of the Doctor

The Pilot Episode - Pure television magic as this gave birth to the legend . Written and acted with total and absolute conviction

The Wheel Of Fortune - This is from the historical episode The Crusades and stars Julian Glover ( One of Britain`s most underated actors ) as Richard The Lionheart . I really did love these historical stories and once again everything is written and acted with total conviction . In many ways it`s made like a prestigous BBC production of a Shakespeare play

The Final Test - This is from an episode of The Celestial Toymaker , almost certainly the most bizarre and avant garde story the show had produced at that time . I wasn`t too keen on it but it`s always good to see a prolific and sensible actor like Michael Gough playing the baddy . 20 years later we`d see stand up comics like Ken Dodd play these kind of parts !

So a fairly enjoyable video tape mainly down to the original episodes themselves

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