First Doctor Era

This is an another experiment. I’d like to use this thread to discuss the First Doctor’s era as a whole. Discussing stories, companions, arcs (both story arcs and character arcs), favorites, anti-favorites, how the era gels (or doesn’t gel) across the various mediums (TV, books, audio, comics, short stories, etc.). What parts or aspects of this era work, don’t work, could be better. What kind of stories you’d like to see in this era. Just kind of anything First Doctor. It can be as in-depth or as generalized as you want. Rants and gushing are encouraged.

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The biggest standouts to me of the EU First Doctor are how it expands on some of its teams.
Susan, Ian, and Barbara have a metric load of stories (befitting for how iconic that quartet is as the original)
Steven and Vicki go from having 3 stories as a team (and only 1 where they’re actually working as a TARDIS Team) to becoming emblematic of One’s back-half of adventures.
The Dalek Masterplan gets expanded to the point that it becomes it’s own mini-series with a stunning arc for both Steven and Sara that still nestles in perfectly to the very dark Season 3.
One with Ben and Polly as well has his own little arc where he faces his fears of regeneration.

Overall the thing I really love about One’s EU is how the companions are expanded and elaborated. They have personalities in the show but there’s just so much MORE that comes out of them in the expanded universe.

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I think Simon Guerrier is one of the best writers for the First Doctor. I enjoyed both the Oliver Harper trilogy and the Home Truths trilogy. The Anachronauts is good too. He actually uses Steven’s background as a space pilot. I adore his novel The Time Travellers, which was one of the first Who novels I read. The Time Travellers is a great sci-fi novel anyway, and does wonderful things with the characters of all three companions. It’s able to foreshadow Susan’s departure in ways the show never could.

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Placeholder for incoming essay about why Season 3 is fantastic even though it’s mostly missing OR HOW SPACE CAPITALISM KILLS THE FIRST DOCTOR

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Personal favorites from the First Doctor expanded universe:
The Five O’Clock Shadow - It shouldn’t work and yet… it does.
Time and Relative - I can go for hours about how much I love this novella. There are very few Doctor Who stories I describe as perfect but this is one of them.
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice - riffing off of the above, this one is near perfect aside from a single pointless subplot that adds nothing to the book aside from page count but I love it nonetheless.
The First Doctor Adventures Volume 2 (The Invention of Death and The Barbarians and the Samurai) - If you can only get one box in this outstanding series, get this one.
Last of the Romanovs - Just a beautiful story in itself with the performances to match
Farewell, Great Macedon - It’s VERY long but if you can sit thorough it, the story that unfolds is phenomenal and well worth the time
The Last Days - A very depressing and upsetting tale but one that makes you think.
The Witch Hunters - A very serious take on the Salem Witch Hunts. You know the characters will get out of it and yet, you fear for their lives at every page as the plot slowly boils over.
The Eleventh Tiger - More of a personal recommendation as I was reading this novel as I was realizing I was falling in love myself so very much had butterflies
The Rocket Men - One of the most beloved Companion Chronicles for a reason
Across the Darkened City - Go into this knowing nothing and let the story overtake you.
The Early Adventures Series 5 - A mini-season with Vicki and Steven that stretches over 4 stories from horrifying to fun to thoughtful
The Suffering: One of the first double length Companion Chronicles and it tells a story that is very deserving of its double length
Anything with Steven and Sara - not a flop in this mini era
Doctor Who and the Invasion from Space - You would not expect this 1960s novella to be this impactful but it is highly recommended
Waiting for Jeremy - Wistful remembrances for what could have been and why the little moments matter
Bunker Soldiers - Haunting, horrifying, and bleak but a spark of hope shines through
The Plague of Dreams - Simply an exquisite piece of Doctor Who. Go in blind

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I’ve heard this a lot - and thankfully it’s a volume I own. That said, I have yet to be convinced by the recast regulars - particularly Susan and Barbara.

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These recasts are different because they’re intended to be slightly different performances imo.

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While I don’t know if I’d say that Hartnell is my least favorite incarnation (I like all of them differently), he and Troughton are the ones I’ve delved into the least when it come to expanded media.

Part of my problem is that the novels (and this goes for any Doctor) are very hard to find. I don’t particularly want to collect a ton of novels I’ll probably only read once. And getting them through my library is difficult. First of all, they’re out of print and between 20-30 years old. Secondly, they’re fairly obscure in the USA and very difficult to find Inter-library Loan (ILL) lenders who A. have a copy, and B. are willing to lend it.

As far as the audios go, I’ve listened to some. But with so much Big Finish, other audiobooks I want to listen to, only so much available time, I tend to gravitate toward other Doctors I like better. I listened to the first Bradley boxset and enjoyed the stories, but the companion voices just don’t sound right to me and that takes me out of the story. I get that recasts have to happen if you want more stories with these characters, but it’s difficult at times.

In some ways, it’s hardest to fit things into gaps in Hartnell’s TV run bescause everything flowed into one big story essentially. I will gladly admit that Steven and Vicki and Steven and Sara have been greatly expanded on audio. Even the original team has gotten some great stuff. I really do need to delve more into this Doctor, but there’s so much other stuff too.

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Space capitalism drains us all of our resources and energy until we are worn too thin and die

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The end point of capitalism. A bottom line where human life has no value at all. We’re fighting an algorithm, a spreadsheet. Like every worker, everywhere, we’re fighting the suits.

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I struggled with this also to begin with, but after hearing that none of the actors were trying to imitate the original cast members exactly but were going for more of an inspired take on them, I began enjoying them more. After a few stories, I got used to them. What makes them exceptional is how well they recreate the feel of the Hartnell era while also daring to try out new things.

One’s era isn’t my favourite, though there are many all-time great stories and companions there, so I’m always happy to delve into more stories from this era. I’ve only listened to the audios, though; I haven’t read any of his novels yet.

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If you had to pick just one novel, I highly recommend The Time Travellers by Simon Guerrier. It’s a First Doctor/Ian/Barbara/Susan novel set between Planet of Giants and Dalek Invasion that essentially possits that the Doctor changed history by defeating WOTAN. It’s got some great Ian/Barbara development and foreshadows Susan’s departure in ways that the TV show never could. It also has some of the best Doctor/Barbara moments ever. It’s got a lot of references, but they’re not heavy-handed and don’t feel like references for the sake of having references. It’s also just a great sci-fi novel that does interesting things with the time travel premise of the show.

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The older I get the more I enjoy the variety and length of the 1st Doctors TV run. While sometimes it can get tedius, ‘filler’ epiosdes etc, this is outweighed by spending a couple of hours engrossed in a settting/characters.

As for books, I’ve only read a handful nearly two decades ago but I didn’t have anything against them. Really it was just more Doctor Who to consume.

For audio I’ve only listened to a bit and I enjoyed Bradley as he seemed to get the essence of the 1st. Noonan doesn’t work for me but I have only heard a few minutes of him.

Barabara is my favourite companion. She really is a badass. Something, something SENSORED.

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Thanks for the suggestion, I’ll add it to my list! It certainly sounds interesting :grin:

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It was also released in 2005, so it might be easier to acquire then other First Doctor novels.

Yeah, I have to track it down somehow. As it’s “merely” 19 years old, it shouldn’t be too hard :joy:

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Could be like the VNAs and be 33 years old.

I really like the core cast in the 1DA with Bradley but honestly both historicals suffer from some of THE worst regional accents (the Hispanic accent in Great White Hurricane is particularly jarring, and honestly borders on racist at times) I’ve ever heard from BF.

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The Doctor is right, however this only applies to capitalism. Space capitalism has no end point. Once it drains the resources and life from one nation, planet, system, or galaxy, it moves on to the next and the next forever in an ever expanding universe until the heat death of all matter and energy.

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