C001 An Unearthly Child

Browse the WBW Podcast

Browse Classic Who reviews


Teachers Ian and Barbara follow Wunderkind pupil Susan to a junkyard, where they meet her grandfather, The Doctor.

In the beginning, there was a junkyard, and in that junkyard stood a Tardis. But we’re not there yet.

Teachers Ian and Barbara are bewildered by Wunderkind pupil, Susan “Foreman”, who’s great at science but not hip to chronology. Not thinking it creepy at all, they decide to stalk Susan to the junkyard where she allegedly lives with her grandfather… whom they meet and who turns out to be The Doctor. He kidnaps said teachers in his time machine, transporting them back in time to caveman days and refusing to bring them back home.

That’s right; he’s a bastard.

The Doctor disembarks the TARDIS, wanting to take some scientific samples and also to smoke his pipe, but in the process manages to get kidnapped himself – by a caveman no less, who believes the Doctor’s matches to be some sort of fire-making witchcraft that will allow him to take control of his tribe.

While looking for the abducted Doctor, the rest of the group are kidnapped (once again – this time by cavemen as well) and the whole troupe is held captive in “The Cave of Skulls”. Madness ensues.

PS: Pipes are cool.

(The Ratings and Reviews of this Doctor Who story kick in at the 34m45s mark.)

2 Responses to “C001 An Unearthly Child”

  1. Peter Zunitch

    I’m about a year out from the start of this podcast but am doing an in-order rewatch of my own. I’ll catch up someday. At this writing I’m up to the smugglers. Would have loved to have been around for the missing eps. I would have volunteered to be on the show. I’m okay with recons for the most part.

    This is a great start to the series, even if some of the concepts here are altered later. It only makes sense that the first ep be to the proverbial dawn of man. Susan is played so young and innocent here. I and v are excellent right out of the gate and it is interesting to see their relationship grow over time from now to the Romans and beyond. WH is the perfect choice for the doctor, suave, mysterious, smart and crochety.

    The story itself is okay but falls short in its simplicity, and the speech patterns are a bold move for a series on its first attempt to snag an audience. Production is adequate, but the jungle running is comical.

    Not a perfect start, but hey, it hooked an audience for the next 50+ years.

    • Peter Zunitch

      Oh and the episode 1 should get its own review. That would get a 4.5. It’s a near perfect start with instant chemistry across the board. WH steals the spotlight the moment he steps into it. My only wish is that the classroom montage were treated differently.


Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>