Hi there, this is my first post on this blog. It's a little short but once I get the hang of it I will produce much longer posts.
I think it was 1981 that I first laid eyes upon An Unearthly Child. I was only 7 years old at the time and don't know what sort of impression it made upon me at the time. It wasn't until much, much later than I saw another Hartnell story (might have been The Daleks which I bought on video when it came out so many years ago now), but when I saw the pilot version of An Unearthly Child on BBC2 during the Lime Grove weekend I realised that I didn't really remember much of it at all.
The episode itself is very much self-contained and has very little, if anything, to do with the following three episodes. This really makes An Unearthly Child work on its own as a pilot episode for the series. You have to watch it with your mind back in the early sixties to really appreciate what the episode must have meant at the time.
The first half of the episode was almost like any other tv programme of the time but once Ian and Barbara entered the TARDIS television would never be the same again and we are all grateful for that.
True some it seems very dated by our times but the majority of the original series seems dated nowadays (even the late eighties episodes). The direction on display here is very fluid and not as static as a lot of sixties episodes tended to be and the performances by the regulars are all spot on here.
William Hartnell is very aloof and alien in this episode and it is obvious that it is Ian who is meant to be the lead character, mostly by the Doctor being absent for the first half of the episode.
It is just a real shame about the next three episodes!