As many of my readers will know, the original 1963 pilot for Doctor Who, “The Unearthly Child,” exists in two versions. The original version was reshot because of several complaints by the powers-that-BBC, notably:
- In the unaired version, the Doctor comes across as too hostile and sinister; he’s made less menacing and more whimsical in the aired version.
Viewing the two episodes in tandem I’ve also noticed the following specific differences (not a complete list!):
- In the unaired version, when Susan says she wants to walk home in the fog, Ian says “then we won’t deprive you of that romantic pleasure.” That line is missing in the aired version.
Anyway, if you too want to watch the shows in conjunction in order to compare them (either watching one just before the other, or else cutting back and forth between the two), you can do so conveniently here, as I’ve embedded them both on the same page. (The BBC tends to get these taken down, so watch them while you can!)
The unaired version:
The aired version:
Incidentally, the Doctor’s pseudonym in this episode, “I. M. Foreman,” might seem to be a reference to his status as champion of the Earth and of humanity (“I am for man”); but that status wasn’t yet established at this point – indeed, he seems rather hostile to humans (and two episodes later would be trying to bash an injured caveman’s head in with a rock). So I think it’s probably just a coincidence.