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Doctor Who The Handbook: The First Doctor, often referred to as simply The First Doctor Handbook,[1][2] is the third[3] in the Handbook series by David J Howe, Mark Stammers and Stephen James Walker — the major contribution by Doctor Who Books to the world of professionally published Doctor Who reference works.

The book is highly regarded as a significant work of Doctor Who scholarship and is used as one of the main reference works for several later reference projects, perhaps most ubiquitously Shannon Sullivan's A Brief History of (Time) Travel website and several issues of Doctor Who Magazine Special Edition, which in turn are two of the major resources used by this wiki.

Subject matter Edit

Like all in the Handbook series, it is divided into three major sections. The first presents a series of snippets from interviews with principles involved in the creation of the persona of the First Doctor; the second gives detailed notes about every televised adventure of this Doctor; and the last concerns itself with behind-the-scenes developments during this Doctor's era.

Publisher's summary Edit

"Doctor Who is the world's longest running science fiction television series. Each handbook will provide both a broad overview and a detailed analysis of one phase of the programme's history.

"William Hartnell was already a well-known and experienced film and television actor when, in 1963, he took on a new role: a mysterious and crotchety time traveller in a new BBC drama series for children. Nothing else about the programme was as tried and tested; the fictional premise was offbeat, the producer was a young woman at the start of her television career, and the future direction of the series was unknown.

"Doctor Who went on to thrill millions of children and adults around the world for three decades. But the foundations of success were laid in the first three years, when the TARDIS and the Daleks became as known and loved as the Beatles.

"This is the third in the series by David J Howe, Mark Stammers and Stephen James Walker, the team that also produced The Sixties and The Seventies. Drawing on the latest research they have included in this book the definitive account of the genesis of Doctor Who, as well as a profile of William Hartnell, critical reviews of all the TV stories, a detailed analysis of the making of a typical First Doctor story, and a complete review of the programme's development."

-- From the back cover

Notable features Edit

This volume includes a particularly detailed examination of the making of The Ark.

Notes Edit

  • The book also discusses unproduced stories such as The Clock.

External links Edit

Footnotes Edit

  1. Bibliography at "The Doctor's Dilemma", published by the New Zealand Doctor Who Fan Club
  2. Reference book page at the Doctor Who Ratings Guide website
  3. The Handbook series was not published in numerical order of the Doctor's incarnations.
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