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An Unearthly Pilot Episode

Compiled by Jon Preddle

This guide chronicles the differences in dialogue (and other minor variations) between the pilot episode and the remounted version. For the most part, only the lines which vary are included on the assumption that most readers will have access to a copy of the full first episode in some form - be it a video recording, the reasonably faithful novelisation, or even Titan's The Tribe of Gum script book - to cross-reference.

The lines in the pilot episode which differ are printed first, followed by the line as it appears in the remounted version, in brackets and italics. Empty brackets indicate that the line was cut rather than altered.

For the most part, dialogue variations in the first 13 scenes are down to the actors saying their lines slightly differently - including a few instances where the line is 'fluffed', but as the production process did not allow for easy editing, the actors had to carry on regardless.

Scene 4 appears to have been slightly re-scripted, as might Scene 11. The first major changes are in Scene 14 with the toning down of the Doctor's abrasive character. Scene 15 - the longest of all - is detailed separately.

Opening Titles

Both versions use the same graphics, but the music differs in that just after the first swirl moves up the screen there is a 'thunderclap' sound effect as the swirl changes into the howl-around pattern.

Scene 1: Totter's Lane (Night)

The fog is absent and the policeman is played by a different actor, Fred Rawlings.

Scene 2: School Corridor (Day)

There are no notices pinned to the board.

Scene 3: Science Lab

IAN: So that's your problem, eh? Whether to hand over the class to her? [So your problem is whether to stay in business or hand over the class to her?]
BARBARA: Well, I didn't take too much notice but then recently her homework's been so bad [Well, I didn't pursue the point, but then recently...]
IAN: You went along there? [... there one evening?]
IAN: You went to the wrong place. [You must have gone to the wrong place]
BARBARA: There's a big wall on one side, houses on the other, and nothing in the middle except this junkyard. And that is number 76 Totter's Lane [... in the middle. And this nothing in the middle is number 76...]
IAN: There must be a simple answer [...simple answer somewhere]

Scene 4: Classroom

SUSAN: They've gone from two to nineteen - er, nineteen to two - in the hit parade [They've gone from nineteen to two]
BARBARA: Not bad! [Eh?]

The above exchange shows the first ever line-fluff in the show as Susan gets the chart positions reversed, then corrects herself. Barbara's response is entirely appropriate - perhaps it was ad-libbed?

SUSAN: Is that the book you promised me, Miss Wright? [...promised me?]
SUSAN: I rather like walking in the English fog. [I like walking through the dark]
BARBARA: You say that as if ... [ ]
IAN: Then we won't deprive you of that romantic pleasure [ ]
BARBARA: Well hurry home, Susan, and be careful. The fog's getting thicker. We'll see you in the morning? [Be careful, Susan. There'll probably be fog again tonight. See you in the morning.]
BARBARA: Good night, Susan [Good night]
IAN: Good night [Good night, Susan]

When Ian and Barbara have left, Susan goes to a nearby desk. On a sheet of paper she splashes ink from a pen, folds it in half then reopens the page, then draws a hexagonal pattern over the ink pattern (a shape perhaps representing the TARDIS console?). She then tears up the page and looks around as if afraid. [This sequence is entirely different in the second version: Susan opens the book and starts to read. She frowns, and mutters to herself in indignation. SUSAN: That's not right]

Scene 5: Totter's Lane (Night)

BARBARA: Over there, where the policeman is. [Over there.]
IAN: The fog's cleared. We're lucky. [Lucky there was no fog. I'd have never found this]
BARBARA: Well, she can't have got here yet. I suppose we are doing the right thing. [Well, she doesn't seem to have arrived yet. I suppose we are doing the right thing, aren't we?]
IAN: Bit of an excuse, really. [...really, isn't it?]
IAN: ...but I expect you'll find... [...but I think you'll find...]
BARBARA: ...explain the fact that a fifteen year old girl does not... [...explain the fact that a teenage girl does not...]

Scene 6: Classroom

No differences

Scene 7: Totter's Lane

IAN: The other day I was giving a talk about... [...was talking about...]

An apparent technical glitch occurs at the end of this scene: the pre-recorded Scene 8 starts too early and the last line (spoken by Ian) is drowned out.

Scene 8: Science Lab

SUSAN: ... two active chemicals? Then we could get on with something else. [...two active chemicals? Then red could turn blue all by itself and we could get on with something else.]

This would appear to be an accidental omission since the line is important to the understanding of the scene.

Scene 9: Totter's Lane

IAN: Something like that happened a couple of weeks ago. [Yes, something like that happened the other day.]

Scene 10: Classroom

SUSAN: You can't simply use three of the elements. [You can't simply work on three of the dimensions.]
IAN: ...Time being the fourth dimension I suppose? [...Time being the fourth, I suppose?]

Scene 11: Totter's Lane

IAN: ...excruciatingly bad at others; and, well, inexplicable at the rest. [...excruciatingly bad at others.]
BARBARA: There she is. See her? [There she is.]
IAN: She looks round like somebody who's afraid of being watched, or is my imagination working overtime? [ ]
BARBARA: It would be so normal. Silly, isn't it? I feel afraid. [It would be so wonderfully normal. Silly, isn't it? I feel frightened.]

Scene 12: Junkyard
Scene 13: Totter's Lane

No differences

Scene 14: Junkyard

IAN: What a maze. I'm not looking for her under all this. [What a mess. I'm not turning over any of this stuff to find her.]

IAN: I haven't got one. [...got any.]

IAN: They're all on the street. [These things are usually on the street.]

As Ian and Barbara study the police box the camera moves towards them for a close-up, and smacks straight into the staircase to their left. The picture shakes, then steadies as the camera pulls back.

The Doctor opens the TARDIS door by first inserting the key, and then pulling out the entire lock mechanism. Music can be heard playing inside the ship. In the second version the Doctor simply turns the key and there is no music.

SUSAN: There you are. [There you are, Grandfather.]

DOCTOR: In this light? [One of their pupils... not the police then.]
IAN: Quite clearly. [I beg your pardon?]
DOCTOR: You were spying on her? [Why were you spying on her?]

DOCTOR: Impossible! [Your hearing... hear anything.]
BARBARA: It came from in there. [It came from in here.]
IAN: Is it therefore unreasonable ... [Would it therefore be unreasonable...]
DOCTOR: You have no right to be here. You're hiding and trespassing. I suggest you see this young child tomorrow instead of bothering me.

In the second version, this line is replaced by the Doctor ignoring the teachers and examining a picture frame instead.

BARBARA: We're two of her teachers... [Won't you help us? We're two of her teachers...]

DOCTOR: It is no business of mine. I suggest you leave here. [It'll have to be cleaned. Hm. Oh, I'm afraid it's none of my business. I suggest...]

DOCTOR: I will not. [There's nothing in there.]
IAN: Why not? What are you afraid we'll find there? [Then what are you afraid to show us?]
DOCTOR: Go away! [Afraid? Oh, go away!]
IAN: Then I think we'd better find a policeman. [I think we'd better go and fetch a policeman.]

DOCTOR: Oh, am I? I think not. [Oh, am I?]

IAN: Must be a hidden lock somewhere. [Must be a secret lock somewhere.]

DOCTOR: You imagine you heard music or her voice. You believe she might be inside there. [You imagine you heard her voice. You believe she might be in there.]

DOCTOR: You intrude here and start making accusations and implications. If you both ... said you'd do. Go and fetch a policeman. [If you both... said you'd do. Go and find a...]

DOCTOR: Ah - you see - more suspicions, more insults. I shall remain here. There's only one ... [Insulting! There's only one...]

IAN: ...we're going to get one. [...we're going to find one.]

As they start to leave, music is heard along with Susan's voice. The music is absent in the second version.

SUSAN: ... doing out there, Grandfather? [...doing out there?]
DOCTOR: Get back inside! Shut the door! [Close the door.]
DOCTOR: Young man, come back! [ ]

At this moment, the actors freeze in position outside the TARDIS and someone calls "Cut". The screen goes black and when it fades in again, the camera is now focused on the TARDIS doors.

Scene 15: Inside the TARDIS

This scene had three takes. On the first take, the TARDIS doors do not close properly and Hartnell fluffs his lines on several occasions. This take was used in the 1991 BBC2 screening of the episode.

The second take was aborted just after Barbara enters the ship.

The third take is far superior to its completed predecessor, and was used on The Hartnell Years video release. The scene differs greatly in dialogue to the revised version recorded at a later date, and it is here that the almost all of the revisions to the script done between recordings can be found.

What follows is a full transcript of this scene's dialogue; an amalgamation of both completed takes as there are only slight variations caused by ad-libbing or paraphrasing. Lines retained in the final version, either verbatim or very close approximations, are in italics.

DOCTOR: These people are known to you, I believe?
SUSAN: They're two of my schoolteachers. What are you doing here?
DOCTOR: Is that your excuse? You had no right to invite them here. I blame you for this, Susan. You would insist on going to that ridiculous school.
SUSAN: But, Grandfather...
BARBARA: Is this really where you live, Susan?
SUSAN: Yes.
DOCTOR: And what is wrong with it?
IAN: But it was just a box...
DOCTOR: Perhaps.
BARBARA: But it can't be!
IAN: But it was! Barbara, you saw it.
DOCTOR: You see - I knew this sort of thing would happen, you stupid child.
BARBARA: Maybe we should leave now.
IAN: Just a minute. We are here. It's absurd. I walked all around it.
DOCTOR: Don't expect any answers from me. You wouldn't understand, anyway.
IAN: But, Barbara, you saw me.
BARBARA: Yes.
DOCTOR: (To Susan) You see what you've done. I warned you.
IAN: It's an illusion. It must be.
SUSAN: You shouldn't have come here.
IAN: It's a trick.
DOCTOR: This is no trick, young man. You both forced your way into the ship. I did not invite you. I see no reason why I should explain anything.
IAN: Ship?
DOCTOR: I use your outdated terminology for any craft which does not roll along on wheels.
BARBARA: You mean it moves?
SUSAN: The TARDIS can go anywhere.
BARBARA: TARDIS? I don't know what you mean, Susan.
SUSAN: I made up TARDIS from the initials Time And Relative Dimension In Space. I thought you'd both realise when you saw the different dimensions inside from those outside.
IAN: Just let me get this straight. A thing that looks like a police box standing in a junkyard. It can move anywhere in Time and Space?
SUSAN: Yes.
IAN: Oh, Susan, don't be ridiculous.
DOCTOR: They'll never understand, my child.
SUSAN: Why won't they believe us?
BARBARA: We just want you to tell us the truth.
DOCTOR: (Sitting) You have heard the truth. We are not of this race. We are not of this Earth. We are wanderers in the fourth dimension of Space and Time. Cut off from our own planet and our own people by aeons and universes far beyond the reaches of... err, your most advanced sciences.
SUSAN: It's true. Every word of it is true. You don't know what you've done, coming here. Grandfather, let them go now. Don't you see - if they don't believe us they can't do us any harm. I know these Earth people better than you. Their minds reject the things they don't understand.
DOCTOR: (Standing) No.
IAN: You can't keep us here.
BARBARA: Susan, why do you insist on lying to us?
SUSAN: I'm not lying! I love your school. I love England in the twentieth century. The last five months have been the happiest of my life.
BARBARA: But you are one of us. You look like us. You sound like us.
SUSAN: I was born in the 49th Century.
IAN: What? Now look, Susan. I've had enough of this. Come on, let's get out of here. (He and Barbara move to the doors). It won't open.
SUSAN: You can't get out.
DOCTOR: Ha ha.
SUSAN: He won't let you go.
IAN: You pushed something when we came in here. It was over here. (He moves to the console) Which is it? Which is it? Which of these controls operates the doors?
DOCTOR: You still think it's all a trick?
IAN: I know that free movement in Time and Space is a scientific dream I don't expect to find solved in a junkyard.
DOCTOR: For your science, Schoolmaster, not for ours. I tell you, before your ancestors had turned the first wheel the people of my world had reduced the movement to the farthest reaches of space into a game for children.
IAN: Unless you open that door and let me take Susan and Miss Wright out of here...
DOCTOR: Don't threaten me, young man.
SUSAN: Grandfather, he doesn't understand. Let them go, now.
BARBARA: But what if it is true?
IAN: It can't be, I tell you. Now, are you going to open that door? Very well, I'll have to risk it for myself.
DOCTOR: Very well. I can't stop you.
(Ian moves to the console and reaches for a switch. The Doctor twists another control)
SUSAN: No, don't touch it. It's live!
(Ian gets a shock and falls to the floor)
BARBARA: Ian! Are you all right? (To the Doctor) What on earth do you think you're doing? How dare you behave like this!
SUSAN: Grandfather, let them go now, please.
BARBARA: You must. You can't keep us here!
SUSAN: Grandfather, let them go. We'll go somewhere else, some other time. I wouldn't object. I promise I wouldn't.
DOCTOR: You know very well, my child, we cannot risk them to let slip one vague idea that a ship such as the TARDIS might be possible.
SUSAN: But Grandfather, don't you see if you let them go now...
DOCTOR: Look at them. You see how they watch and listen as we talk. If they leave the ship now they might come to believe at last that all this is possible at one time or another. Think of what would have happened if the ancient Romans possessed the power of gunpowder, or if Napoleon had been given the secret of the aeroplane? No, my child, we both know that we cannot let our secret loose into the world of the twentieth century.
SUSAN: But you can't keep them prisoners here.
IAN: You can't keep us prisoners anywhere.
DOCTOR: I cannot let you go, Schoolmaster. Even if you believe what we have told you is of no importance, you and your companion would be footprints in a time you were not supposed to walk.
IAN: If I have to use force to get my way out of here, I will, you know.
BARBARA: We may have stumbled on something beyond our understanding.
DOCTOR: You see - the first faint glimmerings!
SUSAN: Oh why did you come here? Why?
(The Doctor activates the console)
SUSAN: Oh no, Grandfather, no!
(They all try to pull the Doctor away. The column begins to rise)
DOCTOR: Let me go!
SUSAN: No, stop him!
(The scanner shows London receding into the distance. A representation of the time space vortex is imposed over their faces).

Scene 16: Primeval Landscape

No differences. In fact this scene, filmed at the BBC's Ealing film studios, also appears in the televised version. Indeed, the opening titles, howlround effect and caption shot of London that appeared on the TARDIS scanner, plus this cliffhanger have the distinction of being the only components of the 'Pilot' that did officially screen in 1963...

This item appeared in TSV 36 (November 1993).

Index nodes: 100,000 BC/An Unearthly Child