William Hartnell almost left Doctor Who in “The Celestial Toymaker” – and it would have had a huge impact on the show.

Despite Rebirth being an important part of the franchise’s mythology, doctor who His first reproduction almost stopped. The concept of innovation is key doctor whohas longevity, as it can change its lead actor whenever a BBC TV show wants to move on. Reincarnation stories often serve as opportunities doctor who To reinvent himself, and there have been several showrunner changes in recent years, around the same time a doctor left.

The first reincarnation – when William Hartnell turned into Patrick Troughton – occurred in the 1966 season 4 story “The Tenth Planet”. Hartnell’s health was deteriorating; He suffered from undiagnosed arteriosclerosis and its effect was most noticeable on his ability to learn lines. A change in production teams didn’t help matters, and Hartnell found himself struggling with them behind the scenes.

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Hartnell actually came close to quitting a few months ago, in doctor who Season 3 story “The Celestial Toymaker.” His contract was about to expire, and producer John Wiles – frustrated by their antagonistic relationship – planned to fire Hartnell from the show. come on doctor who The villain of the story was the Toymaker, who can rewrite reality at will, and the Doctor was invisible and mute for most of the story. Wiles had intended the story to end with the Toymaker making the Doctor visible once more, but it was now revealed that he had a completely different face. However, Wiles’ boss overruled him and Hartnell lasted a little longer. When he left, a very different mechanism was used to write him – that of persuasion doctor whoFor its longevity, unlike the approach proposed for “The Celestial Toymaker”, it can be repeated.


What would have happened in Doctor Who if John Wills had followed his Hartnell plan

It’s easy to forget that the Doctor’s story was only invented decades ago. The Time Lords themselves are a clumsy retcon, not matching the original dialogue explaining the Doctor’s origins in the first episode, “An Unearthly Child”. There, the Doctor suggests that he and his granddaughter Susan have been exiled from their own people, lost in the fourth dimension of time, and is indeed presented as the man who invented the TARDIS – and Susan who named it. Most of the stories suggested that the Doctor was human – there was certainly no hint of two hearts – and it was only when the Doctor regenerated in “The Tenth Planet” that his alien nature really became clear. The Time Lords themselves would not appear until 1969 doctor who “The War Games,” though it would be another five years before their portrayal was truly locked down.


doctor whoThe mythology of, therefore, is of an incremental nature. It’s interesting to imagine what would have happened if Hartnell had gone into reality-rewriting in 1966 instead of reproducing. The TV series would certainly have gone in a very different direction, but the decision to change the lead would have made it difficult. doctor who to repeat it. Reproduction permitted doctor who For 60 years – and Wiles’ idea wouldn’t have done it.

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