A History of the BBC in 100 Blog Posts: 1963.

Is there much else which can be written about Doctor Who, especially by me and least of all on this blog?  So rather than attempting it myself, its only fitting that I ask a mad computer to do it for me.  So here's ChatGPT working with the prompt "Write about Doctor Who in the voice of William Hartnell's Doctor":

Ah, my dear friends, it seems we have stumbled upon the intriguing subject of Doctor Who, haven't we? I must say, it brings back fond memories of my own time as the Doctor, during the early days of this marvellous adventure.

When I first embarked upon this extraordinary journey, little did I know the impact it would have on the lives of countless viewers across time and space. It was a role that demanded a sense of wonder, a touch of mischief, and a deep compassion for the universe and its inhabitants.

Ah, yes! The TARDIS, a remarkable blue box that was bigger on the inside—a marvel of Time Lord engineering. With its familiar hum and flickering lights, it whisked me away to distant planets, ancient civilizations, and encounters with the most peculiar beings one could imagine. The TARDIS was my faithful companion, my home away from home.

And let us not forget my dear friends, my companions, who stood alongside me throughout our thrilling escapades. Susan, my granddaughter, a bright and curious young girl who shared my thirst for knowledge and adventure. Ian Chesterton, a valiant and resourceful science teacher, and Barbara Wright, a compassionate and courageous history teacher. Together, we formed a formidable team, each contributing our unique skills and perspectives.

Ah, the adversaries we faced! The Daleks, those sinister pepper pots encasing malevolent creatures bent on extermination. The Cybermen, half-human, half-machine beings seeking to replace all emotion with cold logic. And let us not overlook the mischievous Master, my fellow Time Lord with a penchant for chaos and clever schemes. Each encounter brought its own set of challenges, testing our mettle and resolve.

But beyond the battles and dangers, Doctor Who was more than a mere science fiction series. It carried with it a profound message, one that resonates across time and generations. It spoke of the power of intellect, of compassion, and the belief that even the smallest of actions can shape the course of the universe. It reminded us that in the face of adversity, we must never lose hope.

As the first incarnation of the Doctor, I embarked on this extraordinary adventure, laying the foundation for the countless regenerations that followed. And while my time as the Doctor eventually came to an end, the spirit of the show continued to captivate audiences, inspiring new generations to embrace the wonders of time travel and the limitless possibilities of the imagination.

So, my dear friends, as you delve deeper into the world of Doctor Who, remember the lessons it imparts. Embrace curiosity, embrace kindness, and never forget that even a single individual can change the cosmos. For in the end, Doctor Who is not just a show; it is a testament to the enduring power of hope, and the belief that heroes can be found in the unlikeliest of places.

Peter Haining eat your heart out.

Doctor Who

"For the 50th anniversary, Sue MacGregor reunites five people who played key parts in the early years of Doctor Who. From 2013."
[BBC Sounds]

"Matthew Sweet explores the life of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop composer who realised Ron Grainer's theme for Doctor Who."
[BBC Sounds]

"Tomorrow's World visits the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, a studio dedicated to the production of cutting edge electronic sound effects, soundscapes and electronic music for use in BBC television and radio programmes."
[BBC Archive]

"Ron Grainer, Australian composer (Doctor Who), interviewed by Binny Lum in Melbourne in 1966."

"Roy Plomley's castaway is actor William Hartnell."
[BBC Sounds]

"As the new series of Doctor Who featuring a new Doctor, Peter Capaldi, airs tomorrow, we look back at coverage of the first actor to play the Time Lord in 1963."
[The Guardian]

"The Daleks are back! As restorations of the two 1960s Dr Who films are rereleased in British cinemas, Matthew Sweet lifts the lid on the most memorable monsters of post-war British science fiction."
[BBC Sounds]

"Sue Webb worked as a production secretary on the 1st Dalek story for Doctor Who."
[BBC Sounds]

"What happened to the 108 missing episodes of Doctor Who from the 1960s?"
[BBC Sounds]

Or rather an introduction to a series of articles I'll be linking to at time appropriate moments over the next couple of years.
[Off The Telly]


"Historical film commemorating the Centenary of the Metropolitan Railway and tracing the growth of the system up to the beginning of the construction of the Victoria Line."
[London's Screen Archives][BBC Programme Index]

"Huw Wheldon bravely referees this clash of the titans as Peter O'Toole, Orson Welles and veteran thespian Ernest Milton compete to present the definitive analysis of Hamlet. The atmosphere and some of the language used reflect this progamme's original late-night timeslot.  This programme is incomplete and has some audio drop-out."
[BBC Clips]

"Randolph Churchill is the guest grilled by a young Bernard Levin, 23rd March 1963."
[BBC Clips][BBC Programme Index]

The surviving audio from the episode of the programme broadcast in the hours following the assassination of JFK, 23rd November 1963.
[David Von Pein's JFK Channel][BBC Programme Index]

"The old oak tree known as 'The Major', for years the village meeting place and notice board, has to be cut down because it has become a traffic hazard. What effect does the felling have on life within the tree, and what is the extent of this other world that the passer-by so rarely sees?"
[BBC Rewind]


"The BBC tried to open a bureau in Russia during World War II but only succeeded some 20 years later - in 1963. In the last half century, much has changed for the BBC's Man in Moscow."
[BBC News]


"Michael Aspel reports from Egton House, the new home of the BBC's gargantuan record collection, as over 500,000 LPs, 78s and wax cylinders - spanning some of the earliest sound recordings through to the latest pop hits - move in.  This clip is from BBC News."
[BBC Archive]

"David Bean talks to passers-by in Newcastle to find out if anyone knows that the BBC building was once a maternity hospital."
[BBC Rewind]


The makers of the pioneering 1960s TV pop show recall its barely controlled chaos, crazy camera angles and a green room packed with rock'n'roll royalty."
[The Guardian]

"Ted Diamond's excellent short film captures the match and the celebs at Kent's County Cricket ground in August 1963."
The BBC's Outside Broadcast Unit preparing for their 'live' transmissions. BBC commentators Brian 'Johnners' Johnston and Peter West are also seen.


"November the fourteenth, 1962, was the fortieth anniversary of the inauguration of the first public service of broadcasting in this country."

"The year 1963 was one of promise.  For BBC Television 1964 will be a year of fulfilment."
[World Radio History]