The Handbook: The First Doctor @ The TARDIS Library (Doctor Who books, DVDs, videos & audios)

The Handbook: The First Doctor

No. 3 of 10 in the The Handbook series
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Cover image for The Handbook: The First Doctor
By:David J. Howe, Mark Stammers & Stephen James Walker
Rating:   8.9  (29 votes)  Vote here
Review:  An excellent piece of history....  Read more (2 in total)
Released:  November 1994
Publisher:  Virgin
Format: paperback
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Note:  Later reprinted as part of the omnibus editions The Handbook and The Handbook: Volume One.
Extra material (dropped from the finished book for space reasons) is available at

Cover blurb:
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 Handbook 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.

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