Researches for a forthcoming biography of a ‘60s Doctor Who writer have turned up an intriguing curio: a draft script of William Hartnell’s final episode which doesn’t end with the Doctor regenerating.
William Hartnell’s Doctor bowed out in October 1966 with the four-part adventure “The Tenth Planet”, a story which not only introduced the concept that the Doctor could change his appearance, but also saw the first appearance of the Cybermen.
Now author Michael Seely, who’s working on a biography of the story’s co-author, Dr Kit Pedler, has unearthed draft scripts of all four episodes which predate the decision to write out William Hartnell.
“I found these scripts and two more from ‘The Moonbase’ (known then as ‘The Return Of The Cybermen’) among a very large collection of Kit’s papers which one of his children had kept in their attic,” explains Seely. “As I looked through it, I realised it was the first draft [script editor and co-writer] Gerry Davis prepared when Kit fell ill in June 1966.”
“The structure is more or less the same, though a lot of the dialogue is different. Some things were cut, especially involving the Cybermen. For example, the Cybermen planned to convert [companion] Polly and the Doctor into Cybermen towards the end of the story, and kept them prisoner in what they described as a waiting room. The most eye-catching difference is what didn’t happen at the end of the episode.”