Doctor Who: An Unearthly Child

First Doctor Who story will not be included in iPlayer back catalogue

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The very first Doctor Who story which introduced William Hartnell as the First Doctor, titled An Unearthly Child, will not be included in the iPlayer back catalogue as part of the 60th anniversary celebration of the programme, the BBC has confirmed to Radio Times.

“This massive iPlayer back catalogue will be home to over 800 hours of Doctor Who content, making it the biggest ever collection of Doctor Who programming in one place but will not include the first four episodes as we do not have all the rights to those.”

The rest of the catalogue will be available on November 1 including Doctor Who spin-offs The Sarah Jane AdventuresTorchwoodClass and Doctor Who Confidential.

The four stories written by the late writer Anthony Coburn, will not be included because the BBC and the writer’s son could not come to an agreement on the rights.

As if to address Stef Anthony Coburn’s concerns on 13 October, the BBC published an online article on 14 October titled Doctor Who: How the TV show’s first writer became lost in time.

An Unearthly Child was Anthony Coburn’s only televised Doctor Who story. He had also written an second story, The Robots (also known as The Masters of Luxor), but it was never televised, in favour of The Daleks by Terry Nation.

BBC iPlayer’s back catalogue plus an online archive on BBC One’s Doctor Who website with everything from interviews with cast to written documents, long unheard audio, and behind-the-scenes photo swill launch on 1 November.