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Dr Who: The Doctors Revisited

Sat Oct 12, 2-2.30pm, Watch

Episode one
You could see this series about each of the Doctor’s incarnations as an opportunity for Watch to jump on Doctor Who’s fiftieth anniversary bandwagon, but actually each episode is a lovely chance to not only learn about each doctor, but about the eras and cultural milieu in which they were created, from frivolous things like fashions and haircuts to deeper aspects such as morals and attitudes.

It’s all intelligently explored by an A-list roster – among them Steven Moffat, John Barrowman, David Tennant and Neil Gaiman – many of whom share dark memories of the stern, rather frightening first Doctor, as played so effectively by William Hartnell in the manner of a grumpy Edwardian grandfather. Older viewers will possibly share those views, but may well have forgotten – as I had – that two of the Doctor’s earliest companions were sensible, down-to-earth teachers Barbara Wright and Ian Chesterton, possibly put in place to deal with adult issues such as the conundrum of changing events through time travel long before ‘Star Trek’s prime directive or ‘Back to the Future’ came along?

Along with the insightful contributors, there’s the sheer pleasure of seeing the first appearance of the Daleks, the introduction of assistants, the monsters… a treat.