This is the second review of An Unearthly Child, written over a couple of days in the second week of June, 2009. It's shorter, much more to the point and, crucially, is more of a review - I'd consider the first one a retrospective more then anything else. It's short because I was actively trying to keep it so - one of these days I'm going to get round to writing a guide to Doctor Who that includes all the audios, novels and comics, and I wrote this thinking that I could eventually use it for that. Some day.
In more recent times, Doctor Who hasn't even tried to hide its influences from other shows and big-name films. Back when the show first started though, this wasn't the case - there wasn't anything else like it on the air, either here or in the United States.
Which makes it all the more remarkable at just how good it is. Even in this day and age it remains a highly entertaining piece of television, which for something approaching its fiftieth birthday is one heck of an achievement.
The characterization is something to behold as well, especially considering what the show is now. The Doctor is amused yet above it all, Susan is caring yet impulsive, Ian is brave yet disbelieving and Barbara is humane yet terrified. Any of this sound familiar? It should, as these are all characteristics used in today's Doctor and companions. The regular cast, still settling into their roles, all put in an excellent performance.
If the adventure falls down, it's in the plot, which does suffer from a little repetition, along with some awkward dialogue from the cavemen. But it's nowhere near enough to drag the rest of the story down.
A great start to the show which boded well for the future.