The first-ever ‘Doctor Who’ script by William Hartnell sells for £7,500 | BLOUIN ARTINFO
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The first-ever ‘Doctor Who’ script by William Hartnell sells for £7,500

The first-ever ‘Doctor Who’ script by William Hartnell sells for £7,500
William Hartnell (R) as the first Doctor Who in the opening episode “An Unearthly Child,” with his on-screen granddaughter Susan, played by Carole Ann Ford.
(Photograph: BBC)

A 43-page script for “An Unearthly Child,” (1963) the first ever script written for the hugely popular series “Doctor Who” has been auctioned for £7,500. The script features actor William Hartnell’s original annotations and camera notes in blue pencil. The sale has drummed up a huge amount of interest for the Aston’s Auctioneers who sold the script.

The 43-page camera script belonged to William Hartnell for the very first episode of “Doctor Who” and features the actor’s original annotations. It has now been sold fetching a whopping £6,200 excluding fees and summing up to a grand total of £7,500. “An Unearthly Child” by Anthony Coburn was the first episode of the “Doctor Who and the Tribe of Gum.”  The star playing the role of Doctor Who, William Hartnell, was previously cast in the sitcom “The Army Game” and “Carry On Sergeant,” the latter was marked as the first one in the long-running “Carry On” movies franchise. [The Guardian]

The script from the first episode, like the other following ones, lost its way into a time vortex and finally was found in the possession of a developer who preserved the script and saved it from being thrown out at the time of renovating Hartnell’s former home of Mayfield, East Sussex, where the actor lived during the 1960s. The script was found in the rubbish of that house and the developer, who found it gave it to his grandson who was then a budding fan of “Doctor Who.” [BBC] The grandson kept the script until now and finally it was auctioned at the Aston’s Auctioneers in Dudley.

The very script was recently shown on the  BBC’s Antiques Roadshow broadcasted in December 2017. The broadcast by BBC’s Antiques Roadshow quotes Chris Yeo: “This is the very first Doctor Who story. It’s the DNA of Doctor Who, the genesis of the programme, which makes it very important.”

BBC’s Antiques Roadshow featured the seller, who wished to remain anonymous, saying, “I was eight and went to see my grandfather in the summer. He gave me it because I was a Doctor Who fan. I read it. There was some technical stuff in there that I didn’t understand but it stayed with me when I moved around the country.”

Aston’s Auctioneers’ Chris Aston confirmed about the fact that no lesser than 300 people placed their bid for the script online, all of the Doctor Who fans worldwide and after the final battle to get hold of the script the script was sold to the highest bidder securing a lump sum. [NY Post]

NY Post quotes Chris Aston, from Aston’s Auctioneers: “it’s probably generated the most interest we’ve ever seen. We have never had so many views on an item before on social media. It was really exciting. It’s unique, you can’t get any rarer. It’s the only copy that survived in more than 50 years. It’s fantastic — it’s a piece of TV history from a cult TV series.”

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