|Timeline for 1963|
• 1960 • 1961 • 1962 • 1964 • 1965 • 1966 • 1967 • 1968 • 1969
1963 was a year in which a number of events important to the production of Doctor Who and its spin-offs occurred.
- 29 March - BBC Head of Drama C. E. Webber, on orders from Sydney Newman, sent a report to Donald Wilson, in which he described a potential science fiction programme which would eventually become Doctor Who. The report described suitable characters for the "five-o’clock Saturday audience": the handsome young man, the handsome well-dressed heroine aged about 30 and the mature man. The initial thought was of a laboratory-set programme with scientists for protagonists, although this was eventually scrapped in the next report.
- 16 May - A document, prepared by Donald Wilson and C. E. Webber and Sydney Newman, was submitted to Donald Baverstock which outlined the concept of a proposed programme called Dr. Who.
- 20 August-September - Filming on "An Unearthly Child", the first ever episode, began. The session involved the creation of the opening credits. This version of the first episode was beset by technical problems, and the BBC subsequently rejected it for broadcast, authorising a rare "do-over" for later in the year. The outcome of these filming sessions was later dubbed "the Pilot Episode".
- 30 September - After viewing the pilot episode, Sydney Newman officially rejected the Pilot Episode in a lunch meeting with Verity Lambert and Waris Hussein and authorised a remounting of the episode. According to Howe and Walker, this was a contingency that had been planned for. Over the next couple of weeks, numerous revisions to the script and changes to costuming and characterisation were undertaken.
- 9-11 October - Filming for "An Unearthly Child" restarted at Ealing Studios following September's false start.
- 23 November - Likely the earliest Radio Times reference to the series occurred in the issue dated 23 November.
- 30 December - The Audience Research Report on the first episode of Doctor Who was filed with the BBC.