In a corridor outside of Studio D, a reporter asks a script writer how he sees his new programme, "Doc' True", which he describes as "like nothing you've ever seen before", only to be interrupted by an actor dressed as a medical doctor describing it as a "British Doctor Kildare, only much more real". He is then interrupted himself by an actor dressed as a caveman. When the writer takes the 'doctor' aside, the reporter then bumps into someone looking for the designer, before heading over to "Verity Lamberth" and "Sydney Newbaum", who explains there will be no "bug-eyed monsters" in the show, as someone wheels a Dalek between them.
In the make up room the first actor then corrects himself, describing the show as science fiction, and how it will feature "ravishing companions". These, as are pointed out to him, are Ian, Barbara (who the reporter describes as "dull"), and his granddaughter.
Back in the corridor, the reporter then introduces a model of the "outer space robot people's city", which a puppet of Sooty has just been playing with. He picks up a salt pot which he assumes was an influence, until the model maker points out the real influence was the Quatermass spaceship, which the designer tries to hide.
An actor dressed resembling a Thal asks if his make-up will work, only for the make-up artist to reply that only his hand will be seen. When a producer nearly falls over the model maker's swamp monster, she describes it as a "craker, Jack", prompting the rest of the cast to look towards the camera and shout "Crackerjack". As Sydney leads the actors through, shaking his head whilst reading the script, the reporter wishes them good luck. He then stops a man with a tray carrying what he believes is cake, but is actually from an "elephant from the Blue Peter studios."
Some time later the actors appear through a door, coughing and followed by smoke, to which Jack, the model maker, exclaims "fantastic, can we do it again?", leaving the reporter to state that the pilot episode will have to be remounted. He concludes by asking the director general of the BBC, Sir Horace, how long he thinks the series will last?
"Oh, I'll give it about twenty-six years, one week and six days."
(in order of appearance)
- John 'Granddad' Philpott - William Hartnell
- Nicholas Briggs - Reporter
- Gary Russell
- Stephen Mansfield
- Heather Barker
- Alistair Lock
- Tim Burgess
- J. Jeremy Bentham
- Jan Burgess
- Steve Arnott
- Claire Brialey
- Noel Collyer
- Alison Gabriel
- Julie Davies
- Andy Sturgess
- Andrew Beech
- John Ainsworth
- Jackie Rowe
- Nicholas Courtney - Sir Horace
- Make-up - Susan Moore
- Cameraman/Editor - Dave Hicks
- Script Editor - Kevin Davies
- Producer - Keith Barnfather
- Director - Kevin Davies
- There are several elements which reference several early serials of Doctor Who, which include:
- The production of "An Unearthly Chill" is an obvious reference to An Unearthly Child.
- Actors are dressed as cavemen, referencing episodes two to four of the An Unearthly Child serial.
- "Sydney Newbaum" references the French Revolution (mentioned in An Unearthly Child), ancient Rome (The Romans) and Marco Polo (Marco Polo).
- A Dalek is seen (The Daleks).
- Other pop-culture references include:
- Dr. Kildare is mentioned by name.
- Quatermass is mentioned twice by name.
- The show is also referred to as "James Bond in space."
- A puppet of Sooty is seen.
- The cast shout "Crackerjack"
- The "Elephant from the Blue Peter studios" is also a direct reference to an appearance from an elephant named Lulu (which in reality did not occur until 1969).
Story notes Edit
- The sketch parodies the beginning of the series in general, and as such, certain details are not historically accurate. The first day of filming actually began on 20 August, not the 9th, for instance.
- Several actors in the sketch have also been heavily involved in licensed Doctor Who audio productions, novels, and the revived television series.
- The BBC director general's estimate of "twenty-six years, one week and six days" is the exact amount of time that show was originally broadcast for. It also echoes a similar point made in the companion sketch "The Pitch of Fear".
- The reporter states the need for filming a new pilot, referencing the unbroadcast pilot episode of the series.