First ever Doctor Who scene filmed fifty years ago today

Travel back in time and celebrate the moment the Tardis was first captured on camera, on Thursday 19 September 1963


Exactly 50 years ago today, the first filming for Doctor Who took place.


It’s an image that could have tumbled straight out a out of a time warp: on Thursday 19 September 1963 the Tardis was captured on camera for the very first time, in the first sequence ever to be filmed for a Doctor Who serial.

The resulting footage can be seen at the very end of the episode known as An Unearthly Child. It shows the Tardis landing on Stone Age Earth, with a mysterious shadow falling across the ground in the front of the shot.

The famous blue box was filmed at Ealing Studios, before the main set shoots with first doctor William Hartnell at Lime Grove Studios were recorded.

The episode was broadcast on 23 November 1963, a date which will be celebrated this year with the special anniversary episode The Day of the Doctor.

The original cast, including the first Doctor William Hartnell and companions Carole Ann Ford, Jacqueline Hill and William Russell, were later photographed by Radio Times for a possible Doctor Who cover (see below). However, Round the Horne host Kenneth Horne was eventually preferred as the issue’s cover star, partly because of a lack of confidence in the sci-fi serial.