Sold! William Hartnell’s original script for the very first episode of Doctor Who has been sold at auction for £6,200 plus fees, taking the total to £7,500.
According to The Guardian, the 43-page script for the first episode of Anthony Coburn’s An Unearthly Child, Doctor Who and the Tribe of Gum, still features blue pencil annotations by Hartnell himself.
Much like many of the first episodes of Doctor Who, the script was nearly lost to time: fortunately, a builder found the script among rubbish that was to be thrown out while renovating Hartnell’s former home in East Sussex in the 1960s. He in turn gave it to his very lucky grandson, who was a huge Doctor Who fan, and kept hold of it until today’s sale.
The script featured on the Antiques Roadshow in December 2017 where Chris Yeo said:
“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.”
The seller, who wished to remain anonymous, said:
“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.”
Also on sale in the auction was a full set of camera scripts for Patrick Troughton’s Doctor Who adventure Fury From the Deep, one of the stories that is missing from the BBC’s archive.