Doctor Who (1963–1989): Season 1, Episode 1 - An Unearthly Child - full transcript

Two schoolteachers, Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright, become concerned by the unusual behavior of their fifteen-year-old student, Susan Foreman. When they follow her home, they meet her mysterious grandfather, the Doctor, and find themselves unwilling passengers on his time ship, the TARDIS...

Wait in here please, Susan. I won't be long.

-Good night.
-Good night.

Good night, Miss Wright.

-Not gone yet?
-Obviously not.

-Ask a silly question.
-I'm sorry.

It's all right. I'll forgive you this time.

Oh, I had a terrible day.
I don't know what to make of it.

-What's the trouble? Can I help?
-Oh, it's one of the girls, Susan Foreman.

Susan Foreman?

-She your problem too?

-You don't know what to make of her?

-How old is she, Barbara?

Fifteen. She lets her knowledge out a bit at a time
so as not to embarrass me.

That's what I feel about her.

She knows more science than I'll ever know.
She's a genius.

-Is that what she's doing with history?
-Something like that.

So your problem is whether to stay in business
or hand over the class to her?

-No, not quite.
-What, then?

Ian, I must talk to someone about this,
but I don't want to get the girl into trouble.

And I know you're going to tell me
I'm imagining things.

No, I'm not.

Well, I told you how good she is at history.

I had a talk with her
and told her she ought to specialise.

She seemed quite interested until I said
I'd be willing to work with her at her home.

Then she said that would be absolutely impossible
as her grandfather didn't like strangers.

He's a doctor, isn't he?
That's a bit of a lame excuse.

Well, I didn't pursue the point
but then recently her homework's been so bad.

Yes, I know.

Finally, I was so irritated with all her excuses

I decided to have a talk with
this grandfather of hers

-and tell him to take some interest in her.
-Did you indeed? What's the old boy like?

Well, that's just it.
I got her address from the secretary,

76 Totter's Lane,
and I went along there one evening.

-Oh, Ian, do pay attention.
-Sorry. You went along there?

There isn't anything there.
It's just an old junkyard.

-You went to the wrong place.
-That was the address the secretary gave me.

-The secretary got it wrong, then.
-No, I checked.

There's a big wall on one side,
houses on the other and nothing in the middle.

And this nothing in the middle
is No. 76 Totter's Lane.


That's a bit of a mystery.

-Well, there must be a simple answer somewhere.

-We'll have to find out for ourselves, won't we?
-Thank you for the ''we''.

She's waiting in a classroom.
I'm lending her a book on the French Revolution.

What's she going to do, rewrite it? Oh, all right.

What do we do? Ask her point-blank?

No, I thought we could drive there,
wait till she arrives and see where she goes.

-Oh, all right.
-That is, if you're not doing anything.

No, I'm not. After you.



Oh, I'm sorry, Miss Wright.
I didn't hear you coming in.

-Aren't they fabulous?

It's John Smith and the Common Men.
They've gone from 1 9 to 2.


John Smith is the stage name
of the honourable Aubrey Waites.

He started his career as Chris Waites
and the Carollers, didn't he, Susan?

You are surprising, Mr Chesterton.
I wouldn't expect you to know things like that.

I have an enquiring mind.
And a very sensitive ear.

Oh, I'm sorry.

Thank you.

-Is that the book you promised me?

Thank you very much. It will be interesting.

-I'll return it tomorrow.
-Oh, that's not necessary.

-Keep it until you've finished it.
-I'll have finished it.

Oh, where do you live, Susan?

I'm giving Miss Wright a lift,
I've room for one more.

Um, no, thank you, Mr Chesterton.
I like walking through the dark.

It's mysterious.

Be careful, Susan,
there'll probably be fog again tonight.


-See you in the morning.
-I expect so.

-Good night.
-Good night.

Good night, Susan.

But that's not right.

Over there.

Lucky there was no fog. I'd never have found this.

Well, she doesn't seem to have arrived yet.

I suppose we are doing the right thing, aren't we?

-You can't justify curiosity.
-But her homework?

A bit of an excuse really, isn't it?
I've seen far worse.

The truth is we're both curious about Susan

and we won't be happy
until we know some of the answers.

You can't just pass it off like that.

If I thought I was just being a busybody,
I'd go straight home.

I thought you agreed she was a bit of a mystery.

Yes, but I think you'll find
there's a very simple explanation to all this.

Well, I don't know how you explain the fact

that a teenage girl does not know
how many shillings there are in a pound.


She said she thought we were on
the decimal system.

Decimal system?

-I'm sorry, Miss Wright.
-Don't be silly, Susan.

The United States has a decimal system.
You know perfectly well that we do not.

Of course, the decimal system hasn't started yet.

I suppose she couldn't be a foreigner....
No, doesn't make sense.

Nothing about this girl makes sense.

For instance, the other day
I was talking about chemical changes,

I'd given out the litmus paper
to show cause and effect....

-And she knew the answer before you'd started.
-Not quite.

The answer simply didn't interest her.

I can see red turns to blue, Mr Chesterton,

but that's because we're dealing with
two inactive chemicals.

They only act in relation to each other.

But that's the whole point
of the experiment, Susan.

Yes, it's a bit obvious, isn't it?

Well, I'm not trying to be rude,

but couldn't we deal with two active chemicals
then red could turn blue all by itself

and we could get on with something else?

I'm sorry, it was just an idea.

She means it.
These simple experiments are child's play to her.

It's almost got to the point
where I deliberately want to trip her up.

Yes! Something like that happened the other day.

I'd set the class a problem
with A, B and C as the three dimensions.

It's impossible unless you use D and E.

D and E? Whatever for?

Do the problem that's set, Susan.

I can't, Mr Chesterton.
You can't simply work on three of the dimensions.

Three of them?

Oh, time being the fourth, I suppose?

Then what do you need E for?

What do you make the fifth dimension?


Too many questions and not enough answers.

Stupid or just doesn't know.

So we have a 1 5-year-old girl

who is absolutely brilliant at some things
and excruciatingly bad at others.

There she is.

Look, can we go in?
I hate to think of her alone in that place.

If she is alone.

Look, she is 1 5. She might be meeting a boy.

-Didn't that occur to you?
-I almost hope she is.

-What do you mean?
-Well, it would be so wonderfully normal.

It's silly, isn't it? I feel frightened.

As if we're about to interfere
in something that is best left alone.

Come on, let's get it over with.

Well, don't you feel it?

I take things as they come. Come on.

What a mess.

We're not turning over
any of this stuff to find her.

Over there?

-Blast! I've dropped it.

The torch.

-Well, use a match.
-No, I haven't got any.

Oh, never mind.





Mr Chesterton and Miss Wright.

She can't have got out without us seeing her.

Ian, look at this.

Well, it's a police box.

What on earth's it doing here?

These things are usually on the street....

Feel it.

Feel it. Do you feel it?

It's a faint vibration.

It's alive!

It's not connected to anything,
unless it's through the floor.

-I've had enough. Let's go and find a policeman.
-Yes, all right.


-Is that her?
-That's not her.


SUSAN: There you are, Grandfather!

-It's Susan.

-Excuse me.
-What are you doing here?

We're looking for a girl.

-Good evening.

What do you want?

One of our pupils, Susan Foreman,
came into this yard.

-Really? In here? Are you sure?
-Yes, we saw her from across the street.

-One of their pupils. Not the police, then.
-I beg your pardon?

Why were you spying on her? Who are you?

We heard a young girl's voice call out to you.

Your hearing must be very acute.
I didn't hear anything.

-It came from in here.
-You imagined it.

-I certainly did not imagine it.
-Young man,

is it reasonable to suppose that anybody
would be inside a cupboard like that?

Would it, therefore, be unreasonable
to ask you to let us have a look inside?

I wonder why I've never seen that before.

Now isn't that strange. Very damp and dirty.

Won't you help us? We're two of her teachers
from the Coal Hill School.

We saw her come in
and we haven't seen her leave.

Naturally, we're worried. be cleaned. Hm?

Oh, I'm afraid it's none of my business.
I suggest you leave here.

Not until we're satisfied that Susan isn't here.

-And, frankly, I don't understand your attitude.
-Yours leaves a lot to be desired.

-Will you open the door?
-There's nothing in there.

-Then what are you afraid to show us?
-Afraid? Oh, go away.

- I think we'd better go and fetch a policeman.
-Very well.

-And you're coming with us.
-Oh, am I?

I don't think so, young man. No, I don't think so.

-We can't force him.
-But we can't leave him here.

Doesn't it seem obvious to you
he's got her locked up in there?

Look at it, there's no door handle.
There must be a secret lock somewhere.

-That was Susan's voice.
-But of course it was.


Susan! Are you in there?
It's Mr Chesterton and Miss Wright, Susan.

Don't you think
you're being rather high-handed, young man?

You thought you saw a young girl enter the yard.
You imagine you heard her voice.

You believe she might be in there.
Not very substantial, is it?

-But why won't you help us?
-I'm not hindering you.

If you both want to make fools of yourselves,
I suggest you do what you said you'd do.

-Go and find a policeman.
-While you nip off quietly in the other direction.


There's only one way in and out of this yard.
I shall be here when you get back.

I want to see your faces when you try
to explain away your behaviour to a policeman.

Nevertheless, we're going to find one.
Come on, Barbara.

-SUSAN: What are you doing out there?
-She is in there!

-Close the door!

Close the door, Susan.

I believe these people are known to you?

They're two of my schoolteachers.

-What are you doing here?
-BARBARA: Where are we?

They must've followed you. That ridiculous school.

I knew something like this would happen
if we stayed in one place too long.

Why should they follow me?

-Is this really where you live, Susan?

-And what's wrong with it?
-But it was just a telephone box.


-And this is your grandfather?

-Well, why didn't you tell us that?
-I don't discuss my private life with strangers.

But it was a police telephone box.
I walked all round it. Barbara, you saw me.

You don't deserve any explanations, you pushed
your way in here uninvited and unwelcome.

-I think we ought to leave.
-Just a minute.

-I know this is absurd but....
-Oh, dear, dear.

-I walked all around it.
-It's stopped again, you know, and I tried.... Hm?

-Oh, you wouldn't understand.
-But I want to understand!

Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.

By the way, Susan, I managed to find
a replacement for that faulty filament.

Bit of an amateur job, but I think it'll serve.

-It's an illusion, it must be.
-What is he talking about now?

What are you doing here?

You don't understand so you find excuses.

Illusions, indeed?

You say you can't fit an enormous building
into one of your smaller sitting rooms.

IAN: No.

-But you've discovered television, haven't you?

Then by showing an enormous building
on your television screen,

you can do what seemed impossible, couldn't you?

-Well, yes, but I still don't know....
-Not quite clear, is it?

I can see by your face that you're not certain.
You don't understand.

And I knew you wouldn't! Never mind.

Now, which switch was it? No. No, no.

Ah, yes. That is it.

The point is not whether you understand.
What is going to happen to you?


-They'll tell everybody about the ship now.

Yes, yes. Ship.
This doesn't roll along on wheels, you know.

You mean it moves?

-The Tardis can go anywhere.

I don't understand you, Susan.

I made up the name Tardis from the initials,

Time And Relative Dimension In Space.

I thought you'd understand when you saw the
different dimensions inside from those outside.

Let me get this straight.

A thing that looks like a police box,
standing in a junkyard,

-it can move anywhere in time and space?

-Quite so.
-But that's ridiculous!

-Why won't they believe us?
-How can we?

Now, now, don't get exasperated, Susan.
Remember the Red Indian.

When he saw the first steam train,
his savage mind thought it an illusion, too.

-You're treating us like children.
-Am I?

Children of my civilisation would be insulted.

-Your civilisation?
-Yes, my civilisation.

I tolerate this century, but I don't enjoy it.

Have you ever thought what it's like
to be wanderers in the fourth dimension?

Have you?

To be exiles.

Susan and I are cut off from our own planet,
without friends or protection.

But one day we shall get back.

Yes, one day.

One day.

It's true. Every word of it's true.

You don't know what you've done coming here.

Grandfather, let them go now. Please.

Look, if they don't understand,
they can't hurt us at all.

I understand these people better than you.
Their minds reject things they don't understand.


He can't keep us here!

Susan, listen to me.

Can't you see that all this is an illusion?

It's a game that you
and your grandfather are playing, if you like.

But you can't expect us to believe it.

-It's not a game.
-But Susan....

It's not!

Look, I love your school.

I love England in the 20th century.

The last five months have been
the happiest of my life.

But you are one of us.
You look like us, you sound like us.

I was born in another time. Another world.

Now look here, Susan....

Come on, Barbara, let's get out of here.

It's no use, you can't get out. He won't let you go.

He closed the door from over there. I saw him.

Now, which is it? Which is it?

-Which control operates the door?
-You still think it's all an illusion?

I know that free movement in time and space
is a scientific dream

I don't expect to find solved in a junkyard.

Your arrogance is nearly as great
as your ignorance.

Will you open the door? Open the door!

-Susan, will you help us?
-I mustn't.

Very well, then. I'll have to risk it myself.

I can't stop you.

Don't touch it. It's live!

Ian! What on earth do you think you're doing?

Grandfather, let them go now, please.

And by tomorrow we shall be a public spectacle.
A subject for news and idle gossip.

But they won't say anything.

My dear child, of course they will.
Put yourself in their place.

They are bound to make some sort of a complaint
to the authorities.

Or at the very least talk to their friends.

If I do let them go, Susan,
you realise, of course, we must go, too.

-No, Grandfather, we've had all this....
-There's no alternative, child.

I want to stay!

But they're both kind people.
Why won't you trust them?

All you've got to do is ask them to promise
to keep our secret....

It's out of the question.

I won't go, Grandfather.
I won't leave the 20th century.

-I'd rather leave the Tardis and you.
-Now you're being sentimental and childish.

No, I mean it.

Very well. Then you must go with them.

-I'll open the door.
-Are you coming, Susan?

Oh, no, Grandfather! No!

-Let me go.

Get back to the ship, child. Hold it.