The first episode of Doctor Who was broadcast on November 23rd, 1963, the day after President Kennedy's assassination.
It has been claimed that the transmission of the first episode was delayed by ten minutes due to extended news coverage of the assassination of US President John F. Kennedy the previous day; in fact it went out after a delay of eighty seconds. The BBC believed that many viewers had missed this introduction to a new series due to the coverage of the assassination, as well as a series of power blackouts across the country, and they broadcast it again on 30 November 1963, just before episode two.
The programme soon became a national institution in the United Kingdom, with a large following among the general viewing audience. Many renowned actors asked for or were offered guest-starring roles in various stories.
With popularity came controversy over the show's suitability for children. Morality campaigner Mary Whitehouse repeatedly complained to the BBC in the 1970s over what she saw as the show's frightening and gory content. John Nathan-Turner produced the series during the 1980s and was heard to say that he looked forward to Whitehouse's comments, as the show's ratings would increase soon after she had made them.
The programme was originally intended to appeal to a family audience as an educational programme using time travel as a means to explore scientific ideas and famous moments in history. On 31 July 1963, Whitaker commissioned Terry Nation to write a story under the title The Mutants. As originally written, the Daleks and Thals were the victims of an alien neutron bomb attack but Nation later dropped the aliens and made the Daleks the aggressors. When the script was presented to Newman and Wilson it was immediately rejected as the programme was not permitted to contain any "bug-eyed monsters". According to producer Verity Lambert; "We didn't have a lot of choice -- we only had the Dalek serial to go ... We had a bit of a crisis of confidence because Donald Wilson was so adamant that we shouldn't make it. Had we had anything else ready we would have made that." Nation's script became the second Doctor Who serial – The Daleks (also known as The Mutants). The serial introduced the eponymous aliens that would become the series' most popular monsters, and was responsible for the BBC's first merchandising boom.
Text taken from Wikipedia – full articlehere.
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