The 43-page-long document was discovered when the vendor’s grandfather had been renovating an East Sussex property that had been owned by William Hartnell, who played the doctor from 1963-66.
This script for An Unearthly Child, the first of four episodes making up Doctor Who and the Tribe of Gum, comes complete with blue pencil annotations by Hartnell. It is estimated at £5000-8000 in the Aston’s Auctioneers May 3 sale.
Before being consigned to the Dudley saleroom, it had appeared on the BBC Antiques Roadshow festive special filmed on the EastEnders set. On that programme, expert Chris Yeo said: “This is the DNA of Doctor Who; the genesis of Doctor Who.”
An Unearthly Child was broadcast on the BBC on November 23, 1963. The doctor’s companions Carole Ann Ford, Susan Foreman and Jaqueline Hill discover him and his Tardis ship in a junkyard in contemporary London. It was not an easy start: President Kennedy had been assassinated the day before the broadcast and a power cut affected also one part of the country, so viewing figures were low.