William Hartnell bowed out as the First Doctor in October 1966 with the four-part adventure “The Tenth Planet”. This story introduced the concept of regeneration, and also saw the first appearance of the Cybermen. The script is particularly interesting as it was written in June 1966 and pre-dates the decision to write out William Hartnell, and therefore the momentous regeneration scene is missing.
Author Michael Seely said:
“I found this script and two more from ‘The Moonbase’ among a very large collection of Kit’s papers which one of his children had kept in their attic. As I looked through it, I realised it was the first draft Gerry Davis (script editor and co-writer) prepared when Kit fell ill in June 1966.”
“The structure is more or less the same, though a lot of the dialogue is different. Some things were cut, especially involving the Cybermen. For example, the Cybermen planned to convert Polly (companion) and the Doctor into Cybermen towards the end of the story, and kept them prisoner in what they described as a waiting room. The most eye-catching difference is what didn’t happen at the end of the episode.”
“We know that William Hartnell was being persuaded to give up the role he loved over the summer of 1966, and that they were sounding out replacements. He only decided to leave in the middle of July, the month after this draft was written.”
The Quest for Pedlar by Michael Seely is due for release in early 2014. Further details can be found at www.miwkpublishing.com.