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First ever Doctor Who script sells for big bucks at auction

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May 8, 2018

William Hartnell’s original script for “An Unearthly Child” recently sold at auction for the hefty sum of $8,400. The first-ever Doctor Who episode was part of the “Doctor Who and the Tribe of Gum” serial, which aired in four parts between Nov. 23 and Dec. 14, 1963.

The battered 43-page script (you can see pics of the script via The New York Post) almost got lost in the Time Vortex forever when Hartnell (who played the first incarnation of the Time Lord) threw it in a dumpster at his Mayfield, East Sussex, cottage when he moved out. Thankfully, it was rescued by a developer who gave Hartnell’s annotated, typewritten document to his grandson, who was a huge Doctor Who fan.

According to Chris Aston, from Aston’s Auctioneers, more than 300 fans from around the world are said to have bid for the rare item online. Ultimately, the script stayed home by going to a UK-based private bidder.

“It’s probably generated the most interest we’ve ever seen,” Aston said. “We have never had so many views on an item before on social media. It was really exciting. It’s unique, you can’t get any rarer. It’s the only copy that survived in more than 50 years. It’s fantastic — it’s a piece of TV history from a cult TV series.”

Penned by Anthony Coburn, “An Unearthly Child” introduced the Doctor (Hartnell) and his granddaughter Susan Foreman (Carole Ann Ford), as well as her teachers: Barbara Wright (Jacqueline Hill) and Ian Chesterton (William Russell). The Doctor’s TARDIS also made its iconic debut.

The seller, who wished to remain anonymous, first revealed the script during an episode of the BBC’s Antiques Roadshow in December of last year. There, expert Chris Yeo told him: “It’s the DNA of Doctor Who, the genesis of the program, which makes it very important.”

(via The New York Post)