As the first actor to play the Doctor, William Hartnell’s contribution to Doctor Who in immeasurable. The word ‘irascible’ is often levelled at his portrayal, along with ‘crotchety’ and ‘bad tempered’. This does Hartnell’s performance a disservice. There are many times his Doctor showed warmth and compassion, with great comic touches. He provided the foundation for one of the most loved characters on TV.
I was a bit more excited than I care to admit when I received the shipping carton from Big Chief Studios this past Wednesday. This 1:6 replica of the First Doctor Commemorative Edition is attired in a beautifully realised replica of his costume, including cape, scarf and Astrakan hat. I thought the hat might pose a problem and a separate sculpt might be needed, but it sits on his head just fine.
Satisfyingly, the body used is actually a little shorter than the other Doctors already released. The cape comes already attached to the figure; I believe there is a small, elasticated loop to attach the cape, but it looked far too delicate for me to unhook it. I opted for popping his head off instead, which works fine, and pops back on again with a bit of pressure. The scarf has a wire along its length, allowing it to hang convincingly.
Also supplied are:
- Three further pairs of hands, other than those already attached.
- Pocket watch (which slips into the lower right pocket of the waistcoat).
- Magnifying glass that hangs around the Doctor’s neck. I try to tuck this into the waistcoat a bit to make it look like it’s hanging properly.
- Walking Stick
- Pipe from An Unearthly Child Time Destructor from The Dalek’s Masterplan
- Keys from The Keys Of Marinus (located in the tray that houses the hat, scarf and stand.
- Spectacles – sadly, the spectacles snapped in half as I was trying to sit them across the figure’s face. They’re very fragile. (Note: I emailed Big Chief with a photo of the damage and they’re sending out a replacement).
The stand matches the dark blue, mirrored hexagonal style of the previous releases of the Fourth and Tenth Doctors, with a light up feature that spells out the word for ‘One’ in Gallifreyan. Also, as with the previous Doctors, the front flap of the box detaches to offer a backdrop of there any TARDIS console room. Still a brilliant idea I think.
For obvious reasons, there isn’t a Signature Edition this time. Instead, the First Doctor has been released as a Commemorative Edition of 300. Possibly a regular edition will be released at a later date, dependant on sales. As this is the Commemorative Edition figure, it’s supplied with a plaque like the Signature Editions. However, and rather smartly, a folder containing photos of two of series’ first stars, Carole Ann Ford and William Russell are included. These pictures have been autographed, adding a really thoughtful touch to the whole package.
Overall, this is an outstanding figure that stands well among the other Doctors in the range.