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Behind the scenes photos from William Hartnell season of Dr Who

Behind the scenes of Doctor Who’s earliest adventures: Black and white photographs from William Hartnell’s time in the Tardis show actors transforming into giant ants in 1965 and a producer enjoying a crafty cigarette lit by a mechanoid

  • Photographs show behind the scenes production from a Doctor Who episode called The Web Planet 
  • The first episode aired on the BBC in February in 1965 and featured the First Doctor William Hartnell
  • A candid photo shows Hartnell with co-stars John Maxim and Malcolm Rogers pretending to attack him

Incredible black and white photographs reveal the behind the scenes production of the BBC’s earliest episodes of Doctor Who when it first aired in the sixties.

One of the photos show the First Doctor, the late William Hartnell in a candid moment with co-stars John Maxim, playing Frankenstein’s monster, and Malcolm Rogers as Count Dracula pretending to attack him.

The recently unearthed image comes from an episode that aired in May 1965, which was filmed at the BBC Riverside Studios, in Hammersmith.

Incredible black and white photographs show the behind the scenes from an early episode of Doctor Who, starring the First Doctor William Hartnell (centre). A candid photo from the set shows actors John Maxim, playing Frankenstein’s monster (left), and Malcolm Rogers as Count Dracula (right) pretending to attack the sci-fi hero

More images show Hartnell features in the images as the First Doctor in the episode The Web Planet which first aired in February in 1965.  

The show’s producer, Verity Lambert, was also pictured getting a cheeky light for her cigarette from the Mechanoid as a flame bursts out of it.

Another photo shows one Mechanoid, a large spherical robot that was created by humans and the Doctor’s many foes, taking aiming and firing at three opposing Daleks, who are also foes of the Doctor. 

The show’s producer, Verity Lambert (pictured), was also pictured getting a cheeky light for her cigarette from a Mechanoid as a flame burst out of it

Another photo shows one Mechanoid (right), a large spherical robot that was created by humans and the Doctor’s many foes, taking aiming and firing at three opposing Daleks (left)

More behind the scenes images show actors getting into their elaborate costume as insectoid species called Zarbi, who resembled giant ants. 

On the set a costume designer can be seen helping an actor climb into the legs of the ensemble that a suspended off his shoulders.

In other images, more set staff help actors getting into their Zarbi costumes. 


More behind the scenes images show actors getting into their elaborate costumes as insectoid species called Zarbi, who resembled giant ants. On the set a costume designer can be seen helping an actor climb into the legs of the ensemble that a suspended off his shoulders

In other images, more set staff help actors getting into their Zarbi costumes

The large headpieces appeared to be the trickiest part of the ensemble as actors appeared to have braces rest on the shoulders and secured with a strap across their body – a far cry from the special effects in recent episodes of the series

Each Zarbi head also featured beady eyes and pincers, while the costume also had four legs, two human-like legs and a gaster – scary-looking enough to make children shuffle behind the sofa

The large headpieces appeared to be the trickiest part of the ensemble as actors appeared to have braces rest on the shoulders and secured with a strap across their body – a far cry from the special effects in recent episodes of the series.

Each Zarbi head also featured beady eyes and pincers, while the costume also had four legs, two human-like legs and a gaster – scary-looking enough to make children shuffle behind the sofa.

Also photographed is a scene showing the TARDIS (Time And Relative Dimension In Space) that appears to have crash landed on the planet Vortis, home of the Zarbi.  

Also photographed is a scene showing the TARDIS (Time And Relative Dimension In Space) that appears to have crash landed on the planet Vortis, home of the Zarbi

In this image an actor shows the full scale of the ant-like Zarbi costume on the set  of Doctor Who

Doctor Who has been produced by the BBC since 1963 and when it was first released, was intended to be a regular weekly programme aired on Saturday evenings.

It originally ran for 26 seasons from November 23, 1963 to December 6, 1989, it was intended to be an educational show for family viewing to teach its younger audience about history as the Doctor travelled through time with its companions, a history and science teacher.

William Hartnell was the first Doctor and played the role from 1963 to 1966, starring in 137 episodes.

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