|William Hartnell in The Web Planet|
If the first season found the production team experimenting to discover what kind of show Doctor Who was at its core, this season found the team aggressively pushing the boundaries of what the show could be at its extremes. From the epic spectacular of The Dalek Invasion of Earth, to the wacky high jinks of The Romans, to The Web Planet and its bold and innovative depiction of a truly alien world, the second season was an unqualified success in topping the highs of season one.
The Doctor is now solidified as the central figure of the series, and its definite hero. While he is still eccentric and definitely crotchety, his darker anti-heroic leanings are almost totally gone. They are replaced, however, with a greater sense of fun and a larger commitment by the character to a moral centre. These attributes would remain a defining aspect of the Doctor throughout the series.
But the second season was also one of huge change. While Hartnell remained, the rest of the cast moved on. Carole Ann Ford, tired of playing the teen who screamed and sprained her ankle, left the series at the end of the second serial. Shortly before the end of the season, both Jacqueline Hill and William Russell left as well. The departure of the original companions did have an effect on the First Doctor's era. Hartnell had undeniable chemistry with them, and according to behind the scenes rumours, he never quite felt comfortable with anyone else. Maureen O'Brien and Peter Purves both seem game, and are appealing both in manner and performance. O'Brien in particular has a lovely rapport with Hartnell. It shall be seen in the following season how well Purves meshes both with the Doctor and the irascible actor who played him.
The season ended with the production team in flux as well. Dennis Spooner had acted as Story Editor and overseen some of the most bold stories in the series' run while also writing Doctor Who's first stab at comedy-adventure, The Romans. He would be replaced by Donald Tosh, who took over with The Time Meddler and continued into the third season.
|Outgoing Producer Verity Lambert|