|The First Doctor (William Hartnell)|
When you look at polls asking people to name their favourite Doctors, you're not going to see William Hartnell top the list. In fact, he'll more likely be near the very bottom, often accompanied by Colin Baker, which is notable in that Baker is the only subsequent Doctor that I've ever heard mention he based part of his interpretation on Hartnell's Doctor.
Why is this? Why is the Hartnell era frequently the least loved by fans and almost unseen by casual viewers?
First, the era in which the series was produced is far, far removed from our modern one. These stories are now half a century old, and television and indeed storytelling in general has changed significantly. The pacing in the best of Hartnell's stories is leisurely by our standards, and in the worst ones it can be downright glacial. That in and of itself can put off even dedicated fans.