Doctor Who: The Unearthly Child () Audio Description Script

Unofficial audio-description script for the unbroadcast pilot episode of the Doctor Who serial The Unearthly Child in CSV, HTML and SRT format.

A small, round photo of a smiling man with a mop of dark hair and a pointy nose.

by Brett Coulstock. .

In the BBC did an extraordinary thing: they not only released the entirity of the “Classic” series of Doctor Who on iPlayer, every single episode was audio described.

What was not released, however, was the first four episodes, known collectively as The Unearthly Child, due to a licencing dispute.

In October 2023, the BBC announced that An Unearthly Child would not be available on its iPlayer service the following month alongside other Doctor Who episodes as it did not hold the entire copyright. Coburn's son, Stef Coburn, claimed he had withdrawn the licensing rights following disagreements over compensation. — Wikipedia

It's a great shame: this is the beginning of the journey.

Earlier in the year I had posted audio description scripts for The Rescue and The Sontaran Experiment as writing exercises. I decided to embark on a project to write scripts for approximately 10 stories, and started with The Unearthly Child.

Obviously, in the face of the BBC releasing them, I abandoned the project as entirely redundant. So I had a draft script laying around for the first episode (or so I thought).

I noticed someone who was trying to create an independant audio description track for the story using TTS, and offered them the use of my script. They later contacted me and noted that my timings did not match up to the episode.

But they did match up to the unreleased pilot episode — The Unearthly Child was actually filmed twice and the unaired pilot was included on the DVD, and I mistakenly ripped and described that.

I gave them permission to cannibalise what description they liked. Here, for posterity, or anyone else, is the script.


This is independent audio-description: that is the scripts are unofficial and not commissioned by the BBC. I believe in cultural competency, inclusion and equality, and have attempted to describe the characters and situations fairly, without prejudice and without intent to offend. All information in the scripts are believed to be correct at the time of writing, but they have not passed through a quality control process, and the accuracy or correctness of this content cannot be guaranteed.

If you have any concerns about this content, please contact me.

Linked audio description scripts copyright © Brett Coulstock.

Licence for all formats: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Read my reasons why I share audio description.


Episode 1

Filed under: Accessibility