William Hartnell doing his close to the face hand gestures. Apparently Hartnell gave his fellow actors the same lecture about gesturing close to the face on ‘as live’ television as you never knew when you were going to get a close up.
Hartnell is sometimes criticised for forgetting lines and such but his performance and presence as the Doctor is just so strong. Watch him in scenes, in the background, watch his eyes dart back and forth, the curiosity, the wonder. Watch his hands tremble slightly, and watch as he interrupts with the best precision, and watch how he commands the scenes without saying much at all. When people say that Hartnell is just the actor who forgets his lines we get so sad because acting is so much more than the lines, and when he couldn’t remember, he made up for it with his mannerisms and his physicality and authority.
It didn’t matter that his sentences came out wrong sometimes, he was boss and you’d listen to him. You still believed in him.
^^^ All of this.
Do people seriously criticise this? Like, seriously, as though it matters? As though a line flub somehow makes him less of the Doctor? (Actually,THE Doctor - as in, the original, the one who sets the precedent.) I mean, considering the speed and turnaround for filming, with few or no retakes? If you’re one who feels that then I’d like to see your reaction to how much present day actors would flub with that set-up in a modern tv show. Also, I’m guessing you’ve never seen a play in your life if you think missing a line (yet being able to recover and cover over it) is the end of the world for an actor.
I love this man. And I love this Doctor.