04 January 2013

First Doctor-Network Analysis

01DoctorFinally, the First Doctor. A network unlike any of the Companions - huge in comparison. Also much more complicated as it encompasses both The Three Doctors and the Five Doctors stories. Those two stories created quite a few connections, just like The Five Doctors did for Susan.

Various reason are given not liking the First Doctor's tenure: slow-plodding stories, men-in-rubber-suit monsters, a mean Doctor with a vicious attitude and [strangely enough] it was in black & white.

But examine any other show you enjoy and you'll find instances to apply some of these same criticisms [except for the black & white part].

But that innovation. I don't look at The Web Planet as a ridiculous story about funny looking butterfly people. I think of it as one of the most ambitious experimentations ever done on 1960s television. At times, I wish more shows had that type ingenuity. David Whitaker [ first script editor ] helped lay the foundation in season one that would eventually became the Intelligent TARDIS.

NOTE : After a review from one of the project scientists, we discovered a quirk in the importing of the data. Efforts are underway to correct the process and a revised analysis will be posted here.

Profile : First Doctor

The First Doctor appeared in 31 stories (137 episodes) including the two multi-Doctor stories, The Three Doctors and the Five Doctors.

When Doctor Who started, the Doctor was not really the Doctor. Or at least he hadn't learned to be the Doctor yet (Sandifer, 2012). It took a couple of years to begin to develop that sense of actually wanting to help people.

He was the first Doctor to meet the Daleks [ remember that first view of the plunger ] and the Cybermen [ with their scary existentialism ]. The first Doctor to take aboard human Companions [ Barbara & Ian ]. The first Doctor to have someone die on his watch [ Katarina ]. The first Doctor to begin to realize that the TARDIS might actually be alive. A lot of firsts for the First Doctor.

But also, those first three seasons built the Doctor from scratch. Instead of running away, the Companions helped move him toward becoming the fighter of monsters that we know today. In The Daleks, fear set the tone for his first encounter with them. But by The Daleks' Master Plan he stood up to them and fought them head on.

The Companions he picked up along the way tested who might work and who wouldn't.


Susan : [Companion] An Unearthly Child
Ian : [Companion] An Unearthly Child
Barbara : [Companion] An Unearthly Child
Thal [post-war] : [Associate] The Daleks
Ping-Cho : [Companion-Lite] Marco Polo
David Campbill : [Companion-Lite] The Dalek Invasion of Earth
Vicki : [Companion] The Rescue
Steven : [Companion] The Chase
Katarina : [Companion-Lite] The Myth-Makers
Bret Vyon : [Companion-Lite] The Daleks' Master Plan
Sara Kingdom : [Companion-Lite] The Daleks' Master Plane
Ben : [Companion] The War Machines
Polly : [Companion] The War Machines
Second Doctor : The Power of the Daleks
Brigadier : [Companion] The Web of Fear
Third Doctor : Spearhead from Space
Jo : [Companion] Terror of the Autons
Sarah Jane : [Companion] The Time Warrior
Tegan : [Companion] Logopolis
Turlough : [Companion] Mawdryn Undead
Fifth Doctor : Castrovalva


Animus [Villain] : The Web Planet
Meddling Monk [Associate] : The Time Meddler
Celestial Toymaker [Villain] : The Celestial Toymaker
Cybermen [Mondasian] [Villain] : The Tenth Planet
Time Lords [Associate] : The War Games
Omega [Villain] : The Three Doctors
Master [3] [Villain] : The Keeper of Traken
Rassilon [1] [Time Lord] : The Five Doctors
Borusa [4] [Villain] : The Five Doctors

First Doctor's Friend Network

NOTE regarding network images : As the program I use is primarily viewed on a monitor with an ever-changing display with the ability to manipulate, hide, or reveal only what you need. Sometimes, the correct static image is difficult achieve. I will do my best but sometimes that may be problematic. The fluid nature of the program creates certain difficulties.

The first thing to notice, it's bigger than previous Companion networks. The First Doctor's network extends to both the 10th and 20th season. The small partition of characters yellow circles represent an individual stories [the three yellow circles from The Daleks' Master Plan] as does the cluster on the left side [The Three Doctors and the Five Doctors].

Node ColourBar

01Doctor Friends

The progression starts with Susan [ to the right of the First Doctor node ], travels clockwise [ what an archaic term in the says of digital watches ] and the links with the Companions and other characters met along time. Notice the centrally located Daleks situated right next to the First Doctor.

At the left, a large cluster represents the two multi-Doctor stories [ The Three Doctors and the Five Doctors ]. The network get a little crowded. It includes the Second and Third Doctors as well as The Brigadier, Companions, the rest of UNIT and a whole lot of Time Lords. A little bit of everything.

The right side of the network, representing the first three seasons, looks evenly distributed. The left, which is only two stories, not so spread out.

There will come a time when hiding the labels becomes necessary order to see the actual network.

First Doctor's Story Network

01Doctor Story

The outer rim of stories is similar to the previous networks. Season one at the top right moves into season two as you travel clockwise. Continuing around, you get to season three located at the bottom. The multi-Doctor stories appear Ion the top left.

NOTE : This is not in chronological order. A spring-embedded display system pulls nodes closer to another node depending on the amount of links. A strict chronological order is not maintained, nor is it necessary.

Again, notice the three yellow character circles in the right bottom quadrant - Katarina, Bret Vyon, and Sara Kingdom from The Daleks' Master Plan.

The Analysis

Well, time to start the analysis of the First Doctor.

01Doctor SNA

Even before running this report I had guessed that the Brigadier would score rather high having met the First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, and Seventh Doctors. Definitely, that's a strong indication for a high rating. But in this report the First Doctor still comes out on top but with a lower score than many of the Companions achieved [ a mere 60% ]. Even though the Daleks co-exist with the First Doctor near the center, they score slightly greater than 50% than his. Many say Location is Everything, but it doesn't necessarily mean importance in a network. The Daleks in this network disprove that saying.

Potentially Influential
1Doctor Who-01238.099
3Susan Foreman32.266

Potentially Influential characters exist on the shortest pathway from one character to another. The First Doctor connects to many characters in this manner. In fact, he outscores everyone with almost twice the score as the Daleks. The remaining characters drop off significantly with Susan [ ranking third ] scoring only a 32. The simplest and quickest route is usually through the First Doctor.

Well Connected Characters
2Doctor Who-030.595
3Soldiers UNIT0.522
5Jo Grant0.408
6Doctor Who-010.362

Well Connected Characters ranks the characters in their number of links to important characters. With fewer other important characters, the First Doctor's score drops. This also shows where the Brigadier gains much of his status in this network.

In the Standard Network Analysis, the scores drop after the First Doctor, the Brigadier, and the Third Doctor, the three strongest characters in this network.

01Doctor Key Entity

The First Doctor ranks strongest in the Standard Network Analysis. But in Key Entity, both the Brigadier and the Third Doctor equal his ranking. And again, the scores drop off after those first three characters re-enforcing the fact of their dominance in the network.

Where the First Doctor exceeds in total links, the Brigadier counters with his number of important connections to other characters and cliques as does the Third Doctor.

The network gets enlarged with the addition of the two multi-Doctor stories. This gives the First Doctor a greater number of links. But it also includes some other potentially connected characters [ The Third Doctor and the Brigadier ] which lowers the First Doctor's overall scores. It not only evens things out, it makes the First Doctor less important.

01Doctor Clique

Clique : Defined as a group of three or more characters that have many connections to each other and relatively fewer connections to those in other groups [ i.e., A, B, and C all have links to one another ].

First thing notice from the Standard Network Analysis and Key Entity charts, the First Doctor has high ranks, but not extremely high. In Cliques, he belongs to a large amount of cliques having more than 50% more cliques than anyone else in the network [ due to his connections to early Companions which none of the others had ]. An important item in a larger network, Cliques demonstrate many connections to diverse groups. The First Doctor belongs to twice as many cliques as the second ranked character, the Second Doctor [ who, incidentally, scored very low in the first two reports ].


01Doctor SubGroups

Group 1 : Barbara, First Doctor, Ian, Susan, Ping-Cho, Steven, Vicki, David Campbell, Bret Vyon, Dodo, Katarina, Sara Kingdom, Meddling Monk, Animus, Celestial Toymaker, Thals [post war], Daleks

Group 2 : Brigadier, Soldiers UNIT, Benton, Third Doctor, Jo, Chancellor, President of the Council, Sarah Jane Smith, Omega, Time Lords

Group 3 : Tegan, Fifth Doctor, Chancellor Flavia, Turlough, Rassilon [1], Borusa 4 [Lord President], Master-3 [Anthony Ainley]

Group 4 : Ben, Polly, Second Doctor, Cybermen-Mondasian

Boundary Spanner

A project scientist at work asked, what would happen with the removal of the First Doctor? Would the network retain its cohesion?

Below shows the First Doctor's network with the Boundary Spanner measure applied. The First Doctor becomes the only Boundary Spanner in his network. But what might happen if the First Doctor was not in the network. Would the network fragment?

First Doctor 1-Boundary Spanner

So with the First Doctor's removed, the network retains its general shape. A little looser, but it stays together. The Daleks help keep the network together acting as the new Boundary Spanner.

First Doctor 2-Boundary Spanner

With the Daleks removed, the degradation of the network becomes more apparent.

First Doctor 3-Boundary Spanner

The only area of the network to retain any original structure is the cluster at the top which represents The Five Doctors story.


With the show just beginning to create a backstory, jumbling of Companions and Villains happened a lot. The length of time an actor might stay in their role was unknown. Also, nobody could have predicted the impact of the Daleks to British culture. But for all the fragility and uncertainty the show had from the start, the First Doctor has a good, solid network.

With the inclusion of the multi-Doctor stories the network grew large. But this also weakened the total influence that the First Doctor had. Many strong characters present during The Three Doctors and the Five Doctors served to pull influence away from the First Doctor, just as the planet of Mondas weakened him in The Tenth Planet [yes, I did do that analogy].

The best possible pathway between two characters would be the First Doctor

NEXT UP : Jamie McCrimmon

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