This page collects quotations from the era of the first incarnation of the Doctor from the BBC science fiction television programme Doctor Who, during which the role of the the Doctor was played by William Hartnell. As Doctor Who stories in other media (such as books, audio plays, etc) are the subject of intense debate as regarding their place in the series' overall canon, these quotations are taken entirely from episodes broadcast on television.
Recurring Phrases 
- The First Doctor’s catchphrase:
- Mm? What's that, my boy?
- Come along!
- Good gracious me!
- Oh yes, yes, yes, yes!
- Butcher: (You stupid butcher!, the local butcher, stupid butchery...)
- What the First Doctor calls Ian Chesterton: Chesterfield / Charlton / Chatterton / Chatterhouse / Chartow
- Susan's catchphrase: Oh, grandfather!
Season 1 
An Unearthly Child [1.1] 
- (23 November - 14 December 1963)
- The Doctor: Have you ever thought what it's like to be wanderers in the Fourth Dimension? Have you? To be exiles? Susan and I are cut off from our own planet - without friends or protection. But one day we shall get back. Yes, one day....
- The Doctor: If you could touch the alien sand and hear the cries of strange birds, and watch them wheel in another sky, would that satisfy you?
- Ian: Just open the doors, Doctor Foreman.
- The Doctor: [To himself.] Eh? Doctor who? What's he talking about...?
- This is the first use of the question "Doctor who?" — by the Doctor himself, after being misaddressed by Ian.
- Susan: [To The Doctor] I know these Earth people better than you, their minds reject things they don't understand.
- Ian: You're treating us like children!
- Doctor: The children of my civilization would be insulted!
- Ian: Your civilization?
- Doctor: My civilization.
- Doctor: You think I want a rest?
- Doctor: He thinks I'm a charlatan, my Dear.
The Daleks [1.2] 
- (21 December 1963 - 1 February 1964)
- Ian: We'd better keep an eye on him. He seems to have a knack of getting himself into trouble.
- Dalek: Stay in the light!
- Susan: They don't believe me.
- Ian: I think I should try to stand on my own now. (He pushes away Susan and Barbra and carefully balances) There. (He tries to take a step forward and promptly falls on his face.)
- Thal leader: There is no indignity in being afraid to die, but there is a terrible shame in being afraid to live.
- The Doctor: My dear child! Haven't you realized what I've done? A few simple tools, a superior brain...
- Thal Leader: I never fight against the inevitable, it's a vain occupation. But I would advise you to reconsider what you consider to be inevitable. It is amazing how often apparent defeat can be turned into victory.
The Edge of Destruction [1.3] 
- (8 February - 15 February 1964)
- The Doctor: (Talking to Ian) You know I really believe I have underestimated that young lady in the past, Chartow.
- The Doctor: As we learn about each other, so we learn about ourselves.
Marco Polo [1.4] 
- (22 February - 4 April 1964)
- The Doctor: We're always in trouble! Isn't this extraordinary - it follows us everywhere!
- Marco Polo: On my travels to Cathay, Ian, I have come to believe many things I'd previously doubted. For instance, when I was a boy in Venice, they told me that in Cathay there was a stone that burned. I did not believe, but there is such a stone: I have seen it. And if stone burns, why not a caravan that flies? Birds fly; I have even seen fish that fly. You are asking me to believe that your caravan can defy the passage of the sun? Move not merely from one place to another, but from today into tomorrow, today to yesterday? No Ian, that I cannot believe.
The Keys of Marinus [1.5] 
- (11 April – 16 May 1964)
- Barbara [Looking at a dead calm sea]: Is it frozen?
- The Doctor: No, impossible at this temperature. Besides, it's too warm.
- The Doctor: I don't believe that man was made to be controlled by machines. Machines can make laws, but they can not preserve justice. Only human beings can do that.
The Aztecs [1.6] 
- (23 May - 13 June 1964)
- The Doctor: You can't rewrite history. Not one line!
- The Doctor: I made some cocoa and got engaged.
- Ian: Oh, so I'm going to die, am I?
The Sensorites [1.7] 
- (20 June - 1 August 1964)
- The Doctor: It all started out as a mild curiosity in the junkyard, and now it's turned out to be quite a great spirit of adventure.
- The Second Elder: These creatures, these Earth-people, are loud and ugly! Why could we not have left them in the desert or in the mountains?
The Reign of Terror [1.8] 
- (8 August - 12 September 1964)
- Road Works Overseer: I suppose you think you're very clever.
- The Doctor: Well, without any undue modesty, yes!
- The Doctor: Our lives are important — at least to us — and as we see, so we learn... Our destiny is in the stars, so let's go and search for it.
Season 2 
The Dalek Invasion Of Earth [2.2] 
- (21 November to 26 December 1964)
- The Doctor and Ian are about to explore an abandoned warehouse.
- The Doctor: Let's take a snoop.
- He begins climbing stairs (leading into the warehouse) which appear to be unstable.
- Ian: Careful, Doctor!
- The Doctor: I'm not a half-wit.
- A part of the wall of the warehouse is in such a state of decay that Ian falls through it, and is left hanging far above the ground clinging to some scaffolding. He manages to swing himself back up into the building, with the help of the Doctor. They are both panting.
- Ian: Nobody can get through that way.
- The Doctor: Except you!
- Barbara and Susan have just been led to the Dalek resistance group
- Professor Dortmun: Two more pairs of hands! Good.
- David Campbell: [Pointing to Barbara.] She says she can cook!
- Professor Dortmun: Can you?
- Barbara nods.
- David Campbell: [Addressing Susan] And what do YOU do?
- Susan: I eat.
- Dalek: I warn you! Resistance is useless!
- The Doctor: Resistance is useless? Surely you don't expect ALL the people to welcome you with open arms?
- Dalek: We have already conquered Earth!
- The Doctor: Conquered the Earth? You poor, pathetic creatures, don't you realise? Before you attempt to conquer the Earth you will have to destroy ALL living matter!
- Professor Dortmun: Obey motorised dustbins?! We'll see!
- The Doctor has managed to break himself, Ian and Jack out of a Dalek prison cell
- Ian: Doctor, you're a genius!
- The Doctor: Yes, there are very few of us left. Now let's get out of here, and be crafty!
- The Doctor: During all the years I've been taking care of you, you in return have been taking care of me. You are still my grandchild and always will be. But now, you're a woman too. I want you to belong somewhere, to have roots of your own. With David you will be able to find those roots and live normally like any woman should do. Believe me my dear, your future lies with David and not with a silly old buffer like me. One day, I shall come back. Yes, I shall come back. Until then, there must be no regrets, no tears, no anxieties. Just go forward in all your beliefs and prove to me that I am not mistaken in mine. Goodbye Susan. Goodbye my dear. [He dematerialises the TARDIS, which vanishes. David and Susan leave, Susan dropping her key onto the floor.]
The Rescue [2.3] 
- (2 January - 9 January 1965)
- [Ian and Barbara are perplexed about the Doctor deciding to take a nap rather than explore]
- Barbara: Well, maybe we're going to see a new side to the Doctor.
- Ian: Yeah, well he isn't getting any younger, is he? You know, it's the first time he's been asleep during a landing. Barbara, I've got an idea he's getting a bit... [Ian mimes being old and senile, and Barbara laughs. The Doctor suddenly pokes his head out of the TARDIS doors]
- The Doctor: Remember, I can hear what you're saying.
- The Doctor [muttering to himself over his notes]: My writing gets worse and worse. Dear, dear, dear, dear, dear.
- The Doctor [talking to "Koquillion"]: This used to be the people's Hall of Judgement. Fitting, in the present circumstances, don't you think?
- The Doctor: You destroyed a whole planet just to save your own skin. You're insane!
The Romans [2.4] 
- (16 January 1965 - 6 February 1965)
- The Doctor [after successfully fending off an assassin]: Alright? Of course I'm alright, my child. You know, I am so constantly outwitting the opposition, I tend to forget the delights and satisfaction of the gentle art of fisticuffs.
The Web Planet [2.5] 
- (13 February 1965 - 20 March 1965)
- Hetra [having come across a wall blocking their path]: A silent wall! We must make mouths in it with our weapons, then it will speak more light.
- [The Tardis has been dragged away by the Zarbi]
- The Doctor: My ship...my TARDIS...
The Crusade [2.6] 
- (27 March - 17 April 1965)
- Vicki: Why have I got to keep pretending I'm a boy? Why can't I be a girl again?
- Princess Joanna [About the Doctor]: There's something new in you, yet something older than the sky itself. I sense that I can trust you.
The Space Museum [2.7] 
- (24 April - 15 May 1965)
- Vicki: Time, like space, although a dimension in itself, also has dimensions of its own.
- Ian: Doctor, why do you always show the greatest interest in the least important things?
- The Doctor: The least important things, sometimes, my dear boy, lead to the greatest discoveries.
- Barbara: The Doctor's curious, that means we stay.
- Ian: Doctor, I'd just come face to face with myself! I wasn't counting the buttons on my jacket!
- (22 May - 26 June 1965)
- The Doctor: You squashed my favorite Beatles!
- Ian: [to Vicki] Don't just stand there and scream, you little fool, RUN!
- The Doctor: We're trying to defeat the Daleks, not start a jumble sale!
The Time Meddler [2.9] 
- (3 July - 24 July 1965)
- [Vicki and the Doctor talking about Barbara and Ian, who had just left in the previous episode]
- Vicki: Well they weren't getting any younger, were they?
- The Doctor: Lucky, my dear, that they aren't around to hear you say that. Hm, gracious me, if you think they're old, what do you think of me?
- [The Doctor introducing a few rules to new companion Steven Taylor]
- The Doctor: Now, my boy, there are two things you can do. One: Sit there until you get your breath back, and two: Don't call me Doc! Now do I make myself clear?
- [The Doctor gives an irritated introduction of the TARDIS to new companion Steven Taylor]
- The Doctor: That is the dematerializing control, and that, over yonder, is the horizontal hold. Up there is the scanner; those are the doors; that is a chair with a panda on it. Sheer poetry, dear boy! Now please stop bothering me.
- The Doctor: What do you think of that, now, eh? A Viking helmet.
- Steven Taylor: Maybe.
- The Doctor: What do you mean, "maybe"? What do you think it is, a space helmet for a cow?
Season 3 
The Myth Makers [3.3] 
- (16 October - 6 November 1965)
- Cassandra: Woe to Troy!
- Paris: It's too late to say "whoa!" to the horse.
The Daleks' Master Plan [3.4] 
- (13 November 1965 - 29 January 1966)
- The Doctor [bristling when a policeman asks if he is a British citizen]: Your ideas are too narrow, too crippled. I am a citizen of the universe, and a gentleman to boot!
- The scene where they broke the fourth wall
- The Doctor: Here's a toast, a happy Christmas to all of us.
- Steven: The same to you, Doctor, Sara.
- The Doctor: And incidentally, a happy Christmas to all of you at home!
- Steven: Sara, where have you been?
- Sara: I don't know. But a strange man kept telling me to take my clothes off.
- The Doctor: Now, come along. We must go back to the TARDIS. This is a madhouse. It's all full of Arabs. Come along.
- (5 February - 26 February 1966)
- The Doctor: My dear Steven, history sometimes gives us a terrible shock, and that is because we don't quite fully understand. Why should we? After all, we're too small to realise its final pattern. Therefore don't try and judge it from where you stand. I was right to do as I did. Yes, that I firmly believe. [Steven leaves the TARDIS] Steven... Even after all this time, he cannot understand. I dare not change the course of history. Well, at least I taught him to take some precautions; he did remember to look at the scanner before he opened the doors. And now, they're all gone. All gone. None of them could understand. Not even my little Susan. Or Vicki. And as for Barbara and Chatterton — Chesterton — they were all too impatient to get back to their own time. And now, Steven. Perhaps I should go home. Back to my own planet. But I can't... I can't...
The Gunfighters [3.8] 
- (30 April - 21 May 1966)
- The Doctor: I never touch alcohol.
- Holliday: [taking a swig] Well I do.
- [Steven is being forced to play a tune on the piano]
- Steven: Let's hope the piano knows it.
- The Doctor: He gave me a gun, he extracted my tooth. What more do you want?
The Savages [3.9] 
- (28 May - 18 June 1966)
- Jano: Do you not realize that all progress is based on exploitation?
- The Doctor: That, sir, is protracted murder!
Season 4 
The Smugglers [4.1] 
- (10 September - 1 October 1966)
- The Doctor [to Ben and Polly]: How dare you follow me into the TARDIS!
- Doctor: The distractions... I really thought I was going to be alone again.
The Tenth Planet [4.2] 
- (8 October - 29 October 1966)
- General: You can assure me of what you like, but whether I believe you or not is another Question!
- Doctor: Hm. Hm.
- General: I haven't got time to deal with this now, BUT WHEN I DO, you'd better have a good explanation!
- Doctor: I DON' T LIKE YOUR TONE!
- General: AND I DON' T LIKE YOUR FACE, nor your hair!
- Doctor: HM!
- Polly: Don't you care?!
- Cyberman: Care? No. Why should I care?
- Polly: Because they're people and they are going to die!
- Cyberman: I do not understand you; there are people dying all over your world, and you do not care about them.
Other Appearances 
- The following serials occurred after the First Doctor's era had officially ended (in the eras of the Third Doctor and the Fifth Doctor respectively) and thus are not technically part of this Doctor's era. As they are all quotes involving the First Doctor, however, they are included here for the sake of completeness.
The Three Doctors [10.1] 
- (30 December 1972 - 20 January 1973)
- The Doctor [Upon encountering his second and third incarnations]: So you're my replacements — a dandy and a clown!
The Five Doctors [20.7] 
- (23 November 1983)
- This was originally from Season 2, Episode 9, Flashpoint (26 Dec. 1964)
- The First Doctor: One day I shall come back. Yes, I shall come back. Until then, there must be no regrets, no tears, no anxieties. Just go forward in all your beliefs and prove to me that I am not mistaken in mine.
- The First Doctor [having tricked Borusa into accepting Rassilon's offer of immortality, thus condemning him to eternity as a living statue]: I suddenly realised what the old proverb meant: "To lose is to win, and he who wins shall lose." It was all part of Rassilon's trap to find out who wanted immortality and put him out of the way. He knew very well that immortality was a curse. Not a blessing.
- The First Doctor [to the Fifth Doctor]: You did quite well. Quite well. Hm. It's reassuring to know that my future is in safe hands.
The Name of the Doctor [7.14] 
- (18 May 2013)
- [The Doctor and Susan are about to steal a faulty TARDIS]
- Clara: Doctor?
- The Doctor: Yes? What is it? What do you want?
- Clara: Sorry, but you're about to make a very big mistake. Don't steal that one, steal this one. The navigation system's knackered, but you'll have much more fun.