It was a shame that William Hartnell got sick so early into Doctor Who's short-lived run. This cult British show about an elderly traveller had potential. I wonder why they didn't just recast the role rather than cancel it?
From what I read, they tried, but they just couldn't find anyone who looked AND sounded enough likr Hartnell to their satisfaction.
Now, here's the really crazy thing. There's argument between fan historians whether or not this really happened. But, supposedly, they considered hiring an actor who purposely would NOT resemble Hartnell. I know; I know, insane, right? The idea was that the Doctor would have returned to his red phone booth at the end of "The Tenth Planet", the one with the cybernetic Borg. He would have collapsed and and as his companions watched in amazement, Hartnell would have literally turned into a different person! No, I don't mean simply grow younger. I mean his height, hair color and bone and muscle structure of his face would have looked different! Really! I can only assume with that much changed, they would have taken it to the next level and had him behave differently! And his companions would notice this! The writers would not have simply swept the changes under the carpet to be ignored!
Yeah, I have my doubts this really happened, too. Strange thing, though. Remember the priest in "The Omen", the one who nearly got impaled by that spire struck by lightning? The one who helped Rock Hudson destroy the demon child. In an interview recorded during the making of that film, this Pat Troughton briefly mentioned something about a BBC casting call, one he attended in 1966. He didn't go into details, but said something about it being a time travel series. Do you think he might have been talking about "Doctor Who"? Could he have been the one considered as Hartnell's replacement? Nah, I don't buy it, either. He was probably considered for a guest role before production abruptly halted. Still, what a thought!