Saturday, 21 August 2010

The Third Doctor

Enjoyed reviewing the 7th Doctor so i thought after watching "The Carnival of Monsters" (to catch up ,get up to speed with CO latest toy releases,just got seeds of doom and others to cover ) id cover another Dr
One i remember as a child at 9 or 10 in his video "Death to the Daleks" i liked him he was different his style was unique even as a child this Doctor stood out as something all together different he was as i remember exciting and still is,and i loved his console room i remember finding it erie, it has become my favorite console if not favorite room that belonging to the 4th and 5th Dr's version
A protector is how id some him up, and he will take physical action if necessary not in a crude way ,unlike the sixth Dr thugishly beating up opponents or killing them while smiling and with quip remarks but with class and style. Venusion aikido, that looks like real world  ju jitsu and judo (Probably something Jon himself practiced at sometime in his numerous activities )

This was a Five year era that gave us the Barry  Letts /Terrance .Dicks team (with Bob Holmes writing stories and creating many iconic villains) ,that was iconic and fundamental to shaping the program to be succeeded by Phillip Hinchcliffe /Bob Holmes team,  to form a truly golden era for Doctor who

John Devon Roland Pertwee (Pertwee is a modification of the original French Huguenot family name Perthuis de Laillevault), was born 7 July 1919 in Chelsea, London. His parents, Roland and Avice, divorced shortly after Jon's birth; they had been living apart for some time and Jon was conceived on Armistice Day, 11 November 1918, when they had met up again by chance during the celebrations.
Jon and his older brother Michael remained with their father, who was a distinguished playwright, actor and novelist. Jon and Michael lived for a time with their Grandmother and their Uncle Guy at Caterham in Surrey, and then returned to live with their father in South Kensington after Roland remarried in 1927.

Jon was sent to Aldro boarding school in Eastborne at the age of seven, but was expelled for swinging on the lavatory chains Tarzan-style. Between schools, Jon visited a friend of his father's, A.A. Milne, and met his son Christopher Robin Milne, who introduced him to his toys, Piglet, Owl, Kanga, Roo and Winnie the Pooh.

His Doctor seems to be a great big Grey area of haters and lovers, But there is a lot to like here, personal opinion aside you either personally do or don't like a Doctor
The over use of CSO and poor effects. As far as the effects go, yes they were ropey ,but for a shoe string budget and the early 70's id expect no less ,if anything the effects were pushed to there limits , but lets not forget Tom Baker and Peter Davisons era had their share of tacky effects - Underworld , Horns of Nimon, Warriors of the Deep, and the worse effects were seen in the late 80s that made theses effects look like high art ,and maybe CSO was slightly over used but then so now is CGI
A establishment figure hmmm ,Really ? he is stuck on Earth one planet in one time and he makes the most of it, you see many examples of him arguing with the the Brigadier or politicians, and frustrated at the establishment to go ahead and do it any way
He is a touch mysoginistic and chauvanistic. But that is as much a reflection of the age as it is the actor or the show and to be fare is perfectly acceptable ,this is no limp wristed jessie
They dared to change a formula by then 6 years old,

A show on the brink of cancellation as viewing figures had dropped and it was felt 6 years was long enough
gone was Dottie old man absent minded clown and something completely new  comes in
In a lot of ways was a program that was a sign of the times with carnaby street look  James Bond in films Adam adamant and other such shows as the Avengers on TV  and it changed as the time went on to being vastly different in its last two years
Much the same way as Peter Davison's Dr was a sign of his times with the public school boy preppy style and the  era of the Yuppie that was around, and films like chariots of fire and on TV in brides head revisited etc

The surprise was with discussion with the new producer Barry Letts , he was to play it strait as he later recalled "I was asked to play the part as Jon Pertwee ,and i had no idea who he was "
 And it worked Pertwees love of Gadgets vehicles and action was a perfect mix ,and the Man loved his clothes as can be seen again in his role all frills,silk ,satin and velvet & bow ties and cravats (This was 1969 to 1974), it was a totally bold new stroke for the character
He had an identity in the role ,that was as was asked for totally Jon Pertwee and the viewing figures and appreciation for Doctor Who grew under his tenure in the TARDIS,
 Pertwee is definitely one of the best Doctors  ,why ?

 The man himself is the first factor. Jon Pertwee is an obvious choice to play the Time Lord.
 Jon Pertwee was a man of considerable talents prior to working for the BBC, he had been a circus performer doing stunts on the wall of death with a motorbike , stunt driver (raced anything that had a engine) loved diving swimming skiing anything physical  and served in the Royal Navy
 Tall with a young old handsome face , with a shock of white gray hair he looked the part
So to cast a comedic Actor who was well known in the industry and had done a wide variety of parts , from Shakespeare,repertoire west end plays  to comedy on the radio films such as Hammer Horror ,Carry on films and much more , it came as no surprise that he was chosen to play the Doctor

I am fortunate to have met Jon several times and found him the consummate performer and entertainer a true showman ,he was polite friendly and always made time for the fans
He stopped to take time to talk to me  when he didn't have to, and as i got older and met him again i found him genuine sincere and approachable

To start with .His era had a bold new Idea of having the Doctor stranded on Earth that was a fresh  look with the occasional visit on behalf of the Timelord's to outer space, (although he spent less time on Earth that the Doctor has since his return in 2005 ),but then the 3rd Dr's last 2 years were copied by the first two years of Doctor who with Drs 9 & 10 out to space or in time then back to U.NI.T, HQ or jackies flat with both Dr's a trip to parallel Earth

U.N.I.T ,Brigadier Lethbridge Stewart ,one of the best characters in the program,
it was a good idea, the Dr is stranded and uses his knowledge to get a place to live and work on his TARDIS, to have Earth defended by a arm of the British military purpose set up for the unexplained ,pre-dating x files and such like ,so more action and thrills for the kids to cheer to and enjoy the adventures of a Dr that was, is instantly more identifiable
There was also the 'Mystery' element the puzzle the Doctor had to work out  searching out clues and putting it together to form the bigger picture
This gave the program a whole new life not seen before or since totally new fresh look like starting over
 the fact it is more scary to see Monsters on earth coming out of the wood work so to speak,
you thought it was safe to go in the sea then out pops a race of creatures who live under it and want to kill you, (This years before Jaws) under the Earth is a race of Creatures that see us as the invaders, the infestation to be wiped out ,and these are not even alien invaders ,the mundane bent towards death and destruction like daffodils or dolls or gargoyles or shop dummies coming to life to kill you, this has been often tried many times in Dr Who and other programs and films since
(This era was a perfect spring board for yet another completely different change of direction in the cosmos striding fourth doctor )
His era built on the mythos of the Doctor introducing Omega one of the founding fathers ,the planets name Gallifrey the Timelords the president  the first multi Doctor story
 The fact that his era had a majority of the best monsters and  introduced new legendary ones , Auton's,Sea Devils, Silurians, Ogrons, Draconians, Sontarans....... the Master, Single greatest Villain for the Doctor ever, played here believable and scary and sinister and very smooth by Roger Delgado
Only regret he never faced the Cybermen i feel this is a really missed opportunity, what he, his Dr could of done with a good U.N.I.T story against the silver giants from Mondas

The small, but important, fact that he regularly changed his outfit for a new look , he had some of the best title sequences and season 11 titles is still one of my favorites
,Liz Shaw the boffin scientist in his first season, Jo Grant is easily one of the best companions, and introducing the legend that has become  Sarah Jane Smith in his final year on the program
His era is worth watching and not dismissing to quickly, theres something to be enjoyed here.

Jon Pertwee returned to the role of the Third Doctor several times in the eighties and nineties. In 1983, he appeared in the twentieth anniversary television special The Five Doctors, and in 1989 again played the Doctor, this time on stage in Doctor Who - The Ultimate Adventure. In 1993 he appeared on screen once more as the Third Doctor in the two part charity skit Dimensions in Time, and also played the Doctor on radio for the five-part audio Doctor Who story The Paradise of Death. The success of that production led to a sequel, the six part The Ghosts of N-Space, made in November 1994 but not transmitted until early 1996. Jon made appearances at numerous Doctor Who conventions, invariably appearing in a version of the Third Doctor's costume which he'd had made especially for such occasions.

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