My Favorite Doctors #1 The Third Doctor (Jon Pertwee)

Time for my favorite Doctor Who!

This article was been a little while in the making, as I wanted to do justice to my all time favorite Doctor.. For this article I went back and watched every adventure with the Third Doctor!

By 1969 the world seemed to be changing at a rapid pace: technology was becoming more advanced by the day, color television, sleeker cars. And greatest of all it was about to land man on the moon. More then ever before mankind turned it’s attention to space. As our understanding of outer space grew, Sci-Fi on the big and small screen had to evolve to stay fresh and exciting.

Doctor Who producers Derrick Sherwin and Peter Bryant had a plan for the show to evolve too. They had no other choice. The ratings weren’t what they could be. The hugely popular Second Doctor Patrick Troughton was leaving at season’s end, the show needed to be switched to color and the special effects budget was becoming too expensive.

To implement this change it was decided that the Doctor would be exiled to Earth by his people, the Time Lords. With the Doctor stranded on one planet there would be no need for alien worlds to be made. The monsters could be more earth bound as well, thus saving money on elaborate suits.

Jon Pertwee, a character actor and comedian was chosen to fill Troughton’s shoes. His take on the Doctor was more flamboyant and action oriented. Part Victorian gentleman. Part James Bond. Pertwee basically played himself. Incorporating his love gadgets, vehicles and fancy clothes into the character.

During his run, several new foes where introduced who would plague the Doctor for years to come, The Master, the Sea Devils, Autons and Sontarans. UNIT and The Brigadier, both introduced towards the end of Patrick Troughton’s run, would return and become a part of the Doctor’s extended family.

For me I think the combination of an Indiana Jones type adventuring scientist crossed with a suave James Bond type, mixed with a dash of X-Files is what really draws me to this Doctor. The Third Doctor is smart, funny and an active crusader. He’s far more willing to dash into action then many of the other incarnations. He can be arrogant like the Sixth and Fourth Doctors, but this comes across more as a concerned parent then a superior alien intelligence.

Some of my favorite Who adventures are from this era. “Inferno” a crazy alternate Earth story. “Spearhead From Space” his first adventure and the first appearance of the Autons. “Day of the Daleks” featuring everybody’s favorite killer pepperpots and a great time travel adventure. “The Three Doctors” the first and best team up of The Doctor’s different incarnations. And “Planet of Spiders” his last story, an epic featuring a heroic sacrifice and the first appearance of Tom Baker. Like any of the Doctors there’s some stinkers in there, but even while the story may have sucked, the Doctor himself was always good.

It was a lot of fun going back through all the Third Doctor’s era. I plan to do it with the other Doctors as well.

Thanks for joining me in my look at my favorite Doctor Who’s. I hope you enjoyed it.

Professor Brian Oblivion

Part Time Lord. Part '80's horror film. All Nerd. If they made a movie of my life it would be shot on video and directed by Herschell Gordon Lewis.

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6 thoughts on “My Favorite Doctors #1 The Third Doctor (Jon Pertwee)

  1. Badwolf says:

    Three is not my favorite, but he’s right up there. I always liked Jon Pertwee’s take on The Doctor. I’d also like to point out that he was hamstrung with the “exiled on Earth” motif for his run, which, in my opinion, is a hindrance and not a help.

  2. Atari Adventure Square says:

    Great article, Prof!

    While it was great to finally see him get his Tardis back, midway, and have some galactic adventures, the Earth-bound stories were tighter and made me enjoy this incarnation as much, if not more, than others.

    But yeah, I agree setting him back in space was a relief – and more in character.

    Baker’s Doctor is mesmerizing, and his stories have a better batting average with overall prime Who-vian qualities, but I really dig seeing Pertwee make the best out of his situation without time travel, for a while.
    And UNIT and the Brigadier added some spice with an ongoing question of armed intervention against inhuman presence.

    Simply love this run.

  3. David Lovejoy says:

    Great article. Since I grew up in the 70s and episodes aired about 5 years behind on our local PBS station, Jon Pertwee was my first Doctor. I was hooked then as I am now.

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