We have now finished reviewing all of the Jon Pertwee Who’s – in the episodes section.
Pertwee’s era can be best described as a meteoric shift in the show’s fortunes, outlook and more importantly – was the era; which finally nailed down the Doctor’s accepted history and backstory mythos.
With strong backroom direction from Who producer and writer Barry Letts and quality writing from the likes of Don Houghton and Bob Baker and Dave Martin and Robert Holmes; Who was being pushed into the modern TV age.
Pertwee himself, brought a dashing silverscreen star quality to his Doctor; who was just as intellectually adept, as he was action orientated – Venusian karate chopping his way through an adventure or verbally castigating his opponents.
Other achievements from the Pertwee era, included; the introduction of the colour format, a noticable step up in budget and special effects. On the character front, we also had the regular introduction of UNIT, the Master character, Jo Grant and Sarah-Jane Smith.
Even though producers set themselves an almost impossible conundrum of a show about a Time traveller who was essentially Earthbound following exile, it didn’t stop the flow of quality and exciting adventures.
The Doctor, with his new role as Chief Scientific Advisor to UNIT would over 3 seasons investigate and thwart invasion attempts from all manner of Earthly and Alien origins.
Earthbased adventures including – Spearhead from Space, Doctor Who & The Silurians, Inferno, Terror of the Autons, The Claws of Axos, The Sea Devils, The Daemons and The Green Death; all rate as highly as any space opera that the best Who could offer. Ratings soared as a result.
The inspired introduction of a Moriarty-style villain, in the Master character – gave the Doctor a worthy adversary and counterpoint to his own morality. The Master would continue to be a thorn in the side of the Doctor throughout his time on Earth.
The Doctor was also accompanied by 3 of the strongest companions in the history of Who – Jo Grant, Sarah-Jane Smith and UNIT, who were no longer bystanders to try Doctor’s events but active participants in the Doctor’s adventures.
We also had arguably, the best anniversary special in The Three Doctors, which reunited Pertwee with his two previous incarnation’s – Troughton and Hartnell. The interplay between Pertwee and Troughton was sublime and more importantly – the Doctor won his right to time travel back.
Who was becoming more sensitive to the real-life issues of the day too and this was no better displayed than in the environmentally concerned shocker – The Green Death. Also, it was with a tinge of sadness, that the Doctor bid farewell to his closest companion – Jo Grant.
The Doctor’s final season introduced new companion Sarah-Jane Smith and showcased the grandly ambitious – if slightly flawed Invasion of the Dinosaurs and Death to the Daleks. Other highlights was the introduction of the Sontarans in The Time Warrior.
Finally, the Doctor faced up to an ancient fear from his past, when he returned to Metebelis 3 to face the “8 leggeds”, in the regeneration finale – Planet of the Spiders.
Pertwee came to embody a different, more action orientated Doctor which came as a welcome addition to the more cerebal side of the show. The Pertwee era took risks too; grounding his Doctor in Earth and introduced a slew of new characters and monsters.
The show was entering it’s golden age a trend to be ultimately carried on by the Doctor’s successor.
Which was your favourite Pertwee episode?
Season Seven – 1970
Season Eight – 1971
Season Nine – 1972
Season Ten – 1972-1973
Season Eleven – 1973 – 1974
Season Twenty – 1983
The Five Doctors⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐