We have now finished reviewing all of Jon Pertwee’s era of Doctor Who. In the episodes section.
Pertwee’s era can be best described, as a meteoric shift in the show’s fortunes, it’s outlook. More importantly, it 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, Bob Baker, Dave Martin and Robert Holmes). Doctor 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. Unafraid, to resort to Venusian karate-chopping his way through an adventure or opponent.
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 introduction of regular characters; UNIT, The Master, Jo Grant and Sarah-Jane Smith.
Even though, producers set themselves – an almost impossible conundrum. By pitching a show about a Time-traveller being essentialy unable to time-travel. Being Earthbound, didn’t stop the flow of quality and exciting adventures.
The Doctor, (with his new role as Chief Scientific Advisor to UNIT) would – over the next 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 rating, as highly -as the best that Who could offer. Viewer ratings in the Early 70’s, soared – as a result.
The inspired introduction, of a ‘Moriarty-style’ villain – in the Master character. Finally 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 the Doctor’s exile on Earth.
The Doctor, was also accompanied by three of the strongest (and best) companions in the history of Who; Jo Grant, Sarah-Jane Smith and UNIT. Who were no longer merely bystanders but active participants – in the Doctor’s adventures.
We also had – arguably, the best anniversary special – in The Three Doctors,); which cleverly reunited Pertwee, with his two previous incarnation’s – Troughton and Hartnell. The interplay between Pertwee and Troughton was sublime – and more importantly; won the Doctor back, the right to time-travel again.
Doctor Who, was also becoming more reflective – of real-life issues 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 popular 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 the past. When returning 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 was a welcome addition – to the more cerebal side of the show. The Pertwee era also took risks too; grounding the Doctor on Earth – and introducing a slew of new characters and monsters.
The show was entering a golden age, a trend to be ultimately carried on to a peak – by the Doctor’s successor.
Season Seven – 1970
Season Eight – 1971
Season Nine – 1972
Season Ten – 1972-1973
Season Eleven – 1973 – 1974
Season Twenty – 1983
The Five Doctors⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐