June 2, 2011

The Reign of Pertwee

Jon Pertwee is a badass.

Just wanted to get that out of the way first.

As I mentioned in my last blog post, Rod and I have been going through the entire classic Doctor Who run, and now we're into the Third Doctor's last season. I decided when we started this journey that I was going to completely wipe out my list of favorite Doctors (I'd never seen much of William Hartnell's era, and certainly not enough to base an opinion on, so it wasn't a complete list anyway) and I'd decide as we watched each season how my new list of favorite Doctors would shake out.

I surprised myself by the time I got to the end of the Second Doctor's run by just how underwhelmed I was with him this time around, and pretty much knew that he'd end up slipping a few slots (previously he was my second favorite Doctor). Patrick Troughton seems to be a pretty popular Doctor with people nowadays, and I mean, he was way up there on my initial list, too. He's funny and quirky and likeable. But after going through his entire run (including reconstructions of missing episodes) I came to the conclusion that his popularity is probably due to the fact that a lot of his stories are, in fact, missing, including some pretty horrible ones. So most Who fans only get exposed to his better works, and they don't have to sift through the blandness of stories and companions and recycled storylines over and over.

Anyway, by the time we got into Jon Pertwee's era of Doctor Who, I was psyched. It was a breath of fresh air. One of the reasons the Third Doctor's run saved Doctor Who from cancellation back in the day is because the thing is so damned solid. There are very few stories that I'd call bad or bland, and the Third Doc also has the luxury of having an absolutely brilliant supporting cast in the way of U.N.I.T. (except for Mike Yates, who I have issues with), and some great companions. Oh, and having the the first (and best) incarnation of the Master, played by Roger Delgado, doesn't hurt either.

Also, Pertwee had that knack of kicking ass.

Indeed, this Doctor is a James Bond kind of Doctor. A guy who wears frilly shirts, capes and velvet coats and won't hesitate to kick your ass while doing so. Jon Pertwee brought a physicality and a love of adventure to Doctor Who, and suddenly the Doctor went from being a loveable, funny (and sometimes terrified) kind of Doctor, to someone more stern and authoritative (who could still crack jokes and poke fun with the best of them). His Venusian Akido could cut anyone down, and he could paralyze opponents with but a touch.

Pertwee's run is tons of fun to watch and you can tell the entire cast was having a blast. Great stuff, and I highly recommend it for anyone who wants to watch a really nice, solid run of classic Who.

So now my only dilemma as we near ever closer to the fantastic Tom Baker's era of Doctor Who is.... who comes ahead on my list of favorite Doctors? Hartnell or Pertwee? I really grew to love Hartnell's incarnation of the Doctor, and yet Pertwee is so badass and has such a solid run... Who will come out on top?

Ahh, decisions, decisions...

Anyway, whatever happens, I wanted to draw a Doctor Who piece featuring the Third Doctor ready to beat someone down, frilly shirt, cape and all. So there you have it.

And as a side note, I hope all of my pals heading to Heroes Con this weekend have a great time and a safe trip. Wish Rod and I could be joining in on the fun! But at least the Baltimore Comic Con looms ever closer. More info on what you can expect from us at the show will be forthcoming!


Vinto-Man said...

Totally agree with everything I read here Leanne. He has always been my favourite "old school" doctor and probably the most action packed doctor we have seen.

nob01 said...

Yep - excellent piece, Leanne. He was my 'first' Doctor as a wee boy, and I have fond memories of his stories, the Dinosaur Invasion being one of my nostalgic favorites. I met Pertwee when he was opening an amusement park in Bournemouth dressed as Worzel Gummidge - but I could still see the Doctor under all that make-up :)

Matt Wieringo said...

You make me want to watch this show. Suze watched it and loved it when she was a kid but I practically lived on Tattoine as a child and only read about it in books. Is it possible to pick it up with one of the recent series and not be confused?

Leanne said...

Thanks, all!

Matt, I'm not sure about the new series (Rod and I tried a few episodes and realized it wasn't for us), but if you are interested in the Classic run, the 3rd Doctor's five seasons and the 4th Doctor's first three seasons are a great place to dive in. Really solid run of episodes. Rod's the one who got me into Who (I'd only ever heard the name), and I think he started me off with the 4th Doctor. I've been hooked ever since!