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  1. #1
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    Default Talkin' 'bout my regeneration!

    And so with Season 7, we get our first season of a new Doctor - the THIRD Doctor!

    So, my friends, the question I would like to ask is - how does he shape up? Do you like the Third Doctor? Do you think Season 7 is a fair representation of him, or does he continue to grow into the role in later seasons?

    Let's talk about the Third Doctor!

    Do you know what they call me in the ancient legends of the Dalek homeworld? The Oncoming Storm.

  2. #2
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    The third Doctor is the one I like least, but conversely I think Pertwee is one of the best, maybe the best, actor in the title role. He probably also deserves credit for helping 'reinvent' the Doctor - from the third Doctor on, it is the Doctor who tends to handle the rough stuff, moving to the more obvious hero role in that sense, whereas Hartnell and Troughton were never without a male companion to fill that sort of role. With the possible exception of the seventh Doctor, from Pertwee onwards the Doctor was always more of a 'hands on, rough and tumble' male lead - and yet he combines it, certainly in season 7, with the same sort of eccentricity and 'Doctorishness' as Troughton.

    Why don't I like the third Doctor all that much? Hard to say. I don't think there's much in the old Verity Lambert argument that he'd become 'the establishment' as he seems to be forever arguing with anybody who is any sort of authority figure. But I think maybe there are less 'Doctory' moments, less 'laughs' even with the third Doctor than the others. It may also be to do with the fact that I didn't get to see Pertwee at the time, only years later - the frilled shirts kind of date him more than any of the other Doctor looks have. And also there seems to be a bit more of a patronising side to the third Doctor, particularly with Jo but also with SJS in her earlier stories, which doesn't fit quite right with me - I guess it's what you're used to, and having first got into Who with Tom, Pertwee's more condescending air doesn't work for me.

    But as I say, the actor himself is superb - I can't easily think of any story where you'd say he's giving a lazy performance, and he gives his era a definite sense of dignity by taking everything so absolutely seriously. There are laughs, sure (I always chuckle at his response in Spearhead to having landed amidst a shower of meteories, "Did I really? How terribly exciting", and I've recently enjoyed the 'coin trick' sequence in Colony in Space) but in general my immediate picture of the third Doctor is a serious, commanding presence. And just as Tom gives me shivers throughout his final story, I can't watch Spiders without getting the same reaction when Pertwee says, heartbreakingly, "I got lost in the vortex... the TARDIS brought me home." Perhaps that's it, that the Earth IS the third Doctor's home, and that he's the most human of them all.

    I'll shut up now!

  3. #3
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    My personal take on the Third Doctor is that he's an interesting one to compare with his predecessor.

    The Second Doctor was often full of whimsy, and could really be described as a "wise fool" - he knew what he was doing, and did it while pretending to be a complete idiot. To paraphrase something the Fourth Doctor said - act like an idiot, confuse the enemy when you win.

    The Third Doctor, however, is completely different. Whitney pointed out to me while we were watching our way through Season 7, that he's far closer in character to the First Doctor than to his immediate predecessor. He's grumpy, he doesn't quite trust humans, and he's a little more willing to spring into action (and for those who doubt the last point - I suggest going back and re-watching The Romans!) It really does seem to me that the Third and Fourth Doctors really echo the personalities of the First and Second Doctors, and it's not until the Fifth that we start to see something a little different.

    Of course, what's most interesting is the so-called "Tory" Doctor. We're never quite sure to what extent he supports the establishment. Clearly, he works for UNIT. We also hear of his chats in "the club" with "Old Tubby Rowlands". But he often shows clear disdain for the way that the Brigadier and UNIT do things. He frequently shows complete disregard for civil servants and public officials, often seemingly rude to them just to make a point. Yet, even after his exile is lifted, he returns to Earth relatively often to help out UNIT and the Brigadier. As Andrew said before me, he comes to regard Earth as his home, and I really feel that this isn't the case until the Third Doctor and the end of his exile. And I believe that it's precisely because of his exile that the post-Time War Doctors see Earth as their surrogate home.

    As such, I believe that we see intentional character development in the Third Doctor that we just don't see in that many of the old Doctors. Here, we see a Doctor that slowly comes to trust humans and treat Earth as his home. We saw it with the First Doctor, and his slow journey in coming to trust his new human companions. But I don't feel like there was an intentional journey in terms of character development with any of the other Classic Series Doctors. I know such an arc was planned for the Sixth Doctor (and it's been nice to see Big Finish carry that on), but due to Colin's sacking at the hands of the BBC, it sadly never happened on screen.

    I've often thought of the Third Doctor as one of my least favourites. But watching his era in order has really led to me re-evaluating the character, and I'm coming to love him again.

    Do you know what they call me in the ancient legends of the Dalek homeworld? The Oncoming Storm.

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