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Feature
The Doctor Who's Who: A Guide To The Time Lord's Incarnations Through The Years
The Doctors profiled, vote for your favourite companion and the best episodes to watch

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The Third Doctor (Jon Pertwee, 1970-1974)

JON PERTWEE
THE ACTION DANDY

 

As Jon Pertwee took over the role, he and the producers decided to make the Doctor much more dynamic, revealing a heretofore undiscovered talent for Venusian aikido and a love of classic roadsters. Despite the show's lower budget forcing his exile on Earth in early episodes, this was a Doctor unafraid to pitch in when the moment called for it, though he was still blessed with incredible intelligence and a general dislike for military thinking (oh, and we learned he had two hearts here). His fashion sense tended more towards the Victorian dandy, and he was once described as "a whirlwind in a frilly shirt". Among the notable villains to show up here were The Master (played originally by Roger Delgado), the Autons, the Sea Devils, the Sontarans and the Silurians. They liked the letter S in the early 1970s.
 


COMPANIONS

The Brig continued along, and became an even bigger presence thanks to the early stories' dealing with UNIT. Civilian UNIT member Liz Shaw (Caroline John) was an early match for the Doctor, and soldier John Benton (John Levene) also helped out. Jo Grant (Katy Manning) replaced Liz as the UNIT operative, and also had brief encounters with the Second and Eleventh Doctor. Mike Yates (Richard Franklin) was one of the Brigadier's lieutenants who would also encounter the fourth Doctor. Most famous of them all, however, was Sarah Jane Smith (Elisabeth Sladen) who got to travel with the Third, Forth and Tenth incarnations and even got not one, but two spin-offs, the abortive K9 And Company and the successful Sarah Jane Adventures.
 

Quick poll: Vote for your favourite Doctor Who companion


FIVE EPISODES TO WATCH

1 Spearhead From Space
Carrying on from the end of Troughton's era, this introduces Pertwee's Doctor and starts to explore the possibilities of his Earthbound existence. That includes the fact that alien threats – such as the Autons – are still very present.

2 Doctor Who And The Silurians
Bessie the car makes her first appearance and we get to meet the Silurians, who are revealed as Earth's original inhabitants. They've been in hibernation until they're accidentally awoken and decide they want the planet back.

3 Inferno
A superb alternate reality adventure finds the Doctor assisting with a massive engineering project and the TARDIS flinging him into a parallel universe where everyone is evil. It's also the episode where Liz Shaw departs the show.

4 The Sea Devils
Can you guess the main threat here from the title? Well, you'd be half right, because The Master also shows up, plotting evil despite being confined to a prison specifically designed to keep him from wreaking havoc.

5 Planet Of The Spiders
The final Pertwee outing sees the Doctor dealing with arachnid alien enemies, who are after a mysterious blue crystal he picked up on an earlier adventure. This story ends with Pertwee regenerating as Tom Baker. The adventure continues...

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Have Your Say
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Your Comments

1
I might be missing something but shouldn't John Hurt be on the list as the 9th Doctor? More

Posted by CaptainAwesome on Thursday November 28, 2013, 13:53

2 This was great...
...although I guess **SPOILERS** (sort of) you'll have to re-arrange the numerical order now - and although it was a one-off, I would consider Sally Sparrow to be a companion, and definitely one of my favourites - such a shame that now Carey Mulligan has made it SO big, we're unlikely to see her reprise the role... well, not until the 2025 Children In Need special anyway More

Posted by christofurr on Monday November 25, 2013, 15:41

3 RE: Missed one
L: Morehumanthanhuman I'm not a massive Dr Who fan, but I fail to see why Paul Mcgann gets a mention as the 8th doctor and yet Peter Cushing played the character several times never gets a mention. I loved those films as a kid getting constant repeats during the summer holidays. Peter Cushing played A Doctor, not THE Doctor. And he only did it for 2 TV movies. While the two movies, Doctor Who and the Daleks, and Doctor Who: Daleks Invasion Earth were based on the television series, they are not considered as canon within the main, TV universe. Cushing's Doctor was a human inventor, not a Time Lord. He also invented and built his Tardis, rather then it being the product of Time Lord science. The characters name was also Doctor Who. Who being used as the family/surname, rather then just the title of The Doctor. More

Posted by GrizBe on Monday November 25, 2013, 00:05

4
livapr99. There WAS A Christmas Carol for the Doctor. It was called a Christmas Carol and aired on Christmas Day 2010 More

Posted by PaoloCorleone on Sunday November 24, 2013, 20:58

5 Missed one
I'm not a massive Dr Who fan, but I fail to see why Paul Mcgann gets a mention as the 8th doctor and yet Peter Cushing played the character several times never gets a mention. I loved those films as a kid getting constant repeats during the summer holidays. More

Posted by Morehumanthanhuman on Sunday November 24, 2013, 13:39

6
Nice handy article :) Also concur that The Girl In The Fireplace and Blink should be in the mix. Still don't understand why Moffatt's more intellectual approach to story-telling is often viewed negatively - beats the dumbed down approach of RTD's run (The Big Red Button Era). I would disagree with the comment on the 10ths Master - Jacobi was fantastic, Simms was pantomime dreadful! RTD's period was often camp, but Simm's Master was better suited to Adam West's Batman. Shame, as he is a great actor usually. More

Posted by sirvolkar on Sunday November 24, 2013, 11:54

7
until I saw the bank draft that said $8966, I be certain ...that...my father in law woz like they say truley bringing in money in their spare time on their apple laptop.. there neighbour has done this less than seventeen months and resently paid the dept on there mini mansion and bought a gorgeous Porsche 911. I went here,...JUMP85.COM More

Posted by RachelMcCarter9012 on Sunday November 24, 2013, 02:53

8 Love the article. But...
...it's DEREK Jacobi. Not David. More

Posted by wgfuzzydunlop1 on Friday November 22, 2013, 20:36

9
What about 'A Christmas Carol' for the Eleventh Doctor? Overall, though, a good article. More

Posted by livapr99 on Friday November 22, 2013, 18:25

10 Where's K-9?
You forgot the snooty dog thing. Both of them. More

Posted by Sean Alexander on Friday November 22, 2013, 17:23

11 Great Article
Fantastic piece this. Genesis of the Daleks from the Tom Baker era has to be my favourite Doctor Who story, even though I am a huge fan of the modern era shows. Despite the still somewhat wonky sets, Genesis was the first thing on television that showed me that a TV series could have real dramatic depth and still be entertaining. His moral anguish when on the brink of committing genocide is brilliantly played by Tom Baker, off an excellent script. More

Posted by Topper_Harley on Friday November 22, 2013, 00:48

12 Probably one of the best articles you've written for a while...
But I agree with the others. Girl in the Fireplace and Blink defiantely needed to be on the list for the 10th, and A Good Man Goes to War and Vincent defiantely for the 11th. More

Posted by GrizBe on Thursday November 21, 2013, 21:36

13 Great list but....
Great list but for me Girl in the Fireplace & Vincent and the Doctor are 2 of my favourites. Blink is a great episode too and well deserved to be on the list. More

Posted by casheliser on Thursday November 21, 2013, 20:19

14 Amazing Feature
But for the 11th Doctor, I feel "A Good Man Goes To War" should included. It perfectly shows eleven's wit and his amazing sense of showmanship, as well as his wrath. Best 11 episode in my opinion. More

Posted by tommyinglis on Thursday November 21, 2013, 19:23

15
Awesome list but there's an episode missing from Tennant's run in my opinion: the awesome Girl in the Fireplace; my favourite tenth stand-alone More

Posted by cahoopuk on Thursday November 21, 2013, 14:53

16
Excellent feature and beautifully presented. Thanks. More

Posted by TimEdwards on Thursday November 21, 2013, 13:57

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