Tag Archives: Jon Pertwee

Doctor Who Serial 054 – Inferno

Synopsis: The Doctor is consulting on a massive drilling project allowing him to syphon off energy to use on his TARDIS console. People start dying.

vlcsnap-2014-04-06-08h47m45s83So apparently The Doctor is keeping the TARDIS console in a garage, and using a sonic screwdriver as a garage door opener. Meanwhile, once again we have a science project happening where the lead is an arrogant asshole who won’t listen to reason or take responsible safety precautions. While Sir Keith, the funder is trying to bring in consultants to ensure safety and responsibility. Showing its British class-structure.

The Doctor flies the TARDIS console into a parallel universe, where an evil Brigade Leader Lethbridge-Stewart is leading a scientific team for the Republican Security Force. It must be evil if Queen Lizzy is deposed.

The Doctor is captured by Lethbridge-Stewart, and ends up fighting for his freedom, while also observing the parallel universe’s drilling having the same problems that he will have on Earth Prime.

vlcsnap-2014-04-06-15h23m49s181This is the first seven-parter that doesn’t feel like it drags… too much. It seems to work. This was the end of season 7. Instead of the usual 40-odd episodes, the seasons now have only 20-odd episodes. It’s a lot less Doctor Who, but it’s a lot more manageable. Troughton and Hartnell never had it so easy.

This theme of scientists who are too caught up on their own grandeur to see what they’re doing is played out. For some odd reason this, and a distaste of computers are a recurring theme in Doctor Who and sci-fi in general. It’s riduculous beyond belief.

Jon Pertwee attempts to become an action star in his role as The Doctor. He does a lot of martial arts, car chases, and just a lot of jumping around. It’s an interesting take on The Doctor, something that 50 years later is still unique to Pertwee.

Doctor Who Serial 053 – The Ambassadors of Death

Synopsis: A space mission is sent to rescue a ship that hasn’t been responding. Something goes wrong and Earth loses contact with the space probe. Aliens send down some ambassadors while some secret agencies are working in secret.

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UNIT is advising the Space Command, while The Doctor and Liz Shaw are watching on TV. It’s weird to see The Doctor observing a big event on television. It’s not his thing. It makes me think The Doctor must be in misery due to his exile, but they don’t portray that.

Instead The Doctor is just tinkering away in his TARDIS trying to override the lockouts that the Time Lords put on his TARDIS. He wants to escape, but can’t.

Once again, the story drags because it is broken up into seven parts. There’s a lot of mystery, but it often doesn’t leave a lot of intrigue. It’s just mystery without interest. The story itself is interesting, and intriguing. We eventually learn of an old astronaut (now a General in the military) who takes over Space Command. When he was on Mars, he met these creatures, and is afraid they plan to invade Earth, he wants to make a stand before they do. Unfortunately UNIT and The Doctor are getting in the way.

vlcsnap-2014-04-05-21h00m28s173How The Doctor is getting in the way is by trying to make peaceful contact with the alien creatures, and figure out the mystery of the missing astronauts. He even volunteers to go up in another rocket and try to make contact with the missing crew (and the aliens).

The Doctor is right of course, and the title is completely inaccurate, all the death is being caused by the rogue General.

One of the interesting things that we see in this story is that the production team tried something different for the first time. They broke up the opening titles, so we had the beginning, a bit of a teaser (about a minute) and then they put up the story name, episode number, and writer’s credit. But they just broke up the theme, rather than redesigning the sound for it. It felt awkward and didn’t work.

We also learn in the story that there’s a radio telescope in Algonquin… and there really is.

This was a really enjoyable episode, that just dragged a bit too long.

Doctor Who Serial 052 – Doctor Who and the Silurians

Synopsis: UNIT is called to a nuclear power station which is losing power. They find Silurians are waking up, a biped lizard people from Earth’s past.

This is a very interesting episode, mostly because The Doctor is convinced the Silurian people and the Humans can coexist on Earth together. UNIT however is reacting militarily, and some scientists from the power station just don’t believe they exist.

The problem is that the story is seven episodes long. It takes forever for anything interesting to happen, and by forever, I mean three episodes. The first three episodes plod along without creating any interest for the viewer. This is why it has been two weeks since the last Doctor Who entry on this site. I haven’t had any interest in watching this story.

Once you finally get into the story, things move along quickly and excitingly. The story raises some interesting questions, and turns the idea of aliens=monsters on its head.

The format is almost identical to the Matt Smith episodes “The Hungary Earth”/”Cold Blood” but writer Chris Chibnall was better able to condense the story into two episodes.

Doctor Who Serial 051 – Spearhead From Space

Synopsis: The Doctor, having just regenerated, finds himself on exiled on Earth helping UNIT. Strange objects have fallen from the sky, as a forerunner for the Nestines to conquer Earth.

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Hello Jon Pertwee.

Though most of episode one has The Doctor unconscious, we quickly get a good idea of who The Doctor is now. He’s tricky, he’s clever, and he loves a bit of action.

We get reintroduced to UNIT who are investigating falling meteorite, they also find the unconscious Doctor along with the TARDIS. This gets Brigadier General Lethbridge-Stewart excited, thinking The Doctor has returned. He finds out about this while interviewing a young woman named Liz Shaw, so he brings her with.

Sadly, the man in the hospital bed does not look like The Doctor, but he recognizes Lethbridge-Stewart.

We learn The Doctor has two hearts for the first time.

The Doctor gets kidnapped by some strangers, but quickly breaks free, and tries to get to the TARDIS, only to be shot by the UNIT guards.

They take The Doctor back to the hospital where the physician says, “He’s more unconscious than anyone I’ve ever seen!” Which is the most amazing line of dialogue, ever.

In an excellent scene, The Doctor hides from the hospitals doctors in the staff room then steals clothing from them. This scene will be riffed upon in “The Eleventh Hour.”

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The production quality is vastly different than the previous seasons. They reduced the number of episodes from forty-something to a more manageable twenty-something. This serial, is a bit unique in that it was completely filmed on location on film. Usually Doctor Who has a few scenes filmed on location on 16mm, and the rest is video taped in studio. This makes for a very drastic change in Doctor Who.

The mystery of the fallen spheres takes a back seat to reintroducing The Doctor, Lethbridge-Stewart, and introducing Liz Shaw.

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Creepy dude is creepy.

Episode four seems to finally get into the plot, where the plastics company is making models for Madame Tussaud’s, oddly though of top civil servants, not of famous people.

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Perhaps what make Jon Pertwee so great of a Doctor is the elasticity of his face. He’s able to bring a great level of comedy to Doctor Who.

The comparisons to “Rose” are really easy. Both Spearhead From Space and “Rose” are the start of a new era of Doctor Who. Both feature the same baddies and have shop window dummies go on a killing spree. In both stories we have to learn to love a new Doctor. I think in some ways “Rose” is better, and in other Spearhead From Space is better.

I don’t know if there’s a lot of comparison between Christopher Eccelston’s version of The Doctor and Jon Pertwee’s. Eccelston plays a damaged man who is looking for a bit of fun. Pertwee is trying to remember who he is, and hoping to run away.

In the end, these are two great Doctor Who stories.