It is entirely possible that Jon Pertwee is my first Doctor. Then again, it may be Tom Baker. The memories of a three year old are tough to crack.
The Pertwee era is marked by ruffled shirts and velvet jackets. The Doctor is no longer traversing time and space (for now, anyway), having been exiled to Earth by the Time Lords after a forced regeneration. The Pertwee era, as I have read, is an era that owes inspiration to James Bond and Quatermass. We will see derring-do, gadgets, and alien invasions.
Season seven, the first Pertwee season, is a big deal for multiple reasons.
- Colorization – Spearhead from Space (the first serial of season seven) is the first episode of Doctor Who to be broadcast in color.
- Shorter Seasons – Gone are the 44-48 episode seasons. Season seven has only 25 episodes. I have to admit that it seems I may start flying through the serials from here on out. Money pending, of course.
- Renewal – In this case, I don’t mean regeneration; I am referring to the new direction for the show. We have spent the past six years watching The Doctor traverse from one planet to another, from one time period to another. For the next few years, we will be confined to Earth. This will allow Doctor Who to do something new: develop a recurring cast. Sure, we will still have the leads in The Doctor and a companion, but now we have recurring characters such as UNIT stalwarts The Brigadier, Mike Yates, Sgt. Benton, and so on. This will lead to endless debate among fans as to what constitutes a companion, specifically as refers to The Brigadier. I personally have little interest in this debate. I’m in it for the story.
Of course, this is a regeneration story and we have a new face and personality for The Doctor. I’ll deal with the personality in a later post (likely after I start writing about Spearhead specifically).
Jon Pertwee was a comic actor who had made a name doing quite a bit of radio work. His pre-Doctor Who work included Dad’s Army and The Navy Lark, neither of which I have heard, but both of which, I am assured, are funny.
Any Pertwee fans reading the blog? What do I have to look forward to?