Thing of the week: The Jon Pertwee era of Doctor Who

I recently ran out of things to watch on my Tuesday-and-Thursday-Curry-and-Sci-Fi-Lunch-Break sessions. Battlestar Galactica, right from the start – done. Firefly – done. Every season of Blakes 7 – done.

What next… Hmmm… how about some “classic” Doctor Who?

The problem with watching vintage Doctor Who is deciding where to start. I could maybe try to be a completist, and start from the very beginning… but… I’m not sure I could stomach *all* the early fuzzy Black and White episodes (besides which, a bunch of them are famously lost-without-trace, so it wouldn’t really be a “true” completist approach anyway). So instead of doing that, I thought I’d aim for every episode made during my lifetime, in the right order. And I can always go back and watch the older stuff later, if I have the inclination.

Apparently the Doctor was busy dealing with the Silurians (for the first ever time!) at the moment of my birth… and it was only the 3rd Doctor’s second ever on-screen adventure. Therefore, the start of the Jon Pertwee era (which also happened to be the first episode broadcast in colour) seemed the ideal place to begin.

128 episodes later: Jon Pertwee = done! 🙂

Verdict: a bit variable, really. Some of the stories were actually rather good… a few were awful… but most were a perfectly fine no-brains-required accompaniment for a plate full of Lamb Biryani or Chicken Tika Masala. It’s kind of nice to see a lot of the Doctor who mythology (especially all the UNIT stuff, and a whole season pretty much devoted to The Master) clicking into place. I’m not sure how convinced I was by the whole Dandy-Englishman-Adventurer-with-a-black-belt-in-Venusian-Karate approach to the character, low-rent James Bond chase scenes and the flying who-mobile… but I chewed my way through all 5 seasons of it without feeling the compulsion to have a break and watch something different, so it clearly wasn’t be too disagreeable. Oh, and Jo Grant is a way better companion than I ever thought she would be. I think I even preferred her to Pertwee-era Sarah Jane Smith.

So… yeah, all in all, I rather enjoyed that. Tom Baker next…

Posted in Reviews, Thing of the Week, TV | Permalink.

One Response to Thing of the week: The Jon Pertwee era of Doctor Who

  1. (Different) John says:

    Pertwee was my birth-era Doctor, too, so I wasn’t aware of him at the time. I didn’t get into it until Baker #1 was getting into his stride. Looking back at Pertwee’s episodes, however, I’m struck immediately by the pseudo-modern incidental music. If anything ever captured an era’s sci-fi sensibilities, it’s those sounds. (Well… apart from the costumes, of course.)

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