24 May, 2011

Dr. Who (The Early Years) - Part 33 "The Third Doctor In Review"

Notes: Jon Pertwee's tenure of Doctor Who was certainly a change from previous seasons. As promised the episode before, the Time Lords have marooned the Doctor on Earth. Fortunately, the Doctor runs into the Brigadier from UNIT who essentially hires the Doctor as a scientific advisor. Unlike his previous incarnation, this Doctor is a dandy and generally more hands on. What he couldn't solve by reversing the polarity of the neutron flow, he'd resolve with his training in Venusian Aki-Do. Though Jon sometimes would claim he left because he was refused a raise, he mostly left because things were changing too much. Barry Letts was leaving as Producer, Terrence Dicks was leaving as Script Editor, Katy Manning had moved on, Nicholas Courtney was being used less and Roger Delgado died. On top of all that, he felt he was getting typecast in the role. Towards the end of his regeneration, The Doctor had more freedom and was spending less time on Earth as a result of helping Gallifrey in the Omega incident. The Time Lords lifted his exile and it seemed Doctor Who had moved into a new era once again.
Name: The Doctor 1970-1974
Actor: Jon Pertwee
July 7, 1919 - May 20, 1996
Occupation: Time Traveller
First Seen: Earth 1970
First Episode: Spearheads From Space (Season 7)
Last Seen: Earth 1974
Last Episode: Planet of Spiders (Season 11)
Special Appearance: The Five Doctors (1983), Dimensions In Time (1993)

Notes: When the Brigadier first meets the third Doctor, he obviously doesn't recognize him. However, he knows he's an alien and the Doctor is very persuading, he ultimately accepts the truth. Even though he at times found the Doctor infuriating he ultimately came to regard the Doctor as a friend and respected his advice. The Brigadiers natural instinct was to blow up whatever was menacing UNIT, but he allowed the Doctor to try his approach many times, attempting a more peaceful solution. Nicolas Courtney was also the only actor in the original series to have been with the Doctor his entire regeneration.
Name: Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart 1970-1974
Actor: Nicholas Courtney
December 16, 1929 - February 22nd, 2011
Occupation: Brigadier of UNIT
First Seen: Earth 1970
First Episode: Spearheads From Space (Season 7)
Last Seen: Continues to work with the 4th Doctor.

Notes: Before the Brigadier discovered the Doctor was exiled to Earth, Liz was hired to act as his scientific advisor. She initially scoffed at the idea of life on other planets, but the Nestene soon changed her mind. She became a valuable assistant to the Doctor, but that was a problem for her. Instead of being the top scientist for UNIT she became an assistant whose primary focus was to hand the Doctor test tubes and tell him how brilliant he was. It didn't take long for her to realize this and when she did, she left UNIT and went back to Cambridge. In reality, the producers realized she was probably too smart for her own good and they wanted someone with less intelligence, to ask the Doctor what people at home were likely wondering. "What's that Doctor?" The irony is, Caroline John was pregnant and was likely to leave the series anyway.
Name: Elizabeth Shaw 1970
Actor: Caroline John
1940 -
Occupation: Scientist
First Seen: Earth 1970
First Episode: Spearheads From Space (Season 7)
Last Seen: Earth, 1970
Last Episode: Inferno (Season 7)
Special Appearance: The Five Doctors (1983)

Notes: With Liz going back to Cambridge, the Brigadier decides to hire a new assistant for the Doctor. So he hires Jo Grant, who's Uncle pulled a few strings for her, and informs her she'll likely be passing the Doctor test tubes and telling him how brilliant he is. Jo and the Doctor don't get off on the right foot and his initial reaction is to let her go, but finds the actual task of doing so not very easy. He ultimately accepts her, despite her usual clumsiness. They become so close in fact, when she finally decides to leave UNIT to get married and travel the Amazon the Doctor is heartsbroken. Katy Manning is severely myopic so that actually aided her when she needed Jo to act clumsy. There are many times in filming you can actually spot her straining to see better.
Name: Jo Grant 1971 - 1973
Actor: Katy Manning
October 14, 1949 -
Occupation: Assistant to Scientific Advisor
First Seen: Earth, 1971
First Episode: Terror of the Autons (Season 8)
Last Seen: Earth, 1973
Last Episode: Green Death (Season 10)
Special Appearance: Death of the Doctor (Sarah Jane Adventures), 2010

Notes: Sarah is a journalist who'll stop at nothing to get a story. To infiltrate UNIT she poses as her Aunt Lavinia, a well known virologist. The Doctor immediately realizes she's an imposter but doesn't turn her in. Despite this, Sarah is unimpressed with the Doctor and when scientists go missing she convinces herself the Doctor is responsible. While searching for one of the scientists she stumbles into the Tardis and when the Doctor tracks down the missing scientists to an earlier century she is brought along (unknown to the Doctor). Eventually, she learns the Doctor is who he says he is and comes to trust him. With Jo gone, the Doctor welcomes Sarah to accompany him on several trips in the Tardis. She continues to do so even after he regenerates. As much as the Doctor came to like Jo, his affection for Sarah grows even more. In total, Sarah has met seven different regenerations of the Doctor. The character of Sarah Jane became such a hit, a spin-off series was attempted in 1981 and again in 2007 (this time successful). Elisabeth Sladen continued in the series until she passed away earlier this year.
Name: Sarah Jane Smith 1974 -
Actor: Elisabeth Sladen
February 1st, 1948 - April 19, 2011
Occupation: Journalist
First Seen: Earth, 1974
First Episode: Time Warrior (Season 11)
Last Seen: Continues to travel with the 4th Doctor

Notes: Unit is first on the scene after the Doctor has regenerated and stumbled out of his Tardis. They bring the Doctor to a local hospital and inform the Brigadier his 'blue box' has been found. During his third regeneration, the Doctor befriends many of the UNIT officers besides the Brigadier. Captain Mike Yates is friendly and dedicated to his cause, but later in his career he's somewhat brainwashed into cooperating with "Operation Golden Age". This projects goal was to revert the Earth to an earlier, simpler time. This included bringing dinosaurs forward through time. The result was Yates having to resign from Unit. Sergeant Benton is also a dedicated officer but loves to joke around, sometimes forgetting he's within the Brigadiers view who disapproves of the whimsical attitude from his officers. UNIT still has dealings with the Doctor from time to time, even long after the Brigadier retires.
Name: Unit - Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart,
Captain Mike Yates,
Sergeant John Benton
Actor: (Yates) Richard Franklin,
(Franklin) January 15th, 1936 -
(Benton) John Levene
(Levene) December 24th, 1941 -
Occupation: Military Personnel
First Seen: Earth, 1970
First Episode: Spearheads From Space (Season 7)
Last Seen: Unit continues to work with the 4th Doctor.
Special Appearance: Yates appears in The Five Doctors (1983)

Next: The Giant Robot


  1. Your info on the Brigadier is incorrect. It should read as follows:
    First Seen: Earth 1967
    First Episode: The Web of Fear (Season 5, as Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart)
    Last Seen: 'Battlefield', 7th Doctor, plus later appearance in the Sarah Jane Adventures.

    1. Yes, I know. But this was just to list the appearances with the third Doctor. You'll notice he's also listed in other reviews, and included in the reviews of the episodes I reviewed of the ones you provided.