So it’s come to this. I sorta promised myself I’d do four Pertwee-related blog posts after my thrilling appearance* on TARDIS Tavern a while back—one for each story we reviewed, and one on Pertwee’s Doctor in general. We have now reached the general-Pertwee blog. So I’ve got to try to distill my feelings on the third Doctor into some sort of comprehensible form without alienating anyone. Actually, screw that last part. If you’re not comfortable with someone holding a different opinion from you, then I guess I’ll just have to be okay with alienating you. For the record, I think it’s great that so many people love Pertwee and his Doctor. Doctor Who bringing joy to people is what it’s all about as far as I’m concerned. So please don’t take this post as a condemnation if you happen to be in that camp. I’m just camped firmly elsewhere—in a more brightly-colored and ramshackle tent.
[Editor’s note (which is also a writer’s note ‘cause there ain’t no one here but me): After spewing out all my Pertwee opinions, I realized it would make for one truly epic post, so I’ve decided to split it up. Today’s is a brief overview of my feelings. Over the next couple days, I’ll post some more specific observations.]
Ok. So. The third Doctor. Here we go. *deep breath*
The third Doctor is the suave Doctor, the action hero, the James Bond of the Doctor Who pantheon, and thus, he’s my least favorite of all. I often find that when discussing him, the fan with whom I’m speaking disagrees very little. The character traits which make Pertwee’s Doctor so beloved of some others are the very traits that turn me off. He’s so very smooth and sophisticated. He’s adept at hand-to-hand combat. He wears a freaking cape. None of these are things that excite me. On the contrary, they make me at best, roll my eyes and sigh, and at worst, become very annoyed and want to turn off the TV.
I will allow that he does these things well. Pertwee takes each of these characteristics and plays them just right. I have no complaints about his ability to pull off what he’s trying to do. I just don’t like the direction in which the Doctor is taken during this era. That’s not to say that I don’t enjoy some of the camaraderie of having UNIT as a somewhat “familial” backdrop for the stories. It’s an interesting way to keep costs down, and I think it works on the whole. I just think I’d enjoy it more if it was a slightly different Doctor that was slotted into those same surroundings. Note that I don’t suggest any of the other existing Doctors. None of them would really work well here. Though for me, Pertwee doesn’t either.
And I will explain why in more detail over the next couple days. Stay tuned. Or if you’re a big Pertwee fan, maybe don’t. ; )
*Why does that look like it’s meant to be sarcastic? It’s most certainly not. “Visiting” TARDIS Tavern was one of the most thrilling things I’ve done in some time.