Doctor Who: Pertwee (More Like Pertweak) Part 2

Ok!  Time for more Pertwee (inspired by my TARDIS Tavern appearance).  In yesterday’s post I pointed out that I’m not fond of Pertwee’s Doctor.  Here’s part of why:

Many of my problems with Pertwee’s Doctor exist in other Doctors as well, but the fact that there are so many all together in one incarnation adds up to (or subtracts down to) a very low level of appreciation for Doctor #3.  The first of these is that he’s so mercurial (and yes, like I said, that’s not something unique to Pertwee).  Travelling with the third Doctor seems reminiscent of being in a dysfunctional relationship.  In The Curse of Peladon, one minute he’s yelling at Jo and calling her an idiot.  Not a minute later, he softens drastically and allows that she’s also been very brave.  His mood swings must be exhausting to deal with.  I understand that it’s gotta be difficult for the Doctor to have to deal with mere humans all the time, but about-faces like that smack of “I’m sorry baby; I didn’t mean it; you know I love you!”  Yuck.  At times it’s almost like he has multiple personality disorder or something.  He’ll be yelling and brash and jerky, then in the next scene he’s all meek and loath to hurt anyone’s feelings.  In Terror of the Autons he rails to the Brigadier about how terrible Jo is and how she’ll have to go, but in the next scene he can’t bring himself to fire her, and relents to having her assistance, however useless it may be.

When it comes down to it, he just doesn’t have a very pleasant personality.  Curt insults trip off his tongue more often than praise, and not just for Jo; the UNIT boys bear some of the brunt as well.  Plus, he’s often snarky.  When Mike Yates asks if Jo is hypnotized in Terror of the Autons, the Doctor snaps at him “Of course, why else do you think she tried to blow us all to pieces?”  Then the Doctor condescendingly mocks Yates by repeating him and pointing out how wrong he is about hypnotism.  In that same story, when the Doctor dresses down Brownrose the bureaucrat, instead of inspiring that “In-your-face!” feeling that I love to get when a fool is put in his place, this just smacks of dipping down to Brownrose’s self-important level.  “Tubby” indeed.  *rolleyes*  The third Doctor comes off as a pompous blowhard a lot of the time.  The only thing that mitigates it for me is the fact that he’s got something to back it up.  He does know more than everyone else around him.  That fact can only soften it so much though.

I suppose one could defend him for having somewhat frayed nerves when it comes to dealing with humans.  The third Doctor is primarily confined to Earth, so he has to deal with Earthlings on a day-to-day basis for a good stretch of time.  I guess that must wear on him.  But he’s a Time Lord.  The few years he has to spend on Earth are a drop in the bucket for one as long-lived as he.  Though I could argue with myself further here (I often do) by pointing out that the Doctor lives quite the vagabond lifestyle, and any curtailing of his freedom, no matter how brief, is bound to make him rather cross and sour in general.  Even if you buy that, it’s pretty darn rude for him to take out his frustrations on the humans around him rather than the Time Lords who stuck him on Earth.  He ought to learn some more effective coping mechanisms.  That might help him minimize the hissy fits.

Yes, that’s right, the third Doctor throws tantrums—whether it be tearing up reports or kicking the TARDIS and declaring that he likes being childish.  Come to think of it, those types of outbursts pair rather oddly with his general suave demeanor.  Perhaps we’re meant to find these different sides of our protagonist interesting and complex, but to me it just seems jarring, confusing, and even a little unsettling.  This is certainly not “my Doctor.”

Removing this dichotomy of character wouldn’t save the third Doctor for me.  Even if he expressed the suave side of his nature and nothing else, I still wouldn’t enjoy it.  I shall expand on that tomorrow.

Doctor Who: The Time Meddler (Parts 3 & 4), or “So Much Monk-ey Business”

Ahh, Saturday afternoon!  My favorite time of the week.  When I (usually) get to kick around the house, relax, and get a few things done–like some knitting and Doctor Who for example!  I finished up The Time Meddler and started the first really big orange stripe on the scarf.  Add that to the laundry I’m doing, and I’ve got myself a fairly productive day.  Yay me!

Parts 3 and 4 of this episode were good fun.  I’ve quite enjoyed this one overall.  Someone recently pointed out that I’m rather nice about Doctor Who, and I can’t argue with their assessment.  In general I’m pretty much a find-the-good-in-everything kinda gal.  It did make me want to point out that these aren’t really “reviews” exactly.  I’m not aiming to do any critical analysis.  Rather, I’m just spouting off about whatever happens to catch my attention.  Since I’m usually focusing on the positive, that tends to be the good stuff.  And truth be told, I miss quite a lot because when I’m knitting, my attention is divided.  I’m by no means a very accomplished knitter.  I’m not one of those folks who can knock out several dozen rows without looking down at my hands.

Anyway, I continued to enjoy The Time Meddler.  It takes place in Britain just before Harald Hardrada invaded and fought with Harold Godwinson (which was just before Harold Godwinson had to head off to fight the Battle of Hastings with William of Normandy).  I’ve always been fascinated with that era of British history, so that probably colored my view of this story a bit.  Another thing that made this fun was that it was kind of hilarious to see the Doctor dressed up in a monk’s robes.

Easily the most excitement of the whole episode was the cliffhanger between parts 3 and 4, where we discover that the meddling monk has a TARDIS!  We knew he had to be a time traveler, but it didn’t even occur to me that he might be a Time Lord, much less one with a fancy “Mark IV” TARDIS–whatever that means.  The Doctor didn’t answer when Vicki asked what mark the Doctor’s TARDIS is, and I think we’re supposed to assume it’s an earlier version.  However, the Doctor’s is a “type 40,” which is far higher than 4.  Maybe “type” and “mark” are separate categories.

The one thing that bothered me the most about this episode was that the monk kept a checklist for his master plan.  Seriously?  I was more ok with it when I realized he kept it in his TARDIS, but still, sheesh.  Oh well, perhaps I shouldn’t judge.  He’s probably severely OCD and needs the satisfaction of ticking off completed tasks.

As for the knitting, like I mentioned, I’ve just started in on the first large orange stripe.  I’ll probably post another picture when I get that done.  It’s coming along smoothly.  And I’ve gotten to it much more often lately.  I think I have several Doctor Who-themed podcasts to thank for that.  They keep the good Doctor on my mind!