Hello there Wanderers, and welcome back to the next installment in 50 Years of Doctor Who which, I can assure you, will only be a brief glimpse of the long and glorious history of the series and thus not take 50 years to actually complete. So, last week we had a look at only one of the Doctors, the original you might say. This week? This week we’re looking at three of them. I know, ambitious of me isn’t it? Of course, one of them is the First Doctor, who we’ve already looked at, so it does cut down on a bit of work, but mostly the serial was chosen due to enjoyability factor and availability of it to us here as FW.
The serial in question is aptly named ‘The Three Doctors‘ and features William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton and Jon Pertwee as the titular three Doctors. Created for the first hallmark anniversary of Doctor Who – the 10th anniversary – it feels fitting that in the run up to the celebrations of the half century, we look at what they put out to celebrate the first decade of the show. Okay, so I am going to hold my hands up and say I realise this seems a little of a cop out, but like I said above, the serials are chosen due to how much we enjoy them and what we actually have access to. And again, it is fitting to look at these hallmark serials as they’re really the ones that anyone might tune in for, so they have to do the most to sell the show to people. With that out of the way, what did I think of The Three Doctors?
Well, it’s … a really enjoyable set of episodes. If it wasn’t, I wouldn’t be looking at it. The plot is fairly… Well, no let’s be fair here. It’s convoluted and slightly confusing and you’d had better have been paying attention to the little details. So, you know, it’s your basic Doctor Who episode. There’s this blob-like creature that happens to be hunting the Doctor down, and since he can’t do much about it – this being set during the time that the Third Doctor was exiled to Earth and stuck there – he very reluctantly calls on the Time Lords for some help. The Second Doctor shows up and well, he and the Third begin to bicker. It’s fantastic really. The First Doctor’s there too, albeit via the Tardis viewscreen and he very quickly puts his ‘replacements’ into their places. Who is this problem being caused by? That would be Omega, a renegade Time Lord (like the Doctor but not) who is trapped in an anti-matter dimension and wants out. To do this, he needs someone from the matter dimension to take his place, and he’s chosen the Doctor.
Like I said before getting into the extremely shortened plot run down, this is a really enjoyable set of episodes – four to make up the serial actually. Everyone really gives it their all in their performances and it’s such fun to see the different Doctors interacting on screen. Patrick Troughton and Jon Pertwee reportedly had such fun with the animosity between their two characters that they kept the sniping up in public for the rest of their careers, though they were good friends in private. They are named as a dandy – the Third – and a clown – the Second – by the First and, appearances wise, they really does fit.
I’d say the Second Doctor actually does have more of a sense of a fun about him when compared to his predecessor, which does turn into a sense of elegance with the Third Doctor who is very well put together. Which, I know, is superficial but both Doctors are each their own person, and the same person, and the person before them. And that was an odd rendition of I Am The Walrus, which does get quoted in the episode, fun bonus trivia for you there, peoples. The supporting cast really work here, with the Brigadier coming out at his best, because let’s face it, he’s just made of awesome.
Is this necessarily the best introduction to the Second and Third Doctors? Yes and no. Truthfully you’d be better off searching down one of each of their respective serials to get a better feel of just how it is that each character works, but as a brief ‘hiya’, I’d say it works really well.
Next time … Time to enter the Death Zone.
Z McAspurren (Now I want to listen to the Beatles)