Overview: The Tom Baker Era (1974-1981)

tom bakerJon Pertwee stepped down, having lost his family. Phillip Hinchcliffe became the new producer and hired Tom Baker, who would go on to have the longest run as the Doctor yet.

About Tom Baker

Tom Baker was born in Scotland Road, Liverpool. He left school at age 15 to become a Catholic monk, but left after six years because he had lost his faith. In 1955, he began two years service in the Royal Army Medial Corps He was acting first as a hobby, but eventually became part of Laurence Olivier’s Theatre Company.  Despite the occasional movie role, he found it difficult to make end meet until he became the Doctor.

During his tenure, Doctor Who also began acting in Australia and the US making him the most popular Doctor at the time. After his tenure ended, Baker played Sherlock Holmes in a BBC adaptation of The Hound of the Baskervilles. He also played Puddleglum in the BBC adaptation of The Silver Chair.

“Of course I’m being childish! There’s no point in being grown-up if you can’t be childish sometimes!”–“Robot”

In a Nutshell

  • Catch Phrase: “Would you like a jelly baby?”
  • Tom Baker had three producers during his era. Phillip Hinchcliffe often included gothic horror themes, which caused controversy because it was deemed too frightening. Graham Williams went for a more light-hearted feel. John Nathn Turner began his run as the longest-employed (and final) producer by giving the show a new theme song and logo.
  • First appearance of Davros: “Genesis of the Daleks”
  • First appearance of the Zygons: “Terror of the Zygons”
  • First appearance of the “Crispy Master” (Peter Pratt version): “The Deadly Assassin”
  • First story set on Gallifrey: “The Deadly Assassin”
  • First appearance of Jago and Litefoot: “Talons of Weng-Chiang”
  • First appearance of the Black Guardian: “The Armageddon Factor”
  • First story arc: “The Key to Time”
  • First appearance of Geoffrey Beevers as the Master: “The Keeper of Traken”
  • First appearance of Anthony Ainley as the Master: “The Keeper of Traken”

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Short Trips Volume 1: Police and Shreeves

short tripsWriter: Adam Smith

Directors: Nicholas Briggs & Ken Bentley

Producers: Nicholas Briggs & Martin Montague

Doctor: Seventh

Running Time: 21 minutes

Narrator: Sophia Aldred

Summary: Ace meets a Shreeve, a shape-shifting species that takes the form of the most dominant species on the planet.

Review: I thought the idea of a species that instinctively takes the form of the most dominant species on a planet was a great idea, but this story has the same problem as “The Death Dealer”–it’s too short for the full investment. I feel this could’ve been a full episode.

Overall: 5/10

 

Overview: The Jon Pertwee Era (1970-1974)

third doctor

1st 3rd logo

diamond

The Jon Pertwee Era marked the transition from black and white to color.  It brought many changes to the show’s structure, as this was the final era in which episodes were still being wiped. As a result of Troughton’s final serial “The War Games”, the Time Lords had exiled the Doctor on earth, taking away the one thing he valued most–freedom. Now, the menaces would have to come to him.

“Courage isn’t just a matter of not being frightened, you know. It’s being afraid and doing what you have to do anyway.”–Planet of the Daleks

About Jon Pertwee

Pertwee was born in Chelsea, England. Acting ran in his family–his father was an actor, and his cousin Bill was in the comedy Dad’s Army. His son Sean currently plays Alfred Pennyworth on Gotham.

Pertwee was an officer in the Royal Navy and was on the survivors of the HMS Hood after it sunk during WWII. After the war, he became a well-known comedy actor.

During his tenure as the Third Doctor, Pertwee felt as though the cast and crew were a surrogate family. He saw Barry Letts as a sort of surrogate father, and John Levene saw Pertwee as a surrogate father, as his relationship with his own father was estranged at best. He even had a close friendship with Roger Delgado, the first actor to portray the Master. In fact, it was his untilmely death that led to Pertwee’s departure.

After he left Doctor Who, Pertwee continued to find work. He was in Worzel Gummridge, and voiced for SuperTed. He also appeared in video games based on Terry Pratchett’s Discworld. He appeared as the Doctor in two stage plays and in a never-finished fan project (he died before it could be finished).

In a Nutshell

  • Catch Phrases: “Reverse the polarity”, “Oh good grief”
  • The Pertwee Era had shorter seasons than its predecessors. Season 7 had a total of 21 episodes; and seasons 8-11 had between 25-26. From season 8 on, no episodes were over 6 parts.
  • Two openings were used during this era, for the first time ever. A colorized howlaround was used for most of the era, while the final season introduced the famous “diamond logo”, which was used the longest in the show’s history.
  • First appearance of the Autons: “Spearhead From Space”
  • First appearance of the Silurians: “The Silurians”
  • First appearance of Roger Delgado as the Master: “Terror of the Autons”
  • First appearance of Omega, First multi-Doctor story: “The Three Doctors”
  • First appearance of he Sontarans: “The Time Warrior”
  • First mention of Gallifrey by name: “The Time Warrior”

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Third: Terror of The Autons

terrorWriter: Robert Holmes

Director & Producer: Barry Letts

Companions: Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart (Nicholas Courtney) and Jo Grant (Katy Manning)

Season/Episodes: 8, ep 1 (1-4)

Summary: The Doctor is attempting an experiment that catches fire, which is when he meets his new companion, Jo Grant.  Later, a Time Lord contacts the Doctor to inform him that the Master has been sighted on Earth and he’s aligned himself with the Autons.

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Short Trips Vol 1: Wings of A Butterfly

short trips 1Writer/Narrator: Colin Baker

Directors: Nicholas Briggs & Ken Bentley

Producers: Nicholas Briggs & Martin Montague

Doctor: Sixth

Running Time: 19 minutes

Summary: The Doctor is visiting Gallifrey, and runs into an old friend and mentor named Duothernos. He wants him to use the TARDIS to tracel to the planet Bixor and discover why a planet that had such a rich and thriving culture has suddenly eradicated itself.

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Editorial: What Doctor Who Means to Me

Doctor Who has been going on for over 50 years. We’ve had 12 Doctors, (13 if you count John Hurt), a successful revival, countless audio dramas from Big Finish, at least three spinoffs. I’m always surprised at how long this show has lasted. Even being cancelled didn’t stop it completely. Most shows don’t bounce back after a cancellation, and if they do get revived, it doesn’t last. So why has this show lasted? Why do people like me enjoy it so much?

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Sixth: Attack of the Cybermen

Doctor Who - Attack of the CybermenWriter: Paula Moore (note: This is a pseudonym. The story is believed to have been the work of both Paula Woosley and Eric Saward, with some contributions by Ian Levine.)

Director: Matthew Robinson

Producer: John Nathan-Turner

Companion: Peri Brown (Nicola Bryant)

Season: 22, episode 1 and 2 (note: each episode was 45 minutes long.

Summary: The Doctor is repairing the Chameleon Circuit when he receives a distress signal and learns that the Cybermen are invading Earth. They want to take over the TARDIS to change history so that Mondas was never destroyed. They are assisted by Lytton, a man the Fifth Doctor once met.

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Twelfth: Husbands of River Song

husbandsWriter: Steven Moffatt

Director: Douglas McKinnon

Producer: Nikki Wilson

Companions: River Song (Alex Kingston), Nardole (Matt Lucas)

Series: 2015 Christmas Special

Summary: The Doctor arrives on a remote space colony on Christmas in the year 5343, where he meets River Song one last time. And gains a new companion named Nardole!

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Short Trips Vol. 1: The Deep

short trips 1Writer: Ally Kennen

Directors: Nicholas Briggs & Ken Bentley

Producers: Nicholas Briggs & Martin Montague

Running Time: 17 minutes

Doctor/Narrator: Fifth (Peter Davison)

Summary: Nyssa attempts to repair the TARDIS’s Chameleon Circuit. After she’s fixed it, the Doctor wants to give it a test run, and they wind up in the middle of the ocean.

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