Overview: The Jon Pertwee Era (1970-1974)

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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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Third: The Curse of Peladon

curse_of_peladon_7703Writer: Brian Hayles

Director: Lennie Mayne

Producer: Barry Letts

Companion: Jo Grant (Katy Manning)

Season: 9, episode 2 (5-8)

No. of Episodes: 4

Summary: The Doctor believes he’s finally gotten the TARDIS working correctly, so he takes Jo on a test flight, landing on the planet Peladon.  They meet the soon-to-be-crowned king of Peladon, who is meeting with a committee of ambassadors for the Galactic Federation. But there is murder afoot.

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