What did the Third Doctor ever do for the show?

It’s March, so it’s the Third Doctor theme here on Red Rocket Rising, and time to discuss the sometimes frustrated exile and ask the Monty Python Romans question: What did the third Doctor ever do for the show? It’s 2019 now and Jon Pertwee’s main run as the Doctor was 1970-1974, ending 45 years ago!

Though I’m a big fan of the second Doctor, the Third Doctor had a big impact on me, probably as I remember the stories well from the time.  But there’s more…

The Third Doctor

It’s well known this was a time of transition, reduced budgets, the emergence of UNIT and gadgets galore. And can I also mention reversing the polarity? Apart from all that, I’d like to again (as I did for Troughton’s Doctor) talk about the Doctor’s foes, his enemies.

The enemies of the Third Doctor

Let’s just list them, story by story:

Spearhead from SpaceNestene Consciousness, Autons
The SiluriansSilurians
Ambassadors of DeathVarious humans
InfernoPrimords and various parallel Earth figures
Terror of the AutonsNestene Consciousness, Autons, The Master
The Mind of EvilThe Master
The Claws of AxosAxons
Colony in SpaceThe Master
The DaemonsThe Master, Azal, Bok
Day of the DaleksDaleks, Ogrons
The Curse of PeladonArcturus and Hepesh
The Sea DevilsThe Master, Sea Devils
The MutantsThe Marshall of Solos
The Time MonsterThe Master
The Three DoctorsOmega
Carnival of MonstersKalik, Drashigs
Frontier in SpaceThe Master, Ogrons, Daleks
Planet of the DaleksDaleks
The Green DeathBOSS
The Time WarriorSontarans
Invasion of the DinosaursVarious humans
Death to the DaleksDaleks, Exxilon City
The Monster of PeladonIce Warriors
Planet of the SpidersGreat One, Eight legs


So, no Cybermen (Big Finish rectified that) and it took the Daleks a while to appear. It’s very clear the Third Doctor‘s run was (for a time) dominated by the Master, and given how often he appeared, it’s also clear the BBC was very confident he would fit the show. I have to agree!

Spread across the seasons there are a lot of new alien races who have stayed the course. Autons, Sontarans and Silurians have all appeared in modern Doctor Who and note two of these appeared in opening stories for their seasons (Autons and Sontarans). We also got Axons, Omega and Ogrons, all of which are deep in the psyche of the Doctor Who fan.

Let’s also not forget the wonderful setting of Peladon. How often does the Doctor return to a world he has visited? Are we overdue a return to Peladon? [Yes, Big Finish has been, but surely one more trip? Alpha Centauri has popped up, after all!]

If we add Bessie and all the other gadgets, it’s clear the show was still bubbling with creativity and if it had been a possible consideration for cancellation at the end of the 1960s, we thank Jon Pertwee for making sure it didn’t happen for a very long time.

Do you agree? Let me know in the comments!

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