OLOUR! Long gone are the 1960s and black and white television. We are now at the start of a new decade and it is colourful! Its 1970 and Jon Pertwee is the Doctor. He’s quite the dandy with an array of gadgets, intergalactic thuggery to fight and a job as a Scientific Advisor for U.N.I.T. The Pertwee era introduced us to a lot of weird and wonderful, not to mention the show finale having a Moriarty figure in the shape of a Time Lord called The Master. Meanwhile the Doctor in exile on Earth for breaking the one golden rule that all Time Lords must obey, well most of them.
The Pertwee era began with TARDIS materialising in a forest during a meteor shower. The Doctor, newly regenerated is not the only alien to arrive on Earth that day; the Nestene Consciousness has arrived with plans of invading Earth with shop window mannequins and anything that is plastic. 'Spearhead from Space' (1970) is a great story to begin an era, it showed us where the show was going and it gave Pertwee the opportunity to shine as the Doctor. It also showed us what could be described as an acid trip in the titles, the reds, greens and yellows were used to prove to everyone that Doctor Who is now in colour and it was going to stay that way. However, not everyone in the UK at the time had a colour television and not ALL of the Pertwee stories were shot in colour.
What really intrigues me with the show going from black and white to colour was the fact that the Dalek colour scheme was not really taken advantage of, that is unless it was a Supreme Dalek. Then the black and gold were thrown into the mix. No, for the drone Daleks they went from silver with blue hemispheres to battleship grey with black hemispheres, surely you would have expected it the other way round.
Whilst on the subject of Daleks, Pertwee HATED them. He did not feel that he could act opposite the evil creatures. He did, however, have a personal favourite creature from his tenure; the Draconians. We were introduced to these creatures in 'Frontier in Space' (1973). I can wholeheartedly agree that the Draconians were a great alien for the show; they were also more convincing than the other creatures that came from the BBC Workshop.
The Doctor’s tenure introduced us to renegade Time Lord the Master, portrayed by the late Roger Delgado. Delgado’s Master for me is a personal favourite. Giving the show’s main character an archenemy was a good move. The Master would always turn up when you least expect him to, he was brilliant at disguises and would be able to hide in plain sight, one of the many references that pay homage in the NuWho era is the Master’s lack of understanding children’s entertainment. In 'The Sea Devils' (1972) the Master is sat comfortably in a prison cell watching The Clangers and somehow mistakes them for actual living creatures and again in 'The Sound of Drums' (2007) he does the same with The Teletubbies. They are little comedic nods but like the Moffat era as Head Writer, you can certainly see where many of the writers today get their inspiration.
Pertwee’s Doctor was the James Bond of them all, the character worked for a secret organisation, he had the gadgets, beautiful assistants and in his final story 'Planet of the Spiders' (1973) an array of transport to chase down the antagonist. The Third Doctor’s swansong story gave us a better look at the infamous Metebelis III. For me, this was the most terrifying story of them all. The giant spider or The Great One scared me as a child, not forgetting her followers who latch onto other peoples backs to possess them. Using the idea of spiders wanted to become our superiors and have total domination over the cosmos is terrifying and a brilliant idea. However, it wouldn’t be Doctor Who if our favourite Time Lord didn’t stop them. His victory leads to radiation poisoning from the blue crystal cave on the planet, which resulted in shall we shall we say, teeth and curls.