Tuesday, June 28, 2016

The Third Doctor

HALLEJIAH! I’m done with school! That last class I was doing is over and now it’s time for being an adult and for me that means plenty of overtime hours to pay for Disneyland in September. Gotta do what you’ve gotta do, right? In the meantime, how about some Doctor Who? This time I’ve got some Third Doctor for you.

The "other" Brig and Liz look a little
trippy in "Inferno".
Season 7
Top Story: Inferno
Inferno was unique in this part of the Third Doctor era because it played with the TARDIS more. It jumped to a parallel world and actually used the TARDIS, which was rare during the Third Doctor era, especially this early on. It was quite interesting seeing Liz and the Brigadier in the parallel world. Gotta say that the Brigadier looks better with the mustache.
Flop Story: The Silurians
The Doctor teams up with Liz and
the Brigadier to stop the Autons in
"Spearhead from Space".
It’s very possible that I didn’t care for this story because I’d seen the Silurians in Matt Smith’s era of Doctor Who. Because of the reverse order that I was introduced to them, I felt like this Silurian story was basically the same as the Matt Smith one: Humans meet Silurians, the Doctor tries to negotiate between them, and the humans screw it up. Maybe I’d have liked this story better if I had watched it before I watched the Matt Smith one.
Honorable Mention: Spearhead from Space
This story not only introduced the Third Doctor to us, but it also introduced the UNIT-based storyline, which would be the basis of Doctor Who for the next five seasons, as well as many stories over the years since the Third Doctor. It brought the Brigadier back as a main character, last seen in "The Invasion".

The Doctor essentially takes on a
devil in "The Daemons"
Season 8
Top Story: The Daemons
This story brought a season’s long back-and-forth with the Master to an end. It was kind of interesting to see the Doctor toy with everyone, pretending to control Bessie with magic. It was one of those episodes that toyed with the Doctor’s understanding of the world: does magic really exist or not? Also, as a side note, Sergeant Osgood, who appears in this story, was intended to be the father of Petronella Osgood, who works for UNIT in the Eleventh and Twelfth Doctor eras.
Flop Story: The Mind of Evil
This one was another convoluted plan by the Master to rule the world. From what I remember of the story, it was kind of repetitive and it didn’t engage me too much in what I was watching. Granted, maybe I was watching it on a grave shift and I just don’t remember it properly.
Off the ground and the Doctor is dealing 
with space politician "Colony in Space"
Honorable Mention: Colony in Space
First time off world since the Doctor was grounded! Yay! Though he didn’t have control over the TARDIS yet, but instead was at the mercy of the Time Lords. All the same, it got a little bit of the space travel back into Doctor Who. It also showed the Doctor’s new sonic screwdriver for the first time. We’d seen it on occasion in the Second Doctor era, but it was this Doctor who made it a more frequent companion.

The Doctor gets interrogated in
"Day of the Daleks"
Season 9
Top Story: Day of the Daleks
So we get some more time travel shenanigans here, as well as the return of the Daleks. This story got top marks from its creative use of time travel. I liked having the little twists from the visitors from the future. It was also the first time in years that the Daleks had appeared and we all know how important the Daleks are in the Doctor’s life.
Flop Story: The Sea Devils
It felt like this story was "The Silurians" all over again, except this time we had the Master. So same formula as before: Humans meet Sea Devils, the Doctor tries to negotiate between them, and the humans screw it up. Maybe I didn’t give this story enough of a chance, but that was my impression about it at least. Plus it took forever for the Sea Devils to even show up. This story was honestly a lot more about the Master.
Discrimination still exists in "The Mutants"
Honorable Mention: The Mutants
Nice somewhat political statement about overthrowing the native population. It’s also just this crazy idea that we think we know other people, when really they’re just in the middle of their process. The settlers thought the mutants were deadly and evil, when really they were only like that because someone screwed up their metamorphosis. Undergone naturally, the metamorphosis turned them into something beautiful. There’s a gospel metaphor in there somewhere. I’m not sure where.

The Master tries to hypnotize Jo in
"Frontier in Space"
Season 10
Top Story: Frontier in Space
Not too long after regaining the ability to travel in the TARDIS (we’ll get to that in a second), the Doctor and Jo end up in the middle of a war between the Draconians and Earth. It was an interesting, mind-twisting plot. The humans were deceived into thinking the Draconians were attacking them and the Draconians were deceived into thinking the humans were attacking them. However, in reality, the attackers on both sides are the Ogrons, masked by a hypnosis device. They’re led by the Master and, surprise, the Daleks (who we see more of in the next story). This was kind of a sad story in hindsight because it was the last appearance of the Master, as portrayed by Roger Delgado. The Master wouldn’t be seen again until the Fourth Doctor era.
Flop Story: The Green Death
This could have been an amazing story, with Jo falling in love, saving the world, and leaving the Doctor. However, instead it kind of came across as a tree-hugger story. I have nothing against tree-huggers… except when it’s overdone. Also it doesn’t help that because of disputes about her character, Katy Manning wouldn’t return as Jo until 2010 when she appeared in the Sarah Jane Adventures.
The Second and Third Doctors have
to work together to stop Omega.
Honorable Mention: Planet of the Daleks
This story directly followed “Frontier in Space” and it also served as a sequel to the First Doctor story “The Daleks”, showing what happened with the Thals after the Doctor, Ian, Barbara, and Susan left Skaro. As a story itself it was great, but it was also just cool to see it tie things together, both with the previous story and with one of the first First Doctor stories.
Special Episode: The Three Doctors
Honestly, this one could easily have had Honorable Mention, so I had to put it in its own category to be fair. To start out Season 10, Doctor Who had its 10th Anniversary Special, which featured the First Doctor, the Second Doctor, and the Third Doctor. The Time Lords set the three Doctors against Omega to stop him and in return they reward the Third Doctor with his knowledge of how to pilot the TARDIS again. So after this story, it’s back into the Time Vortex for some adventuring.

Season 11
The Doctor takes on a stegosaurus in
"The Invasion of the Dinosaurs"
Top Story: Invasion of the Dinosaurs
Before I watched this story, I thought it sounded really silly. When I watched it, it looked silly, with all of the plastic dinosaurs. It was beautifully horrific special effects. However, the story wasn’t what I expected. Somehow I imagined dinosaurs invading London and having that be the plot. Instead, that’s just the diversion. Somehow I didn’t see that coming, at least not at first.
Flop Story: Death to the Daleks
It’s hard for me to say that any Dalek episode is bad, but this story was just hard to follow. Perhaps this was another that I watched during an overnight shift at work, but I just couldn’t get into it. It’s a shame really because this was Sarah Jane’s first off-world adventure and the first time she met the Daleks. I would have hoped for a more spectacular story.
The Doctor and Sarah Jane help out
the Queen of Peladon
Honorable Mention: Monster of Peladon
Reaching back a couple seasons to “The Curse of Peladon”, the Doctor and Sarah Jane travel here to visit, only to find out that many years have passed. Even though I wasn’t a huge fan of Jo’s adventure to Peladon, this one was kind of cool, as it played as a sequel to that original story and it gave Sarah Jane some great personality. My favorite, as she said to the Queen of Peladon, “There is nothing only about being a girl.” As far as female characters go, Sarah Jane is great!

Third Doctor Companions:
Liz                   Spearhead from Space - Inferno
Jo                     Terror of the Autons - The Green Death
Sarah Jane       The Time Warrior - (4th Doctor)

Jo became quite resourceful while
she worked with the Doctor
Favorite Companion:
Having watched modern Doctor Who and The Sarah Jane Adventures, I’d have thought that Sarah Jane would be my favorite Third Doctor companion. However, as much as I liked Sarah Jane, I loved Jo Grant. She started out as the ditzy blonde, but she grew and matured and became stronger and braver. Her character development was wonderful, turning from a dumb blonde to a clever sidekick for the Doctor.

No one's sass can match up to Liz Shaw
Least Favorite Companion:
It was hard to choose my least favorite companion of the Third Doctor, because I liked all three. However, if I have to choose one it would be Liz Shaw. Liz was great and I loved her sarcasm and sass. The problem is that, unlike Jo, her character was kind of flat. She was a skeptic when she met the Doctor and that never really changed, even after seeing some of the workings of the TARDIS and alien creatures. That being said, Liz only stayed for one season. If she had been a companion longer and had a proper trip with the Doctor, maybe things would have been different.

Alright. That’s all for now. I’m headed out to the Hill Cumorah Pageant later this week. I’m going to try to post still while I’m gone, but since I’m going to be super busy, I make no promises. If not sooner, I’ll see you again in the second half of July.

Decades later, Sarah Jane and Jo met over the supposed death
of the Doctor, but the Third Doctor's companions knew better

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