Saturday, February 19, 2011

Clear and Present Damon: Doctor Who: A Celebration- Part 2- the 70's

Above, the Fourth Doctor and Davros in "Genesis of the Daleks"

As "Doctor Who" began televising in color starting in 1970, it also had a brand new cast of characters with actor Jon Pertwee at the helm as the Doctor. As a part of the storyline from Patrick Troughtons final story the Doctor had been exiled to earth by his own people, the Time Lords. While being exiled on Earth, he served for the secret government organiztion U.N.I.T as scientific advisor. The Doctor had previously encountered U.N.I.T's leader Brigadier Aleister Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart, while in his previous incarnation. By the end of Pertwee's first season, his exile was removed and the Doctor was free to take the TARDIS outside of earth again. However, Pertwee's incarnation of the Doctor would still remain close with U.N.I.T.

The Third Doctor continued to travel with such youthful companions as Jo Grant and Sarah Jane Smith. His Doctor would also be portrayed as a Doctor not afraid to fight for what is right as well as using his brains to get out of a situation. It was also during Pertwee's era that the Doctors arch-nemesis The Master first made his appearance on the show. Portrayed by actor Roger Delgado, The Master is a evil Time Lord and the Doctors counterpart. Delgado remains one of the most populat actors to play the role of the Master, which he did until his tragic death in a car accident in 1973.

1973 was also the year that Jon Pertwee left the series. He would be followed by Tom Baker, perhaps the most popular and well known Doctor of the series original run. Unlike Pertwee's stories, Baker's Doctor did not continually stay on earth and work for U.N.I.T. With companion Sarah Jane Smith and Harry Sullivan, a real medical doctor, the Fourth incarnation was more of an explorer of the universe wearing a long scarf that would make his character one of the most recognizable Doctors. Baker's era also saw less of popular monsters from the shows past. Baker had only two Dalek stories and one Cybermen episode. In "Genesis of the Daleks", perhaps the best Fourth Doctor story, we are introduced to Davros, (see in picture above) the evil genius who created the Daleks. Davros would go on to become another recurring villian the Doctor would face in many Dalek storylines.
After parting ways with Sarah and Harry, The Doctor returned to his home planet of Gallifrey in the story "The Deadly Assassin". When the Doctor is framed for the assassination of the Time Lord president, he seeks to find the truth. This leads him to his old enemy the Master, played by Peter Pratt, taking over for the deceased Delgado. This Master is seen as a skeletal dying figure that has used up all of his lives (please note: a Time Lord can only regenerate 13 times before dying for good). The Doctor manages to foil his plot, and continues on his travels.

In the later years of the decade, the Fourth Doctor traveled with the robotic dog K-9, and fellow Time Lord, (or should I say Time Lady) Romana. Romana would be the only other person from the Doctors home planet of Gallifrey to travel with him. The first being Susan Foreman, his grandaughter fom the shows first years.

Tom Baker would play the Doctor as a new decade arrived. But the waters would not stay calm for "Doctor Who". For the 80's would prove to be the most turbulent decade in the shows long history.

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