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Colouring in Doctor Who

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The third Doctor Who, played by Jon Pertwee, began his tenure on the groundbreaking British TV series in 1970.

Prime Television, from Friday, takes fans back to the very day Pertwee started his five-year stretch in the role with the episode Spearhead from Space.

This was an important storyline for Doctor Who -- and not just because of the presence of a new actor in the lead role. Spearhead from Space was the first Doctor Who story made in colour.

As well as the advent of a new Doctor and colour, Spearhead from Space also marked the beginning of a series of predominantly Earthbased stories, a change of format for the show that defined Pertwee's era.

Pertwee elected to play the Doctor predominantly straight and serious, an approach that endeared him to viewers, and he stayed with the role from 1970 to 1974, clocking up 129 episodes.

The production team's rationale was that with the additional expense of colour recording, savings had to be made in the programme's budget, and this could best be achieved by setting stories on Earth, cutting out the need to create a brand new alien environment every few weeks from scratch.

Ironically, Pertwee's stories were heavily action-oriented and ended up among the programme's most expensive and ambitious productions.

These excesses were enjoyed and encouraged by Pertwee himself, who loved doing his own stunts and driving fast cars and motorbikes.

The daredevil actor transformed the Doctor into a debonair and stylish man of action, a redefining of the character that invited comparisons with James Bond and The Avengers' John Steed.

After relinquishing the role, Pertwee later found even greater fame as the mischievous scarecrow Worzel Gummidge.

The actor maintained a close connection with Doctor Who, however, frequently appearing in costume at Doctor Who conventions around the world.

Pertwee travelled Down Under for one -- he appeared at the New Zealand Doctor Who Fan Club in Christchurch in 1990.

Pertwee died in May 1996 at the age of 76.

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  • APA 6th ed.: (2000-09-19). Colouring in Doctor Who. The Press p. 18.
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  • Turabian: "Colouring in Doctor Who." The Press, 2000-09-19, section, 18 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Colouring in Doctor Who | url= | work=The Press | pages=18 | date=2000-09-19 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=29 May 2024 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Colouring in Doctor Who | url= | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=29 May 2024}}</ref>