Enter the Third Doctor

The Doctor, the Master, and one of the dodgy monsters from "The Claws of Axos"

The Doctor, the Master, and one of the dodgy monsters from “The Claws of Axos”

We have finally gotten around to watching a few episodes with the Third Doctor! That took quite a while, after rewatching all of the Eleventh Doctor episodes, then getting distracted a bit with other things, then watching some Tenth Doctor (not too much). But we finally watched “The Mind of Evil” and “The Claws of Axos,” two episodes with the Roger Delgado Master.

So far, we enjoyed “The Mind of Evil” more than “The Claws of Axos.” The first had a more interesting plot, and the villain in the second was rather implausible and uninteresting. Unfortunately, both suffered a lot from uninspired direction, with characters standing immobile while delivering their lines, though it was much worse in the second. Another disappointment was Jo Grant, but not due to the actress or character; she just simply was not given anything to do. So far, her job is stand around and wait until the Doctor has a moment to have a deep conversation with her. She’s supposed to be a trained UNIT agent, and she does get one moment in “The Mind of Evil” where she shows her competence, but otherwise she’s very underutilized. We’re hoping this gets better when the Doctor finally gets his TARDIS back and they go off-planet, where there’s no Brigadier, Yates, and Benton to take up camera and plot time.

The Doctor himself has been very entertaining. He’s imperious, disdainful, and arrogant, and he outshines everyone on screen. The problem is that again, there’s so many people to deal with in each story, he’s not onscreen as much as he should be. However, he does have one thing that saves the show: the Master. When the Master and the Doctor spar with each other, the show simply shines. Delgado portrayed a wonderful villain. He’s not campy like Anthony Ainley was (not saying that the Ainley Master was bad; he was wonderful in his own way). The Delgado Master is always graceful and always in control of the situation; when he is defeated momentarily, he acquiesces, because he knows he’s going to get the upper hand in a few more minutes again.

At the moment, I think that of the classic Doctors that I’ve seen a fair amount of (that’s Three, Four, Five, Seven, and Eight), the Third Doctor is my least favorite, but you have to understand, I still really like him a lot; I just don’t like him as much as others. I am hoping to see him become more dynamic when he finally leaves Earth, and possibly when Sarah Jane Smith joins him.

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3 responses to “Enter the Third Doctor

  1. I’ve seen “The Three Doctors”, “Inferno”, “The Five Doctors”, “Green Death”, “Carnival of Monsters” and “Spearhead from Space”. I think he’s just grumpy when he’s with UNIT because he wants the ability to fly the TARDIS back and without it he’s stuck there with those military morons. (His opinion, not mine. I love UNIT from the old days, even if they did have some violent tendencies.)
    He does get better, I think.

    • We just watched “Planet of the Daleks,” which is non-Earthbound Doctor and Jo Grant, and both were so much better. Jo still doesn’t seem to have a purpose (she’s not especially smart or willful), but I liked her a lot better this time around.

      • Poor, poor Jo. So sweet, so clumsy, so good at escaping and yet…
        They could have done so much more with her. Seriously.
        I love her, though, especially when she’s being a cheerful little chatterbox of stories and trivia, like in that SJA ep with her. She makes me smile.

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