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Revisiting Jon Pertwee’s era of ‘Doctor Who’

There’s much charm in Pertwee’s old-school approach

Jon Pertwee on Wogan, 1989

Although frowned upon in these censorious times, Pertwee’s patrician attitude is kindly meant. Even at the time, it was harking back to a bygone era, illustrating the essential timelessness of the Doctor. He is like a character out of Wodehouse or Waugh. Calling Aggedor, the beast of Peladon “Old chap”, and not infrequently saying, “Thank you, my dear,” to female characters never comes across as patronising. Playing up the part of the English gentleman comes readily to Pertwee. It’s so naturalistic, and his performance is so warm, that it’s impossible to do anything but love him. No trigger warnings about outdated attitudes needed, thank you.

Greg Jameson
Greg Jameson
Book editor, with an interest in cult TV.

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