Jon Pertwee

Doctor Who
Classic Series DVD Review
The Mutants

Starring Jon Pertwee as the Doctor, Katy Manning as Jo Grant
Written by: Bob Baker and Dave Martin
Director: Christopher Barry

I must be crazy. As I settled in to write my review of the Mutants (not to be confused with the original serial about the Daleks also called the Mutants), I wondered what other folks thought of the serial. As I’ve mentioned before, the Third Doctor’s era is definitely not my favorite. While there are some real gems in Pertwee’s time as the Doctor, there are several recurring things that I just don’t care for… And yet, I find myself at odds with the Mutants. While I quite enjoyed it, it seems nobody else does.

There’s a lot going for this serial, despite being a 6 parter (which are always hard to pull off) and it avoids some of the pratfalls that typically annoy me about the era. Sure the music is still pretty intolerable at times, but I found the score much more muted and almost non-existent at times. So let’s break it down, is this serial and the DVD worth checking out?

Continue reading

Doctor Who Classics
3rd Doctor and Maggots of Death
5 Inch Scale
By: Character Options

In late 2009, (has it really been that long?) Character Options began releasing their first versions of the Third Doctor. We reviewed the 3rd Doctor and Sea Devil shortly after. All told, there were three sets of Jon Pertwee released. Each set was largely the same figure, with minor tweaks to set them apart. The last set released, with the Doctor as seen in the Green Death serial, was clearly the worst of the three.

UNIT calls the Doctor to investigate a series of strange happening at a company called Global Chemicals. The Doctor, Jo joins forces with a local environmental group, led by Professor Clifford Jones am discover that the mine workings are full of giant maggots and green slime – both lethal to touch.

These have been produced by chemical waste pumped from the Global plant, where the workers have been hypnotized by BOSS, a computer intelligence with a will of its own and a plan to control the world. As the maggots reach maturity, the Doctor must find a solution, using a fungal virus and a blue crystal from a planet called Metebelis Three.

By now most Doctor Who Classics fans are used to two packs with one Doctor and a villain. While the other two sets came with an interesting pack-in, this set featured only three “giant maggots” as it’s villain. Hardly comparable to a classic Dalek or a great variant of the Sea Devil. Given that this was the last pack released, many fans skipped it.

The “leaked” new 3rd Doctor set

Now that yet another Jon Pertwee set was just recently leaked onto the internet this past week, we’re taking a look back at this set, to see if this particular incarnation is really worthy of a spot in your collection.

Before we had window boxes, the Classic Who two packs all came in clamshells. These are nice clamshells if you’re a fan of this style of package. The great part about the packaging is that it matches all your previous Doctor Who Classics single cards… Well at least it did until they started coming in boxes!

The package has some nice still shots and a pretty basic breakdown of the plot of the episode. I realize that’s not a big deal, but I think it’s important for a line like this. I doubt kids are rushing to buy Jon Pertwee figures, but if they did, at least this gives them some idea about him and his adventures.

Sculpt & Paint:
For all intents and purposes, the bulk of this figure I reviewed last time, so I’m going to try to point out the key differences. When I reviewed it back then, I remarked that it was one of the finest head sculpts from CO that I could recall. Incredibly since that time, Character Options have continued to refine their art of toy making to the point that this sculpt is still very good, but hardly top of the heap anymore.

The face is still a little lacking emotion, but I’d much rather have that than some goofy Jakks style screaming sculpt. My Pertwee has a little issue with his eyes. The actual eye is made up of three unique dots and one of the dot’s placement on mine is a little off center. It makes it seem as if one of those pepper pots he was always going on about was actually a flask! As well, the hair is still a bit too white. Personally I think CO should have varied the colors of the hair a bit more between the releases. The newest figure that was leaked onto Ebay seems to have the same white hair as well.

The costume is quite good and I prefer this outfit to some of the other 3rd Doctor releases. It’s the torso from the “Death to the Daleks” set and the legs from the “Sea Devil” set. CO have been very smart in choosing outfits where they can pull the old switcheroo when it makes sense. I had a little bit of paint issue around the neck piping on the coat, though. Nothing major, but some bleed and unclean lines.

The Maggots are a horse of another color entirely. These are all new sculpts for these guys and despite the generally simple design, they look quite good. Each Maggot has it’s own unique sculpt, as well. They’re really quite grotesque little buggers.

The paint work on them is equally as excellent, with a variety of washes to give them color. They also have a fair amount of “green death” on them as well. These maggots would be really cool if they weren’t so largely forgettable in general and there were more of them. With only three maggots in the package, you can’t help but feel like perhaps they shouldn’t have called the Doctor, but just the Orkin man instead.

Despite the few paint defects and the general boringness of what is a Frankenstein of 3rd Doctor parts and some gross little maggots, it’s a nice set. Even though I’ve seen it nearly a half dozen times now, the Jon Pertwee likeness is still quite good and the attention to little details like his ring are still impressive. Sculpt wise, this Pertwee might be one of the best. My QC issues are pretty rare in my experiences with the line and they are, quite minor.

Some people want ball joints and such with their Doctor figures, but I just don’t need that. Outside of a ball jointed neck, I think these guys have a pretty good range of movement. The 3rd Doctor was one of the few who was willing to mix it up and showcase a little of his Venusian Aikido from time to time, so he needs perhaps a smidge more articulation than most.

You won’t have too much of an issue posing him, but his coat does hinder the leg movement some. The coat is a soft rubber, so you can get some stretch, but the movement is still hindered a bit. I also found that the neck joint on my Pertwee was super stiff and could barely turn. I haven’t had these issues with the others so it could just be a stuck joint.

The maggots once again disappoint. While each one does have a unique sculpt that allow them to be displayed in different fashions, they are not poseable. Personally I think a bendable rubber wire figure would have made good sense here. It’s rare I call for a bendy figure, but here it would have worked.

While these sets aren’t really known for their accessories, we typically get a little something. If this set was sold as a single figure and not a double pack, this set would be brimming with accessories.

Like any good Doctor figure, he comes with his trusty Sonic Screwdriver. The sculpt and paint work on such a tiny item really are a testament to the quality work that Character Options puts out. This is a nearly identical tiny replica of the Third Doctor’s Sonic. Bravo!

If the Maggots were purely accessories, they’d be great. Unfortunately I can’t really call them accessories because they are indeed supposed to be their own figure. A rare misstep by Character Options and Underground Toys.

See the sticker on my in package shot? Yeah, at some point places were trying to charge $55 for this figure. OUCH! Considering that most two packs run in the $40-$60 range, you can see why this set with it’s weak secondary character was not a huge seller. Most places now have this guy marked down in the $35 range.

The set itself wouldn’t be such a bad deal if you got 6 or even 8 maggots. With only 3 maggots, you really don’t have enough to do much with. Perhaps the value would have been better if it would have also come with that awful giant fly from the same episode… Then again, maybe not. Personally I picked him up on clearance for less than $20. At that price, I don’t feel like I was screwed. However, if you’re paying $35 and above you’ll probably want to spend your dollars on a better Pertwee set.

Score Recap:
Packaging: 8
Sculpting: 8
Paint: 7
Articulation: 7
Accessories: Sonic Screwdriver
Value: 4
Overall: 6 out of 10

The Pertwee figure himself is a great likeness and despite a few hiccups in the paint department, he’s still a great addition to any Third Doctor fan. The maggots are also a great little piece and make for a fun little display piece. The problem with the set is the price and when you combine a figure that’s more or less already been released with a below average counterpart, you’re left with a unsatisfying package. This set is only for completists, people who love the 3rd Doctor or those who find it for a good deal.

Well here’s something new. This green jacket version of the 3rd Doctor, Jon Pertwee showed up on Ebay briefly this weekend. Where and when will this figure see release? No one knows for sure. The figure has already been removed from Ebay, presumably by Character Options crack legal team. It’s assumed that this may be part of the rumored 11 Doctors box set but that’s purely speculation at this point.

I find the inclusion of the sonic screwdriver curious. Not because the Third Doctor shouldn’t have it, but that some of the other box sets have excluded accessories in the past. Is this perhaps another single card release? I guess we’ll have to wait and see. I definitely want this version though, even if it’s just a fancy repaint.

Today is the last day of 2009 and I’ve got so many unreviewed toys sitting around I wasn’t sure what to review. I knew I wanted to get one more toy review in before the new year, but there are so many great choices. If I review a DC, MOTU or GI Joe figure it’ll drive more traffic. That said I decided it might be best to go out the way I came in, with a Doctor Who figure review.

When I did my first Doctor Who review this past year I mentioned that the main reason I wanted to put a solid focus on Who figures is that they’re a largely undiscovered line by the masses and there just aren’t very many quality reviews out there. The bulk of the toy reviews are done by young British kids on YouTube and while those kids have been a great resource to all us Who collectors, it’s nice to have some other variety out there as well.

Which brings me to today. Although not all of my Who reviews have been great, I think the site has become a bit of a hub for Doctor Who reviews and has become quite a resource for Who fans. I’ve seen my reviews linked all across the web and I’ve helped people get off the fence on many a Doctor Who toy, so for that I’m quite elated. Hopefully I can provide an even better resource for Doctor Who toys in 2010! Let’s take a look at today’s review, a double pack feature Jon Pertwee as the 3rd Doctor and one of his arch rivals, the Sea Devil.

I’m not as big of a fan of the Doctor Who Classics packaging as I am of the packaging for the regular line, but the clamshell that these come in are decent enough. It’s a nice round bubble and it’s great for MOC collectors as it shows off the figures nicely. If you want to open them up however, you have to hack into it with scissors.

It’s nice that both figures fit so well on the bubble and it’s hard to tell the difference between this and regular package. Obviously there is a difference, but it’s good that the package is so adaptable. That’s been a theme throughout the history of the Who line and I’m baffled we don’t see this more in the states on lines like GI Joe or DCUC. There’s a great wind blown picture of Jon Pertwee as well as a Sea Devil in the lower right hand corner.

The back tells a little about the Third Doctor as well as the Sea Devils themselves and the episode this package is highlighting. It even tells the production year, which is a nice touch for fans who might not know those sorts of details.

I’ll try to avoid as many aquatic puns as I had in my Original Sea Devil review. Needless to say since the Sea Devil is just a repaint of that previous released version, he has all the same articulation which includes ball jointed shoulders, Who Crotch®, swivel thighs, swivel forearms, swivel wrist, swivel waist, swivel feet, cut neck, cut arms, cut legs and knee and elbow joints.

Despite the fact that Jon Pertwee is the last “old” looking Doctor, he was quite nimble and often threw down with monsters using Ju-Jitsu… Who-Jitsu? I’m actually not kidding when I say that. Petwee was a man of action, moreso than a lot of other Doctors, so he needs a fair amount of articulation.

He’s got a cut neck, cut shoulders, cut upper arms, elbow hinges, swivel wrist, cut waist, Who Crotch®, cut legs, cut thighs and knee hinges. It’s pretty much the standard for Doctor figures now although the 10th Doctor never has gotten all of the updated articulation. Make of that what you will. There’s plenty here to make your Pertwee get down with his bad self, although his overcoat can impede some of the articulation.

Character Options has some of the best sculpting around in the world of toys. Every time a new head sculpt comes out with a Doctor, it seems to be better than the one before it. Jon Pertwee has a somewhat peculiar look, as have plenty of the Doctors and it’s reflected here to perfection.

The head sculpt is one of the best, if not the best likeness in the line so far. That’s a heavy compliment because the other classics sculpts have also been top notch. I think there could be a tad more gray wash in his hair, but his hair was various shades of white and gray throughout so it’s debatable. The rest of his face looks great though with a serious, stern look.

Of all the wacky Doctors, Pertwee must have had the most unique fashion sense. The elaborate outfits of the 3rd Doctor were unlike any before or after him. This outfit is honestly rather tame overall, but it hits all the right spots as one of his traditional getups. He has his puffy undershirt, suede coat, overcoat/cape with red underneath, it’s all here. The coat’s paintwork is exceptional giving it that crushed velvet/suede look.

He even has pinky ring which is painted with surprising detail and even the inside of his hand has the ring. That’s a tiny little detail that could have easily been left painted, but CO didn’t miss it.

As much as I thought the original Sea Devil looked good, this Sea Devil beats it in just about every way. I don’t think anyone disliked the original Sea Devil, but this newly painted version just shows how superior it is. It’s just a repaint, but the darker, wetter colors better reflect the classic monster.

At this price point you’d love to say that these guys have tons of accessories, but they just have their basics. For the 3rd Doctor, that’s his trusty Sonic Screwdriver. Since it was Pertwee who first got to using this device, it’s nice to see him with it.

The Sea Devil comes with his heat ray gun/belt just as the original figure had. The only difference being that this time the ray gun is silver in color instead of gold. Technically the Sea Devil’s clothes and Pertwee’s cape are removable, so you could count those as accessories if you wish.

“I said sonic screwdriver, not a wrench!”

This pack runs about $40, which breaks down to about $20 a figure. That’s pretty steep, especially when the regular Sea Devil figure can be had for about $10-$12 these days. Most people are in this for the Jon Pertwee figure so you could say it’s $25 for the Pertwee and $15 for the Sea Devil. However you justify the cost, this is a must have for Doctor Who collectors. It’s pretty expensive, but it’s so nicely done I’m more inclined to overlook it.

Score Recap:
Packaging – 7
Sculpting – 9
Articulation – 8
Accessories – Heat Ray, Sonic Screwdriver
Value – 7
Overall – 8 out of 10

Two really good figures for $40 isn’t the steal of the century, but given the sharp attention to detail, the fact that this is based off an old dude from 70’s and the general obscurity of the license in general I’m content with the purchase. Doctor Who is hitting a big stride in 2010 and hopefully so are we here at Infinite and I can’t tell you how thrilling it is to continue to put these guys on the shelf. It’s a freakin’ Jon Pertwee figure! Good times.

Pictures have surfaced of the new exclusive Jon Pertwee third Doctor from Doctor Who figures. These figures from Character Options look incredible. While I’m not going to be covering much from SDCC, because there is simply too much new stuff coming down the line, I can’t help but cover these. As you know at the SDCC the first and second Doctors were just released.

While I prefer the head sculpt of the one with the Dalek, I do prefer the look of the other. They may share the same head sculpt, but the picture makes it appear slightly different.

Either way both will be mine! For those who have never bought a Doctor Who figure before, these will have articulation, but for whatever reason the prototypes never do. Don’t be fooled as I was for many years. These are supposed to be available later in August, via all your various usual online Doctor Who stores. They’re exclusives so get them while their hot!