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.
Accessories: Sonic Screwdriver
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.