Saturday, 15 December 2012

Doctor Who - The Third Doctor.

Next up is the Third Doctor plus a few evil aliens that cropped up during his days as U.N.I.T.'s 'scientific advisor'.

Companions were - 

Dr. Liz Shaw
Jo Grant
Sarah Jane Smith

The Third Doctor and Jo Grant. "I'm not the tea lady. I'm your new assistant."
Jo first appears in the 1971 serial Terror of the Autons, having been assigned to the Doctor as a replacement for Liz Shaw. Apparently, she gained the assignment to UNIT because her uncle, a high ranking civil servant, had "pulled some strings". Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart assigns her to the Doctor, who is initially dismayed when he finds out that she is not a scientist, but accepts her because he does not have the heart to tell her otherwise. An enthusiastic, bubbly and sometimes scatter-brained blonde, Jo soon endears herself to the other members of UNIT, especially Captain Mike Yates and Sergeant Benton. The Third Doctor is also particularly attached to her, and she is devoted to him, refusing to leave his side even where mortal danger was involved.

The Doctor and Jo chat with a Dalek.

There is plenty of danger to go around as well, especially after the Time Lords restore the Third Doctor's ability to travel through time and space. Jo faces the hazards and wonders of travel with the Doctor with courage and plucky determination. Together with the Doctor and UNIT, she encounters such perils as killer daffodils, time-eating monsters, and renegade Time Lord the Master. She is miniaturised, hypnotised, flung through time, nearly aged to death, and menaced by giant maggots and ancient dæmons. Over time, Jo also grows more confident and mature, until she is independent enough to stand up to the Doctor, which she does in her last serial, The Green Death in May–June 1973. During the events of that story, Jo falls in love with Professor Clifford Jones, a young, Nobel Prize-winning scientist leading an environmentalist group. At the end, she agrees to marry Jones and go with him to the Amazon to study its vegetation, the news of which the Doctor greets with a mixture of pride and sadness.

The Third Doctor and Sarah Jane Smith.
Sarah Jane first appears in the Third Doctor serial The Time Warrior (1973), where she has managed to infiltrate a top secret research facility by posing as her aunt, Lavinia Smith, a famous virologist. Introduced as an ardent feminist, Sarah Jane sneaks aboard the TARDIS and becomes embroiled in a battle against the militaristic alien Sontarans in the Middle Ages. Subsequently, she accompanies the Doctor on several journeys in the TARDIS, and she also assists the United Nations Intelligence Taskforce led by Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart on a number of occasions.

Sarah Jane and the Doctor.

After Pertwee's departure, Sladen remains following Season 11 finale Planet of the Spiders (1974), in which the Doctor regenerates for the third time. In season 12's consecutive 1975 serials The Sontaran Experiment, Genesis of the Daleks and Revenge of the Cybermen, Sarah and male companion Harry Sullivan face against the series' three iconic recurring creatures, the Sontarans, hateful alien Daleks and the calculating cyborg Cybermen. In Genesis, Sarah is present at the creation of the Daleks, and meets their creator Davros. Sarah Jane departs in the Season 14 serial The Hand of Fear (1976) after the Doctor receives a summons to his home planet of Gallifrey.

An Axon in golden humanoid form flanked by two more in tentacled form wearing booties.
The Axons land on Earth, desperately in need of fuel. They propose to exchange the miracle substance they call Axonite for some much needed energy. Axonite is a "thinking" molecule that can replicate any substance... or so they claim.


As it turns out, the ship is a single organism called Axos whose purpose is to feed itself by draining all energy through the Axonite (which is just a part of itself), including the energy of every life form on Earth. The deception about the Axonite's beneficial properties was to facilitate the distribution of Axonite across the globe.

A small Sontaran scout force..."Sontar-ha!"
The Sontarans are a race of humanoids with a stocky build, greenish brown skin, and a distinctive dome-shaped head. In addition, they only have three fingers on each hand. Their special muscles are designed for load-bearing rather than leverage because of the significant amount of gravity on their home planet of Sontar. Ross Jenkins in The Sontaran Stratagem describes a Sontaran as resembling "a talking baked potato" but The Doctor sticks up for the Sontarans by saying that, to them, he looks like a pink weasel. Sontarans come from a large, dense planet named Sontar in the "southern spiral arm of the galaxy" which has a very strong gravitational field, which explains their compact stocky form. They also are far stronger than humans and in the recent series are smaller.

Commander Linx

The Sontarans have an extremely militaristic culture; every aspect of their society is geared toward warfare, and every experience is viewed in terms of its martial relevance. In The Sontaran Experiment, the Fourth Doctor comments that "Sontarans never do anything without a military reason." In fact, to die heroically in battle is their ultimate goal. Aside from a ritualistic chant in "The Sontaran Strategem"/"The Poison Sky", they are never seen to engage in any activity that would be considered recreation, though a few offhand comments by Commander Skorr in "The Poison Sky" suggest they do consider hunting a sport (according to their creator Robert Holmes, Sontarans do have a highly developed artistic culture, but have put it on hold for the duration of the war, while the opening chapter of the novelisation of The Time Warrior, based on Holmes' incomplete draft, refers to Linx listening to the Sontaran anthem while his spaceship is in flight). The Sontarans depicted in the series have detached, smug personalities, and a highly developed sense of honour; on multiple occasions, the Doctor has used his knowledge of their pride in their species to manipulate them. However, in "The Sontaran Stratagem", the Doctor nevertheless referred to them as "the finest soldiers in the galaxy".


Although physically formidable, the Sontarans' weak spot is the "probic vent" at the back of their neck, through which they draw nutrition. It is also part of their cloning process. It provides incentive to continue moving forward in battle since retreat would expose this area to their enemies. They have been killed by targeting that location with a knife (The Invasion of Time), a screwdriver ("Shakedown: Return of the Sontarans"), and an arrow (The Time Warrior). Even something as simple as a squash ball aimed at that point (The Sontaran Stratagem) or contact by the heel of a shoe ("The Last Sontaran") is capable of incapacitating them temporarily. They are also vulnerable to "coronic acid" (The Two Doctors). While the Sontaran wear protective helmets in battle, to fight without their helmets, or to be "open-skinned," is an honour for the Sontaran.

An Auton.
First appearing in Jon Pertwee's first serial as the Doctor, Spearhead from Space in 1970, they were the first monsters on the show to be presented in colour.

Autons are essentially life-sized plastic dummies, automatons animated by the Nestene Consciousness, an extraterrestrial, disembodied gestalt intelligence which first arrived on Earth in hollow plasticmeteorites. Their name comes from Auto Plastics, the company that was infiltrated by the Nestenes and subsequently manufactured their Auton shells in Spearhead.


Autons conceal deadly weapons within their hands, which can kill or vaporize their targets. The typical Auton does not look particularly realistic, resembling a mannequin, being robotic in its movements and mute. However, more sophisticated Autons can be created, which look and act human except for a slight plastic sheen to the skin and a flat sounding voice. In Series 5 of the new Doctor Whoseries, they are shown as being able to create fully lifelike human replicas, able to fool other humans.

Figures are all from Black Tree Design / Harlequin. Alternate Doctor and Sarah Jane painted by Matt Slade.


Thantsants said...

I am finding myself browsing Blacktree design's site more and more because of you!

A comprehensive round-up and great painting too.

wardy-la said...

Thanks! I am loving the Doctor Who stuff at the moment. The Harlequin / Black Tree figures don't always look great but 'in the flesh' and painted they can look really good. Sign up to the Black Tree newsletter and keep your eyes open for the regular discounts on the Doctor Who range.