In a week full of significant anniversaries, Blogtor Who takes a moment to remember Doctor Who star Jon Pertwee

John Devon Roland Pertwee. The legendary actor who played the Third Doctor in 129 episodes between 1970 and 1983. And who sadly died this week in 1996, on the 20th of May. But, as his era of Doctor Who always showed, where there is darkness there is also light. For this week also saw the 50th anniversary of his being cast as the Doctor. While audiences may have seen the Doctor’s most flamboyant incarnation swing into action for the first time 3rd of January, on the documents confirming him in the role it’s the date ’21st of May, 1969′ that appears below his signature.

He will be best known to Blogtor Who readers as the Doctor. But in a career spanning almost sixty years he is also fondly remembered for his many other roles. These included the comedy radio serial The Navy Lark and as the title character in Worzel Gummidge. In animation, for four seasons he was the voice of Spotty the alien, timid sidekick to the heroic SuperTed. While in Wombling Free he followed Doctor Who’s Wilf, Bernard Cribbins, in voicing Wombles for their live action cinema outing. Other less famous appearances, but unforgettable to those who saw them include surreal 1970s animated feature The Water Babies and guest appearances on The Avengers and The Goodies. In the former, he played, appropriately, an eccentric Brigadier and in the later a vicar given to human sacrifice in the crypt.

He also had a strong music career and in 1972 released an album with June Whitfield called Wonderful Children’s Songs. While his single of the Doctor Who theme – Who is the Doctor? – is either legendary or notorious depending on who you ask.

Jon Pertwee as the Third Doctor in the Day of the Daleks (c) BBC
Jon Pertwee as the Third Doctor in the Day of the Daleks (c) BBC

The centenary of Pertwee’s birth will also be commemorated by many this year

This summer will also mark the centenary of his birth on the 7th of July, 1919. It’s an event sure to be marked by raised glasses around the globe. Not least at the Heroes & Legends event in Armagh Planetarium that day, where Doctor Who group The Eye of HarmoNI are already planning to cut a celebratory cake in his honour. Appropriately, although his anniversary is a Sunday this year, BBC Studios have scheduled the release of Doctor Who: The Collection – The Complete Season 10 for the following day, Monday the 8th.

Jon Pertwee is missed and remembered not just by friends and family but by his millions of fans.

Blogtor Who has collected together some of Pertwee’s best moments, including a clip of his first ever appearance in Doctor Who in the 1970 story Spearhead from Space.

 

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