Liam Rudden: So Who’s your favourite Doctor?

Jon Pertwee. Pic: Comp
Jon Pertwee. Pic: Comp
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THEY reckon your favourite Doctor is always the one you grew up with... we’re talking Doctor Who here, not GPs. Which makes mine Jon Pertwee.

Yes, the man who would later be known to a generation as Worzel Gummidge, and who had been equally popular with an earlier generation as Chief Petty Officer Pertwee in The Navy Lark was, for me, The Doctor.

Over the years since, I’ve dipped in and out of the programme - indeed as regular readers will know, my first writing job was with Marvel’s Doctor Who Monthly.

So I couldn’t let Saturday’s 50 anniversary special pass without having a look. But as I joined the capacity audience in the Cameo to watch the latest instalment, in 3D no less, it struck me that everything in the world of Doctor Who has been done before.

There was the 3D Children In Need Special, Dimensions In Time, in 1989, and there have been numerous multi-Doctor stories, the first being as far back as 1973 when William Hartnell and Patrick Troughton joined Pertwee for the tenth anniversary special - I remember watching it first time around. Now that make’s me feel old.

The old Doomsday weapon plot-device, shape-shifting aliens, corny humour and Time Lord angst have all been pretty much laboured over the past five decades too.

Yet as I watched what turned out to be a fairly fun romp, I could help feeling a warm glow as the Doctors won the day... again.

Of course, casting John Hurt was a stroke of genius - I’m sure the regulars all upped their games to match his performance - and even though he seemed shoe-horned in as an after-thought, Tom Baker’s little cameo was a nice touch.

Without Jon Pertwee, though, for me, it just wasn’t Doctor Who, or at least not Doctor Who as my generation knew it.