Doctor Who: The Third Doctor Handbook is a great reference guide to the Jon Pertwee era as the dashing, man-in-action, now exiled on Earth Time Lord from 1970 to 1974. Superbly researched, authors David J. Howe & Stephen James Walker take us thru the details of the development of the Third Doctor's adventures. The series now became more action packed. Featuring 8 chapters, focusing on actor Jon Pertwee, along with episode story reviews, production development, and also a feature on the making of the season 9 story, the 4 part "Day of the Daleks" (1972). This book has it all, including some interesting behind-the-scenes information. The Third Doctor Handbook is a great addition to any Doctor Who fans' collection. It also features an introduction by the Third Doctor himself, the late Jon Pertwee, written in April 1996 a month before he passed away. Published in 1996, this was the fourth volume in the Doctor Who series of handbooks.
This book, the third in a series covering the seven Doctors of the classic series era is a fascinating and highly satisfying read. Jon Pertwee has always been my own personal favourite; probably due to the fact that he was the Doctor I grew up watching. His straight-forward portrayal of the Time Lord, along with the decision to base many stories on late 20th century Earth arguably helped save the show, bringing some much needed credibility to the series, and ushering in a period of genuine, thought-provoking stories.
The book opens with a forward written by Pertwee shortly before he died in 1996. We then have an résumé of his career, told by the man himself via interview clippings from newspapers, magazines and DW fanzines. A chapter examining Pertwee's portrayal of the character, and the Doctor's many foible's and quirks, follows along with a section on the welcome and much-needed realism of the Earth bound stories.
The book's main section is given over to a detailed scrutiny of Pertwee's twenty-four stories, complete with plot synopsis, separate critical reviews from each author, and plenty of factual information. There are also features on the Doctor Who stage shows and a couple of radio dramas all of which starred Jon Pertwee.
Following a chapter on how the third Doctor compared to his two predecessors, there are articles on costume and production design. The authors then take a major look at how one story was put together; in this case Day Of The Daleks from 1972, which marked the first appearance of Skaro's most infamous inhabitants in five years. The chapter follows script development, casting and pre-production right through to location and studio filming, and post-production.
The book concludes with a detailed look at Doctor Who publicity, something that Pertwee seemed to excel at, and the growth in merchandise, with books, comics, various foodstuffs, and even an exhibition at the London Science Museum of various DW alien monsters. I still have my TARDIS Commander badge from that display!
Whilst there are plenty of books covering the Doctor in all of his many incarnations, this series is extremely useful for fans of the classic era who wish to examine each Doctor in greater detail than any general overview ever could. Highly recommended; just a shame that they are all long out of print.
The book, Doctor_Who:_the_Handbook:_the_Third_Doctor, is an excellent book in the "Doctor Who" handbook series by Walker, Stammers, and Howe. The book is divided into several sections for easy reference, contains an episode guide for the third Doctor's era with reviews of each episode, and provides a really nice overview of the era of the third Doctor and the events of the time period during which the episodes were produced and aired. Personally, I wish the book had included more information on the discoveries/recoveries of lost Pertwee episodes, as well as their restoration to color; since, the stories behind these are very fascinating. Overall, this is a very well researched volume; and, I highly recommend this book as well as the rest in the series.
Fans of the series, fans of Jon Pertwee's Doctor, or even to Jon Pertwee's other work are owed this volume from the Handbook series by Virgin Publishing. Like all of the books before it, it goes in depth into not just what and how (the late) Pertwee acted in "Doctor Who", but as well, much of the background info, behind-the-scenes, etc. which are a fan's necessity. Not only do I recommend this non-fiction paperback, but all the others in the series (there's seven altogether).