Third times a...umm....charm? Well, we're in color at least.
The serials I watched for the Third Doctor:
1. Spearhead from Space
2. Terror of the Autons
3. The Daemons
4. The Three Doctors
5. Time Warrior
6. Carnival of Monsters
7. Planet of the Spiders
When I finished watching the Second Doctor and posted my thoughts here, I mentioned in the comments that I was more or less blasting through Three in order to keep this momentum up. So what took me so long? I COULDN'T FIND PLANET OF THE SPIDERS ANYWHERE UNTIL TWO NIGHTS AGO!!!!!!!!
Ahem...sorry for that outburst. But yes, after being stalled at the finish line for four months, I can finally tell you all what I thought.
The best way I can think of to describe the Third Doctor is if Liberace decided one day he was going to be James Bond. Now that I'm typing that, it actually sounds like one of the most awesome things ever, but in Three's case it was very underwhelming. I just couldn't get into him very much, especially after Two. The smugness was played up tremendously, and that's just not as interesting for me. More than that, there's a major chauvinistic streak that's way worse than Eleven ever was. Nothing against Pertwee, he actually plays the part well. I just didn't like the part. Three is definitely my least favorite so far.
I also didn't really like how grounded he was during the first half of my views. Going from the majesty of the TARDIS to...well..."Bessie" was jarring to say the least. Though by the time I finally saw the infamous "Whomobile" in Planet I had pretty much accepted that this was the world we were living in.
While the UNIT characters added varying degrees of color, it really isn't the Doctor's style to be bogged down like that. He's an explorer, a vagabond. UNIT is fun once in a while, but I'm ready to see him move on.
Reading what I wrote so far, you'd think I hated this era. Well, you'd be wrong. While it's not my favorite, it's still Doctor Who and, jarringness aside, there were plenty of moments I'm very fond of. These highlights include:
1. FINALLY, THE MASTER! While I like the utter insanity that John Simm and Michelle Gomez brought to the role, it was a blast seeing Roger Delgado's original smooth chessmaster. Even if his schemes were over-the-top at times, he still pretty much owned every scene.
2. A long time ago, I read an online article about "bad" scenes from beloved shows, and saw a clip of a man being "eaten" by an inflatable chair. Now that I finally see the scene in its proper context - it's still one of the silliest freaking things I've ever seen try to be taken seriously, but I absolutely adore it for that.
3. For the time, Azal was actually a pretty well-executed bit of makeup and effects. If only the same could be said for Bok...
4. The Three Doctors was just flat out awesomeness from beginning to end and made me miss Two even more than I already was.
5. It is so delightful to see that the Sontarans haven't changed a single iota from their introduction in Time Warrior.
6. Carnival of Monsters. Just...Carnival of Monsters.
7. The spiders reminded me of the beetle from Ten's "Turn Left." This was probably intentional on the part of NuWho.
8. Meeting another Time Lord AND seeing him regenerate was fantastic, and I hope we'll see more in the future.
9. Much as I didn't like Three, he performed his "death" scene with aplomb.
Alright. It's just you and me, Four. BRING IT ON!