Moving on to the third regeneration of the Doctor (played by Jon Pertwee), this series of comprehensive surveys of the complete broadcast history of the TV show opens with notes on what makes this incarnation of the Doctor distinctive. Of note is the fact that, due to a spot of bother with the other Time Lords at the end of the Second Doctor's tenure, the Third Doctor finds himself exiled to Earth in the (then) present, unable to travel in space and time... fortunately the aliens were not backwards in coming to visit!
The first chapter introduces the Third Doctor and his companions, giving loads of detail about how he was more of an 'action hero' than his previous selves, with a fondness for flamboyant fashion and interesting vehicles. There are two different groups of companions, the conventional sort and members of UNIT who are more co-workers - at least as far as the Doctor ever trusts the military. Character sheets as well as loads of detail to aid in play are provided for all involved: the Brigadier, Liz Shaw (who was assigned as the Doctor's assistant), the two 'real' companions - Jo Grant and Sarah-Jane Smith - as well as Sergeant Benton and Captain Yates of UNIT. This chapter also talks about the TARDIS - which spends most of the time non-functional although the Doctor does manage occasional temporary repairs to make a few jaunts to other times or places.
Chapter 2 continues the useful theme by looking at (and providing game details for) new NPCs and gadgets that typify this period, as well as things like new traits - used here and often useful in the game in general. New monsters/adversaries get the next chapter to themselves, and here we meet Daleks (again) and the Master (a rival Time Lord). Ogrons, Silurians, the Nestene Consciousness, and the Autons also feature. This 'game' section of the book ends with a chapter entitled Designing Third Doctor Adventures, full of good advice that is of general application as well as material specific to this regeneration. There are three main types of adventure: those tasked by UNIT, missions from the Time Lords and occasions when the Doctor got lost. Although he does get to visit other planets, there's little historical travel.
The rest of the book is dedicated to detailed accounts of each of the Third Doctor's adventures, some twenty-four of them. Each begins with a synopsis of the adventure itself. Then there's a look at how to use concepts from it (or even the complete adventure) in your game, and notes on key individuals, monsters and gadgets (if not mentioned earlier in the book) that turn up during it. Further adventure ideas are included, and there is increasing use of cross-linking to both earlier and later adventures, which can suggest ways in which to create your own plot arcs outside the sequence followed by the TV show.
With classic adventures (like The Sea Devils and The Three Doctors), fascinating ideas including time paradoxes, alternate futures and the use or not of violence to achieve ones ends, and a host of long-running themes and recurring monsters, there is a lot to like about this period in the Doctor's history. However you want to use it, there is plenty here that will be of use and interest.
Return to The Third Doctor Sourcebook page.
Reviewed: 7 January 2016