The Doctor Who Ratings Guide: By Fans, For Fans

The Third Doctor Handbook

Author IBSN #
David J. Howe, Stephen J. Walker 0 426 20486 7

Synopsis: An examination of Jon Pertwee's reign as Doctor. Includes a biography, interview materials from a variety of sources, a detailed episode guide along with the author's ratings of each story, and an in-depth examination of the production of Day of the Daleks.


A Review by Alex Keaton 19/10/00

This is the first, and so far, the only book in the handbook collection that I have had the opportunity to read so I can't compare this to any other in the collection but after thoroughly reading it I look forward to searching for another.

Included in this book is interview material with Jon Pertwee, taken over the years from a range of sources and illustrates three possible reasons as to why he left the series; Roger Delgado's tragic death a year earlier, The production and cast team moving on and finally that the BBC urged him to leave so they could hire a new actor in the lead role.

Also included is a great overview of Day of the Daleks, fandom, production development, merchandise and an interesting list which shows the average viewing figures for each story, The Three Doctors ultimately on top of the list with an average viewing figure of 10.3 million.

Undoubtedly, however, my favorite part of this book is definitely the episode guide which contains a three-five page synopsis of all the Pertwee stories and contains reviews by authors, David. J. Howe and Stephen James Walker. In Pertwee's first season Walker rates the stories fairly highly while Howe only gives average ratings, but for the next four seasons this reverses and Walker seems less generous. Overall Howe was reluctant to give a rating of 10/10 for any story but instead gives a top rating of 9/10 to Terror of the Autons and The Curse of Peladon, while Walker gives a top rating of 10/10 to Inferno and 9/10 to Dr Who and the Silurians, The Daemons and The Curse of Peladon. Overall The Curse of Peladon deservedly came out on top as the best Pertwee story with a combined rating of 18/20.

I congratulate Howe and Walker on this magnificently compiled book and highly recommend it to any Doctor Who fan who wants to know more. 10/10