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I am the Doctor

By Jon Pertwee and David J Howe

Reviewed by Paul Scoones


I'd envisaged this book as following the same size and format as both Jessica Carney's Hartnell biography and the first volume of Pertwee's autobiography, but instead this book is the same size as the Sixties and Seventies books and contains a wealth of black and white and colour photographs.

Although Jon Pertwee's long and extremely varied acting career is covered, by far and away the greatest emphasis is given to his Doctor Who exploits which whilst this is not at all displeasing, it would have been nice to learn a little more about his lesser known roles. Worzel Gummidge, The Navy Lark and The House that Dripped Blood each have a distinct section, but as evidenced by the staggeringly long list of Pertwee's credits (covering three pages!) at the end of the book, there is a lot more to this actor's career that wasn't touched on.

A criticism often levelled at Pertwee, particularly by British fans, is his tendency to repeat the same anecdotes time and time again. Stories such as the eye patch incident in Inferno, Katy's knickers in The Daemons, Lennie Mayne's colourful language in The Curse of Peladon and many more are all too familiar to many fans who heard Pertwee speak many times. Here in New Zealand we were not so fortunate, so such stories are a great deal fresher, and it is nice to have the whole range of tales collected in one place at last. In some instances the book gives a fresh spin on an old anecdote - it was in this book that I learnt the full story behind Pertwee's attempted 'theft' from the ship on which he was filming Carnival of Monsters.

In a sense, Jon Pertwee's passing was remarkably 'well-timed'. Everyone has to go sometime, and the fact that he just put the finishing touches on his contribution to this story of his career meant that his life was very tidily concluded, his last gift to his fans being this very attractively presented volume providing a final personal insight into the man that for me represents my earliest memories of Doctor Who.

This item appeared in TSV 49 (November 1996).