Doctor Who Listener Archive - 1978

Note: These are the articles, photos and other Doctor Who related items from issues of the New Zealand Listener. The full text of each item has been transcribed as it is often indistinct on the scanned cuttings. Spelling and grammar have not been corrected. We would like to hear from anyone who can provide better quality copies or scanned originals of any of these cuttings and also from anyone who can identify any additional Doctor Who items from the New Zealand Listener that have not been included here.

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Listener Clippings

[clipping: 1978-02-04-A]

4 February 1978
Vol 88 No 1988 (4-10 Feb 1975)
p54: article entitled 'Who on earth...?' in the TV preview section and a photo of the Fourth Doctor [from The Sontaran Experiment].

Who on earth...?

DR WHO returns this week from the edge of the grave, not only regenerated but also rejuvenated. In the new series, which starts this Saturday, Tom Baker takes over from John Pertwee as the newest and youngest Dr Who.

In the four-part series, entitled "Robot", the doctor takes on an unbalanced robot being used by a cabal of power-mad scientists who are trying to take over the world - and they have the Destructor Codes! A quick blast with a disintegrator gun has a most unexpected effect on the robot, but eventually, of course, the doctor triumphs and flies off in the tardis with Sarah (Elizabeth Sladen) and a newcomer to Dr Who, a naval doctor called Harry Sullivan, played by Ian Marter.

Photo caption:

Tom Baker as the newest and youngest Dr Who.

[clipping: 1978-02-04-B]

p57: three photos (b/w) of Sarah [from The Monster of Peladon], the Fourth Doctor [from The Sontaran Experiment] and Robot K1 [from Robot]; TV listings: Robot Part One (SPTV, Saturday 04/02/78)

Materialising at 6.30: Tom Baker (below) as the rejuvenated DOCTOR WHO, Elisabeth Sladen (above) as his plucky assistant, Sarah Jane Smith, and Robot (right), the monstrous, mixed-up machine.

[clipping: 1978-02-11]

11 February 1978
Vol 88 No 1989 (11-17 Feb 1978)
p81: photo (b/w) of Sarah [from Death to the Daleks]; TV listings: Robot Part Two (SPTV, Saturday 11/02/78)

Sarah Jane (Elizabeth Sladen) is determined to see the Robot... DOCTOR WHO, 6.30 pm.

[clipping: 1978-02-25]

25 February 1978
Vol 88 No 1991 (25 Feb-3 Mar 1978)
p69: photo (b/w) of Sarah and Robot K1 [from Robot]; TV listings: Robot Part Four (SPTV, Saturday 25/02/78)

In the final of DOCTOR WHO (6.30 pm) the invincible Robot holds Sarah Jane (Elizabeth Sladen) hostage and announces that all humanity will be destroyed - but she will be spared.

[clipping: 1978-03-11]

11 March 1978
Vol 88 No 1993 (11-17 Mar 1978)
p73: photo (b/w) of the Fourth Doctor and Sarah [from The Ark in Space]; TV listings: The Sontaran Experiment Part Two (SPTV, Saturday 11/03/78)

Tom Baker and Elizabeth Sladen in the final of DR WHO (6.30 pm).

[clipping: 1978-04-08]

8 April 1978
Vol 88 No 1997 (8-14 Apr 1978)
p61: illustration (b/w) of the Doctor Who 'diamond logo'; TV listings: The Ark in Space Part Four (SPTV, Saturday 08/04/78)

[clipping: 1978-08-12]

12 August 1978
Vol 89 No 2015 (12-18 Aug 1978)
p77: photo (b/w) of two Cybermen [from Revenge of the Cybermen]; TV listings: Revenge of the Cybermen Part One (SPTV, Saturday 12/08/78)

Left: Two Cybermen (Christopher Robbie and Melville Jones) inside planet Voga. The new series of DOCTOR WHO, at 4.30 today, was filmed at the Wookey Hole Caves in Somerset.

[clipping: 1978-09-09]

9 September 1978
Vol 90 No 2019 (9-15 Sep 1978)
p61: photo (b/w) of the Fourth Doctor and Zygons [from Terror of the Zygons]; TV listings: Terror of the Zygons Part One (TV2, Saturday 09/09/78)

BEAUTIES AND BEASTS ... Tom Baker (above) falls into the hands of the Zygons in DOCTOR WHO at 4.30pm

[clipping: 1978-09-16]

16 September 1978
Vol 90 No 2020 (16-22 Sep 1978)
p69: illustration (b/w) of the Doctor Who 'diamond logo'; TV listings: Terror of the Zygons Part Two (SPTV, Saturday 16/09/78)

[clipping: 1978-09-30]

30 September 1978
Vol 90 No 2022 (30 Sep-6 Oct 1978)
p77: photo (b/w) of a Zygon [from Terror of the Zygons]; TV listings: Terror of the Zygons Part Four (SPTV, Saturday 30/09/78)

[clipping: 1978-10-07]

7 October 1978
Vol 90 No 2023 (7-13 Oct 1978)
p93: photo (b/w) of Sarah [from Pyramids of Mars]; TV listings: Pyramids of Mars Part One (SPTV, Saturday 07/10/78)

There are several doctors - and their assistants - on the go this Saturday ... while Sarah Jane Smith (Elisabeth Sladen, below) the Girl Friday of DR WHO, shows she is handy with weaponry in Part 1 of a new adventure (4.30pm).

[clipping: 1978-10-14]

14 October 1978
Vol 90 No 2024 (14-20 Oct 1978)
p85: photo (b/w) of the Fourth Doctor and Sarah [from Pyramids of Mars]; TV listings: Pyramids of Mars Part Two (SPTV, Saturday 14/07/78)

DR WHO (Tom Baker) and Sarah (Elisabeth Sladen) at 4.30pm.

[clipping: 1978-11-11]

11 November 1978
Vol 90 No 2028 (11-17 Oct 1978)
p93: photo (b/w) of the Fourth Doctor and Sarah [from Planet of Evil]; TV listings: Planet of Evil Part Two (SPTV, Saturday 11/11/78)

DR WHO pits his wits against an anti-matter monster, 4.30pm.

[clipping: 1978-11-25]

25 November 1978
Vol 90 No 2030 (25 Nov - 1 Dec 1978)
p85: photo (b/w) of Professor Sorenson [from Planet of Evil]; TV listings: Planet of Evil Part Four (SPTV, Saturday 25/11/78)

Professor Sorenson (Frederick Jaeger) is affected by contact with anti-matter in DR WHO at 4.30pm.

9 December 1978
Vol 90 No 2032 (9-15 Dec 1978)
p9: preview of following week's issue on contents page, with photo (b/w) of Jon Pertwee

NEXT WEEK: Jon Pertwee - TV's Doctor Whodunnit.

[clipping: 1978-12-16-A]

16 December 1978
Vol 90 No 2033 (16-22 Dec 1978)
front cover: photo (col) of Jon Pertwee [from Whodunnit?]


[clipping: 1978-12-16-B]

p17: article entitled 'An Eternal Child' by Gordon Campbell, profiling Jon Pertwee, with two photos (b/w) of Jon Pertwee [main photo from Whodunnit?]

An eternal child

Staff writer Gordon Campbell looks into the adventurous and sometimes hazardous life of Jon Pertwee.

"RELAXATION", says Whodunnit's Jon Pertwee is "riding a motor cycle, a bit of water-skiing, or a nice burn-up in the jet-boat. My wife thinks I'm demented."

For a man touching 60, Pertwee does seem a little on the hyper-energetic side. But his hankering after all kinds of athletic and mechanical excesses showed itself very early in life. During his early teens, for instance, he got carried away - quite literally - over a craze for motor cycles: his first ride on his father's machine ended up with him going at high speed straight into a stone wall on the family estate!

From that inauspicious beginning Pertwee has graduated to racing cars, then go-karts, followed by more motor bikes, 10-speed bicycles, jet-boats and finally, in some sort of climax, to the Who-mobile. Viewers of Dr Who will probably remember the machine; it looked like a cross between a speedboat and a benevolent shark, but it won a permanent place in Pertwee's affections. So much so that when he severed his connections with the series he took the Whomobile with him. Nowadays he uses it for the odd shopping jaunt around Barnes, Surrey, where he lives with his German wife, Ingeborg, and his two teenage children. He gleefully remarks how other road users in the area drive almost right off the road whenever he hoves into sight.

Pertwee looks like a cross between the Count Of Monte Cristo and Dan Dare. There's something about the tattooed forearms, the hooked nose, and the wild, perpetually jet-streamed white hair that suggests both the classic romantic adventurer and the slightly silly comic-book hero. The similarities extend beyond mere physical appearance and his seemingly boundless energies; like some superannuated eternal child, Pertwee takes an obsessive interest in new gadgets and toys.

His town-house in London is littered with adding machines, rowing machines, an electronic treasure hunting machine for combing tropical beaches, tape recorders and stereo gear; but he's not entirely chauvinistic in his pursuit or pleasure through the wonders of 20th century technology. Ingeborg's kitchen hums, whirrs and whizzes with a multitude of automatic blenders, juicers, mincers, fruit-crushers and the like. "I have," says Pertwee, "a perpetual need to be astonished."

Such an adventurous, gadget-strewn existence does have its occupational hazards. Once, while water-skiing on the Hawkesbury River, near Sydney, Pertwee was challenged to a test of bravery (or stupidity) by some Ocker friends. With all involved being fairly well smashed on the picnic wine, Pertwee lashed his water-ski tow-rope onto a shark-spotting plane that someone had brought along for the party. He then took off behind the plane in an attempt on the "World Speed Record While Drunk on Skis."

"We got to about 60mph," he says, "and then we came to a bend in the river. At the same time the pilot hit an air pocket and shot straight up into the air. This presented a problem. Should I let go, and risk breaking every bone in my body, or should I hang on, take off, and take my chances on touching down on land around the bend? I chose the river, let go and bounced for about a mile. To my considerable surprise, I survived."

All this may sound as if he is trying very hard to live up to someone, or something. And if there is any such person, Pertwee concedes, it is his writer father, the late Roland Pertwee.

"He was an overpowering man. As well as his acting and writing abilities he knew all sorts of quaint, unexpected things. He was a keen fisherman - he invented his own imitation fly, which is still sold commercially. I admired him intensely, but he was a lousy father. Rotten. He seemed to find it terribly difficult to show love."

In some ways time has tempered the younger Pertwee's impression of his famous dad. Once, Pertwee Snr indicated that the two little Pertwees (Jon and his brother Michael) should go on a fishing holiday to the family fishing hut, and that all lines, bait and other gear would be waiting for them there. On arrival, however, they found nothing - only the implements with which to make their own fishing gear. It is a lesson in survival that he claims never to have forgotten, however belated his appreciation.

His own theatrical career goes back to 1936 when he played in a production of Candida on Brighton pier. He has been in television since 1945, though since then he has spread his work fairly evenly between radio, television and the stage.

In this part of the world he was probably first known for his role in the crazy "left hand down a bit" world of radio's The Navy Lark. Through the 60s he was also a regular in the Carry On films, and picked up cameo roles in such film milestones as One of Our Dinosaurs is Missing and Africana 2000. The big breakthrough, however, was his part as the second Dr Who in the long-running science fiction series.

Looking back over his career Pertwee says his favourite roles were that of Andrew in There's a Girl in my Soup, a play which also carried him on tour to New York; and Lycus in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. He describes Whodunnit? variously as either "a real mind bender" or more practically as "my bread and butter". The real purpose of the show, he says, only half jokingly, is to give him lots of useful ideas about how to murder his tax man.

But even after the tax man, has called, Pertwee still has enough for his, beloved machines and gadgets, along with two houses in England and a villa at Ibiza, on the Mediterranean, where he indulges another pet obsession - scuba diving.

"All actors are schizophrenic," says Ingeborg, "but maybe Jon is more so than most. For an audience, or for people who he doesn't know very well, he'll still play the buccaneer. But though it sounds a little corny to say it, his real love is for his home and, his children. When he's not 'on' he spends a lot of time at Ibiza, just sprawled in front of his TV set."

Not a bad life. And the perpetually astonished and astonishing Mr Pertwee knows how to enjoy it, whether it's scaring the daylights out of the good burghers of Surrey in his Whomobile or powering his jet-boat around in the Mediterranean sunshine. In one sense his manic cravings for speed, sun and thrills, and for the vicarious power that his gadgets provide may seem childish and a little shallow in a man of his years. But Pertwee lives by a more interesting moral - one that translates roughly as "with the right breaks, you don't ever have to grow up".

WHODUNNIT? TV1, Monday December 18, 8.20pm.


Jon Pertwee chairs the panel of "crime investigators" in the TV programme Whodunnit? Inset: The actor in his younger days cracks a funny for a radio programme.

[clipping: 1978-12-30]

23 December 1978
Vol 90 No 2034 (23 Dec 1978-5 Jan 1979)
p85: photo (b/w) of Styggron [from The Android Invasion]; TV listings: The Android Invasion Part Two (TV2, Friday 05/01/79)

Clippings for 1976/77 or Clippings for 1979.