Jon Pertwee at 100: Aldbourne thoughts



Image Credit: Stephen Broome (All Rights Reserved)

Image Description: Jon Pertwee with a Dalek

Ian Bayley listened to memories of Jon Pertwee from the cast of The Daemons at An Afternoon at Devil’s End, 23 June 2019

Given that Jon Pertwee’s centenary was two weeks away, he loomed large in the guests’ thoughts. Pertwee was Damaris’ favourite Doctor, and the key to his success for her was that he was “absolutely serious” about the job. Even in rehearsals where it was suggested he may want to “get the laughs out of the way,” he was always committed, and so unsurprisingly, more comic Doctors such as Tom Baker were not to her taste. However, humour was important in Katy’s relationship with Jon. On their drives to locations, they would turn passing English village names into characters they would role play. Richard remembered an escapade in which Pertwee asked him for a lift on his motorbike, only to discover that it had no brakes. As for the other John (Levene), he recalled that despite the fun he was having, Pertwee often expressed to him his sense of responsibility at being the show’s lead actor, and living up to the part. It’s clear that twenty-three years on from his passing, Jon Pertwee is still fondly remembered.

Discussion turned to the modern era, which Damaris finds too fast-paced for her, preferring the classic series’ more theatrical style of production. The casting of Jodie Whittaker also came up, as it inevitably does, and she rationalised the casting of a female Doctor with the words “if they must, they must,” perhaps causing a little fan discomfort in the gathering. Katy’s thoughts, meanwhile, were very different, and she proclaimed that Jodie was “the right actor at the right time,” which is “what you need for success”.

This article was first published in The Tides of Time Special Edition Summer 2019

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