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wshaffer
The importance of being Action Man 
14th-Dec-2008 03:37 pm
in a car
Or, a Third Doctor picspam thinly disguised as a meditation on Doctor Who casting.

You see, I've been seeing a lot of people talking about casting the 11th Doctor, and saying things about how now that Doctor Who is such an action show, it's really important to cast a young actor who can handle the physical demands of the part. No more old guys.

Absolutely, I say. Doctor Who has to move with the times and embrace its new identity as a show with lots of running up and down corridors. To further illustrate my point, here are some screen grabs from "The Sea Devils", a 1972 serial filmed when then-Doctor Jon Pertwee was about 52 years old, making him the second-oldest actor to play the part (not counting actors returning to reprise their roles in various specials and the like). Look below the cut to see the sort of sedate performance required to accomodate an elder actor...

First, we have running...



Climbing up and down ladders...



Descending a cliff face on a rope...


Hand to hand combat with both humans and aliens...





Fencing (though he does take a break for a snack in the middle)...





Somersaulting through barbed wire...




Chasing the Master in a speedboat...



Being rescued from the sea after escaping from the Sea Devils' underground base...





It's just too bad that they had to scrap the planned waterskiing sequence due to bad weather!

It's possible that this proves nothing more than what we already knew: Jon Pertwee is awesome. But I think it's a good reminder not to discount older contenders for the role just yet.
Comments 
15th-Dec-2008 02:26 am (UTC)
YAY!! Though most of the Venusian karate action was pretty sedate. ;)

I still have this silly hope that they'll have Nicholas Courtney back on the show, if only briefly. Or at least John Levene!
15th-Dec-2008 06:09 am (UTC)
I've been trying to decide whether Nicholas Courtney's recent appearance in The Sarah Jane Adventures makes it more or less likely that he'll appear in the parent show. (I still regret that the Brigadier and the Ninth Doctor never met. That would have been an interesting interplay of personalities. Maybe somebody will do that story in a book/comic/audio someday.) And I heard John Levene being interviewed on the Doctor Who Podshock podcast a while back, and he'd definitely appear in the show if asked.
15th-Dec-2008 06:59 pm (UTC)
(Here via who_daily.)

Lovely picspam! I may be pinching a few of these pictures for my own nefarious purposes, especially the sandwich thievery. :D Best part of the episode, or best part of the episode?

Count me among those who'd kind of like an older Eleven; there are plenty of actors in their 40s and 50s who could handle the physical demands of the role.
16th-Dec-2008 01:14 am (UTC)
Pinch away! Always happy to abet nefarious activities. That whole swordfight sequence is just wonderful. I think it's the first time watching a Who DVD where I've found myself saying, "OMG, an insanely long cliffhanger reprise! Yay!"

And then, later on, the Doctor swipes Jo's sandwich as well. He must have been telling the truth when he said that violent exercise makes him hungry!
16th-Dec-2008 03:11 am (UTC)
And then, later on, the Doctor swipes Jo's sandwich as well.

My favorite part of that whole sequence is the sad look she gets when he hands the sandwich plate back to her. With nothing on it, because the Doctor never learned to share. :( Poor, long-suffering Jo.
15th-Dec-2008 07:49 pm (UTC)
Oh yes, and older actor *please*! There are plenty in their 40s and 50s who are in better shape than some younger ones. I like the maturity and presence an older actor brings. As Three once sardonically noted, "Yes, I'm rather spry for my age."

And oooo....shiny Sea Devils picspam! One of my all-time fave episodes.

16th-Dec-2008 01:26 am (UTC)
The Sea Devils is a fantastic story. I'm strongly considering showing it to some of my friends who are New Series fans, but are skeptical about the classic series, because it's got nearly everything that made the Pertwee era great. Though it's tragically lacking in Brigadier.
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