Splendid Chaps episode three
Ben McKenzie, Cathy Adamek and Sean Williams on stage recording Splendid Chaps: Three/Family at the Tuxedo Cat in Adelaide. Photo by Alanta Colley.


Hosts Ben McKenzie, John Richards and Petra Elliott discuss Jon Pertwee and Doctor Who’s representation of “Family” in the third live Splendid Chaps episode, recorded at the Tuxedo Cat pop-up venue in Adelaide on Sunday, March 10, 2013. With special guests Cathy Adamek and Sean Williams, plus Tim FitzHigham recreating a classic track from Doctor Who music history, and Adelaide-based a capella group The Con Artists performing a beautiful combo of Doctor Who music, “I Am the Doctor Who Theme”.

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Don’t forget you can go into the draw to win a (Region 4) DVD copy of The Ambassadors of Death by commenting on this episode below! Tell us what you think of the Pertwee era, come up with other interesting family moments in the series, or just let us know what you thought of this episode. Comment by April 12 to be in the running, and we’ll announce the winner at our second Four/Comedy recording on April 13.

Splendid Chaps episode three
Ben McKenzie, Cathy Adamek and Sean Williams on stage recording Splendid Chaps: Three/Family at the Tuxedo Cat in Adelaide. Photo by Alanta Colley.


  1. Tim Cav says:

    Splendid Show!

    Pertwee is definitely my favourite Doctor with his crazy sherry sipping and karate chopping. I did not know about his MI5 background. It now makes clear the earthbound setting of three’s tenure working with UNIT. I can see how he would have been comfortable with that particular circumstance as he lived it for real! Well, if you substituted Aliens for Nazis!

    Do you guys have any thoughts on the Doctor’s family structure?
    We know he has a grand daughter, a daughter, and a wife via a convoluted wedding ritual. What ever happened to the Doctor’s parents? Yes, they will have been on Gallifrey when it was taken in the war with the Daleks,but he really only refers to his loss of the Timelords not his family/parents.

    Keep warm

    Tim Cav

  2. Stephen Coppins says:

    I’m not sure about anyone else, but whenever I see on YouTube or other social media sites (or like at the Symphonic Spectacular, hear mentioned that they are about to play) “I Am The Doctor”, I am always a little disappointed that it’s the Murray Gold score (even though I love that piece of music too).

  3. @Cluemark says:

    The idea of “family” in Doctor Who is what has and always does make it a champion for outsiders or repressed minorities. Classically, here was a “family show” experienced by many as a (nuclear) family unit yet the relationships presented were varied, improvised living arrangements that opened very young eyes to the possibilities of non-traditional families.

    Great work chaps. As always, counting the days til the next one.

    James Caldwell

  4. Claire McDowall says:

    Another great podcast guys! As a child of the 80s this is the earliest Doctor I remember – vaguely from repeats as a child. Hearing your podcast has brought those memories to the forefront so I’m going to have to go back and watch! Keep up the great work.

  5. Drew Meyer says:

    Splendid Chaps continues to be one of my favourite Doctor Who podcasts, and one I eagerly anticipate each month. I wish you’d record longer shows, as I’d happily listen to several hours of the witty/insightful commentary.

  6. Nick Cowan says:

    The podcasts are fantastic. Great fun. Although I am not sure I agree with the notion that Pertwee didn’t use his comedic acting unless the part demanded. Green Death? The milkman and the cleaning lady. He also did a radio voice in one of the episodes. Written for him and not the Doctor!

    • John Richards says:

      It’s hard to see Hartnell getting into drag, I agree (Troughton and Pertwee have both dragged up as the Doctor, any of the others?).

        • Stephen Coppins says:

          Colin Baker, dragged-up? Don’t remember that one.

          But anywho…

          While he didn’t drag-up, Hartnell’s Doctor was probably the one that happily dressed-up in period the most – The Reign of Terror, The Romans and The Crusades immediately come to mind.

          • simo says:

            I think the inferrence is that THAT COAT could only be worn by a colour-blind drag queen. Which is of course an insult to colour-blind drag queens.

  7. Pôl Jackson says:

    My life is enriched from hearing Tim FitzHigham’s cover of “Who Is The Doctor”. Seriously, totally made my week. Thanks, chaps!

  8. Daniel Kilby says:

    I have a new respect for Pertwee as the Doctor now. Previously I’d viewed him as just The Campy Doctor, but going and actually watching more of the stories from his period did give me a deeper understanding of his period in the role.

    I’m ahead with the homework (because I’m a big girly swot I mean procrastinating from study conscientious), so I’ve started watching The Ark In Space, which rated a couple of mentions this month and at least one last month, with the bubble-wrap slugs in space. That shit is legit terrifying.

  9. Scott Vandervalk says:

    Another great podcast. Rewatching a lot of Pertwee at the moment, and it is truly excellent stuff. Nice insight into his ‘family’ and grounding on Earth.

  10. Rohan says:

    I really did enjoy this one, I remember Pertwee and Baker reruns when I was a kid happily but not clearly

  11. Phil says:

    I enjoyed listening to the show about family but surprised it wasn’t mentioned how keen Captain Yates was to start one with Jo Grant. He was obviously so devastated when he heard that Jo was marrying that Professor Jones (after only knowing him for a couple of hours) that he went off the rails to join ‘operation golden age’.

  12. Kevin Turner says:

    The science over actual mythological threats is an interesting thing with the demons. I don’t think that aspect ever really left the show after Pertwee! Even in NuWho The Satan Pit Tennant’s doctor just desperetly wants to understand the creature in the pit. But in the end it’s never really explained is it. So even when the doctor desperately searches for something. He doesn’t always find the answer like he does in demons.

  13. Joel Aarons says:

    I was thinking about Pertwee post Three Doctors, and how he would pop back in to UNIT to see everyone, or to do some research or whatever. Some see that as unrealistic, given he has been given his freedom back. I actually think that, in terms of his relationships to his human friends, this is the MOST realistic thing the Doctor has ever done. Ever since he had some semblance of control of the TARDIS, the idea that he never goes back to visit his old companions is crazy, and I loved that bit in Death to the Doctor in the SJA where its insinuated that the Doctor really does keep tabs on all his friends. Great show guys!

  14. Darren says:

    Unless I missed it there wasn’t any mention of Bessie in the podcast. That to me was my first real WOW moment of how big the Tardis could be.

    Interesting to see that Moffat just bought out Bessie’s cousin (a motorbike) from the Tardis.

  15. Richard Ingram says:

    Wonderful again. Pertwee was my first doctor (The Sea Devils if i remember correctly), and i wasn’t sure about the whole program. i am going to have to watch some of the serials you talk about. I can tell this podcast is going to cost me in DVD’s!

    Thanks again for the Reign of Terror, I am looking forward to a weekend free to sit and watch it through.

  16. Cris Jubb says:

    Thanks for another Splendid podcast Chaps. I very much enjoyed this one as Pertwee is one of my favorite doctors. The family themes has again been emphasized in the new season of Who that is currently on our screen esp in The Rings Of Akhaten, and it has always been a factor in Who. Keep up the good work

  17. Sarah Brown says:

    Pertwee’s doctor gave me a phobia – worms and maggots (cringe) – in the Green Death. It made third year cell bio interesting – dissections took me hours because I kept dropping needles and screaming. Most fun for my lab partner… I still can’t bear the sight of them.

    And on another note, when Cathy’s research subject was mentioned, my partner made a face which I wish I had been able to capture on film, and then asked if perhaps she’d spoken to Stilgherian yet, and if not, she should. Because, and I quote “He was THERE. In a way I wasn’t!” I expect she has, but I expect there were quite a few people who weren’t there. 🙂

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