The 3rd Doctor and TARDIS set was released in March 2020 into B&M Stores in the UK as an exclusive. It featured a repaint of the existing 3rd Doctor figure into his green outfit from The Monster of Peladon. It also included the TARDIS, with a new paint job and adjustments to that of the 3rd Doctor era.
The set uses the packaging design established in 2019 with the dark blue colour scheme, contrasted by cut through silver panels with a TARDIS illustration. The figure is displayed by a wrapped window that covers most of the front of the box and round the left hand side spine. The back of the box includes an image of the figure and TARDIS with a roundel advertising "With Opening Doors!". Under this sits a very long piece of text, a trait of these TARDIS sets - and yet not used on the other 3-pack B&M releases.
THE THIRD DOCTOR & TARDIS FROM 'THE MONSTER OF PELADON' (1974) written by Brian Hayles
This was the fourth adventure in the final season featuring the Third Doctor. The Doctor and his final travelling companion Sarah Jane Smith arrive back on the planet Peladon where a power struggle is in place between the weary and underpaid trisilicate miners and the ruling classes. Trisillicate ore is needed for the Federation war effort and the miners are demanding improved conditions. The planet's ruler Queen Thalira, daughter of the late King Peladon, whom the Doctor met on a previous visit, knows her planet's resources are vital to the war effort of the Galactic Federation of which it is now a member. Soon the miners become angered and fearful when Aggedor, the Royal Beast, appear in the mines and seems to kill some of the miners.
I've typed the above exactly as written and you can see the lack again of any proof reading with a handful of grammatical errors, mainly missing commas, and two different ways of spelling Trisilicate.
The pack opens by the top or bottom flap, with the TARDIS and Doctor sliding out inside a cardboard inner tray. The TARDIS is screwed into place with a black strip on the base of the box, while the Doctor is in a separate tray taped to the cardboard inner tray.
The said inner tray is decorated as a backdrop from the Mines of Peladon and this is very well executed in looks, if not in practicality. The issue with the tray is that once the figure is removed the cardboard doesn't make a particularly useful diorama piece as it is not decorated at one side and the stability is not great being stood on a two sided raised plinth.
It is worth noting that the TARDIS doors remain strapped shut out of the box with a clear strap that wraps the TARDIS fully and goes inside the door seams and holds the doors closed. This is an awful piece to remove and actually risks damaging the door more than it does to protect it. I would recommend snipping with scissors, then pressing slightly on the door while closed to open up the hinge to allow these to be pulled out safely.
The figure is held in with two very thin elasticated ties around the arms and the legs. I would suggest cutting this as stretching it out can cause rub and damage to the paint.
Paint & Sculpt 3/5
The 3rd Doctor Sculpt has been around for about 11 years, and it is still a good likeness to Jon Pertwee but is very dependent on the paint application. In this set we see a pale skin tone for the Doctor with painted blue eyes and grey eyebrows. The mouth is painted, but in a lighter tone and not darker and that really loses the definition of the face. The hair is nicely detailed with Pertwee's curls, but is taken a bit too blonde on this version.
The costume, while a re-use, is accurate to The Monster of Peladon with the jacket, ruffled shirt, bowtie and trousers with shoes. Each are cast in their base colour and painted on top. These paint apps are pretty neat overall with the lines picked out on the shirt as are the buttons, there are complete of issues with my figure having an incomplete painted bow tie, some issues on the shirt cuffs where the dark green had strayed, and a white blob on the shoe.
The Doctor is not a new figure, with the combination of jacket, bow tie and shoes having been used on other sets including The Green Death, The Time Warrior and the most recent, the 2016 B&M set with Delgado Master and Jo Grant.
The Pertwee head sculpt has not changed across the lifespan of the line, but painting variations have. This 2020 version goes much paler on the skin and with a very light sandy blonde hair rather than true white or grey as used on other figures.
The TARDIS uses the existing Classic TARDIS sculpt with the flat roof and slimline base configuration. It is painted in a lighter shade of blue than early TARDIS, but not as light as the 2018 3rd Doctor release. It is very nicely weathered with a wash applied all over to dirty up the blue and make it look worn and battered. The front 'Police Notice' is in black with white text, applied as a decal. The same applies to the overhead panels.
Being the original mould we do still have the battery compartment and speakers visible on the back from the time this was a sound FX release. These are of course redundant, but I suspect some collectors may wonder why their TARDIS is not working (it does state non-electronic on the packaging but in small text on the base of the box under contents).
Opening the doors also reveals a very drab, boring plastic interior. These sets would be enhanced significantly with a simple card insert of the TARDIS interior relevant to their particular Doctor.
There are no accessories in the set, unless you count the Doctor's scarf? Even though the Doctor has a right hand shaped to hold a Sonic Screwdriver, Character and B&M have not included this in the set.
The Doctor retains the usual set of 16 points of articulation that dates back to the start of the Character 5 inch line. While this is limited, with so many figures done so far in this style I'd actually hate them to change by this point. Head : neck post swivel Body : waist post swivel Arms : shoulder post swivel, bicep swivel, jointed elbow, peg wrist Legs : T-Joint hips, thigh swivel, jointed knee With some teasing there are a handful of poses for the Doctor although the neutral stance is probably the best bet. The bicep swivel remains a weak spot and twist these too much and the arm will pop out at the joint.
The TARDIS doors are also articulated and open using a spring mounted mechanism. This is explained on the bottom of the box, and worth checking out so you can see how best to close the doors without trapped fingers. The Doctor can be posed inside, if you can look past the lack of a backdrop.
As always, I will start summing up with my gratitude initially that we are still getting these 5 inch Classic Doctor Who figures some 14 years after the line began. They may be repaints, but Character are very good at sculpt re-use with new paint jobs, mix and match parts, and new elements as and when required.
For £20 you are getting a 5 inch Doctor figure with a decent number of joints, even if the execution is now quite dated. And you are getting a TARDIS playset - albeit stripped of its electronics.
They could do better with the box, it is a shame to go to all that trouble with the card backdrop without making something more of it when unpacked as a display piece. I also would like a backdrop card piece in the TARDIS to hide that interior when the doors are open. And a sonic to fit into the already gripping hand would not have broken the bank, even if it upped the price by a couple of quid.
Everything on this set is good, it just doesn't excel in any area and there is starting to be a bit of fatigue around TARDIS sets - particularly with the 3rd and 4th Doctors. I am scoring The Monster of Peladon set a 3 out of 5.
About Me : As a child of the 70's and 80's I grew up in a golden age for action figures and in my youth bought and sold myself through collections of Star Wars, G.I. Joe (Action Force) and M.A.S.K. while also dabbling in He-Man, Transformers and Ghostbusters. Roll forward and I am now reliving that Youth with the action figures of today and am a collector and fan of the larger 6-8 inch figures from my favourite movie and TV licences - including the ones mentioned above, but also the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Doctor Who and the Aliens. I launched The Mephitsu Archives in 2015 with a view of creating a UK focused site or these figures where fans can pick up the latest action figure news, read reviews and get information on where to buy their figures and what is currently on store shelves. I hope I am delivering that to you guys...
action figures, reviews, review, articulation, doctor who, dr who, 3rd doctor, jon pertwee, TARDIS, character options, B&M, monster of peladon