Word filtered down today June 21st that Caroline John, Jon Pertwee’s first companion, died earlier this month on June 5th. The sad reality of course is that many of the beloved people on both sides of the camera who were responsible for so much of this show we adore are getting up there in age. Only three Doctors have died to date, but it at least seems that, just as we are doing today, we’re having remembrances of Nick Courtney and Elizabeth Sladen and now Caroline John with increasing frequency.
Regular readers of the Tour know that we hold the seventh season back in 1970 in very high esteem. And as different as Jon Pertwee was to Patrick Troughton, it was the introduction of Liz Shaw instead of a more typical 60’s companion which really put a more mature sheen on the program and set a template future companions would in some ways emulate.
Use Caroline John’s passing as an excuse to visit/revisit these stories and see for yourself what a truly crucial and groundbreaking season it was (especially in the case of Inferno). Spearhead from Space is the “most” unique story in classic Who. The Silurians was gritty and ambitious in scope. The Ambassadors of Death was weird, slow, and wonderful. Inferno is simply a top-ten all time story.