10 Classic Doctor Who Absurdities New Fans Won’t Believe

8. The Whomobile

Mention the Whomobile to anyone who grew up with Jon Pertwee as their Doctor, and there€™s a good chance they€™ll describe his Edwardian roadster Bessie instead. It€™s the yellow motor that captured the public€™s imagination, tricked out as it was with plenty of James Bond-style gadgets €“ including a force-field that trapped anyone trying to steal her €“ and it helped to cement Pertwee as the Bond-style €œaction Doctor€. The Whomobile, in fact, was a shoe-shaped, dual-finned car that resembled a hovercraft, and €“ within the show, at least €“ could fly via some rather dodgy green-screen effects. Yet the Whomobile was never intended to appear at all; it replaced a motorcycle after Jon Pertwee, who had a passion for cars, had it personally commissioned and registered as a roadworthy vehicle. As a result, the Whomobile dominated Pertwee€™s final appearances; one episode of Planet of the Spiders is almost entirely a chase sequence involving the craft and a helicopter, amongst other things. Pertwee toured in-character with the car and kept it in working order, presenting it on TV and in documentaries. Although Bessie would return for The Five Doctors, the Whomobile retired with Pertwee, presumably to the relief of all the kids who wanted to see monsters rather than mopeds. While it€™s not unusual for actors to bring ideas and traits to the role they€™re inhabiting, it€™s hard to imagine producers so gleefully writing in an entire car nowadays. Peter Capaldi might have insisted on a no-flirting rule, but hopefully he€™ll stop short of renting a two-bedroom flatshare in Kettering and demanding it be used as the Doctor€™s house.
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Chris has over a decade's experience as a game designer and writer in the video game industry. He's currently battling Unity in a fight to the death.