In or around 1981, Jon Pertwee appeared in a private, corporate video for the home appliances producer Zanussi, in what is a rare, and perhaps the only example of Pertwee in the Doctor Who character, between his final regular appearance in 1974 and the 20th anniversary in 1983. This video was recently unearthed and made public by The TV Museum, in late October 2019.
However, the video has received a backlash online from many Doctor Who fans, who were offended by an off the cuff remark that Pertwee said at the end of the video, in which he had asked a female companion to ‘show him her tits’. One fan said on Twitter: ‘Good Christ. I thought it was just going to be a bit of On The Buses sexism about women in the kitchen but that last line is unbelievably crass. I’ve genuinely lost some respect for Pertwee.’
I saw the ad in question a couple of weeks ago, and that comment is certainly a surprise, to say the least.
But while I’m not defending it, I’m not really sure that this is the place for Pertwee character assassination.
This is a bit pot-kettle isn’t it, Jawscvmcdia “”I hate women” actual quote” (2)?
There’s one thing you should know. Last time you saw the phrase “I hate women” it was Jawscvmcdia, and whilst it might look like this post is coming from the same person today, it is in fact a completely different Jawscvmcdia (2), with entirely different attitudes towards women.
Hmm. You can excuse it as being a product of a different time, and you can certainly not react in the same way as you would if it happened in a corporate training video that was made today, but I don’t think you can accurately call the line itself unoffensive.
The line is sexist, and I suppose the joke is that it’s not something you’d hear Doctor Who ever say, but I’m not going to get up in arms over it as its from 40 odd years and said by a man who died 20 odd years ago.
I’m just filing it away with that outtake of Tom Baker shouting “yeah, you never know the fucking answer when it’s important!” at K-9.
I was a bit stressed when I made that previous post, apologies (that’ll teach me to log on to G&T whilst I’m at work).
Offensive itself is a very personal thing. What I should have added to my previous post is basically what Ian and Percy have said above. It wouldn’t be acceptable today and it could be considered offensive by some but the man has been dead for nearly 25 years and this was the early 80s. The thing that stands out to me most is how utterly bored Pertwee looks for the whole time. I suppose he did this with his ‘take the money and run’ philosophy and I can’t blame him.
It’s a little bit like watching an old ‘Carry On’ film nowadays; I’m laughing but I’m not entirely sure that I should be. But it’s important to put things into the context of the time they were made.