Doctor Who action figures – wave 3 (1998)

The Third DoctorIn 1998, Dapol began introducing the first all-new Doctor Who action figures in nearly a decade, with tributes to two of the series’ most seminal characters – the late Jon Pertwee’s third Doctor, and the late Roger Delgado’s original portrayal of the Master. Additionally, most of the enemies released in the third wave also originated from the early 1970s episodes.

Though the standard size of ToyBox’s photos doesn’t make this apparent, the Jon Pertwee action figure was almost four inches tall, thanks to a torso which was sculpted almost ridiculously out of proportion to every other action figure in the line. It’s almost as if the third Doctor is in a different scale from the rest of the range.

This wave’s Dalek variation was a red-bodied, silver-detailed Dalek with a claw arm instead of the usual sucker arm; the only time this Dalek was ever seen was in the mid-1960s film adaptations of the TV adventures The Daleks and The Dalek Invasion Of Earth. Actually, there were other major differences between the TV and film versions of the Dalek casings, but apart from the claw arm, this figure featured the same basic mold as the other Daleks.

I was overjoyed to see action figures of two of my favorite Doctor Who monsters, the Silurians and the Sea Devils. Furthermore, a second Silurian was issued, this time in the turtle-like body armor the creatures wore for their return in 1984’s Warriors Of The Deep – and in a demonstration of how much effort Dapol occasionally puts into their sculpting, the armored Silurian’s head reflects the creatures’ costume changes between 1970 and 1984 (the show’s makeup artists had to create new head molds for the Silurians, as none of the 1970 appliances still existed). The Sea Devil figure includes a mesh cloth tunic and a disc-shaped gun which can be kept in the handy holster around his waist.

The third wave also introduced four variations of a simple figure that could have been much better-made: the generic Gallifrey High Councillor toy. These figures have a decent body mold, complete with the huge collar that has been worn by Time Lords since 1976’s Deadly Assassin, but their heads are where they fail miserably – they have big, round, smiley faces! Anyone who’s watched Doctor Who can tell you that no Time Lord has ever greeted the Doctor with anything even remotely resembling that expression. For figures which feature finely detailed Gallifreyan crests on their collars, the High Councillors should have merited better facial scuplting.

The Third Doctor The Master Silurian
Left to right: the third Doctor, the Master, Silurian.

Armoured Silurian Sea Devil
Left to right: Armoured Silurian, Sea Devil.

Dalek - Film Version Time Lord
Left to right: Dalek (film version), Time Lord (creme/gold).

Time Lord Time Lord Time Lord
Left to right: Time Lord (red/gold – Prydonian?), Time Lord (black/gold), Time Lord (grey/gold).