It was a fatal dose of blue radiation from the cave of the arachnid Great One on the planet Metebelis 3 that caused the Doctor to change his form once more. The Doctor had to face his fear and in doing so sacrificed his life for the oppressed people of Metebelis. Thanks to the timely assistance of another Time Lord, K'anpo, the Doctor regenerated once more and was soon to break his ties with UNIT and the Earth and once more become a traveller in time and space.
The new Doctor seemed even more alien than before. He had a quirky dress sense and favoured a wide-brimmed felt hat, a comfortable and voluminous coat with virtually bottomless pockets and an unfeasibly long multi-coloured scarf. With the Doctor's exile to Earth being lifted by the Time Lords part-way through his third incarnation, this new Doctor was able to travel once more and viewed the many worlds he visited with an aloof, almost Olympian, detachment. If there was evil to be fought then he would fight it, but he treated the deaths of individuals as necessary to the greater good. He could be cold and impersonal, but the next moment brimming with enthusiasm for the life of a daisy.
He disarmed opponents with wit, a smile, and, as with the second Doctor, an ability to hide his intelligence. It was those he opposed who took him for a fool that were easiest to defeat. Some however, like Davros, creator of the Daleks, never underestimated the Time Lord and yet still found him elusive and difficult to trap and destroy.
This incarnation of the Doctor took his TARDIS to the edges of the Universe in a never-ending search for information and excitement. Millions of viewers travelled with him also, making this Doctor's era the most popular in the programme's history. 1998 David J Howe