Swindon AdvertiserREMEMBER WHEN: Look Who it is (From Swindon Advertiser)

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REMEMBER WHEN: Look Who it is

Swindon Advertiser: Doctor Who (John Pertwee) attacked by morris dancers Doctor Who (John Pertwee) attacked by morris dancers

THE other day the Adver ran a piece about Aldbourne’s annual Beating the Bounds Ceremony, in which villagers walk the perimeter of the parish.

In this week’s Rewind we focus on another aspect of the ancient village’s history: the visit of Doctor Who.

It was in late April of 1971 that third Doctor Jon Pertwee came to film part of a story called The Daemons.

Screened in May and June of that year, the five-part serial features arch-villain The Master in the guise of a country vicar. He plots to raise an ancient alien menace from a hill known as Devil’s Hump.

Aldbourne pub the Blue Boar was remodelled for shooting as The Cloven Hoof, and many villagers appeared as extras.

In one sequence the Doctor is captured by sinister maypole dancers on the village green and prepared for burning at the stake.

Pictures in our archive include Jon Pertwee signing autographs for starstruck children and talking with local people including the then vicar, Rev Percy Chapman, and parish council chairman Oliver Hawkins.

By all accounts he was a kind and gracious visitor.

Other shots include one of The Master – actor Roger Delgado, who died in 1973 – kneeling on the village green while being held at gunpoint.

The Daemons has become a fan favourite, and was certainly a favourite of John Pertwee. In 1996 he returned to Aldbourne for a 25th anniversary celebration which was also a fundraiser for Riding for the Disabled and the Roy Castle Cause for Hope appeal.

It was to be his last public appearance, as he died just three weeks later, aged 76.

Some years before, he’d given an interview to the Adver’s Steve Webb while reprising his role as the Doctor in a stage version called the Ultimate Adventure.

Asked whether he’d ever retire, the 70-year-old said: “You must be joking. My wife gets that carpet slipper look in her eye from time to time, but I’ll never retire.

“Actors don’t retire anyway - they just fade away like old generals.”

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