Doctor Who Third Season
First Doctor, William Hartnell
10 Serials, Companions: Vickie, Steven, Dodo, Sara Kingdom, Katarina, Ben, Polly
The Doctor: He's well and truly the character we know from future episodes now. Sure, this Doctor's harsher, brasher, more of a curmudgeon. But he plays with rules now, and takes delight in flummoxxing the villains.
Companions: We've lost Steven and Vicki, and now had two companions that didn't even make it out of their introductory Serial, so it's doubtful whether they count - Katarina and Sara Kingdom. Most sources count both, as do I, but the very temporary nature of these two companions means we can expect the companions to be at more peril. Dodo's unceremonious departure was unwarranted and out of character, but Polly is already more likable than she was, so let's see what we get from them. Steven's loss was the one dearest felt here. After Barbara, he's my favorite of the companions we've met, which is crazy given how I disliked him at first.
Continuity: We've seen the first Sonic Device, the Doctor using Hypnosis, the Daleks working with other races to conquer the Galaxy, Earth as part of a galactic community, and the Doctor learn the consequences of both inadequate precautions against disease. We've seen the universe (or the machinations of the TARDIS) smile benevolently on the Doctor, revealing the lineage of Anne Chaplet in the form of Dodo, to bring them peace of mind.
Summary: I think overall the show is getting more action oriented, and trying to broaden it's appeal. The last-minute introductions of Ben & Polly are clearly an attempt to bring the Doctor into the Swinging 60's. How it goes remains to be seen.
Rating: Enjoy it! This season was quite a mixed Bag. One Love it, 4 Enjoys, 2 Bears, and one dreaded Skip. Throw out the Celestial Toymaker, though, and we're doing better than Season Two!
We've got 2 Serials of the First Doctor left, then we'll review him overall before continuing Season Four and the Second Doctor!