My first exposure to the Third Doctor came through the tenth anniversary special “The Three Doctors”. I’ll be honest; I only really watched because the First Doctor was supposed to be in it as well, and I wasn’t ready to transition onto another Doctor yet (this was early in my Whovian years; I had difficulty accepting that anyone else could play the Doctor), so I figured I would be able to enjoy my beloved First but see how another actor carried himself in the role as well.
Jon Pertwee pleasantly surprised me. His dignity and refined manner reminded me strongly of Hartnell’s portrayal, but he put his own unique spin on it–instead of being a copy, he was his own man, his own Doctor. This balance of similarities and differences helped me accept the idea of regeneration in general, so I was able to perfectly enjoy Jon Pertwee and Patrick Troughton’s performances on their own merits instead of worrying how they would measure up to the old standards.