Spearhead From Space: Doctor Who: Season 7

SYNOPSIS

DETAILS

CAST & CREW

REVIEWS





Goldby


Grob


Long


Spearhead From Space SYNOPSIS:

The newly regenerated Doctor lands on contemporary Earth during a meteorite shower to begin his exile as sentenced by his fellow Time Lords. Head of UNIT, Brigadier Lethbridge Stewart, learns his friend the Doctor is back and goes to visit the Doctor in hospital with his scientific adviser, Miss Elizabeth Shaw and is surprised to find the Doctor's appearance has changed.

A man named Channing attempts to kidnap the Doctor once he finds out the hospital patient is an alien. Channing is running a nearby plastics factory and has a strange hold over the owner George Hibbert and is getting Hibbert to create walking plastic mannequins known as Autons. At his order the autons are recovering meteorite fragments and delivering them to the factory, each one containing part of the Nestene Consciousness.

The Doctor escapes the hospital and tracks down his Tardis at UNIT HQ and manages to convince the Brigadier and Liz of his identity despite his appearance. Hibbert's Business partner alerts UNIT what is happening at the factory before he is murdered by the autons. The UNIT team investigate and soon find a plot to replace key authority figures with Auton duplicates and Auton soldiers will subjugate the human populace while the Nestene Consciousness is given a body created by Channing so it take over the Earth.

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Spearhead From Space DETAILS:

Episode Broadcast Run Time Viewership (In Millions)
Part One 3-Jan-70 23:38 8.4
Part Two 10-Jan-70 24:21 8.1
Part Three 17-Jan-70 24:16 8.3
Part Four 24-Jan-70 24:38 8.1


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Spearhead From Space CAST & CREW

Stars:
The Doctor:
Jon Pertwee (Third Doctor)

Companions:
Caroline John (Liz Shaw)

Guest Stars:
Nicholas Courtney — Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart
Hugh Burden — Channing
Derek Smee — Ransome
John Woodnutt — Hibbert
Neil Wilson — Sam Seeley
Betty Bowden — Meg Seeley
Hamilton Dyce — General Scobie
John Breslin — Captain Munro
Clifford Cox — Sergeant
George Lee — Corporal Forbes
Tessa Shaw — UNIT Officer
Antony Webb — Dr Henderson
Henry McCarthy — Dr Beavis
Helen Dorward — Nurse
Allan Mitchell — Wagstaffe
Talfryn Thomas — Mullins
Prentis Hancock — 2nd Reporter
Ellis Jones — Technician
Edmund Bailey — Museum Attendant

Production Staff for Serial AAA:
Writer - Robert Holmes
Director - Derek Martinus
Script editor - Terrance Dicks
Producer - Derrick Sherwin

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Spearhead From Space REVIEWS



Goldby

Yes, it's amazing what colour AND being shot entirely on film can do for a story. If they ever wanted to re-release Spearhead From Space as a movie version in the cinema back in the 70's it would have been perfect. Just imagine if the Beeb actually threw money at the show, enough to make it all in film. Yep this one has it all. A new doctor and supporting cast, new brand spanking production values, new production team that make everything seem plausible and an actual distinguishably realistic threat to Earth.

Pertwee has grasped the Doctor and it his own from his very first line. He even gets over his changed appearance quick and there is literally almost no reference to the past six years of the program, he just arrives, gets better and the story moves on. The Autons are well thought out, creepy, seemingly indestructible AND THEY MOVE QUICK, finally an agile monster.

Liz and the Brig are fantastic, they're characters so well defined and grown up. In fact it's almost weird that we've suddenly being thrown into an adult version of Dr Who. Plus apart from being super intelligent and a non screamer, Liz obligingly wears very short skirts to show she's not just brains. No other supporting actors drop the ball and the UNIT team here seems highly populated like a proper military section rather than a couple of bods running a local tuck shop that it turns into later. That Channing guy is very creepy also. Yep this season is good and off to an extremely strong start especially with iconic moments like the shop dummies coming to life and bursting out into the local streets of London, killing people - scared the willies out of me on the first viewing as a youngster too

So many good moments not even the rubber tentacles at the end let Spearhead from Space down...10/10



Grob

Its back..................and its in COLOUR!!!Its amazing what colour TX, a new leading actor, a new supporting cast, a new direction and a new production team can do for a show. In fact, comparing Spearhead from Space to the War Games is on par with comparing Leisure Hive with Horns of Nimon. Or Caves of Androzani with the Twin Dilemma. Its the same show, its just so.....radically DIFFERENT. Pertwee IS the Doctor as soon as he opens his mouth (I really like Derek Martinus' direction here by the way; he never fully shows us what the Doctor looks like until three quarters of the way through episode one when you get his opening line.) He does serious and comedy really well and its not too long before Troughton is just a memory. In fact, there is very little that links Spearhead From Space with the War Games. There is a mumbled line about the trial and then a couple of lines later and thats it.

It really is a fresh start. Liz Shaw is a great companion and someone who is one an equal par with the Doctor. More's the pity that Barry Letts and Tewwance Dickth decided against that and brought in scatterbrain Jo. And the Brig is great as well playing it all so seriously and straight.

Season 7 is one of my favourite Who seasons cos its before the whole "UNIT Family" things comes into play and it is forced to be all cosy and nice instead of here where its all gritty and real. Plot wise, its VERY adult for a kids show and the monsters are really creepy with their stiff movements, buzzy noises and blank faces. Even their costumes are clever; the overalls and the scarfs used to hide their neck joins. Brilliant. Then there is the scene with the jeep crash - complete with BLOOD and a shot of the driver's face smashed through the glass. In fact, there are some great scenes all over the place here. This is when everyone involved decided that the best way to pitch a TV show for kids is to pitch it at the ADULTS.

Spearhead From Space is one of the first stories that really got me into Who when it was shown on the ABC back in 1979 and it really scared the wits out of me. However, since VCRs were yet to be invented and Colin Baker was an unknown quantity I was lucky I had the novelization to read again and again and again.

Awesome story; brilliant all round. 10/10.



Long

Just like everyone else, Spearhead From Space is also one of my all time favourites. It's one you can watch again and again and still find new things. I think the key thing here is that this was the first time that Doctor Who was really scary. You see shop mannequins every day of the year and think nothing of them at all... but after seeing them come to life in such a menacing and creepy way scares the hell out of you... and you'll never look at a shop mannequin the same way ever again!

As a kid I found the crazy tentacled thing pretty scary too, and thought it was really going to strangle the Doctor... watching it now, maybe it's a little crass, but it certainly had the desired effect back then, and still holds up OK.

This is the first regeneration story that we would have seen. I guess the template for a regeneration story was there from Power of the Daleks, but this is the earliest one that we have had the chance to see... and it's by far the best one too! All the quirks of a regeneration are there - the memory lapses, the "my god, he has two heart beats" and the moments of manic madness and rest - but this time they're intertwined with an excellent story, and a realistic, scary and new threat... something that really only Christmas Invasion has come close to (I guess the movie wasn't bad either).

What else can I say... 10/10

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Screen Shots:

Spearhead From Space Titles



Spearhead From Space arrival on earth



Spearhead From Space regenerated doctor



Spearhead From Space the Brigadier



Spearhead From Space Liz-Shaw



Spearhead From Space Hibbert and Channing



Spearhead From Space Auton



Spearhead From Space the new doctor



Spearhead From Space Channing spies



Spearhead From Space Production line



Spearhead From Space auton searching



Spearhead From Space Channing meets the Doctor



Spearhead From Space Brigadier and Liz



Spearhead From Space Auton Invasion



Spearhead From Space the Nestenes



Spearhead From Space UNIT attacks



Spearhead From Space autons attack



Spearhead From Space UNIT soldier killed



Spearhead From Space Autons collapse



Spearhead From Space Channing dead



Spearhead From Space the Doctors escape attempt