SPEARHEAD FROM SPACE
by Robert Holmes. Exile! The Time Lords have banished the newly regenerated Doctor to Earth... But the Doctor isn't the only alien to have arrived, as a swarm of meteorites have crashed into the sleepy English countryside, bringing with them a terrible new threat to mankind. As the Nestene plan takes shape, UNIT, the Doctor and his newly appointed scientific advisor, Liz Shaw, race against time to stop humanity being replaced by a terrifying plastic facsimile race...
The sight of shop window mannequins coming to life and attacking high street shoppers is a visual image that has become synonymous with Spearhead from Space, and is surely of one of the most iconic moments in the history of Doctor Who. The serial is representative of a textbook four-part adventure that delivers not only a cracking story, but a great way of introducing the new Doctor.
And it may be no surprise that the Autons were used again to bring back the series in Rose (2005].
Spearhead from Space boasts a number of impressive 'firsts' for Doctor Who, including being the only story in the classic series run to have been shot entirely on film, and almost entirely on location due to industrial action by certain elements of BBC staff at the time. It was also the first story for the show to be shot and aired in colour. Perhaps most of all, however, the story is significant as the first real, big change in the production of Doctor Who, with a new title sequence, and a definite shift in direction to the previous seasons. This is echoed further by Jon Pertwee's
take on the role of the Doctor, pushing the character to new and exciting dimensions.
Commentary#1 by Nicholas Courtney (The Brigadier] and Caroline John (Liz Shaw]. Commentary#2 by Derrick Sherwin (producer] and Terrance Dicks [script editor]. Down to Earth - Cast and crew look back at the making of this story, with actor Jon Pertwee [the Doctor], producers Derrick Sherwin and Barry Letts, script editor Terrance Dicks, costume designer Christine Rawlins and assistant script editor Robin Squire. Regenerations: From Black and White to Colour - A documentary looking at the challenges for Doctor Who in 1970 as it moved into colour. UNIT Recruitment Film - A spoof army recruitment film from 1993. Trailers. Radio Times listings (DVD-ROM). Production subtitles. Photo gallery. Coming soon trailer. Easter Egg. Digitally remastered picture and sound quality.
With Nicholas Courtney and Caroline John. Nicholas Courtney first appeared in Doctor Who in 1965, playing Bret Vyon in The Daleks' Master Plan. He returned to the series in 1968 to play Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart in The Web of Fear, and when he reappeared later that year in The Invasion, his character had been promoted to Brigadier. The character would appear as a regular throughout the Jon Pertwee years, and return for several guest appearances until Battlefield in 1989. Most recently, he appeared in the second series of The Sarah Jane Adventures with Elisabeth Sladen. Courtney died in February 2011. Caroline John joined Doctor Who as Liz Shaw in 1970 in the story Spearhead from Space, and remained as Jon Pertwee's companion for the rest of the seventh season. She returned to the role for a brief cameo appearance in The Five Doctors (1983]. Her recent acting credits include Midsomer Murders and Love Actually.
With Derrick Sherwin and Terrance Dicks. Derrick Sherwin joined the Doctor Who production team in 1968 as story editor, and became the programme's producer in 1969, overseeing some of the biggest upheavals in Doctor Who's history. He left the programme after Jon Pertwee's first story, Spearhead from Space . Other television work includes Paul Temple and The Perils of Pendragon. Terrance Dicks became script editor of Doctor Who in 1968, and co-wrote Patrick Troughton's final story The War Games (1969] with Malcolm Hulke. He remained with the show until 1974, throughout Jon Pertwee's tenure on the series. After leaving Doctor Who Terrance became a freelance writer but maintained his involvement with the show, scripting Robot, Horror of Fang Rock , State of Decay [1981), and the 20th anniversary story The Five Doctors . He has penned more than 60 Doctor Who novels for the Target range, and still writes original Doctor Who novels for the BBC.
Down to Earth
At the end of 1969, Doctor Who faced a very uncertain future. Ratings had slumped and Patrick Troughton had left the show. In a brave move, producer Derrick Sherwin re-invented the show as a fast-paced, Earth-bound colour series for the 1970s. Cast and crew look back at the making of this story and how a strike at the BBC studios inadvertently created the only classic series story to be made entirely on film. With actor Jon Pertwee, producers Derrick Sherwin and Barry Letts,script editor Terrance Dicks, costume designer Christine Rawlins and assistant script editor [and inadvertent Auton actor] Robin Squire. Regenerations: From Black and White to Colour Spearhead from Space marked not only the arrival of a new Doctor but also the transition from black and white to colour as the show moved into a new decade. This documentary looks at the challenges faced by programme makers during this period, with actors Frazer Hines and Wendy Padbury, producer Derrick Sherwin, script editor Terrance Dicks,directors Timothy Combe, Christopher Barry and Michael Ferguson, designer Roger Cheveley and graphic designer Bernard Lodge. UNIT Recruitment Film - A spoof army recruitment film put together for BBC transmission during Doctor Who's 30th anniversary celebrations in 1993. Trailers - Two trailers for the 1999 BBC2 transmission of Spearhead From Space and for Doctor Who Night from the same year. Radio Times listings -
Episode listings for Spearhead From Space from the BBC listings magazine Radio Times［DVD-ROM only-to be viewed on PC/Mac]. Production subtitles - Subtitles provide the viewer with cast details, script development and other information related to the production of Spearhead From Space.
Photo gallery - A selection of production, design and publicity photographs from Spearhead From Space.