June 23, 2009

Doctor Who #51: Spearhead from Space

Title: Doctor Who: "Spearhead from Space"
Year: 1970
Network: BBC
Creators: Sydney Newman, C.E. Webber, Donald Wilson
Director: Derek Martinus
Writer: Robert Holmes
Starring: Jon Pertwee, Caroline John, Nicholas Courtney
Music: Ron Grainer (theme), Dudley Simpson
Episodes: 4, at 25 minutes; the 1st story (of 4) from season 7
Synopsis: aliens plan to invade earth with the help of a plastics company
How I saw it: on video a couple times (rented from Netflix), most recently a few months ago
Subjective Rating: 8/10 (Great).
Objective Rating: 8/10 (points off for cinematography and special effects/design) c. 3.2/4 (Very good).

If you want to get started watching Doctor Who, I'd say after the new series, this episode is the best place to jump in. There was some major retooling done for the seventh season, and this is like the start of a new show, with a new Doctor introduced gradually from the perspective of the other characters. It's also probably the highest quality of all the classic stories, with writing, acting and production values on par with (low budget) feature films of the time. The plot is almost identical to "The Invasion," but it's a good plot to steal, so I don't mind.


  1. This is the episode where we see Jon Pertwee in the shower. Matt Smith's Doctor just did the shower scene, with a similar blue towel. I was going to complain about the idea of a naked Doctor, but then I came across Pertwee's video, which you can see in my blog:

  2. My wife had a similar reaction to the recent shower scene. But Aliens need to get clean, too, after all. Pertwee's tattoo, on the other hand, is maybe a bit un-Doctorly...

    If I recall correctly, Smith's Doctor also borrowed from this story in his method of acquiring his new wardrobe.