Doctor Who: Season 7, Episode 1

Spearhead from Space: Episode 1 (3 Jan. 1970)

TV Episode  -   -  Adventure | Drama | Sci-Fi
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 264 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 9 critic

As the newly-regenerated Doctor arrives on Earth, so does the Nestene too.



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Title: Spearhead from Space: Episode 1 (03 Jan 1970)

Spearhead from Space: Episode 1 (03 Jan 1970) on IMDb 8.1/10

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Episode complete credited cast:
Hugh Burden ...
Neil Wilson ...
Talfryn Thomas ...
Antony Webb ...
Helen Dorward ...
George Lee ...
Unit Officer
Ellis Jones ...
Allan Mitchell ...
Prentis Hancock ...
2nd Reporter


As strange meteorites are crashing down, an unconscious Doctor is found lying just outside the TARDIS. The United Nations Intelligence Taskforce (UNIT) commanded by Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart is already onto the issue of the meteorites and when he learns that a man has been found unconscious in the woods lying next to blue police box, he's certain that his old friend the Doctor has returned. He visits him at the nearby hospital but doesn't recognize him, not realizing that he Doctor has regenerated. The Doctor foils an attempt to kidnap him and he's soon back in hospital having been shot by the soldiers guarding the TARDIS. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

3 January 1970 (UK)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Because of a BBC strike, this story was shot entirely on location, with no studio scenes. This made it the first Doctor Who (1963) serial to be made entirely on location and the only serial that was ever made entirely on film. See more »


The TARDIS fades in with a model shot, which instantly cuts to a live action location. The model TARDIS does not bear much resemblance to the full sized prop (especially the roof shape), and gives the effect completely away. See more »


Lethbridge-Stewart: In the last decade, we've been sending probes deeper and deeper into space. We've drawn attention to ourselves, Miss Shaw.
See more »


References Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons (1967) See more »


Oh Well, Part 1
Composed by Peter Green
Performed by Fleetwood Mac
See more »

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User Reviews

Meet the new Doc
2 January 2013 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Although my earliest recollections of first watching Dr Who are of Patrick Troughton, Jon Pertwee's was the first I watched regularly and so I consider him "my Dr Who". Although almost as eccentric as the memorable Troughton, he brought more stylishness, scientific nous, physicality (his famous karate chops would develop in time) and, through his travels in his vintage car "Bessie", sheer mobility to the part. I was so disappointed when he left in 1973 (plus I was incidentally growing up at the time), that I never watched a single Tom Baker episode and still haven't to this day, only catching up again for the Peter Davison regeneration.

This first Pertwee adventure made for a great introduction with the memorable menace of the Autons, it's little wonder that they're breaking out of shop windows as activated mannequins rates so highly in the list of scariest scenes in the whole history of the show. At 10 years of age, it scared me and obviously resonated with Steven Moffat who since has created danger out of other inanimate "human" objects, such as statues and most recently, snowmen.

It would have been nice to see an actual regeneration scene between the two Docs, plus it takes a while for Pertwee to appear and dominate scenes, but given that this afforded us time to get reacquainted with the redoubtable Brigadier Lethbridge Stewart and new assistant Liz Shaw, it's not a great loss.

The story is well-paced and the idea of replacing politicians in power with alien copies is one that would be used again in the Moffat era. Yes, the climax with Pertwee engaging (I'm being polite) with a rubber octopus is about as realistic as Adam Batman West's similar encounter with a shark in the 1966 movie, but everything else is good and boded well for the new Doctor's more earthbound adventures for the next few years at least.

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