Doctor Who (1963–1989)
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Spearhead from Space: Episode 2 

UNIT's attempts to locate the meteorites are hampered by the mysterious plastic Autons, being constructed by Channing at a nearby factory, while the Doctor makes another attempt to escape from the hospital.




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Episode complete credited cast:
Hugh Burden ...
Hamilton Dyce ...
Antony Webb ...
Henry McCarthy ...
Betty Bowden ...
George Lee ...


The Doctor is in a coma in the hospital having been shot by the soldiers guarding the TARDIS. The attending physician thinks the coma may be self-induced as a way of healing. When he recovers consciousness the Doctor manages to escape from the hospital and heads straight to UNIT headquarters and the TARDIS which has been relocated there. The military has only recovered fragments of the 50 or so objects that fell in what they thought was a meteor shower. Meanwhile, a nearby plastics factory seems to be producing something altogether different. A former employee, Ransome, tries to find out what is going on. Written by garykmcd

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Parents Guide:





Release Date:

10 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?


First of two Jon Pertwee-era serials in which John Woodnutt would have key roles. See more »


A crew member's hand can be seen pushing down the lid of Seeley's trunk as he examines the meteorite. See more »


Liz Shaw: What are you a doctor *of*, by the way?
Doctor Who: Practically everything, my dear.
See more »


Featured in Down to Earth: Filming Spearhead from Space (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

Spearhead of a new era!
20 September 2014 | by (South Wales, UK) – See all my reviews

Review of all 4 episodes:

Spearhead From Space marks perhaps the biggest combination of changes in Doctor Who history:

  • the change from the Patrick Troughton era to the Jon Pertwee era.

  • the change from black and white to colour.

  • the change from constant time and space travelling to an exile
leaving The Doctor stranded in contemporary Earth.

  • the change from two or three traditional companions to a whole
organisation (UNIT) regularly working with The Doctor.

These changes are made even more striking by the fact that Pertwee's Doctor, having been forced to regenerate as a punishment from the Time Lords and subsequently getting injured, spends much of the early part of the story inactive in a hospital bed. Yet the story manages to be interesting enough and contains enough action, humour and thrills to make this big transition go very successfully.

The story involves the new Doctor finding himself stranded on Earth and suffering from his regeneration then having to deal with an invasion attempt by the Nestene Consciousness using their power to control plastic and creating armies of shop dummies.

The production is a peach with a superb look (recorded beautifully on film rather than the usual video), excellent direction by Derek Martinus and thrilling special effects (shop dummies coming to life and attacking through shop windows etc.) believably and excitingly executed.

The story is brilliantly written by Robert Holmes with superb plotting and dialogue. The acting from Pertwee and the whole cast is impeccable. Nicholas Courtney (Brigadier Lethbridge Stewart) and Caroline John (Liz Shaw) do fantastically well in their roles beginning already to get audiences to strongly sympathise and relate to them.

It is not absolutely perfect but it is perfectly entertaining and interesting with thrilling, scary moments. All 4 Episodes 10/10.

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