Doctor Who (1963–1989)
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Spearhead from Space: Episode 4 

With UNIT's investigation being blocked by the Replica of Scobie, the Doctor and Liz visit Madame Tussaud's to try and find out more as Channing prepares to activate the Autons.




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Episode complete credited cast:
Hugh Burden ...
Hamilton Dyce ...
John Woodnutt ...
Edmund Bailey ...


The Doctor determines that the globe-like objects that fell to Earth contain some form of intelligence and Liz suggests it may be part of a collective intelligence. Clearly the Autons have been created to house this alien intelligence. When they learn that the factory has produced a replica of Major General Scobie for Madame Tussaud's in London they realize the plot is to replace senior government officials with their lookalike Auton. The Doctor has to devise a weapon he can use against them. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

24 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?


In the original script, the Autons were defeated in the end by a high-frequency sound Liz arranged to have transmitted from Broadcasting House at the Doctor's request. See more »


In the wax museum, just after Liz remarks that "there are no astronauts," etc., the "mannequin" just over her right shoulder (dark-haired woman in blue dress) opens her eyes briefly and looks up before returning to her pose. See more »


Featured in Mars Probe 7: Making the Ambassadors of Death (2012) 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, 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 regeneration then having to deal with an invasion attempt by the Nestene Consciousness using their power to control plastic, 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, well executed and thrilling special effects (shop dummies coming to life and attacking through shop windows etc.) believably and excitingly executed.

The acting and dialogue is very good and Nicholas Courtney (Brigadier Lethbridge Stewart) and Caroline John (Liz Shaw) do well in their roles beginning already to get audiences to sympathise and relate to them.

It is not perfect but it is perfectly entertaining and interesting with thrilling, scary moments.

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