Click here to go BACK to the DVD FAQ.       or         Click here to go BACK to VHS FAQ.

 

Serial: AAA  Episode Nos. 254, 255, 256, and 257.  Title: Spearhead From Space Special Edition.

The Doctor's exile to 20th century Earth begins when the newly regenerated Doctor arrives

unconscious in the middle of a meteor shower.  While the Doctor recovers in a nearby hospital,

the meteors that fell are being collected by strange mannequin-like men and being taken to a

local plastics factory and an alien creature being grown in a tank.  UNIT's own investigations

are falling short, but can the new Doctor recover in time to stop the aliens?

 

This story sees the debut of Jon Pertwee as Doctor Who and Caroline John as Liz Shaw, and

marks the beginning of the Doctor's exile on 20th century Earth where he assists UNIT as

Scientific Adviser.  It also features the debut of the Nestenes and Autons, as seen in the first

episode of the new series, Rose and in subsequent episodes.

 

starring Jon Pertwee as Doctor Who, Caroline John as Liz Shaw, and Nicholas Courtney as

Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart. Written by Robert Holmes, Produced by Derrick Sherwin,

Directed by Derek Martinus.

 

Originally transmitted from 3 January 1970 to 24 January 1970 on BBC1.

DVD features:

Features listed in italics are new to the Special Edition. Those in normal type were also

in the original edition.

- Graphical menus, episode selection features, and scene selection features.

- The restoration has been redone from scratch, and for the first time, from using the

  original film negatives. This was the only story in the classic series that was made

 entirely on film (16mm).

- Commentary track 1 by actors Caroline John (Liz) and Nicholas Courtney (the Brigadier).

- Commentary track 2 by script editor Terrance Dicks and producer Derrick Sherwin.

- "Down to Earth: Filming Spearhead from Space" A 23-minute featurette about the

  making of the story with interviews with Terrance Dicks, Derrick Sherwin,

  costume designer Christine Rawlins, assistant script editor Robin Squire, and archive

  interviews with Jon Pertwee and producer Barry Letts.

- "Regenerations: From Black and White to Color" A 19-minute featurette about the BBC's

 transition from black-and-white to color broadcasts, featuring interviews with Derrick

 Sherwin, Terrance Dicks, actors Frazer Hines and Wendy Padbury, designer Roger

 Cheveley, directors Timothy Combe, Michael Ferguson, and Christopher Barry, and

 title sequence designer Bernard Lodge, who also goes into detail as to how he created

 the Jon Pertwee era title sequence that debuted with this story.

- Production Notes Subtitles, rewritten after new research.

- A 5-minute "UNIT Recruitment Film" that was made as a spoof for a run of repeats in 1993.

- A new photo gallery package of stills taken during production of the story. 4 minutes.

- Three BBC2 trails from the 1999 repeats of this story.  2 minutes.

- PDF Files.  Place this DVD into the optical drive of a computer and you can see the original

   1970 Radio Times billings and feature articles that accompanied this story.

- An Easter Egg (hidden feature – highlight here to see how to get to it): an unused version of the main Jon Pertwee opening title sequence.
        This is accessible as follows:  from the main menu, highlight "Scene Selection" and double

        click the left arrow.  The Doctor Who logo at the top will become highlighted. Click on this

        and you'll see an earlier, "first draft" of the title sequence never used on the finished shows.

- In all previous DVD and VHS releases of this story, a section of music that played over the

   top of the establishing scenes in the plastics factory early in Episode 2 had to be removed

   due to the rights clearances for this track being too expensive.  It was the opening guitar riffs

   of Fleetwood Mac's "Oh Well (Part One)," which were much cheaper for the BBC to use in

   1970 when the band was still largely unknown than it later became.  These rights issues have

   at last been cleared up, and for the first time, that music is left intact and is here on this DVD

   right where it should be.   
 - The original edition had a series of text-only biographies of the principal cast called "Who's Who"

   which are not present in this edition.