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Doctor Who: Spearhead from Space (Story 51) Blu-ray Edition (2013)

Jon Pertwee , Nicholas Courtney , Derek Martinus  |  NR |  Blu-ray
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Doctor Who: Spearhead from Space (Story 51) Blu-ray Edition + Doctor Who: The Green Death (Story 69) Special Edition
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Product Details

  • Actors: Jon Pertwee, Nicholas Courtney, Caroline John
  • Directors: Derek Martinus
  • Writers: Robert Holmes
  • Producers: Derrick Sherwin
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Color
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: BBC Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: August 13, 2013
  • Run Time: 96 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00C6ACWZ8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #37,014 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Doctor Who: Spearhead from Space (Story 51) Blu-ray Edition" on IMDb

Special Features

* A Dandy and a Clown * Carry On: The Life of Caroline John * Title Sequence Material * Restoration Comparison * Digitally remastered picture and sound quality

Editorial Reviews

New to DVD! Digitally remastered Doctor Who classic Spearhead from Space Blu-ray! (NOT FINAL) Exile! The Time Lords have banished the newly regenerated Doctor to Earth. But the Doctor isn’t the only alien to have arrived, as a swarm of meteorites have crashed into the sleepy English countryside, bringing with them a terrible new threat to mankind. As the Nestene plan takes shape, UNIT, the Doctor and his newly appointed scientific advisor, Liz Shaw, race against time to stop humanity being replaced by a terrifying plastic facsimile race.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
59 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Is it really worth the upgrade from DVD to Blu-ray? June 11, 2013
Verified Purchase
You are probably wondering why "Spearhead From Space" is available on blu-ray and why there aren't more classic Doctor Who episodes being released in high-definition on blu-ray. Well the fact of the matter is that "Spearhead From Space" has the unique distinction of being the ONLY classic Doctor Who story that was shot entirely on location at BBC Wood Norton and a pub in nearby Radford on 16mm film because of a BBC studio strike. It was also the first classic Doctor Who story to be presented in full colour. Because of this, the 16mm film elements could be scanned into high-definition without any upconversion or loss of definition. The 1.33:1 aspect ratio, which was shot for television, remains at 4:3 full-frame so you will still have the "pillarboxing" black bars on the sides of a 16:9 television.

Nearly all of the classic Doctor Who episodes were shot in the studio on videotape because it was cheaper to produce with post-production finishing and special effects being done onto videotape while location scenes had to be shot on film because, back in those days, it was impractical to use bulky studio cameras that required heavy electrical cabling to shoot outside of the studio, thus nearly all Doctor Who episodes (up until the mid to late 80's when portable broadcast videocameras became standard) constantly intercut between a "live" television studio look and a softer "film" realized look.

But is it really worth upgrading from the recently released DVD Doctor Who: Spearhead from Space (Story 51) - Special Edition? As a fan of Doctor Who, I say "yes" but if you already own the DVD, are happy with the upconversion from standard definition, then you probably don't feel the need to.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Just received my UK Blu-Ray of this and YES it really IS worth the upgrade., the restoration, colour grading are spectacular,
the additional doccos are exceptional., real in depth detail into the careers and lives of both Caroline John and Jon Pertwee to a scale never before seen

Kudos to BBC Worlwide - The Restoration Team and PUP Productions
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice print, but DVD features were not carried over August 19, 2013
"Spearhead from Space" was the only classic Doctor Who serial to be shot entirely on film (as opposed to videotape) and therefore it's the only serial that can be easily converted into high definition and presented on Blu Ray. Hence this release -- the only 1970s Who story in the Blu Ray pipeline, for the time being.

Now, long-time fans will no doubt be aware that Spearhead has been released before, on VHS and DVD (twice). Thus, we all face a burning it worth triple- (or quadruple-) dipping and buying this same story yet again, in a new format?

The short answer is, yes. The Blu Ray edition of Spearhead has a much nicer print than even the recent DVD special edition, with vivid colors and details; indeed, it simply blows away the washed-out prints of this story that I remember from back when I was a kid. To cite just two examples of how good this print is, I was able to admire the stitching on Jon Pertwee's shirt, and I noticed for the first time that the main villain has yellowed teeth.

That said, Blu Ray is a bit of a double-edged sword. The clarity of the print allows you to see extra detail, but also (in my opinion) makes film grain much more obvious and distracting than it looks on DVD prints. For this release, the Who Restoration Team cleaned up some of the grain but stopped short of "polishing it out" completely, which I think was a good move. The resulting presentation is not totally pristine but still very nice, and looks comparable to other Blu Ray prints of movies/TV shows from this period.

Now, on to the prickly subject of special features. The main offerings on this Blu Ray are two excellent (if a little sad) documentaries on the late Caroline John and Jon Pertwee.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome! September 16, 2013
How much, I wish, that they filmed all of the original Doctor Who in film so that they could all be put on Blu-ray.

This high definition release of Spearhead from Space, is just plain awesome. I've always liked this show anyway. Robert Holmes is the best writer the series ever had. So many of his stories are classics today.

Most of the Jon Pertwee elements of his era are there already in his first program! This openning show is, in my opinion, the strongest beginning show of any of the Doctors. Baker's The Robot was only a so-so affair, Davison's Castrolvala, was downright boring at times. And Colin Baker's Twin Dilema, I haven't bothered watching again since the first time I laid eyes on it.

But, "what is so great about this release?" you may ask. Well, where to begin. The show has literally never looked better. The picture is more than pristine! Every color is gorgeous. It looks like it was just shot today. The computer picture restoration has removed most of the flaws, as well as lowering the graininess of the original 16mm film. Unfortunately, the few shots that have dust particles in the frame were not altered, so the hairs are even more noticeable!

If you've always liked this story, it is totally enhanced by the fantastic image quality, and is worth purchasing just for that.

The Extras have a few goodies as well. I personally love the ones on the restoration processes. This one was a bit short however. I wish they had invested in making a more in-depth study in the restoration process. The real gem is the documentary on the life of Jon Pertwee. It is rather well done and is also in high definition.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Doctor Who
I received the Blu-Ray on time and will do business again in the future. I love the Doctor Who Series both classic and new doctors. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Lee F. Allen
4.0 out of 5 stars Jon Pertwee brings new weight to the Doctor
Reaching into the annals of Doctor Who we find the first appearance of Jon Pertwee as the famous Doctor in the 1970 story, Spearhead from Space. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Lucas Goldstein
5.0 out of 5 stars as promised
This arrived in perfect condition and is exactly as promised. Doctor Who fans, both young and older, will love it!
Published 9 months ago by Susan
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect conversion to blu ray
Jon Pertwee is the earliest Doctor I can remember. I stopped watching Dr. Who round about the beginning of the Sylvester Mcoy Era. Though the new Dr. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Mr. Stevan Butchart
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful restoration!
The Blu-ray release of Spearhead from Space was an amazing presentation. The color and image was so clear it was like watching it for the first time. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Eric Siglin
4.0 out of 5 stars Upgrade to Blu-ray?
I went ahead and purchased the Blu-ray edition.

If you just enjoy the Dr Who shows, then this is not worth it; if I had two televisions side-by-side, I could probably... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth it just for the extras alone!
Ok, so the brand new HD scan from 16mm film onto blu-ray isn't jaw-dropping - still, they have done a remarkable job with it and some aspects are really clear and vibrant. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Reekos
2.0 out of 5 stars It's not worth the money.
I bought this release with high hopes. Yes, it is excellently transferred to Blu-Ray, but it lacks all the DVD extras. There's no audio commentary, no UNIT film, etc. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Bruce Bender
5.0 out of 5 stars Upgrade to Blu-ray
This is the third copy of Spearhead From Space that I have owned between the first release to DVD, the special edition DVD released last year and now the Blu-ray. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Nathan Berry
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