The third Doctor's first adventure pits the Doctor against a malevolent collective intelligence from outer space and establishes his uneasy alliance with UNIT.]]>
Doctor Who: Spearhead from Space (Story 51) - Special Edition
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Spearhead from Space - Third Doctor Jon Pertwee's debut story, and the first shown in color - has been carefully restored and remastered for this DVD, and it shows. The DVD looks excellent, with sharp, vibrant colors and a vividness that US fans have never seen before. The disc far surpasses the murky compilation tape put out years ago, with a clear, bright picture, and many of the faults removed.
Besides finally being released episodically - as the story was both broadcast and meant to be seen - the extras are great too. They include a fun, funny commentary by Nicholas Courtney (The Brigadier) and Caroline John (Liz Shaw), some great Production Notes (listed as a subtitle track), a UNIT recruitment film, a "Who's Who" biography section, and even an Easter Egg.
It's nice to see that the BBC has picked such a good story for its first wave of DVDs. Not only is this a great Doctor Who tale full of action, it introduces us to the Third Doctor's era, the nasty Nestenes and their ability to control plastics, and the beginnings of the extended Doctor Who family the series would enjoy for the next five years. Let's hope all future releases are this nice!
All in all Spearhead From Space has been well-restored, has plenty of extras and entertains thoroughly. It's worthy of any Doctor Who fan's collection, and will easily replace any other version you've got. I highly recommend it.
As is often mentioned, the look of this story is unique. Having been shot entirely on location with film, this story has a gritty, realistic look to it which would never be emulated again by the series after the seventh season. As a result, 'Spearhead From Space' is one of the stories most suited for presentation on DVD. The image transfer is crisp, vibrant and probably looks better than it did upon its original transmission.
The DVD extras are fun additions. Caroline Shaw and Nicholas Courtney provide occassionally nostalgic commentary (Courtney's memory is quite remarkable), though much of it consists simply of their reactions to parts of the story that are chilling or funny etc. Narrated by Courtney and Dexter Fletcher ('Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels'), the UNIT recruitment short is amusing and features many short choice scenes from DW stories that have involved UNIT from 'The Invasion' right through 1989's 'Battlefield.' The photo gallery is notable for some charmingly silly publicity poses by Pertwee.Read more ›
The story itself is presented in a crisp clear transfer. Most "Doctor Who" fans in the US are familiar with episode quality through nth-generation videotape bootlegs, the occasional commercially-released VHS (of various quality), or through late-night PBS airings. To watch an episode presented so cleanly is a novelty in itself.
It also helps that "Spearhead" is long regarded as one of "Doctor Who"'s finest outings. As the first 1970s tale, it introduces new concepts to the show -- an Earth-bound Doctor, a lack of scaley latex monsters, and a complete lack of time travel. Even 30 years later it's easy to take the story seriously on all levels. It was the only episode shot entirely on film (all on location), and the small cast is (almost) uniformly well-acted.
The story on DVD can be watched on its own, or with a pop-up liner-notes format that highlights technical details, bits of trivia, and even basic information about the show, just in case you're new to the show. In addition there's a commentary track recorded by Nicholas Courtney and Caroline John, two of the stars of the story, both still popular on the convention circuit.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I don't know why this episode isn't shown is the US. All episodes from the fourth doctor on were shown on PBS as they became available. Read morePublished 2 months ago by No BS guy
This story has milestones. It's the first story in color, a recently regenerated Doctor (portrayed wonderfully by Jon Pertwee) and the beginning of the Time Lord's imprisonment on... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Harold Hamilton
this not only bring the 3rd doctor to the public, it's the first time doctor who was aired in color. the doctor is stuck on earth and he takes a job with unit. Read morePublished 11 months ago by daryl drumheller
Although of course the special effects don't hold up to present day standards..the story is very excellant and the villains are great.. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Terry W. Walker
An awesome episode, the start of a new Doctor, Jon Pertwee showed how his Doctor will be during tenure, and introduction of a new menace the Autons.Published 16 months ago by James
This is a must buy for anyone who is totally into Doctor Who, either in its incarnation beginning in 2005 or to its humble beginnings in 1963. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Winchester
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