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Doctor Who: Mannequin Mania- Spearhead from Space / Terror of the Autons [DVD]

Jon Pertwee , Nicholas Courtney , Derek Martinus , Barry Letts    Parental Guidance   DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
Price: £11.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Doctor Who: Mannequin Mania- Spearhead from Space / Terror of the Autons [DVD] + Doctor Who - Beneath the Surface (The Silurians [1970] / The Sea Devils [1972] / Warriors of the Deep [1984]) [DVD] + Doctor Who: The Ambassadors of Death [DVD]
Price For All Three: £29.25

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Product details

  • Actors: Jon Pertwee, Nicholas Courtney, Katy Manning, Richard Franklin, Caroline John
  • Directors: Derek Martinus, Barry Letts
  • Writers: Robert Holmes
  • Producers: Barry Letts, Derrick Sherwin
  • Format: Box set, PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: 2entertain
  • DVD Release Date: 9 May 2011
  • Run Time: 191 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004P9MROY
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,687 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



When Doctor Who was revived for its modern day adventures back in 2005, its interesting choice of first monsters to bring back was the Autons. These mannequin-like beasts have since returned again, yet their pedigree goes right back to the 1970s, when they first did battle with Jon Pertwee’s incarnation of the Doctor. And it’s those encounters that the Mannequin Mania box set brings together.

You get two stories for your money, here. Terror Of The Autons also throws The Master into the mix, and it’s a cracking yarn, with plenty of imagination and some significant attempts to scare. But Spearhead From Space is better. Pertwee’s first story, it’s an alien invasion story of real skill, and the Autons from the off make compelling monsters. Pertwee was, inevitably, still finding his feet in the role here, and the effects don’t date well, but it’s a smashing adventure nonetheless. Do note that it’s already been released as a standalone disc, though.

What you also get, of course, is a smashing collection of extras, as is usually the case with the BBC’s classic Doctor Who releases. The love and care put into the added features is an example to many, and it’s an exhaustive package you get for your money. As such, Mannequin Mania is, rightly, really quite hard to resist. --Jon Foster

Product Description

The Third Doctor must face terrifying plastic Autons and the evil Master in these two classic 1970’s adventures.

Terror of the Autons: The Master arrives on Earth in his TARDIS, camouflaging it as a horse box in a Circus. He immediately contacts the Nestenes and assists them in mounting a second invasion of Earth. The Doctor and his new assistant, Jo Grant, have to tackle the Autons, the Master and a large number of deadly daffodils.

Spearhead from Space: Newly regenerated, the Doctor returns in the first colour tv adventure. Exiled by the Time Lords to Earth, he finds himself working with UNIT to investigate an apparent meteor shower connected to strange events at a local plastics factory. The factory is manufacturing mannequins with a sinister purpose..

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Doctor and the Autons 8 Mar 2012
Spearhead from Space
1970's Spearhead From Space has always been one of the truly great moments in Doctor Who, and for me this is one of my top 10 favorites. From the start of 1970 to the end of 1979 Doctor Who reached its zenith and became the classic show we all love today. Patrick Troughton's last serial "The War Games" is no doubt a timeless classic but recorded very low viewing figures for the time, so the producers had quite a rough time getting the 900 year old chap on his feet again. I agree with Terrance Dicks in that Doctor Who was granted a stay of execution because the BBC were starting to broadcast in colour for the first time and the money that was coming in from the television licenses was clouding their evil judgement on possible cancellation. Thankfully, the BBC did not cancel the show and its still going strong over 48 years later.

Jon Pertwee gets a great first story here and probably the best debut ever for a Doctor. Firstly, the colour really helps, I know some people love black & white but you must admit that colour is luxurious. Furthermore, the location filming is fantastic, basically the whole 100 minute feature was filmed on location because of some BBC strikes that were going on. The filmic look really adds to the atmosphere of the serial and sells it better than videotape ever could. Furthermore, Dudley Simpson's incidental music for Spearhead from Space is some of his greatest, the atmosphere he induces from the score is impressive to say the least and really adds to the overall enjoyment of the story.

Nicholas Courtney's first appearance since 1968's "Invasion" is brilliant, I always loved the Third Doctor / UNIT era of the programme and Nick is one of the main parts of that fantastic nostalgic time.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "You precious little planet is finished!" 24 Jun 2011
Doctor Who was in a perilous state at the end of Patrick Troughton's tenure. Ratings had been in decline - so much so that few of Troughton's stories even survive intact - and there was a strong possibility that if a new series didn't improve matters, there wouldn't be another.

Spearhead from Space is in many ways quite a unique story in the original series history, not only introducing the Third Doctor but also tweaking the format of the show remarkably successfully, with producer Derrick Sherwin using the more Earthbound Quatermass as his model while adding more action to turn it into more of an adventure series. It also has a unique look, and not just because the show made the leap from black and white to colour for the first time. While TV shows were traditionally shot largely on tape for studio interiors and 16mm film for exteriors, a BBC strike meant that Spearhead was shot entirely on film and on location. As well as giving the show a much more cinematic and adventurous look, this also ensured that after proper restoration this probably looks the best of any story from that era, with pin-sharp definition and superb colour on the remastered DVD that is a visible improvement on the previous release.

The Quatermass influence is particularly noticeable in the first half of the story. Like Quatermass II, it begins with meteorites being guided to a specific part of the English countryside where they are collected for a sinister purpose in a secret establishment, although it largely drops the government conspiracy angle that saw Nigel Kneale's invaders taking over the halls of power and using the Official Secrets Act to keep prying human eyes away.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Dummie's Guide To Doctor Who 27 May 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Don't be put off by the slightly jokey title of this collection, it features two of the show's most memorable stories featuring the Autons, plastic shop window dummies animated by the disembodied Nestene Consciousness. 'Spearhead' introduces Jon Pertwee as the Doctor, and due to a contemporary strike at the BBC, remains the only Who story ever to be shot entirely on film. This helps the pace of the story, taking it away from multi-camera studio and out on location. The fact that the story exists on 16mm film has also meant that it will soon be released on blu-ray, but even on this DVD edition, the restoration team have worked miracles on cleaning up the prints. The clarity of the image and strength of colour is seriously impressive and well worth the outlay for anyone not owning a bluray set up.

'Terror of the Autons' goes several steps further in finding inventive ways for the Nestene to employ plastic as a weapon against the human race, a fact which brought much criticism down on the heads of the show's producers at the time of broadcast. Ugly troll dolls, plastic daffodils and even - whisper it - your friendly neighbourhood policeman are recruited to the Nestene cause, aided in this story by the first appearance of the Doctor's saturnine nemesis the Master. Played by the brilliant Roger Delgado, he's simultaneously suave, charming and quite brutal, swapping banter with the Doctor at gunpoint, whilst later casually murdering people who have the nerve to be in his way. The restoration of these episodes was more demanding than in 'Spearhead', as 'Terror of the Autons' only existed as telecine film prints in black and white, with a colour signal being retrieved from NTSC Betamax video recordings from the USA. Although this means the quality of image is noticeably less than the first story, it's still an amazing improvement on the initial release.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars great
a dvd that is worth watching and a must see would recomend to any doctor who collector and new comer
Published 3 months ago by colin jackson
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic plastic
This two-adventure set introduces the third Doctor (Jon Pertwee), the Master, and the Autons. It is truly excellent in style and content and it's only a shame that the first of... Read more
Published 6 months ago by J. Rawstron
4.0 out of 5 stars action packed fun
This brings back happy memories. I always thought tom baker was my favourite doctor but jon pertwee is great fun and pulls some good worzel gummidge faces. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Iain Tully
5.0 out of 5 stars Plastic Fantastic
Classic Pertwee stories given the expected high-quality make-over from the Reconstruction Team. The colours on Spearhead from Space look really vivid, rejuventaing the whole piece... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Mike G
5.0 out of 5 stars Jon Pertwee is a superb Doctor
An object lesson in minimalist sets (an old factory, THAT quarry etc.), a near-zero prop budget and superb acting. A reazl blast from the past- good villains, too.
Published 8 months ago by Mr. A. Healy
5.0 out of 5 stars Mannequin Mania = Marvelous
This box set is simply amazing and would recommend it a hundred times over and it a brilliant box set for those who want to start out with Pertwee's era. Read more
Published 9 months ago by R.Ivory
5.0 out of 5 stars Doctor Who oldstyle
Bought for my nephew who is a huge fan and he says it's brilliant, I am not going to argue.
Published 10 months ago by M A Hill
3.0 out of 5 stars A Tale of Two Plastics Factories
The picture quality is much improved on both of these. I'd no idea that Spearhead was supposed to have so much colour in it, and Terror was badly in need of a clean up. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Alex Lyon
5.0 out of 5 stars Auton's alert!
Yes a real treat being an original Dr Who fan,--I m still in the opinion that Jon Pertwee's Auton 1st adventure was so very good--great story;--- the Auton service robots stalking... Read more
Published 11 months ago by nicholas wade N.WADE
5.0 out of 5 stars Doctor Who - Mannequin Mania ( 2 Disc Set )
Recovering from his regeneration, the Doctor begins his exile to Earth by battling Autons! The Master, a renegade Time Lord, breaks into a museum and steals a Nestene energy... Read more
Published 12 months ago by kk
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