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4.4 out of 5 stars65
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 27 July 2001
By 1988, I'd gone off Doctor Who to the point where I couldn't even watch the show anymore as I felt it had become so desperately poor.
My interest in the show was only revived when I was passed a copy of this story on VHS to watch. I really remembered why I had become a fan of Doctor Who in the first place. It is well paced, is full of atmosphere and includes some of the most famous scenes from the show's history.
The DVD remastering means that the episodes have never looked or sounded as good and the extras are an interesting diversion which add value to this release.
I would have no hesitation in recommending this DVD to any fan (past or present) of Doctor Who - a great place to start a DVD collection.
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on 10 December 2002
This story, perhaps more than any other, is the perfect introduction to Dr Who from any period because it has all the right elements that make for a gripping story, without any of that trademark silliness that has unfortunately tended to draw derision upon us adult fans. Therefore if you have a friend that you suspect might need introducing to Dr Who but you aren't sure of the reaction you'll get - this is the one to sit them down in front of.
I have to confess to being able to remember seeing this when originally broadcast, and it made a lasting impact too I can tell you. I was a little bit jumpy in the presence of shop dummies for some time after. People have come to love the Daleks and Cybermen because they make for fun viewing but they feel too safe, animated shop dummies, however, are the stuff of nightmares!
Viewing it now I can still feel what it was about the general atmosphere that made it so gripping, and I feel it set the standard for early 'seventies Who, namely the tangibly sinister undercurrent, terrifying adversaries, and the knowledge that only the Doctor's advanced science would save the day. Perhaps if today's younger generation had access to something of this calibre on TV there may even be a better uptake of science subjects at school.
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on 7 April 2001
The BBC had taken a considerable risk in unmasking the Doctor as a renegade Time Lord in Patrick Troughton's final adventure and the character had lost some of his mystery as a result - but recreating him as a dashing man of action was a risk that payed off. Bringing together all that was best in British TV SF of the era, the series relaunched itself as 'Quatermass' meets 'The Avengers' with the Brigadier a more sympathetic Colonel Breen and Liz Shaw a fine Emma Peel. Jon Pertwee was never better - and seldom bettered - as the series most stylish Doctor, and writer Robert Holmes shows why he is still regarded so highly by fans, actors and producers alike, with a witty script full of sharp characterisation and observations. Shamelessly entertaining, this DVD presentation benefits from unusually crisp photography and a great selection of extras including a commentary track from Nick Courtney and Carloline John which more than compensate for the occasionally muffled sound. Ignore the bleating of the cultists: watch and enjoy one of the finest examples of 'Doctor Who' from an era when it was a family adventure series rather than a psychological crutch for superannuated sixth formers. More please, BBC!
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on 26 July 2005
Spearhead From Space was one of the first Doctor Who stories to be realeased on DVD and you can see why.It is Jon Pertwees first appearance as the Doctor and therefore a new beginning to the show.To add to this change Doctor Who was shot in colour for the first time.This story was also shot on location.A very rare Doctor Who occurence.Now to the story itself.Robert Holmes as usual produces an excellent story.Pertwee gives a fine first performance as the Doctor and his long standing role as UNIT scientific advisor begins.The plot is that the Autons try to take over the world using waxworks of important people and shop window dummies to kill people.This story is a U but if you intend to let young people watch it i advise caution as the dummies are spooky in a typicl Whoish way.
Overall this is a must have for any Doctor Who fan.
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on 5 March 2006
Wow. Considering this is Jon Pertwee's first episode as the doctor i thought it was brilliant. Basically the story is about shop window dummies (known as autons) coming to life and trying to take over the world. It starts with a strange metorite shower where the doctor lands his TARDIS after being exiled to Earth by his fellow Timelords. He meets a young woman called Liz Shaw, and UNIT lead by Brigadear Lethbridge-Stewart, they work together and try to solve the mystery of these shop dummies coming to life. Will they save the Earth? Watch it to find out!!
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on 7 October 2000
This is one Doctor Who that can be used to shut up those who slag the series of for dodgy visuals and wobbly sets, as the whole story is shot on location. It also features one of the classic "behind the sofa" scenes when Autons burst out of a shop window and massacre civilians. No other Doctor had such a powerful debut, there is no plodding and moves at a cracking pace. Jon Pertwee as usual shines though, a sad reminder of how much he is missed. No good DVD collection is complete without this.
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on 18 June 2004
It's hard to believe that with a new series, new doctor, new assistant and a strike at the BBC's studios that a Doctor Who episode could even be aired, let alone become a classic. But for some reason they gell perfectly. All of the episode was shot on site and with film which gives it a cinematic feel and has the best music I've ever heard on a Doctor Who. The idea is brilliant and the storyline is played through at the right pace so it doesn't get involved in the action to quickly which gives a thriller feel to it. All actors are superb, even the cameo roles do a good job and Robert Holmes would become legendary because of his writing for Doctor Who which shows in this episode and series. As its shot on location much more could be spent on the effects which by no means are 'naff' as some have remarked. Even when watching it in the present you can still watch it and not laugh. Also the special features are surprisingly good such as the production notes which give an insight into what could have been and should have been, and the U.N.I.T recruitment vidio which brings back memories. So overall one of the best episodes ever, highly recomended
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on 7 January 2001
Shot entirely on colour film in 1969, Spearhead From Space is about as good as Doctor Who ever managed to get. Jon Pertwee is the new Doctor, Nicholas Courtney returns to play tough military type Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart and we have solid performances by actors like Hamilton Dyce as Major General Scobie, Hugh Burden as the peculiar Channing and Welsh character actor Talfryn Thomas (best known for Dad's Army). Some fabulous locations used as well, including a beautiful BBC training centre, Madame Tussauds and several other locations in London. I can highly recommend this DVD to fans of classic TV fiction.
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on 18 March 2005
The Pertwee era gets off to a great start with this classic, which sees the show beginning to take on a more adult feel. Hugh Burden's Channing and the Autons make genuinely eerie villains. Check out the scene in episode 3, where the Auton slices throught the tent before vaporising its victim!
The team of Pertwee, Caroline John (Liz) and Nicholas Courtney (in his 3rd appearance as Lethbridge-Stewart) interact together so well. Never mind the disappointing 'tentacles' scene in the final episode, this is still a story that moves along slickly, and you can watch it over and over again.
As for the DVD extras: there's a fine commentary by Nicholas Courtney and Caroline John, a UNIT extra with lots of clips which will be of interest to fans, and an Easter egg showing an extended title sequence.
One of the great classics of Doctor Who and worth having in your DVD collection.
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on 19 November 2003
Filmed in colour this marks the entrance of an Edwardian dressed Doctor and shows how a really well written story can triumph over cheaply made sets any time.
Scary in 1970 it still holds up today particularly when the realistic showroom dummies come to life and stagger menacingly across London.
With no discernable weak link this represents a must buy for the fans of the Pertwee incarnation. In my opinion this story is second only to the Daemons!!!
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