Doctor Who - Spearhead from Space (Special Edition) [Blu-ray]
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Originally shot in film Spearhead in Space has now been restored for HD and is the first Classic Doctor Who story to be released on Blu-ray. Starring Jon Pertwee as the Doctor, the TARDIS arrives on Earth in the middle of a meteorite shower and the Doctor is found by UNIT troops and taken to a nearby hospital. The Brigadier is faced with having to cope not only with the mysterious meteorites but also with Ransome, an ex-employee of a local plastics factory, who claims he has seen a walking mannequin.
"Spearhead from Space" launched Doctor Who into the 1970s with not only a new Doctor, Jon Pertwee, but a new assistant, the scientist Liz Shaw (Caroline John) and a regular place in the show for UNIT and Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart (Nicholas Courtney). It also marked the debut of the programme in colour and saw the Doctor stranded on Earth after Patrick Troughton's last adventure, "The War Games" (1969). Not only that, but it proved the only serial in the show's history to be entirely shot both on film and location, giving it a uniquely cinematic feel. Regenerating in a country hospital, the Doctor finds himself helping the Brigadier investigate an unusual meteorite and its links with a sinister doll factory. The Autons are cybernetic killers--anticipating The Terminator by some 15 years--and the sequence in which they break through high-street shop windows to slaughter pedestrians remains a chilling highpoint of Doctor Who's entire history. Things do turn silly with a subplot involving a waxworks museum, while the ultimate battle with the Nestine consciousness is more likely to induce laughter than fear, but as vintage television nostalgia this is fast-moving splendidly characterised entertainment. --Gary S. Dalkin
On the DVD: The remastered picture and sound are exceptional for a 1970 TV show. Obviously in 4:3 and mono, this DVD offers technical quality easily as good as many feature films. There is a very friendly, if not especially informative, commentary from Nicholas Courtney and Caroline John, and subtitles that offer background facts and figures. With an amusing five-minute recruiting film for UNIT, repeat trailers and a gallery including previously unpublished photos, this excellent DVD is a Doctor Who fan's dream come true. --Gary S. Dalkin --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Never mind the disappointing 'tentacles' scene in the final episode, this is still a story that moves along so well, you can watch it over and over again. Arguably the best debut story for a Doctor, and certainly the best until David Tennant arrived thirty-five years later in 'The Christmas Invasion.'
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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I had nightmares as a kid watching this - the memories as a youngster of walking...Read more
The picture has excellent quality and I would recommend buying the Blu-Ray over the standard release.Read more