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on 28 July 2017
One of my favourite Dr Who episodes form the 70s. More akin to an adult horror movie!

I had nightmares as a kid watching this - the memories as a youngster of walking down a typical UK high street (in the days when we actually had some department stores!) and seeing all those hideous shop window manakins and dummies - expecting them to come to life at any minute and burst through the glass, wrists dropping down and shooting everyone with the weapon!

Those cold plastic creatures with the lifeless eyes slowly walking towards you and you know there is nowhere to run...aaaagggh! Bring it on!
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on 26 May 2016
Being as that I have watched Spearhead on each edition that it has been released on DVD, in 2000 and 2010, this displays the clearest possible sound and picture quality for an instant classic Dr Who episode, especially the Autons looking creepier than ever with sweaty, plastic face and their most infamous scene, gatecrashing the high street. The new extras are also interesting to watch about the life of Jon Pertwee and Caroline John, as well as a short video of the restoration process (the result is unbelievable). Let's just hope that they do the same with more of the classics in the future. (An idea of adding a colourisation addition to the black-and-white episodes would be insanely awesome, too!)
Now, I think I'll have a cup of tea and a slice of cake to celebrate!
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on 29 April 2013
This could be the very first Doctor Who episode I ever saw. Back in the 90s I remember watching a Doctor Who episode on BBC 2 and all I remember is the autons. I mustve been around 5 at the time, in a shop in my town there was a mannequin of Santa which just looked like the autons from this, it scared me. So after getting into Doctor Who when it was revamped, I started to get a few Doctor Who DVDS and this is the first classic Doctor Who I got.

Was I disappointed no. This is the first Doctor Who episode to feature Jon Pertwee, third Doctor, as well as Colour. It also introduces Caroline John as the Doctor's new assistant, Liz Shaw.

Exiled to Earth in the late 20th Century by his own people, the Time Lords. The newly regenerated Doctor arrives in Oxley Woods alongside a shower of mysterious meteorites.

To me this will always be a good episode due to it being my first one i saw. This DVD has obviously been put together with a lot of care, and Spearhead looks and sounds as good as it probably could do. It augurs well for other Doctor Who DVDs that the BBC will no doubt release.
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on 30 September 2017
good series but you can see everything the creators dont want you to see, everything is so clear, maybe too clear
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on 12 December 2009
When I was younger I was one of those children who had to watch Dr Who from behind the settee. This episode is a reminder of those days when the Doctor's adversaries were really SCARY!
This is the first episode introducing the third Doctor (the much loved and irreplacable John Pertwee) and, although the pace is slower than modern viewers may be used to, the story line is strong, even gripping, and the tension palpable. While the Doctor is recovering from his regeneration the alien Nestene are beginning their invasion of the Earth. The Nestene are able to manipulate and animate plastic for their own purposes and create for themselves an army of mannequins, the Autons, who provide as much fear factor as any Dalek or Cyberman ever did. They can also make plastic duplicates of individual people that they can then use to take control of key areas such as the nearby plastics factory.
The Doctor is aided against his foes by another Dr Who favourite, Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart (played brilliantly by Nicholas Courteney), commander of local UNIT forces. Things get complicated when the Brigadier's own superior opens the door to and falls foul of an Auton duplicate, sent to take his place and thus keep UNIT's forces from interfering with the Nestene invasion plans.
Although it takes time for the Doctor to regain his senses, find suitable clothing and transport, make his way to UNIT HQ and convince the Brigadier of his identity, he eventually gets the better of his alien foes and wins the day, saving the Earth once more.
If it's fast action,special effects, pyrotechnics and CGI you want from Dr Who - this isn't for you. If it's groundbreaking television, classic Dr Who suspense, a good story and one of the best actors ever to have played this role, then you'll love this episode.
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on 17 August 2008
Great dvd, with superb picture quality/remastering. The extras are a little thin on the ground especially against the other releases BUT the quality of the story itself MORE than compensates!
Jon Pertwee is excellent, as are the supporting cast, and the earthbound, alien invasion story together with the episodes all filmed on 16mm film and not videotape, gives this almost a Quatermass/Hammer feel.
The use of film makes for a more gritty, grainy feel, as well as lots of outside locations. A lot of Dr Who is very studio bound and the videotape/lighting does amplify the lower budgets but not here! Spearhead From Space almost looks like a feature film.
There are some good FX here; the plastic Autons are well realised in a zombie kind of way, with excellent make up, and I loved the guns concealed in their hands and the explosive squib effects on their hapless victims. The attack on a suburban high street, as shoppers and pedestrians are gunned down by the living dummies is truly iconic!
Some real moments of English style horror here!
There's even a slightly suspect, rubbery squid type monster for the Doctor to vanquish - the story's only iffy FX.
I personally prefer the earthbound 70's series - It's always enjoyable to see the paranormal in familiar surroundings.
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on 8 October 2012
This is Jon Pertwee's debut as the Doctor.

We first see him stumbling around out of the TARDIS (seriously more derelict looking than it does now!) and he falls to the ground. Subsequently he is taken to hospital where the medical profession is confused over the fact that he has two hearts. And the DNA structure is different to the Human, yet he does look human. The Brigadier shows up to identify him - only to be confounded by the fact that he does not look like Patrick Troughton anymore.

Meanwhile Liz Shaw is sent to UNIT to help the Brigadier. She and the Doctor immediately hit it off and she even steals the TARDIS key from the Brig's office so the Doctor can get proper equipment to help with a problem. The problem being that important beaurocrats, politicians and soldiers are going missing.

At the same time Madame Tussauds holds a new exhibition ... of the very people that have gone missing.

Shall not go any further as it shall spoil the story, but Jon immediately presents the Doctor as a theatrical Edwardian type of figure but his extraordinary eyes and wonderful voice convinces and is a worthy successor to the also wonderful Troughton. The wonderful thing about Pertwee's Doctor is that for a time he is banned from travelling round the universe and is stuck on Earth - so we really get to see the warm relationship between him and the Brigadier which has lasted ALL throughtout since even up to now where the Doctor is told of his death.

This story is also a first for being the very first Doctor Who in colour. The Auton's are scary as they also are in Rose, I shall never look at shop dummies the same way again ... wondering ... just a little ... are they really alien beings biding their time? The scariest Autons of all are the children.

I give this story five stars ... just for the fact that all three leads were great and you can see the closeness.

Also it is heartbreaking to watch when you consider that now, all three leads are dead.

This is as close to immortality as we can get today.

A must for all Whovians.
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on 16 May 2008
The Pertwee era gets off to a great start with this classic, which sees the show beginning to take on a more adult feel. The new team of Pertwee, Caroline John (Liz) and Nicholas Courtney (in his 3rd appearance as Lethbridge-Stewart) interact together so well. Hugh Burden's Channing and the Autons make genuinely eerie villains and provide us with many memorable moments. Check out the scene in episode 3, where the Auton slices throught the tent before vaporising its victim! The cliffhangers to episodes 2 and 3 are good too, as well as the famous scene of the Autons smashing through the shop windows and invading the streets of London. Perhaps it's no surprise that the Autons were used to relaunch the series when it returned in 2005.
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.'
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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 25 March 2015
John Pertwee's first adventure as Dr Who is really excellent. The plot is clear but intelligent, the Autons are simply but effectively chilling, and the acting is very good throughout. Dr Who works best, in my opinion, when the actors play it as straight drama and while Pertwee ably conveys a mischievous sense of humour, this is not at the expense of the main story itself. He's well assisted by Caroline John as Liz Shaw and Nicholas Courtney as the Brigadier, and Hugh Burden does a fine job as the sinister Channing. Top drawer Dr Who.
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