Doctor Who: Spearhead from Space (Story #51)

8.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

A better Doctor Who series with fun enemies, a new Doctor, and creepy imagery

The Doctor doesn't do much in this serial


Wait, you’re not the Doctor I’m looking for!!!

There’s a new Doctor (Jon Pertwee) and his arrival on Earth coincides with the falling of meteors. Exiled on Earth by the Time Lords and suffering from his regeneration, the Doctor tries to regain his health. Meanwhile, there is a danger lurking from the meteorites in strange manikin figures known as the Nestene Consciousness that threaten to take over the Earth. Joined by researcher Dr. Elizabeth “Liz” Shaw (Caroline John), the Doctor must save the world from an Auton invading force.

Doctor Who: Spearhead from Space was the premiere serial of the seventh season of the Doctor Who series. The series aired from January 3, 1970 to January 24, 1970 in three parts. Following Doctor Who: The War Games, the serial introduces Jon Pertwee as the third regeneration of the Doctor along with Liz Shaw as his new companion. The series has been collected as part of The Jon Pertwee Years as Story #51.


We’re fashionable and deadly!

If you are a Doctor Who fan, this is an important episode to see. It establishes a lot of the things that help make the Doctor what he is today. The series features the second “regeneration” though it hasn’t been called that (it first gets called that in Doctor Who: Planet of the Spiders with Pertwee’s last appearance), and it also establishes that the Doctor has two hearts…which is one of his only real defining alien features. The Doctor is also trapped on Earth at this point and ends up mostly just dealing with the “weird” and creature of the week during most of Pertwee’s run with heavy involvement with Brigadier Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart (Nicholas Courtney) who became a regular starting with this episode.


So far Liz…as a companion, you’re not doing so hot!

The villain in this serial is the Nestene Consciousness which continues to plague the Doctor in the current series (it was the enemy of the first episode of the relaunch). This serial marks their first appearance and the Autons almost have a Michael Myers approach to killing their victims…slowly walking after their victims. The idea of killer manikins is creep, despite the somewhat lame look. I always was a bit freaked out by manikins when I was little and I’m glad I didn’t see this episode. The scene where they are walking down the street just shooing people looks like something out of a more modern action movie.

Doctor Who: Spearhead from Space is a great serial in the classic Doctor Who storyline. It falls into the “scary” Doctor Who category, and I love the scary episodes the most. I don’t always love U.N.I.T., but it does give a new direction to the continuously evolving series. Pertwee turns into one of the better Doctors, but he doesn’t have much of a real feel in this serial. Doctor Who: Spearhead from Space was followed by Doctor Who and the Silurians.

Preceded By:

Doctor Who:  The War Games (Story #50)

Followed By:

Doctor Who and the Silurians (Story #52)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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