The War Games was a game changer for Doctor Who. The climax would forever shape the show, giving us our first look at the Time Lords and more of a hint as to why the Doctor had left his home. It was the last story of not only season 6 but the 60's itself and of course the final for the 2nd Doctor, Jamie and Zoe. But other changes were happening behind the scenes. The cast had felt overworked by the schedule of the show so plans had put in place by the outgoing production team. The number of episodes dropped from 44 in season 6 to 25 for the upcoming one and they had decided to set the show on contemporary Earth in order to save money. This was largely due to the success of two recent stories, The Web of Fear and The Invasion. Both of these would see the Doctor and co team up with the military to deal with an alien incursion. The Web of Fear saw a young Colonel Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart introduced leading a group of stranded officers stuck in the London underground with an alien threat. He would then return in The Invasion, now promoted to Brigadier, as part of United Nations Intelligence Taskforce. UNIT were working under the United Nations with the purpose of investigating and combating paranormal and extraterrestrial threats. The Invasion was a test of this concept and had been deemed successful, seeing off the Cybermens attempt to conquer the world again, it was decided to exile the new Doctor, to be played by Jon Pertwee, on Earth.
It's a new decade and another new era dawns for Doctor Who...... now in colour!
Spearhead From Space
The newly regenerated and now exiled Doctor lands on Earth in the middle of a strange shower of meteorites.
Originally Broadcast- 3 January to 24 January 1970 Written by- Robert Holmes
This weeks extra homework was The Daleks I have been meaning to watch my beginnings boxset for years so with two serials out of three watched I'm finally making progress.
It was great to see how the daleks were introduced. The end of unearthly child left me wanting to see where they went next so was glad I already had the serial. Barbara was great, she is such a badass chucking a brick at a dalek
I have watched the first three episodes of Spearhead From Space and it may sound stupid but it's strange watching it in colour. Loving it so far.
Last edited by Grum on Wed Oct 11, 2017 8:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I finished Spearhead From Space earlier in the week. Really enjoyed it, the pacing was a bit quicker with it being a shorter serial. It was strange, it felt like it was ages before the Doctor made an appearance.
It made me laugh when
the Doctor was escaping in the wheelchair and getting chased by the ambulance, it was like something out of Dark Place.
The bit where they don't notice him casually taking a shower before he sneaks out the hospital was amusing too.
It had a few creepy moments and it still amazes me how much violence they get away with compared to new Who. Hope you all catch up soon.
I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts and finding out the next serial.
This is first time we hear about the Doctor having 2 hearts! A strike by BBC studio camera men forced the production to be filmed entirely on location, on film as apposed to a mix of film and video as had been the norm. It is this reason that Spearhead From Space is available on Blu-Ray in HD! Thanks unions! Filming did indeed take place at Madame Tussauds in London. Its very easy to see the mark this story left. It was used as the blueprint by RTD as the first ep of New Who, Rose. The moment the Autons come to life and attacked from the shops, smashing through the windows, became an iconic moment for the show and stayed vividly with the audience for a long time. However many miss remember it, as actually the Autons are never seen breaking the glass. This was one thing RTD determined to change when he brought them back. (just a shame they lost the swooshing gunshots ) You can even see Spearhead influence his writing for his own new Doctor story, The Christmas Invasion. Here the 10th Doctor spends much of his time in bed recovering from his regeneration. This is one of the few times the show has truly created a clean break, introducing a new Doctor and companion at once. The closest New Who story to this would be The Eleventh Hour when Stephen Moffatt took over with the 11th Doctor. You could even argue that 11 finding his clothes in the hospital was a nod back to Spearhead. When the Doctor regenerated he appears to have gotten a tattoo, as seen in the shower scene. This wouldn't be the only time we saw the Doctor giving himself a good clean. Along with the new title sequence a new logo was created. For the first time it was custom made rather then just a normal font. This logo is effectively the logo now used for the classic series and would reappear again for the 8th Doctor TV Movie! THIS BIT
Spearhead From Space was awesome. Successfully setting up a new start for Doctor Who and building the extended family of UNIT around Jon Pertwee as the 3rd Doctor. His first season as the Doctor would feature tight focused stories with an undeniable Quatermass vibe. The exiled Doctor, Liz and UNIT would discover more about Earths history, investigate a case of missing astronauts and the Doctor would take a trip sideways into an alternate Earth. Its a great season! Check it out!
For season 8 the Doctor would (mostly) still be confined to Earth. Working with a growing UNIT and new companion. Liz Shaw would leave in between 8 and 9. Her intelligent, cynical scientist was deemed to be too much like the Doctor and not able to represent the audience in the way previous companions had. She sadly didn't even get to go on a trip in the TARDIS or a farewell scene. Liz would leave due to being frustrated with her role, saying the Doctor only needed someone to pass test tubes to him and say how great his was. But in would come Jo Grant, who got the job as the Doctors assistant because her uncle pulled some strings. Her first scene says lot about how she differs form Liz. She totally isn't a scientist.....
Along with the enthusiastic but rather ditsy and clumsy Jo, UNIT would have some other regular faces along with the Brig. The loyal and awesome Sergeant Benton debuted in the first UNIT story, The Invasion, returned and Captain Mike Yates joined alongside Jo at the start of season 8. Yates was a more suave character, working as the Brigs second in command. Yates and Jo are blates at it in between stories.
Season 8 started with the story, Terror of the Autons, having been popular the Autons had been brought straight back. But they would not be the only villain of the story. The producers of the show had noticed that the relationship between the Doctor and the Brigadier was often like that of Holmes and Watson. They decided it was time to create the Doctors very own Moriarty. The Master was born! Roger Delgado was chosen to play the Doctors shadow and having escaped the Time Lords he was determined to create havoc.
He would feature in every story of season 8, even in a now rare story off Earth (the time lords move the Doctor to deal with him), he hypnotised and disguised himself into, and out, of trouble. He would always find a way to escape UNITs clutches. So as season 8 draws to a close, what does the Master have in store for the Doctor this time?
In the village of Devil's End an archaeological dig is underway. As a man walks his dog home from the pub powers long dormant are awakening.
Originally Broadcast- 22 May to 19 June 1971 Written by- "Guy Leopold"