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Doctor Who: Spearhead From Space- Special Edition DVD Review

“Spearhead From Space” is arguably the best first episode for a Doctor.

The plot: After regenerating into a third incarnation, the Doctor has been exiled to Earth with a malfunctioning TARDIS. Of course, the Doctor doesn’t have time to sit around and recover from his regeneration for long as strange incidents begin occurring. You see, the Nestene (a being that inhabits any plastic object) have arrived on Earth with the hope of colonizing it. First, however, they have to get past the Doctor, the Brigadier, and a new companion (Liz Shaw) who will stop at nothing to prevent the Nestene from carrying out their evil plan.

When it comes to a Doctor’s first episode, they tend to be rather awkward. Most of the time, the Doctors have regeneration issues so you don’t really get a FULL story with the new Doctor. Thankfully, ‘Spearhead’ feels like a complete story. While the Doctor does suffer from a little regeneration effects, it’s mostly minor. You get a full picture of what Jon Pertwee’s Doctor is like here and he has no trouble making the character his own here. He also has immediate chemistry with his co-stars (especially with Nicholas Courtney’s Brigadier character).

As for the script, it’s one of the rare classic Who episodes that doesn’t contain much filler. Writer Robert Holmes has his hands full introducing new characters (and a new Doctor) as well as a new villain with the Nestene and Autons. On the subject of the Autons, this is the creepiest they have ever been. One of the highlights of ‘Spearhead’ is the intense sequence of the mannequins coming to life and slaughtering people on the streets.

Summary: “Spearhead From Space” is a definite must see classic “Doctor Who” episode.

Video/Audio:

To quote the tenth Doctor, this is a “Brilliant!” transfer. The 4 part adventure, which is presented in fullscreen, has been beautifully restored. The colors are especially striking here.

The Dolby Digital Mono track predictably sounds like a Mono track. It’s adequate, but it’s hardly anything to ride home about.

Extras:
* “Doctor Who” series 6, “The Greatest Show In The Galaxy,” and 3 other Who trailers, photo gallery, info text, and Radio Times Listings.
* “UNIT Recruitment Film”-A spoof video with narration and clips from the show.
* “Regenerations: From Black and White to Colour”- A featurette on the transition from B&W to color episodes.
* “Down To Earth: Filming Spearhead From Space”- The traditional making of complete with cast and crew interviews and discussions about the 3rd Doctor and color episodes.
* Commentary by Caroline John and Nicholas Courtney. While a fine track, it’s rather tear jerking to hear these two now that they have both passed on.
* Commentary by Derrick Sherwin and Terrance Dicks. A very in-depth commentary (although a lot of the conversations are in the making of).

August 18, 2012 - Posted by | DVD review | , , , , , ,

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