Spearhead from Space

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Spearhead from Space
It’s Adventures with the Wife in Space – in colour!
 

Episode 1

Spearhead from SpaceSue is up in arms as soon as Pertwee’s face appears.

Sue: So is that it, then? That’s the regeneration?

Me: No, this is just the title sequence.

Sue: But it’s a massive spoiler! It ruins his big entrance. Oh no, not Robert Holmes again!

The action kicks off at a radar tracking station.

Sue: Ah, colour! This looks lovely. However, even if I had seen this in 1970, I would have seen it in black and white. We couldn’t afford a colour telly.

Me: I could turn the colour down if you like.

Sue: No, don’t. This is fine.

A technician has spotted a meteorite shower on his radar screen.

Sue: This might look good but it sounds awful – there’s far too much echo in this location. The acoustics are so bad, it’s difficult to understand what they’re saying at times. And the background hum would drive you mad if you had to work there. No wonder this guy is sweating – he’s clearly having a nervous breakdown. And he looks like James Blunt.

When I explain to her that this production was hit with last-minute difficulties, and they had to improvise by making it entirely on location, and completely on-the-fly, Sue cuts this distraction some slack, which is a good job too because the sound in the next location is even worse!

Yes, we’re in UNIT HQ and Liz Shaw is being briefed by the Brigadier.

Sue: Is she the new assistant? She looks like a spy.

The Brigadier explains to Liz that UNIT has been set up to deal with extraordinary situations (“A bit like Torchwood, only less gay?”) but Liz isn’t having any of it.

Sue: The Brigadier was such a handsome chap. He has a lovely beauty-mark on his left cheek. Sigh.

At Ashbridge Cottage Hospital, Doctor Henderson discovers that our Doctor has two hearts and alien blood.

Sue: This looks great. Do all the Pertwee stories look this good?

Throughout the scene, the director does everything he can to obscure the Doctor’s face from the audience’s gaze.

Sue: There’s no point trying to hide his face now! You blew that surprise in the opening credits!

Sue loves the handheld camera work in this story (“This feels very modern. It’s not a million miles away from what it would look like today”) and when she watches a very long tracking shot down a very narrow corridor, she can hardly believe her eyes.

Sue: This looks like Das Boot! Who directed this one?

Me: Derek Martinus.

Sue: He can come back again.

Spearhead from SpaceNow fully conscious, the Doctor finally has a good look at himself.

Sue: Yes, I’d be disappointed too, if I were you. Troughton was much more attractive, although you had to concentrate really hard to see that.

Me: We are still watching an era of the programme when you weren’t expected to fancy the Doctor.

Sue: Well they are certainly succeeding.

Me: Although a lot of women do find Pertwee irresistible, apparently.

Sue: Now you are just taking the piss.

And then the Doctor starts rambling incoherently about his shoes.

Sue:So has this Doctor got a shoe fetish? Like the Second Doctor had a hat fetish? That could be interesting.

When Channing’s associates turn up to kidnap the Doctor, Sue believes that she’s found a flaw with the impeccable production values.

Sue: The make-up on these extras is appalling! Look at how shiny they’re faces are! The make-up department obviously weren’t used to working on film or in colour. They needed more time to practice.

The Doctor manages to escape from his captors, even though he is bound and gagged in a wheelchair.

Sue: You see, this is the problem I am going to have with Pertwee. It’s just too silly. It’s going to be Benny Hill-style slapstick comedy, isn’t it? The production values are great, and the direction is excellent, but it’s literally going downhill now.

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Episode 2

Sue: When Pertwee’s face appears, it looks like Darth Vader’s helmet.

While Sue is clearly enjoying this story so far, I can tell that something is annoying her.

Sue: I think the reason I didn’t watch Doctor Who when I was little is because it was on the BBC and that was far too posh for our house. We were an ITV family. We’d probably watch Randall and Hopkirk because they weren’t so upper class. Everyone in this episode of Doctor Who sounds like they went to public school.

Me: Well, you’re middle class now, love, so you should be fine.

Sue: The make-up really does look plastic. It’s almost as if they’re supposed to look like they’re made from plastic and it isn’t a mistake.

Me: Come on love, you can do it.

Sue: Do what?

Spearhead from SpaceBack at UNIT HQ, Liz continues to be sceptical when it comes to the Brigadier’s tales of alien incursions.

Sue: It’s like Mulder and Scully. But with more sexual tension.

Me: What do you make of Liz so far?

Sue: I don’t like her.

Me: What’s wrong with her?

Sue: She’s too posh! I’m surprised she isn’t holding a cucumber sandwich in her hand while she drones on in that plummy accent of hers. I won’t be able to relate to her at all. Sorry.

Back at his cottage, a poacher named Sam Seely removes a Nestene sphere from the trunk where he has been hiding it.

Sue: Has he got a mobile phone secreted in there? What year is this supposed to be?

Me: Well…

Sue: Oh, it’s them!

Sue: Finally!

Yes, it’s our first glimpse of an Auton.

Sue: It’s the monsters from Christopher Eccleston’s first story! And Rory turned into one (or one turned into him, I’m not entirely sure). Yes, I do remember them. Plastic.

Me: Do you remember what they are called?

Sue: The Deadly Dummies?

Me: Autons!

Sue: OK, calm down.

Me: Well, at least you have some working class characters to relate to now that we’re hanging out with Sam and Meg Seeley.

Sue: Yes, they have very nice cobbles. But they are not exactly coming out of this well, are they? This programme doesn’t seem to like working class people very much.

Back at the hospital, an important doctor has arrived from London in his red vintage car. The colour throws her at first but Sue believes that she has recognised the Third Doctor’s infamous mode of transport.

Sue: So does the Doctor steal this guy’s car? And does he cover his tracks by having it spray painted Daytona Yellow? What a jerk.

Spearhead from SpaceMe: Look! Naked Pertwee!

Sue: Sorry, but that isn’t doing anything for me. Oh look – he has a tattoo.

Me: Yes, fans have come up with plenty of theories to explain that.

Sue: Why can’t they just accept that the actor playing the part had a tattoo?

Me: Because that would shatter their hermetically sealed fictional universe. Let’s say you had to explain the tattoo within the narrative itself, what would you do?

Sue: I don’t know. Maybe it’s the mark of a Time Lord. Or a Time Lord criminal. Something stupid like that.

Me: You see! You do think like a fan!

She decides to change the subject.

Sue: Why doesn’t the Doctor steal that nice MG Midget over there? It would be a lot less conspicuous. Maybe he just wants to be like Steed in The Avengers or maybe he’s a fan of The Prisoner. I mean, he is copying both of them.

When an Auton causes a UNIT Land Rover to crash, Sue is horrified by the sight of its blood-splattered windscreen.

Sue: That was too gruesome for the kids, although it probably didn’t look that bad in black and white, so only the rich kids with their colour tellies would have been traumatised. And the rich kids deserved to be traumatised, so that’s OK.

The Doctor arrives at UNIT’s lab in the stolen vintage car, and he informs Liz and the Brigadier that the meteorites aren’t really meteorites at all.

Sue: OK, I admit it, I’m starting to warm to him. He seems nicer than I imagined he would be. He’s got a certain charm, I suppose. Watching these stories could be easier than I thought.

The episode concludes with Ransome, a disgruntled employee at a plastics factory, exploring an off-limits area that has been decked out with new machinery. He is horrified when a mannequin suddenly comes to life…

Sue: Pretty scary stuff. Yes, this is a walk in the park compared to some of the stories we’ve seen. Are they all like this?

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Episode 3

Spearhead from SpaceSue: The Autons are lousy shots but at least they can run. Is this the first time we’ve seen a monster that doesn’t just shamble around aimlessly? I’m impressed.

When it becomes clear that the mysterious Channing has Hibbert, the factory’s managing director, under his complete control, Sue experiences deja vu.

Sue: Can any alien hypnotise a human? They all seem to be at it these days.

Ransome arrives at a UNIT tent that has been set-up as a base to search for more “meteorites”. He is traumatised by what he saw back at the factory.

Sue: He’s a little over-the-top; he’s sweating so much, he looks like he’s just been swimming!

Back at UNIT HQ, the Doctor persuades Liz to get the TARDIS key from the Brigadier.

Sue: The Doctor is a smooth operator. He has a very calming voice and Pertwee seems to be taking it very seriously. I like him. He’s definitely not what I was expecting.

Meanwhile, UNIT are interrogating Sam Seeley for making enquiries about how much they would be willing to pay for a “thunderbolt”.

Sue: If this was an episode of 24, they would have shot that poacher in the kneecaps by now.

Liz gives the Doctor the key to his TARDIS and he’s off like a shot.

Sue: So the Doctor tries to leg it? I’m not sure how I feel about that. That’s the sort of thing Hartnell would have done.

But he fails. The TARDIS doesn’t dematerialise and the Doctor is forced to evacuate its smoking interior.

Sue: Does the Doctor dress like this all the time? It’s not very practical, is it? It’d be OK if you were going to spend an evening in a casino, but not much else.

Back at the Seeley’s cottage, Meg, Sam’s wife, is searching through one of her husband’s trunks.

Sue: She’s expecting to find his porn stash.

When Sam Seeley admits to UNIT that he has been hiding an Auton sphere in a trunk back at his house. The Doctor, Liz and the Brigadier set off to retrieve it.

Sue: Shouldn’t they ask him where the trunk is before they set off? They could spend all day searching his house for it.

But an Auton has got there before them.

Sue: Did it just kill a dog off-screen? I am not happy about that to put it mildly.

When Meg Seeley discovers an Auton ransacking their cottage, she immediately reaches for her shotgun.

Spearhead from SpaceSue: You go, girl. You see, this is why we need a shotgun.

Me: No, the reason we need a shotgun is here (warning: you can’t “un-see” things so click that link with extreme caution).

Sue: He’s probably just taking the piss.

Me: Yeah, probably. But I have bought a shotgun. Just in case.

As the Auton advances, Meg lets him have both barrels in the chest. He remains unfazed.

Sue: Shoot him in the head! Has she never seen a zombie film?

When UNIT turns up, proving that handguns are just as inefficient, the Auton decides to leg it back to Ransome so it can vaporise him to death.

Sue: It’s the monster that cleans up after itself.

The episode concludes with General Scobie answering the door to himself.

Sue: That’s a creepy cliffhanger. So is this the Autons’ plan? To take over the world one waxwork exhibit at a time? It’s going to take ages.

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Episode 4

Sue: I bet Madame Tussaud’s Top Civil Servant Exhibit went down a storm with the public. Who needs Ghandi and Elvis when you’ve got a permanent undersecretary to gawp at.

When the Doctor learns that Channing has replicas of political figures that have been designed to infiltrate the highest echelons of society, Sue is impressed by the plan.

Sue: It’s a good, creepy idea. And it explains a lot. Like, why David Cameron looks so plastic.

But what really impresses Sue about this story is its pace.

Sue: This doesn’t mess about. This is why four-part stories are the perfect length for Doctor Who: there’s no padding. Are all the Pertwee stories four parts?

Me: Not quite.

Luckily, before she can dwell this, Sue is distracted by Liz Shaw’s line, “I can hardly keep me eyes open”.

Sue: Her accent has slipped. She’s not as posh as she thinks she is. I’m starting to warm to her now.

Spearhead from SpaceAnd then the moment we’ve all been waiting for arrives, as shop window dummies around the country suddenly come alive to wreak their special brand of havoc.

Sue: This would have terrified the kids. I expect this is why Russell did it again when he brought the show back. At least he could afford to break some glass. I like the way the Autons still have the price tags hanging off them as they massacre everyone. It’s a brilliant concept.

The Doctor heads for the plastics factory, armed with a jerry-rigged contraption that will immobilise the Autons.

Sue: Is he still driving around in a stolen vehicle? The Doctor is a TWOCK-er!

The Doctor and Liz make their way to the Nestene incubator, but just as he is about to zap the Consciousness itself, he’s thwarted by a dodgy lead.

Sue: Just plug the cable back in, you dozy mare!

Spearhead from SpaceThe Doctor then proceeds to have a fight with a giant octopus.

Sue: OK, this isn’t great. There are showing far too much of the monster. Funnily enough, it probably looked OK in black and white.

Just when things look fatal for the third Doctor, Liz sticks the lead back into the Doctor’s machine and the monster is destroyed.

Sue: Why didn’t he just use the sonic, or doesn’t he have a setting for that yet?

Back at UNIT HQ, the Doctor and the Brigadier formalise their working relationship.

Sue: Come on, Doctor, show Liz inside your TARDIS. You can’t bang on about it to her and then not take her inside, you tease.

And then, to top it all, Sue even manages to complete the Doctor’s final words before he does.

Sue: “Doctor John Smith. Shaken, not stirred”.

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The Final Score

Sue: That was wonderful. Good direction, a good script (Robert Holmes has come on in leaps and bounds) and there are some really nice performances. There’s nothing I can’t forgive, so I’m going to have to give it -

10/10

Me: Oh dear, it’s all gone a bit Moonlighting

Sue: It was four parts long, it moved and it was in colour! What more could a girl ask for? As long as all the Pertwee stories are all like this, we’ll be fine.

The experiment continues…
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If you don’t already own this story, why not buy it on DVD? If you use the link below, we get a small cut, which will help pay for the site’s running costs. Many thanks for your support (UK residents only).

 

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Discussion

  1. Simon Harries  November 11, 2011

    Wow, wow, wow! Great site and great review. Fantastic to see a 10 out of 10 too.
    “The Doctor is a TWOCK-er!”

  2. Andrew Orton  November 11, 2011

    10 out of 10! Jesus, it’s Sue’s favourite Doctor Who story… so far…

  3. John Callaghan  November 11, 2011

    What a spectacular start for the new site to have to live up to! And, of course, we’ll be here, watching you, every step of the way. (Tries to sound inspiring rather than creepy. Fails.)

  4. Dan  November 11, 2011

    Congratulations on the new site. Great!

    Me: Derek Martinus.

    Sue: He can come back again.

    This takes on added poignancy when you check his credits. Galaxy 4, Mission to the Unknown, The Tenth Planet, Evil of the Daleks, The Ice Warriors, this Then he didn’t come back.

    Ok going to read the rest of it now,

  5. BestBrian  November 11, 2011

    YES! Sue is going to love my favorite Doctor. Well, for a little while, at least.

  6. Grafty  November 11, 2011

    10! I gasped. I literally gasped.

    Lovely new site, btw.

    • Carson  November 11, 2011

      I gasped too! Hey, before long Sue will be asking “Can I give this one an 11?”

      Also, Neil: your “Not quite.” had me rolling :)

      • Philip Ayres  November 11, 2011

        3 stories time if there’s any justice in the world.

  7. James C  November 11, 2011

    Great review, and a great start for the beautifully designed new site.

    Random cool thought – making a click on the ‘Doctor Who’ on the cartoon telly link through to the latest review page.

    Oh, and this:

    “You’ve redecorated. I like it!”

    • Neil Perryman  November 11, 2011

      Good idea. Consider it done.

      • James C  November 11, 2011

        Quick work! And very satisfying to do. [stalker] It’s like being in the room with you [/stalker]

  8. BWT  November 11, 2011

    This is where I came in – and Sue’s right, of course: it does deserve a 10/10 – what an entrance!

    Shotgun? You’ll be needing a flamethrower, some napalm and a memory-wipe. There’s a recession on but I’ll see what I can do…

    Oh, and…

    “Doctor John Smith. Shaken, not stirred” – this is the t-shirt, not only for this story but for the entire Pertwee era.

    • BWT  November 11, 2011

      Oh, and I love the new site! Readability – superb!

  9. David  November 11, 2011

    G’day from Australia.

    Been lurking for a while, since I heard about the experiment and started visiting the old site. Love Sue’s biting sense of humour and I have almost forgiven her for trashing my all time favourite Doctor (Hartnell) and all time favourite episode (The Massacre). :-p

    I am a fan of the early Who, so after Pertwee goes it is downhill all the way, Sue. If you think the Troughton reconstructions were tough at times, far far worse lies ahead with C. Baker and S. McCoy…

    Keep up the good work, Sue. You are almost as cynical as me!

  10. Dave Sanders  November 11, 2011

    Pschaw. He’s not THAT big a fan if he’s still watching Snakedance on VHS.

    • Chris  November 11, 2011

      He probably has it on DVD as well.

  11. Lauren A.  November 11, 2011

    Wow! A 10! Didn’t see that coming! It is an excellent story though.
    But as for all Pertwee stories being four parts… Well, have fun. Also, I can’t wait to see how Sue commas away the next title. :)

  12. Lauren A.  November 11, 2011

    Also, it was a good move to buy that shotgun.

  13. Fuschia Begonia  November 11, 2011

    Can’t argue with Sue on this one. Well, I can, actually; I always liked Liz Shaw because she didn’t just stand there to be exposited at and gave as good as she got.

    But other than that, no arguments. And yes, the Brig was remarkably dishy.

    Fingers crossed for some of the later stories & good to see some Robert Holmes love ;)

  14. John Paul  November 11, 2011

    Brilliant – a colourful review for a colourful new site. “This is why we need a shotgun”. Marvellous

  15. Mike Sutton  November 11, 2011

    I’m a little puzzled by the Wife in Space song.

    • Jamie  November 13, 2011

      Aw, come on. I’m sure you were 13 once, as well.

      • PolarityReversed  November 13, 2011

        I was never _that_ 13.
        Thank god video doesn’t transmit smells – the farts and hormones in that room must be off the scale.

        Surprised at a 10. Pertwee was my first Doc too, but didn’t expect such immediate approval.

        The next one has some gorgeously nostalgic footage of Victoria Station back in the days when you bought sweets by the 1/8th (or 1/4 on very special occasions).

        On a mong point – will she notice the title?

        • John G  November 14, 2011

          Sorry to nitpick, but I think the station was Marylebone…

  16. Dave Sanders  November 11, 2011

    I can’t imagine Sue having any problems with the rest of season seven despite the obvious caveats, as all three storylines – lost civilization, conspiracy thriller and parallel world – offer a new take on the series format (unless you count The Underwater Menace, and nobody does), and are never done this well ever again. Plus, this is Pertwee-Who taking itself the most seriously.

    Not so sure about season eight though – probably depends how much Sue fancies Mike Yates.

  17. sfHeath  November 11, 2011

    question: when Sue said “He has a lovely beauty-mark on his left cheek. Sigh.” did she sigh or did she actually say the word, “Sigh”?

  18. Glen Allen  November 11, 2011

    Oh I say a 10
    SINGS: “Sue and Twerpee up the tree. K.I S.S.I.N.G”

    • Dave Sanders  November 11, 2011

      This time next season it’ll be PAT-RO-NI-S-I-N-G.

      • Dave Sanders  November 11, 2011

        I dread to think which will have Sue chewing the carpet in frustration more – Pertwee’s condescention, or Jo doing so much to warrant it. Sue will probably be screaming at the Brig to send the Doctor to his room without any dinner.

  19. Chris Lindsay  November 11, 2011

    The story that made me a full on fan. Glad Sue loved it so. 10/10 on the new site – it’s lovely.

  20. John Williams  November 11, 2011

    “Not quite” – very, very funny.

  21. Chris  November 11, 2011

    I clicked that link…..
    Oh why did I click that link?
    wish I hadn’t clicked that link.
    I think you should tell the police about that link

    Oh the plus side 10 out of 10! Blimey! That Doctor transition was a bit painless then

  22. Jamie  November 11, 2011

    A 10/10!
    This is going to turn out to mirror the fortunes of Eric and Ernie at the BBC, only in reverse.
    For 10/10, read 28 million…all downhill from now.
    The Deadly Dummies…ahhhh, sounds perfect as a follow up to The Curse Of Fatal Death.
    Suggest you get that title printed on a t-shirt, along with that cartoon picture of Sue, watching Who, on a sofa alongside Steven Merchant

  23. Zoe  November 11, 2011

    New site! Lovely. And a lovely way to begin. Hurray for Robert Holmes!

  24. John G  November 11, 2011

    Wow…I was expecting a good mark for Spearhead, but not a 10! If she ends up loving the rest of Season 7 as much as I do (particularly the next two stories), we are going to need some 11s and 12s…

    I’d be inclined to give Spearhead an 8 myself. It’s very enjoyable and remarkably slick – as Sue acknowledged, Holmes’ coming of age as a Who writer – but is compromised by that deeply silly ending. I have also never been able to figure out for certain how the Nestenes managed to establish the Autons on Earth – when they next appear, the Master is only too happy to create Autons for them, but I am guessing on this occasion they must somehow have used their mental powers to take possession of Hibbert’s mind after the meteorites landed, after which, presumably, he created Auton Channing. Interesting that Sue was so taken with Pertwee’s debut performance – he is very charming here, and much more humoroous than he would be subsequently. I’m not sure if the love will last though, particularly when he is busy patronising Jo during Season 8! I can understand why Sue wasn’t taken with Liz, who is rather starchy and full of herself in this one. Barry Letts made the right move in lightening up her character during the remainder of the season, and hopefully Sue will like her more by Inferno – just a shame that would be the end of the road for Liz.

    Love the new site by the way, particularly the various stats. Presumably the “is it the Master?” one will have to give way to something else once we hit Season 8, maybe “when are the Yeti returning?”

    • Jamie  November 11, 2011

      That’s an interesting point, regarding Pertwee being charming, in this one.
      I’m pretty certain I read somewhere recently that the lines were written as though for Troughton, even though it was obvious he wouldn’t be in the thing.

      • John G  November 11, 2011

        I remember reading somewhere that Pertwee was under some pressure from Peter Bryant to make his performance more comical and Troughtoneque, as it was Pertwee’s reputation as a comic actor which persuaded Bryant (and Sherwin) to cast him. That might explain the lighter touch in evidence here, or it could simply be Pertwee finding his feet in the role. It is interesting that from the very next story, once Bryant and Sherwin had departed the show, the third Doctor assumed his familiar acerbic, strait-laced characterisation. A coincidence?

        • Dave Sanders  November 11, 2011

          Jon Pertwee’s seven-parters are all loaded with delightful lines that become unintentionally funny from the utmost conviction and seriousness of their delivery. Everyone cites “She may have seen something” from The Silurians, but my own favourite is the most child-friendly description ever of a computer going wrong, from The Ambassadors Of Death: “It says two and two make five.” None of yer Chris Bidmead hexadecimal checksum errors here. :)

    • Dave Sanders  November 11, 2011

      Probably ‘yellow lines spotted’.

  25. matt bartley  November 11, 2011

    Very surprised by the 10/10 – I really did think the Nestene would knock at least a point off at the end. Love the story, though – it’s so fresh and new. I don’t think it’s a feeling the programme would replicate until The Eleventh Hour.

  26. Richard Lyth  November 11, 2011

    I’m not that keen on the Pertwee era myself, but Sue is right about this one – it looks fantastic and moves along at a cracking pace. It’s a real shame they didn’t keep on using film, this looks infinitely better than all the other Classic Who stories. (Probably cost as much as the rest of the season put together, though…)

  27. Mike Trytek  November 11, 2011

    Long-time reader, first-time commenter – so glad Sue has taken so well to Jon! Hope it lasts all the way through his tenure. However, I’m a little disappointed she didn’t pick up on The Doctor’s love of singing in the shower, also evidenced in The Lodger. You’re normally so good at connecting old to new, Sue; I can only assume you were so dazzled by the colour Who that you were blinded to all continuity. ;o)

  28. CJJC  November 12, 2011

    Great start, and seeing Ealing being destroyed takes me right back to the recent riots.

  29. Lewis Christian  November 12, 2011

    Great new site, and a great start to the Pertwee era. I can’t stand it, personally, but we’ll see how Sue copes. We’ve got a B&W episode, misleading episode titles, drearyyyyyyyy seven-parters, a repetitive Master series and… well, we’ll see.

  30. bethylated  November 12, 2011

    I’ve fallen a bit behind (I’m still stuck on The Croutons), and though I promised myself I wouldn’t look ahead, I just couldn’t help myself.

    The new site looks great, and the both of you are, as ever, brilliant. Am now looking forward to the Spearhead in Space! (Must….get….through…Croutons…..)

  31. Dafyd  November 12, 2011

    Has the octopus on the DVD been CGI-remastered? Relative to my expectations of the time it’s quite good, better than many special effects in classic Who. I can think of worse special effects in new Who (e.g. the ganger monster from the most recent series).

    • Nigel  November 13, 2011

      Not that I know of, but it was reshot at the time. According to Barry Letts, he went to see the rushes for the Spearhead, er, climax before taking over as Producer . He said that Pertwee originally wrestled what seemed to be a “giant condom”. It was decided this would have to be rethought … Evidently the octopus was the improvement. It’s not that bad, for me it was Pertwee’s comic gurning which unmade the scene.

  32. Alisaunder  November 13, 2011

    So thats why everyone had such shiny faces… I’m sorry guys. I just thought it was a fashion fad in the 60s-70s.

    Pertwee is MY first Doctor… I’ve been waiting for this moment and hoping Sue would grow to warm to him but I never expected a ten. I personally liked Liz, Jo and Sarah too, but Liz was genuinely brainy and an adult which is unusual for Companions. If Sue does warm to her she wont like… well, I wont say it in case Sue does sneak in and read these.

    I think Ive figured out which episode will be live recorded, and why wouldnt you pick that one really, but I do l like these text ones. Will be interesting to see what she thinks of it. If shes truly one of us or if she’s still able to be critical about the failings of an episode.

  33. Matthew Marcus  November 13, 2011

    I feel like there may be some element of “thank the Lord we don’t have to watch grainy black and white recons EVER AGAIN” to this week’s 10/10 mark… but then again, how wonderful to recapture a bit of the magic that must have been felt in 1970 when the show exploded into colour and the modern era generally. It’s too easy to forget how amazing a leap forward this must have seemed at the time… easy unless you’ve spent the last few months watching 250 60′s episodes in strict chronological order, that is!

  34. Tristan Alfaro  November 14, 2011

    Love the new site! It looks great.

    Finally we come to Spearhead and Sue proves herself a fan through and through. A perfect score for a perfect story. And the Time Lord criminal branding! Are you sure you haven’t been making Sue read Lawrence Miles books on the sly Neil?

  35. Loki  November 14, 2011

    Mind you I got a bit confused there on the “public schools” and “sceptical” bit. Yes, we Americans are watching you too. Funniest thing for me?

    Because that would shatter their hermetically sealed fictional universe.

    Of course most of the actor-people related jokes go right over my head.

    Gosh Sue, if you gave this a 10/10 (I love this one too), then you’re going to be giving a LOT of stories 10/10 in the future. In post-black-white Doctor Who, the standard format quickly becomes 4 parters.

  36. TheDarkHorseOne  November 14, 2011

    November 7, 2011 11:42 pm
    Posted 6 days agoTheDarkHorseOne
    I must say, my curiousity is piqued as to how Pertwee will end up being received. Sounds like there may be a bit of preconceived bias to shake, but hopefully that’s knocked out a bit early on. His first season has some real excellence in it, in my mind, so I’m hoping for the best, as he’s in my top four Doctors.

    That said, I’m also glad that Two has had her entertained. For me, there’s just something about Pat that engaged me from his first story. I understand the quality of story is sometimes really hard to gauge with the recons, but I don’t think the quality of Doctor could ever be. Brilliant and a lot of fun. I miss him, but can always revisit, as with 1, 3, and 4. They never grow old, and are always there to brighten a day.

    This is from the previous site and I must say, success!! 10/10? Would never have guessed that, but it augurs well for at least the first season of Jon. I have to admit my bias for his Doctor, though. There’s just something about the way he plays it that I really enjoy, much like Trout. Different on so many levels, but somehow the same.

    Great new site, Neil. I wish you and Sue continued success in this endeavor, and it’s always a pleasure to read. Thanks!

  37. Rad  November 14, 2011

    Lovely new site – I like that you went colour as the show did.

    A 10 though?! I never thought Pertwee would earn a 10, just didn’t think he’d be up Sue’s street.

    That YouTube link has scarred me though. I can’t imagine how freaked Sue must be.

    • BWT  November 14, 2011

      Yes… it must be truly unsettling. I move that Sue gets to wield the flame-thrower!

      • Neil Perryman  November 15, 2011

        It’s a very clever joke. Don’t worry about it.

  38. Tim Lister  November 15, 2011

    Did Sue not notice the horrible model shot of the TARDIS materializing in episode one? I’ve never understood why the director did that. Didn’t they have vision mixers that worked on film? I’m sure I’ve seen the TARDIS materialize on location in some Hartnell & Troughton stories.

  39. Adam Birch  November 15, 2011

    Congratulations to you both on getting this far.

    I very nearly tried a similar audio/visual journey with my not-we wife but thought the better of it. Given that she’s American, I’d have been explaining cultural references and cries of “Ooooh, look, it’s Martin Jarvis” or “That part should have been played by Michael Ripper” etc ad infinitum.

    Can’t wait to see what happens with certain Eocene Escapades…

  40. Karl M  November 16, 2011

    10/10! It’s all downhill from here then….!

    In other news…congratulations on the new site. Looks lovely and very user-friendly.
    Most impressively, you understand that reading on screens is much nicer when…

    all the words

    are nicely spaced out!

  41. Teo  November 17, 2011

    10/10! Very well deserved!

  42. farsighted99  December 18, 2011

    Loved this episode! Very modern, compared to the last few I’ve seen. Could it be the color? No… the script was really well-written, no damsels in distress for the Doctor. Heck, he can hardly remember who he is. I love it.

    Best Sue quote: “It’s the monster that cleans up after itself.” Chortle!

    I’d give it a 10, but that stuffed “octopus” at the end was really silly, reminds of that movie “Ed Wood” (if you saw that you know what I mean…). So 9.5 sounds good to me.

    The funniest bit in the whole thing was:

    DOCTOR: What do you think of my new face, by the way? Mmm?
    He sees a mirror inside a box-stand and pulls it up.)
    DOCTOR: Well, I wasn’t too sure about it meself to begin with. But it sort of grows on you.
    (He starts to pull faces in the mirror.)
    DOCTOR: Very flexible, you know. Could be useful on the planet Delphon, where they communicate with their eyebrows.
    (He gestures to LIZ and the DOCTOR waggles his eyebrows at her and then smiles.)
    DOCTOR: That’s Delphon for “how do you do”!

  43. Ged Sweeney  January 10, 2012

    If you ever hyperlink anything like that You Tube video again I will take out a private prosecution. I am not sure what for but I reckon any jury would bring back hanging for highlighting that disturbing piece