51)SPEARHEAD FROM SPACE

3-24 January 1970

Average Viewing Figure: 8.2M

Plot

Banished to Earth, the newly regenerated Doctor must to stop an attack of Nestene and an army of Autons

Cast

Jon Pertwee (The Doctor), Caroline John (Liz Shaw), Nicholas Courtney (Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart), Hugh Burden (Channing)

Hamilton Dyce (Major General Scobie), Talfryn Thomas (Mullins), John Breslin (Captain Munro), Antony Webb (Dr Henderson)

Helen Dorward (Nurse), Henry McCarthy (Dr Beavis), John Woodnutt (Hibbert), Derek Smee (Ransome), Neil Wilson (Seeley)

Betty Bowden (Meg), George Lee (Corporal Forbes), Ellis Jones (Technician), Tessa Shaw (UNIT Officer), Allan Mitchell (Wagstaffe)

Prentis Hancock (2nd Reporter), Clifford Cox (Sergeant), Edmund Bailey (Attendant), Ian Smith (UNIT Soldier)

Uncredited Cast

Derrick Sherwin (Car Park Attendant), Vicky Maxine, Rosemary Turner, Lindy Russell, Christine Bradley (Nurses)

Walter Dalby (Hospital Receptionist), Patrick Milner, Antonio de Maggio, Peter Kaukus, Brian Justice, John Spradbury (UNIT Soldiers)

Dennis McTighe (Ambulance Driver), Trevor Cuff, Hugh Wood, Dave Mobley, John Hughes, Alan Cooper, Vicky Maxine

June Jenson (Press), Robert McDonnell, Cicely Cawthorne, Derek Medus (TV Crew), David Dewhurst (UNIT Soldier [Hawkinks]

Victor Crocksford, Roy Brent (Auton Hospital Porters), Constance Carling (Auton Secretary), Robin Squire (Auton Scout)

Henry Rainer (Policeman), Dennis Hayward, Roger Houghton, Tom Segal, Keith Simon

Kenneth Lindford, Roger Minnis (Autons/Display Mannequins), Doris Lang, Fred Davis, Grace Dolan, Colin Cunningham, Vi Kane

Terence Denville, Leslie Bates, Diana Collins (Passers-by), Ronald Mayer, Hein Viljoen, Barry Ashton, Bob Williman, Arnold Chazen, Cy Town, Keith Ashley (Autons), David Melbourne, Derek Hunt, Alan Granville, Michael Earl, Garry Dean, Michael Harrison

Laurence Ross, Bill Matthews, Robert Murray (Regular Soldiers)

Crew

Robert Holmes (Writer), Ron  Grainer (Title Music), Dudley Simpson (Incidental Music), Brian Hodgson (Special Sound)

John Horton (Special Effects Designer), Christine Rawlins (Costumes), Cynthia Goodwin (Make-Up), Stan Speel (Film Cameraman)

Stan Speel, Robert McDonnell (Film Camera Team), Derek Medus (Sound Recordist), William Symon, Adam Dawson (Film Editors)

Terrance Dicks (Script Editor), Paul Allen (Designer), Derrick Sherwin (Producer), Derek Martinus (Director)

Uncredited Crew

Delia Derbyshire (Theme Arrangement), Robin Squire (Assistant Script Editor), Peter Grimwade (Production Assistant)

Broadcast

Filming Locations

  • Favourite Dolls Factory, Holloway, London

  • NCP, St Pancras Station

  • The Broadway, Ealing, London

  • Royal Horticultural Society, Wisley, Surrey

  • Hatchford Park School, Surrey

  • TCC Condensers, Ealing, London

  • BBC Engineering & Training Centre, Wood Norton, Worc

  • BBC Wood Norton

  • Wheelbarrow Castle Cottage, Radford, Worc

  • Mansion House Hotel, Evesham, Worc

  • Van Arden Studios, London

  • Madame Tussauds, London

  • Ealing Film Studios

    • some location filming work in London remains unknown

Deaths

  • Channing [dies after the Nestene is defeated] 

  • Corporal Forbes [killed after the Land Rover he was driving crashes]

  • Hibbert [killed by an Auton]

  • Ransome [killed by an Auton]

  • Policeman [killed by an Auton]

  • Cyclist [killed by an Auton]

  • Londoners [killed by Autons]

  • Auton Hospital Porters [killed after the Nestene Consciousness is defeated]

  • Auton Secretary [dies after the Nestene Consciousness is defeated]

  • Autons [die after the Nestene Consciousness is defeated]

  • Nestene Consciousness [killed by a device created by The Doctor]

    • reports of attacks across the country suggest more deaths

Production Days

  • 35 Days between Saturday 13 September - Saturday 22 November  1969

Production Errors

  1. During episode four, General Scobie is replaced by an Auton Duplicate and is placed as a 'waxwork' mannequin in a museum. Why? Why doesn't the Nestene just kill General Scobie?

  2. When The Doctor emerges from the Tardis after regenerating, he almost takes off the Tardis doors

  3. The Doctor clutches his head before being shot at the end of episode one

  4. When Meg Seeley discovers the Auton Scout in her cottage, the Auton's right eye blinks at one point 

  5. During the Auton attack in episode four, one of the people killed can be seen moving after being shot ​​​​

Working Titles

  • Facsimile

Verdict

Spearhead from Space evidently pushes the production to its absolute limits with its location shoot, action-packed set pieces, fight sequences, a large supporting cast and a new race of monsters. Considering Doctor Who was on the verge of being cancelled just months priors it is remarkable the production team managed to pull of this serial without the aid of studio space to accommodate it. The show takes a new path where ordinary everyday settings become a world of nightmares and terrors, the scenes of the Auton attack in street, has been remembered since the initial broadcast and remained in the minds of Who fans for decades. The Autons themselves are polished off villains from the always brilliant Robert Holmes despite the floppy Octopus which appears at the end and does absolutely nothing to aide or advance the story. The finished product is something to be admired giving the fact it was almost never made. ****