Spearhead from Space


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Spearhead from Space

Serial Code


First Transmitted

3 January 1970

Final Ratings







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Regular Cast

Jon Pertwee (Doctor Who), Caroline John (Liz Shaw)

Guest Cast

Nicholas Courtney (Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart), Hugh Burden (Channing), Neil Wilson (Seeley) [1-3], Talfryn Thomas (Mullins) [1], John Breslin (Captain Munro), Antony Webb (Dr. Henderson) [1-2], Helen Dorward (Nurse) [1], George Lee (Corporal Forbes) [1-2], Tessa Shaw (UNIT officer) [1], Ellis Jones (Technician) [1], Alan Mitchell (Wagstaffe) [1], Prentis Hancock (2nd Reporter) [1], Hamilton Dyce (Major General Scobie) [2-4], Henry McCarthy (Dr. Beavis) [2], John Woodnutt (Hibbert) [2-4], Derek Smee (Ransome) [2-3], Betty Bowden (Meg) [2-3], Clifford Cox (Sergeant) [3], Edmund Bailey (Attendant).


Written by Robert Holmes
Directed by Derek Martinus
Produced by Derrick Sherwin


Exiled to Earth in the late 20th Century by his own people – the Time Lords – the newly regenerated Doctor arrives in Oxley Woods alongside a shower of mysterious meteorites. Investigating these unusual occurrences is the newly-formed unitedNations Intelligence Taskforce – UNIT for short. Led by Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart, UNIT are soon called into action when people and meteorites start going missing. Most puzzling of all is the attempted kidnapping of a strange hospital patient – a man with two hearts, who insists that he knows the Brigadier…
The new Doctor soon joins forces with his old friend, UNIT and the recently recruited Dr Liz Shaw, but time is running out…

Irregular things are happening at a nearby plastics factory, while faceless creatures lurk in the woods. The Nestenes have arrived, and want to conquer the Earth…


  • The first televised story in colour
  • This story had the working title Facsimile.
  • These events appear to continue on immediately after The Doctor’s forced regeneration. (The War Games, The Night Walkers)
  • Nicholas Courtney and UNIT appear, their first full appearance since The Invasion.
  • The first story written by Robert Holmes most famous for The Caves of Androzani
  • This is the first story featuring Jon Pertwee as The Doctor, as well as the first appearance of companion Liz Shaw. It is also the first apperance of the villain known as the Nestene Consciousness and its servants the Autons.
  • There is a new title sequence designed by Bernard Lodge (who designed the previous title sequence).
  • Though the title sequence that debuted in this story remained the same over the next few years, it was only in the this story that the title of the story zoomed towards the screen, this was only repeated for The Ambassadors of Death (However unlike this story, only part of the story’s title-“The Ambassadors”-zoomed towards the screen while the other words-“of Death”-appeared in full size when a ‘sting’ sound was heard)
  • There are scenes featuring real waxworks shot at Madame Tussaud’s in London.
  • This story had the working title of Facsimile.
  • Due to a scene-shifters’ strike, this story is completely shot on film and almost completely on location.
  • The actor playing The Doctor is credits for the first time as ‘Doctor Who’ in the closing credits as opposed to ‘Dr. Who’ which had been the norm since 1963.
  • This form of cr would continue until the end of the Tom Baker era in 1981, after which the cr became the correct form, ‘The Doctor’.
    Among the props seen on The Doctor’s workbench is the Morok freezing machine from The Space Museum(which was recycled previously as an x-ray laser in The Wheel in Space), and a control panel form one of Tobias Vaughn’s machines, from The Invasion.
  • This was the first of two times a new incarnation fought the Autons, also, this was the first of three times the Autons appeared in a season opener. The Daleks are the only other adversary to have started three
  • This was also released on Blu Ray
  • The Autons also have their own spin offs with BBV.
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