Monday, 31 August 2015

Spearhead from Space


Starting a new series with a shot zooming towards Earth from space... It'll never catch on.

Chris@KosmicKris  in many ways as epoch changing as Rose was 35 years later.

Nail Gun Princess@SofaSeduction Earth, a sweaty bloke, a gal in a fetching green tie and a crash landing.

At a Satellite tracking station, UNIT have detected some oddly behaving meteorites...
Chris@KosmicKris  the Blu Ray is sumptuous :)
Mark@MGW_007 the only downside is some of the special effects can look even more ropey.

All Doctor Who should have been on film from this point on. :-)

The meteorites "land", observed by local poacher, Sam Seeley.

Sam Seeley's really the 1st of the many Pertwee era tramps.
Mark@MGW_007 the original, and the best!
11thDoctorAdventures@11thDoctorComic Someone wants a word with you.
50dw50@50dw50 but he has a wife so is not a hermit but at least she has the decency to be in a coma later

Nearby, the TARDIS also lands...

...and a new Doctor falls out...

This is all very much worlds away from the show it was under a year ago.

Davad@davadsteel It's all SO different from The War Games. Feels like a different series!

Chris@KosmicKris  that funky "Liz Shaw Drafting" music gets me every time.
Pete@other_pete  I'll refuse to be drafted into any paramilitary organisation that fails to provide a soundtrack of this standard.
50dw50@50dw50 Liz is one of my favourite companions, no idea why she just appeals to me.
LEWIS C▲RR@snarlsbukowski Liz Shaw was definitely a bit of a hottie!
John Mark Frankland@JMFrankland Liz's outfit in this is one of the best ever. It's just FAB.
Mark@MGW_007 she was definitely underused and harshly disposed of.

Scientist Liz Shaw is drafted by Brigadier Lethbridge Stewart; she says she's not interested in invisble ink.
Chris@KosmicKris  I love Liz and, although I get why she wouldn't work long term, I thought it was a shame they didn't bring her back.
50dw50@50dw50 it is a shame she could not have been a recurring character so she could roll her eyes at Jo.
Davad@davadsteel Even if it had just been for the odd story. Would've been great! Teamed up with Jo! Meeting The Master!
Chris@KosmicKris  she could have certainly come back on an occasional basis - she'd have added a different dynamic

She'd've been good in The Three Doctors, in place of Doctor Tyler, detecting the "space lightning".

 Exactly! That would've been great!

 YES!! She'd have been perfect!

Her interest is piqued by news that clusters of meteorites have been 'landing' with alarming regularity.

The Brigadier warns Liz that Earth has been drawing attention to itself...

As the prone Doctor is stretchered into the local hospital...

...the Brig tells Liz that Earth has already been subject to two invasion attempts in recent years.

On both occasions the day was saved by a mysterious Doctor...

Capt. Munro phones at that very moment with the news that the Doctor is back.

What a stroke of luck!

Some have theorised the 1st Doctor only had 1 heart, as other characters took his pulse etc. at various times. In The Tenth Planet, Ben says his pulse is "normal" but maybe, drained by Mondas, one of his hearts has stopped! 

I don't think there's ever any indication that the 2nd Doctor has two hearts is there? And there's possibly once or twice where his biology is checked without comment (e.g. The Wheel in Space). Hence there's a theory that he doesn't even gain his second heart until this incarnation - though that's later (at least implicitly) contradicted.  

The Doctor always seems to have rougher regenerations than other Time-Lords. 
50dw50@50dw50 thats because the 1st Doctor is half human, on his mothers side #fact

Mind you, we've seen precious little of the 8th Doctor's life. Maybe it would eventually have come to light that instead of being a half-human namedropping fortune teller, this incarnation was just a pathological liar!

Talfryn Thomas! Now you *know* this is a 70s BBC production!
50dw50@50dw50 is he being creepy? it only counts if he is being creepy, or cunning
Not human blood... Did the 1st Doctor have human blood...?

Sniffing an opportunity to make a bit of cash on the side, the shifty porter is straight on to the papers about the mystery patient with the inhuman blood.

The poacher, Seeley, returns to the wood to dig up his "thunderbolt..."

...before the UNIT soldiers get to it.

"Unhand me madam!" The new Doctor is keen on shoes.

The Brig and Liz arrive at the hospital and are thrust straight into a media scrum.

They're observed by the sinister Channing.

"Brigadier, is it true 2016 will be a gap year?"
"Nonsense, I don't know where you get these ideas."

The Brig orders a guard put on the police box; to be issued with live ammunition.

It's ages till you properly get to see the Doctor, we're nearly 15 minutes into the episode.
50dw50@50dw50 except for the opening titles which rather gave it away!

Chris@KosmicKris  it's a perfect, subtle discovery of our new Doctor - Bob Holmes really writes this well!

The Brig is disappointed to find this isn't the Doctor he was expecting...

The Brigadier might not recognise him, but the Doctor recognises the Brig.
 Doctor Who SFX@WhoSFX It's like there's still a last vestige of the Second Doctor when he first sees the reflection...
Pete@other_pete  The only time a new Doctor's introduced by focusing on his similarities to his predecessor, and it really works.
Simon Pittman@LibraryPlayer At this point wasn't regeneration just a change of face, rather then personality too?

Yes and no, personality did change but not named as regeneration till Planet of the Spiders.

At first, even the Doctor is unhappy with his new look, but he quickly comes round to it.

The Brig is not amused, so the Doctor hits the snooze button.

"His mind's obviously disturbed..."

The press boys notice the Brig has sneaked out the back door.

Prentiss Hancock is right at home amongst all that wooden panelling.

 Channing is hogging the phone booth.

Quite who he's communicating with, and how, is another matter altogether.

Here Hare, here. #WithnailAndI
50dw50@50dw50 hares but no dentistry it seems.

The Doctor has perked up, and his thoughts have turned to escape...
Mark@MGW_007  SHOES!

At least on the surface of things, the McGann movie rips off a fair bit of this - new Doctor in a hospital, double-hearted X-Ray, obssessed with shoes...
Mark@MGW_007 I still laugh when he snatches the shoes and the medic says 'wonder if the brain's damaged?'
Davad@davadsteel The 3rd Doctor says "shoes" far more often than "reverse the polarity of the neutron flow". That should be his catchphrase!

Much easier to tell on the remastered & HD versions that the would-be kidnappers are Autons.

On VHS the picture was so washed out & fuzzy.

UNIT's "fire at will " policy very much in evidence.
John Mark Frankland@JMFrankland The gadget loving third Doctor's first mode of Earth transport is a wheelchair.

The Doctor makes a break for it, but the UNIT soldiers gun him down! Crikey!
Chris@KosmicKris  you can see why this always comes near the top of favourite opening stories - it's such a brilliant start to the Pertwee era.

Fortunately, UNIT being UNIT, with their legendary inability to hit a barn door, they've only grazed him.

"He's more unconscious than anyone I've ever seen!" Of course he is, of course he is.

With the TARDIS key in his possession...

...the Brig sniffs some plastic. 

Quite efficient, Munro - he already has a lead on the kidnappers, having spotted Channing in some of the photos confiscated from the press.

Not only does the Blu-Ray score over the other versions through the amazing picture quality but it also has the correct (broadcast) TARDIS wonky materialisation sound effect...

...and the Fleetwood Mac's back too! :-)

That's the *proper* blues guitar band Fleetwood Mac with Peter Green at the helm, not the 80s US pop band ;-)
Chris@KosmicKris  wonderfully incongruous choice - pre dating RTD's use of Britney by 35 years ;-)

At a plastics factory, John Ransome returns from a successful overseas business meeting to find that everything's changed...

He's come in to visit the manager, Hibbert, who tells him they've got a new policy...
Davad@davadsteel Mr Ransome is the sort of character you don't get in the modern series anymore. He drives so much of the plot.

John Woodnutt is always 1st class. Unusual to see him playing such a weak character though.

Ooh, Channing has control of Hibbert, and the plastics factory.

Back at UNIT's lab, Liz conducts tests on the plastic "meteorite".

The Brig gets tetchy when she rubbishes what she's heard about the Doctor.

"You really believe in a man who's helped to save the world twice? With the power to transform his physical appearance? An alien who travels through time and space in a police box?"

"All energy is a form of life." Hippy.

Seeley examines his find...

...alerting a nearby figure: an Auton!

"Go get me some grub, woman, I'm 'ungry! What you starin' at, woman!" Seeley totally fails to out-smooth Delgado.
Davad@davadsteel There's a real passion there!

The Auton loses the signal as Seeley stashes the meteorite away again.

Before the Brig can test out the TARDIS key...

...regular army General Scobie drops by. UNIT needs to keep on his good side.

Scobie's a relic and all: "Lucky fella, Stewart, having a pretty face around the place."

Munro berates one of the UNIT soldiers for agreeing to look after a vintage car. I'm sure no-one will nick it.

Love it that Pertwee goes through the "Doctors Only" door...

...and he helps himself to a shower. Liberty Hall!

Likes a good sing song in the shower, does't he?
Mark@MGW_007 interesting how regenerates with a tattoo...
Dry your back properly, Perters!

UNIT recover the latest Nestene unit to descend, and are followed by the nearby Auton.

50dw50@50dw50 and so starts the long tradition of Dr Who stealing clothes from hospitals.

Totally should have kept the hat. (Not the flat cap).
Davad@davadsteel He is just SO cool!
The blue of Pertwee's velvet jacket comes out a treat in HD too.

Pertwee's hair's so short, and grey; over his 5 years it gets longer, bigger and whiter, and most people tend to think of him like that rather than this.

11thDoctorAdventures@11thDoctorComic Hmm... That sounds familiar...

50dw50@50dw50 before his mid-life crises and he gets a new flash car, a younger girlfriend and big hair.

"...and now it's high time I indulged in a spot of Grand Theft Auto!"
Mark@MGW_007 thug life!
Chris@KosmicKris it's no Bessie!
Lethbridge Stewart gets the knock back from the TARDIS.

Munro sends the uncovered Nestene unit back to base...

...only for an Auton to lurch into the road and - via a clever bit of camera work - cause a crash.

Needless to say the Nestene unit never makes it to the Brig.

In his secret control room, the siteof Ransome's former workshop, Hibbert and Channing prepare for General Scobie's arrival...

The Doctor rocks up at UNIT HQ, much to the amazement of Producer and part time Car Park attendant Derrick Sherwin.

Although the 2nd Doctor wasn't averse to winging it when he had to, he never quite had the brass neck of the 3rd: 
"All right, all right, I suppose you want to see my pass? Yes, well, I haven't got one. And I'm not going to tell you my name, either. Now you just tell Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart that I want to see him. Well, don't just stand there arguing with me, man! Get on with it!"

The Brig is caught off guard when the Doctor waltzes in...

...explaining that he tracked the TARDIS with a homing signal detector in his watch. Where did he get that from? Does he still have it?

He's pleased to see the TARDIS safe and sound...

...and admits that the Brig will just have to take it on trust that he's the same man that bested the Yeti and the Cybermen.
Davad@davadsteel Jon's great in this UNIT lab scene. Really establishes the Doctor's new personality. Clearly enjoying himself.

He's soon chatting Liz up in Delphon.

It's lovely the way the Doctor and Liz hit it off straight away.

Thick as thieves.

The Doctor tells the Brig that whatever was in the plastic containers has been collected and gathered together somewhere...

Ransome sneaks back into Auto Plastics to find out what's going on in his former workshop...

...whilst Channing and Hibbert get the measure of Scobie for a plastic facsimilie that's definitely just for Madame Tussaud's, wink wink.
50dw50@50dw50 you can tell he has not broken into a drama school.

As he finds himself inside the Nestene nerve centre, he realizes too late that the Autons are no dummies!

The Autons are such a great idea; dead eyes and slow, silent movement. Creepy!

The Auton opens fire, but Ransome is able to make it outside.

Ransome has a stroke of luck when Channing has to (silently) order the Auton to deactivate so that Scobie doesn't see it...

...and makes his escape.

Although Hibbert baulks, Channing orders the Autons to track down and eliminate Ransome.

He's made it to the safety of UNIT, though. For now.

Meg Seeley reports the gruesome death of the UNIT driver. "On my oath, you wouldn't want that served with onions. Oh, make an 'orse sick, that would!"
Davad@davadsteel Sometimes, only sometimes, Sam wishes he'd married Meg's sister.  Sometimes, just sometimes, Meg wishes she'd run off with the postman.

The terror-stricken Ransome dribbling his tea is really quite unpleasant.
Pete@other_pete Ultimate sign of a broken mind in UNIT Britain, poor chap's lost his tea drinking ability completely, don't let the kids see.

The Doctor bemoans the state of 20th Century technology...

...and tries to pull the wool to persuade Liz to get the TARDIS key back for him.

No longer able to keep his greed in check, Seeley approaches UNIT to see how much he can get for his spoils.

"Thunderbolts, I calls 'em!"
50dw50@50dw50 "no sir i think that's the missile from next season, not that i care of course i get replaced by that Yates bloke"

Wonder if they tried to get the same actor from the Invasion to reprise Captain Turner? Munro's a carbon copy.

When the Brig patronizes Liz, her mind is made up, and she pilfers the TARDIS key.

The Brig realizes what has happened straight away, and sure enough the TARDIS begins to take off...

But the Time-Lords have knackered it, and fiddled the Doctor's memory.

So the Doctor was going to just do a runner and leave them in the lurch. No wonder the Brig doesn't trust him.
Nail Gun Princess@SofaSeduction maybe it's why Kate is prone to a bit of Doctor kidnapping too.

As Meg opens Sam's trunk, she gives away the location of the Nestene unit...

...and Channing directs an Auton to recover it.

Munro finally gets Seeley to admit that he has one of the meteorites stashed at his home, and the Doctor wants to tag along to recover it.

As the Auton trashes Chez Seeley, Meg gives it both barrels. No effect.

By the time UNIT arrive, Meg is unconscious on the floor, but the Auton is still there!

Sensing that UNIT has the advantage of numbers, Channing recalls it.

Nice silver boots the Auton has.

As the Doctor and Liz examine the energy unit...

...Channing sends his roving Auton to dispatch Ransome. Love it when the Auton rips the tent.
50dw50@50dw50 the image that must have ruined alot of kids holidays in the 70's!

When the team visit Auto Plastics...

...Hibbert makes out Ransome is just making trouble because they rejected his robotic designs.

Back at the lab, the Brig plans to enlist the help of the regular army to raid the factory in force, while the Doctor discovers mental activity in the Nestene unit.

When the Brig rings Scobie, he tells him Hibbert & Channing seemed a pleasant couple of fellows. Indeed.

Hello, anyone order a Plastic Scobie?

The Doctor's theory is that the energy unit is part of a larger whole, a collective intelligence.

Plastic Scobie calls back but now warns the Brig off Auto Plastics.

On hearing of the facsimilie of Scobie that Auto Plastics were making for Madame Tussauds, the Doctor decides it's time to do some sightseeing.
atruedrwhofan@atruedrwhofan Im sorry Jon. You cannot use your waxwork to turn up for your Five Doctors photoshoot. Tom has already used that idea!

The Attendant at Madame Tussauds does the Strickson turn to get his face on camera.

The "model" of Scobie is not only wearing a working wristwatch, it's wound to the correct time...

Channing has to reassert his control over Hibbert when the factory manager asks too many questions.
Munro is powerless to stop "Scobie" retrieving the last Nestene unit.

The Doctor & Liz are having a lock-in at Madame Tussauds. It was acceptable in the 70s. Or whenever this is.

Fee Fi Fo Fum, Channing smells the blood of an alien...

Thinking the coast is clear, they activate the dummies.

Hibbert finds the Doctor, who urges him to resist...

...and surprisingly he doesn't give him away. Channing's control is slipping.

The Doctor and Liz make it back to UNIT HQ and warn the Brigadier that he needs to move against the factory without delay.

With the final Nestene unit recovered by plastic Scobie, the attack can begin...

The Doctor and Liz have been at it all night. Working on a contraption to block the Nestene signals, obviously.

So much detail in the buildings and streets here. Wonderful.

Love that sound as the Autons jerk into life.

Tell you what, this has a cracking, overlooked, score from Dudley Simpson. So moody and filmic.
Mark@MGW_007 one of the all time best Doctor Who moments.

50dw50@50dw50 so kids in the 70's were now too terrified to go camping or to the shops! Has to be said its a bloody amazing scene.
Davad@davadsteel the bus stop massacre is one of the most horrifying sequences in the series to this point.

"Get onto the police, man!"
"What? One policeman against all these Autons?"
Mark@MGW_007 he'd need a big truncheon.

Hibbert's conditioning finally breaks down and he attacks the Nestene incubator... Channing has him eliminated.

UNIT go for a jolly work's day out at the plastic factory...

How blue is that sky! Was this *really* shot in Britain?!

When Scobie's forces arrive, the Doctor gets the chance to test his device, pretending that it's a microphone.

When asked if he has any (last) words, Scobie melts under pressure.

The real Scobie, well-wound wristwatch and all, is puzzled to awaken in Madame Tussauds!

The Doctor & Liz slip into the factor unnoticed, hoping to defeat the Autons before there's too much fighting.

Good luck with that.

Fair play to Derek Martinus, this is an almost Camfield-ian battle sequence.

Test number 2 is also a success.

Channing is over-confident. "No-one has the power to destroy us, not even you." 

The battle rages on outside...

Channing activates the Nestene's new form...

...and naturally enough, that's the moment the Doctor's device chooses to conk out.

Okay, it is *supposed* to be plastic, but that Nestene tentacle... oh well.
Chris@KosmicKris my head canon always explained this away by the fact that it was a cheap plastic factory so it would look like that :-)

Though his eyes are red and bulging at one point, really looks like he's being throttled!
Mark@MGW_007 a chance for some Pertwee gurning!
Angie Snowe@ajsnowe As much as I love Pertwee, any time he pulls the face and gurns at the camera, a little bit of my Who-love dies.

Liz rewires the whatchamacallit in the nick of time, and the Nestene is vanquished.

All fall down!

All the Time-Lords this. They chose to put him on Earth right now. Had they not, the Autons would've taken over.

Channing just melts into the basic Auton template. Horrible.

With the day saved, the gang return to HQ.

The Brig says UNIT will put the Doctor up in return for being able to call on his help should they happen to need it every other week for some reason.

They'll even pay him a wage!

This new Doctor strikes a hard bargain - not only does he want spares for his TARDIS repairs but also a new set of wheels like that motor he nicked...

...and some decent togs, as he's just remembered that the ones he's standing up in are contraband too! 

Now the Brig just needs to know who to sign the cheques to.

"Smith. Doctor John Smith."
Chris@KosmicKris what a brilliant start to the new era! Loved every second of that :-)

Just sings, doesn't it? Really high quality stuff. :-)
Chris@KosmicKris it is pretty close to perfect Who! Holmes knows how to write a great yarn :)
Davad@davadsteel Brilliant story. So much better than what we get served up these days.
Coming Soon... The Brain of Morbius

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