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The Friday Docback Is Impaled By The Spearhead From Space!! DOCTOR WHO Story #51, + Season/Series 7 Newslets, More!! UPDATED W/ NEW S7 TEASER!!



Merrick again...

BBC has issued a new teaser for Asylum of the Daleks, the opening episode of DOCTOR WHO Season/Series 7.



Still no word on the show's start date - word on the street says September 1.  We'll see...







Merrick here...

...with a look at Spearhead from Space, a four part Pertwee-era DOCTOR WHO adventure originally transmitted January 1970.  This is a story of firsts, as Spearhead ...

-- brings us Pertwee’s first stint as the Doctor (the character regenerated away from Patrick Troughton in the concluding moments of the preceding story - a plus-sized tale called The War Games, Story #50)...

-- introduces a character/companion named Liz Shaw (Caroline John, who recently passed away)...

-- is the only episode to date shot entirely on film - except for 1996’s Paul McGann-starring television movie, and including the current show (which is recorded on tape and processed in post production to appear more filmic)...

-- is also the first DW to be shot in color. Bringing us Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart’s peculiarly pinkish uniform and gold tie)...

More on Spearhead shortly, but first...




BBC has released synopses of the first three episodes of DOCTOR WHO Season/Series 7.  Keep in mind, these are officially issued descriptions and, thus, aren't likely to contain anything terribly spoilery.  

Episode 1: Asylum Of The Daleks - Kidnapped by his oldest foe, the Doctor is forced on an impossible mission - to a place even the Daleks are too terrified to enter... the Asylum. A planetary prison confining the most terrifying and insane of their kind, the Doctor and the Ponds must find an escape route. But with Amy and Rory’s relationship in meltdown, and an army of mad Daleks closing in, it is up to the Doctor to save their lives, as well as the Pond’s marriage.
Episode 2: Dinosaurs On A Spaceship - An unmanned spaceship hurtles towards certain destruction - unless the Doctor can save it, and its impossible cargo... of dinosaurs! By his side a ragtag gang of adventurers; a big game hunter, an Egyptian Queen and a surprised member of the Pond family. But little does the Doctor know there is someone else onboard who will stop at nothing to keep hold of his precious, prehistoric cargo.
Episode 3: A Town Called Mercy - The Doctor gets a Stetson (and a gun!), and finds himself the reluctant Sheriff of a Western town under siege by a relentless cyborg, who goes by the name of the Gunslinger. But who is he and what does he want? The answer seems to lie with the mysterious, Kahler-Jex, an alien doctor (yes another one!) whose initial appearance is hiding a dark secret.

Al in all, we know know the titles and authors of the first five Season/Series 7 episodes.  Asylum of the Daleks is scripted by current WHO mastermind Steven Moffat, Dinosaurs on a Spaceship is written by Chris Chibnall (S5's The Hungry Earth and Cold Blood) , A Town Called Mercy is by Toby Whithouse (S5's The Vampires of Venice and S6's The God Complex), The Power of Three by Chris Chibnall, and The Angels Take Manhattan - which exits current companions Amy and Rory - is by Steven Moffat.  

Some new images from this first batch of episodes are also making the rounds.  A few of them are presentd here, but you can JUMP TO BBC for a broader (and EMBIGGENABLE!) selction.  Dinosaurs on a Spaceship.  My 5 year old heard rthat title and practically pooped himself.  This may well be the first DOCTOR WHO episode he watches...





Spearhead from Space

“What are you staring at, woman?”  - Sam Seeley (Neil Wilson),  Spearhead from Space Episode Two



There's a new Doctor in town, if that really is the Doctor - along with a new companion, strange energy orbs, rampaging homicidal mannequins, and a pink uniformed, gold-tied Brigadier Lethbridge Stewart!?!  DOCTOR WHO reboots, and jumps into color, as it inexorably hurtles towards those damn, damn, tentacles...

Spearhead is written by Robert Holmes, who wrote some of the very best classic DOCTOR WHOs ever made: The Caves of Androzani (Davison, Story #136), The Talons of Weng-Chiang (T. Baker, Story #91), and  The Sun Makers (T. Baker, Story #95).  

Like Matt Smith’s 2010 debut in The Eleventh Hour (Series/Season 5), Spearhead very much a reboot/re-introduction to both the Doctor character, and the show in general.  Incoming companion Liz Shaw (Caroline John) is brought up to speed by continuing Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart (Nicholas Courtney) - thus we’re re-inDoctornated as well.  The still-recovering-from-regeneration Doctor takes a bit to find himself  - thus we discover him at the same time.  All around, a feeling of rebirth prevails for the first episode and a half or so.  Strangely, many other shows would stumble over so many awkward and expository movements - but this is where Spearhead conducts itself with the greatest aplomb.  

When we get into the nitty-gritty, however, it becomes startlingly evident that Spearhead is not imbued with the same social awareness and gravitas other episodes best characterizing Holmes’ more notable contributions to the show - nor do Spearhead’s later installments meet the promise of their setup.   When all is said and done, this is pretty much by-the-numbers and frivolous, featuring villain-controlled mannequins coming to life, and culminating with the Doctor’s regrettable encounter with foamy, oversized alien tentacles whose design and color scheme would appear quite at home in a Sid and Marty Krofft show.  

While Spearhead never equals the sum of its parts, and although some of its parts were unarguably misguided (see the embed above), a few qualities do shine brightly here - very much making this story worthy of note.  Due to a set workers strike at the time, Spearhead was shot largely on location, thus entirely on film (and rather well shot at that).  Previously, and subsequently (with the exception of the 1996 TV movie), the use of film in Classic DOCTOR WHO had been contained to often scant location work, or miniature photography.  Here, the majority of the story was shot on location - necessitating film - and lending Spearhead a harder, “real-world” cinematic quality. 

This very nicely complements Pertwee’s more grounded take on the character, and ups the aesthetic of the show considerably. Saying Spearhead’s “look” and “feel” is rather unique to DOCTOR WHO  is not hyperbole.  It, literally, does look and feel unlike any other story in the series. 

Brigadier Lethbridge Stewart (Nicholas Courtney) - ensnared in a heated press conference, complete with very good handheld camera work, and lens flare.

On BBC Home Entertainment’s newly issued DVD, Spearhead’s image has been lovingly restored to a sometimes startling visual robustness.  In terms of picture quality and vibrancy, this may be the best looking “Classic” DOCTOR WHO DVD BBC HE has yet issued.  Seeing the result here does make one wish more episodes of the series had been shot similarly.  When compared to the classic show’s customary studio style, the film work here lends an air of legitimacy and atmosphere to the proceedings which might well have helped DW reach an even broader audience.  

Dudley Simpson’s score is more developed here than in much of his other WHO work, offering a bit more layering and complexity than earlier years of the show traditionally afforded - especially during action sequences.  As stated above, Director Derek Martinus (The Ice Warriors - Troughton, Story #39, and Galaxy 4 - Hartnell, Story #18) handles potentially bumpy introductory material here with considerable alacrity, but derails considerably when attacking the meat and bones of Holmes’ tale.  He does find some level of redemption later in the game, however, when Auton mannequins spring to life and smite hapless city folk with nasty blaster hands.  There are a few very good kills visualized during their assault.

Alas, what ground these moments recover is quickly lost by those damn, damn tentacles. 

When all is said and done, Spearhead from Space simply feels a lost.  It’s not exciting enough to forgive it’s rather thin plotting, it’s not funny enough to overlook an inherently goofy conceit of mannequins coming to life and chasing people, but it’s too serious to forgive such obvious affronts as those damn, damn tentacles.  There’s a lot that doesn’t work about Spearhead, but it’s “on elements” convey very, very nicely.  A decidedly mixed bag and an interesting conversation piece, if nothing else...

The newly (and wonderfully) restored Spearhead from Space - INCLUDING A SOMETIMES EXCISED, BRIEF APPEARANCE BY A FLEETWOOD MAC SONG - is available on DVD HERE in the U.S. and HERE in the U.K.


Extras include...


Down to Earth: Filming Spearhead from Space (22:40)

Insight from...

-- Terrance Dicks (Story Editor)

-- Derrick Sherwin (Producer)  - says exiling the Pertwee Doctor to Earth was his idea, as was the creation of UNIT...

“It’s the story of the BBC - if it costs money, you don’t get to do it.”

-- Jon Pertwee (1994 interview)

-- Christine Rawlins (Costume Designer)

-- Robin Squire (Assistant Script Editor)

-- Barry Letts (2008 interview)



Regenerations: From Black and White to Color  (18:41)

A very fascinating look at BBCs, and DOCTOR WHO’s,  complicated transition from Black and White to Color.  Insight from...

-- Derrick Sherwin (Producer)

-- Bernard Lodge (BBC Graphic Designer)

-- Timothy Combe (BBC Director in the 1960s/70s)

-- Michael Ferguson (BBC Director in the 1960s/70s)

-- Christopher Barry (BBC Director in the 1950s-80s)

-- Roger Cheveley (BBC Designer in the 1960s)

-- Frazer Hines (companion Jamie McCrimmon)

-- Wendy Padbury (companion Zoe Heriot)

-- Terrance Dicks (Story Editor)

Discusses early efforts towards Color Separation Overlay (CSO = esentially a real-time bluescreen-like process, a la Chroma Key).  

UNIT Recruitment Film (4:50)

Trailers (1:47)

Various promos for airings of Spearhead from Space, and BBC 2 showing of DW.  

Photo Gallery (3:51)


PDF Materials
Radio Times Listings


Coming Soon (1:04)

The Greatest Show in the Galaxy (McCoy, Story #151) - now restored and releasing alongside Spearhead on DVD. 







The Greatest Show in the Galaxy (McCoy, Story #151) 







Glen Oliver




Google +













"The Impossible Astronaut"

"Day of the Moon"

"The Curse of the Black Spot"

"The Doctor's Wife"

"The Rebel Flesh"

"The Almost People"

"A Good Man Goes To War"

"Let's Kill Hitler"

"Night Terrors"


"The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe" (2011 Christmas Special)  





"An Unearthly Child" (Story #1)

"The Daleks" (Story #2)

"The Edge of Destruction" (Story #3)

"Marco Polo" (Story #4)

"The Keys of Marinus(Story #5)

"The Aztecs" (Story #6)

"The Sensorites" (Story #7)

"The Sensorites" (Story #7 - full DVD release) 

"The Reign of Terror" (Story #8)

"Planet of Giants" (Story #9) 

"The Dalek Invasion of Earth" (Story #10)

"The Rescue" (Story #11) 

"The Romans"  (Story #12) 

"The Web Planet" (Story #13) / SHERLOCK - "A Scandal in Belgravia" (Story #4)

"The Crusade" (Story #14) 

"The Space Museum" (Story #15) 

"The Chase" (Story #16) 

"The Time Meddler" (Story #17) 

"Galaxy 4" (Story #18) 

"Mission to the Unkonwn" (Story #19) 

"The Myth Makers" (Story #20) 

"The Gunfighters" (Story #25)

"The Tomb of the Cybermen" (Story #37)

"The Mind Robber" (Story #45)

"The Krotons" (Story #47)

"The Seeds of Death" (Story #48) 

"The Colony in Space" (Story #58) 

"The Daemons" (Story #59) 

"Day of the Daleks" (Story #60) + Preview of the DotD Special Edition

"The Three Doctors" (Story #65) 

"Carnival of Monsters" (Story #66) 

"Death to the Daleks" (Story #72) 

"Invasion of the Dinosaurs" (Story #71) and SHERLOCK: "The Reichenbach Fall" (Story #6) 

"The Android Invasion" (Story #83) and SHERLOCK: "The Hounds of Baskerville" (Story #5) 

"The Face of Evil" (Story #89) 

"The Robots of Death" (Story #90) 

"The Talons of Weng-Chiang" (Story #91)

"The Sun Makers(Story #95)

"The City of Death" (Story #105)

"Nightmare of Eden" (Story #107) 

"Kinda" (Story #118)

"Snakedance" (Story #125) 

"The Five Doctors" (Story #129) 

"The Awakening" (Story #131)

"Frontios(Story #132)

"Resurrection of the Daleks" (Story #134) 

"The Caves of Androzani" (Story #136) 

"Time and the Rani" (Story #144)

"Paradise Towers" (Story #145) + New WHOvian Documentary / Newsbits

"Dragonfire" (Story #147) 

"The Happiness Patrol" (Story #149) 

"Doctor Who: The Movie" (aka TVM) - McGann) 


Merrick's Personal Journey With The Doctor (How Merrick Got Hooked On DOCTOR WHO)

DOCTOR WHO Title Sequences & DW At Comic-Con 2011

"The Crash of the Elysium" (Manchester version - interactive DOCTOR WHO adventure)

Why Eccleston Left, Here Comes Caroline Skinner, And Season/Series Six Part 1 on Blu-Ray And DVD

New Trailer For Season/Series Six Part 2

The Companions of DOCTOR WHO + New Trailer & Artwork For Season/Series 7  


[Season / Series Seven Docbacks]

The Coming of Season/Series 7





1) a Docback should be about completely open and free discourse regarding all things WHO with, obviously, some variation on subject matter from time to time - the real world intervenes, discussions of other shows are inevitable, etc.)... 

2) matters of SPOILAGE should be handled with thoughtful consideration and sensitivity.  Posts containing SPOILERS should clearly state that a SPOILER exists in its topic/headline and should never state the spoiler itself . "** SPOILER ** Regarding Rory" is OK, for example.  "** SPOILER ** Battle of Zarathustra" is fine as well.  " **SPOILER** Why did everyone die?"  Is NOT good.  
And, above all... 

3) converse, agree, disagree, and question as much as you want - but the freedom to do so is NOT a license to be rude, crass, disrespectful, or uncivilized in any way.  Not remaining courteous and civil, as well as TROLLING or undertaking sensational efforts to ignite controversy, will result in banning.  Lack of courtesy may receive one (1) warning before a ban is instigated.  Obvious Trolling or Spamming will result in summary banning with no warning.  One word posts intended to bump-up any Docback's figures on AICN's "Top Talkbacks" sidebar will be considered actionable Spam - they not only complicate efforts to access Docback from mobile devices, but impede readers' abilities to follow or engage in flowing conversation. 
In short, it's easy.  Be excellent to each other.  Now party on... 
Readers Talkback
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  • Aug. 17, 2012, 9:56 a.m. CST

    We Need a Thrones Casting Thread

    by CatoTheCensor

    Ciaran Hinds as Mance Rayder! HOT HOLY DAMN! He's a bit old for the part, methinks, but he is going to nail it anyway. If James Purefoy is the Red Viper, I might just have to stop complaining about things for once.

  • Aug. 17, 2012, 9:59 a.m. CST

    Pertwee was awesome! Lovely picture of Liz Shaw!

    by Barrymore

  • Aug. 17, 2012, 10:28 a.m. CST

    The guy on the Spearhead DVD looks like T'ealc from SG1

    by FrodoFraggins

  • Aug. 17, 2012, 10:28 a.m. CST

    I wish Blakes 7 got 1/100th the love Doctor Who of the same period gets

    by FrodoFraggins

  • Aug. 17, 2012, 10:52 a.m. CST

    @catothecensor: The Dornish / Martells are not caucasians - Read closer...

    by obijuanmartinez

  • Aug. 17, 2012, 10:54 a.m. CST

    Spearhead is awesome, and Liz Shaw was so effin' hot!

    by MisterE

    The Pertwee era is the best!

  • Aug. 17, 2012, 10:54 a.m. CST

    Spearhead was definitely a reboot

    by DoctorTom

    The only reason we got season 7 was because they didn't have any other series ready to go in Doctor Who's place - season 6 ratings had dropped. If S7 hadn't shown improvements in ratings, Who wouild have been cancelled. The film definitely worked here. Not only did it feel unlike other Doctor who stories, it felt like other action series on at the time on ITV or American channels. At least until you got to the naughty tentacles at the end. This wouldn't look totally out of place when compared to the series UFO, which was being broadcast the same year. Starting out with a Robert Holmes story helped - he definitely had grown with this story compared to his stories for Troughton (even though you see some sparks of the Holmes to come in those stories too).

  • New Doc, Earth, Nestenes, Autons (although the Nestene in "Rose" is about 1,000,000 x better realized than the rubber tentacles Mr. Pertwee so clownishly wrestled!)

  • that's why RTD reused the idea in Rose. It's probably a good thing though that they didn't take the idea of the Nestene Consciousness controlling plastics as far as they did in some of the novels - I don't think television is ready yet for Nestene-controlled exploding breast implants (though that actually does sound like something RTD would try if it weren't a family show).

  • Aug. 17, 2012, 11:02 a.m. CST

    Spearhead vs Rose

    by DoctorTom

    You might say the Nestene in Rose is much better than Pertwee's rubber tentacles, but Rose did give us Auton Mickey - which wasn't really an improvement over the duplicates from this story.

  • Aug. 17, 2012, 11:27 a.m. CST

    They aren't currently shot on TAPE

    by Shayde

    They're shot digitally. To memory, not tape. This is the 21st century. Tape is dead.

  • ...except there it was Cleese's Frankenstein sneaking up to the folks at the bus-stop!


  • Aug. 17, 2012, 12:20 p.m. CST

    Link to "Spearhead from Space" online...

    by obijuanmartinez

  • Aug. 17, 2012, 12:22 p.m. CST

    Uh oh, The Greatest Show in the Galaxy...

    by photoboy

    ... I've not seen it since it aired, but my memory of it is the same as the majority of the McCoy era: disappointment! That said, most of the McCoys I've watched on DVD have been much better than I remembered them, even stuff like Delta and the Bannermen and Dragonfire. The only exception being The Crappiness Patrol, which I thought was awful when I watched the DVD last week. It has one redeeming scene right at the end when Helen A finds her dead dog and breaks down. The rest was terrible, even Trau Morgus couldn't save it with his presence. I've got the DVD of Greatest Show sat on my desk, I'm going to try and watch it this weekend and see if it's as bad as I remember...

  • Aug. 17, 2012, 12:57 p.m. CST

    From black and white to colour

    by Dreamfasting

    It's interesting to think back on what an enormous transition it was to move from black and white to colour - a far bigger impact on the viewer than the move to HD and a far slower roll-out: this episode was from 1970, but I didn't see a colour television for the first time until 1981 (first thing I ever saw on television in colour was the wedding of Charles and Diana). I remember the most jarring revelation as a child was to learn the true colour of baseball mascots. I recommend watching War Games and Spearhead from Space back to back because it really is fascinating to watch just how dramatic a reboot it is in style and texture. It feels to me like the largest change of tone in the show from one side of a regeneration to the other.

  • Aug. 17, 2012, 1:01 p.m. CST

    Another awesome write-up, Merrick!


    Love reading these things every Friday, especially if it's a DW story I haven't watched (such as this one).

  • Aug. 17, 2012, 1:33 p.m. CST


    by Merrick

    Many resources indicate tape still. Seemed odd to me, so I wrote to folks 'in the know' before publication of this article - but haven't heard back. Will update when something concrete is gleaned.

  • Aug. 17, 2012, 1:43 p.m. CST


    by ByTor

    Could well be digital tape, guys. Anyway, a difference which makes no difference is no difference. I rather enjoy Spearhead. I find it nice and creepy, and Pertwee really shines. The only issue I have is the audio at UNIT HQ: there's terrible echoing. But I suppose it couldn't be helped. It's a shame the film used was 16mm; had they used 35mm, we could get a Blu-Ray of this one! (Wish they'd do a Blu-Ray of the telefilm...)

  • Aug. 17, 2012, 1:44 p.m. CST

    Oh and Merrick

    by ByTor

    I'm really going to send you an email today. If you don't get one, email me to remind me; I owe you something from weeks ago. (Related to the telefilm, in case you don't recall.)

  • Aug. 17, 2012, 2:01 p.m. CST

    Spearhead is a true classic

    by kwisatzhaderach

    Don't listen to merrick.

  • It is different, and that can shock the viewer. Also, if you don't know the source for the story, you won't get the tentacles. But if you knew Quatermass II, it ALL fits.

  • Aug. 17, 2012, 3:34 p.m. CST

    The full TV version of Quatermass II

    by HornOrSilk You will see the Spearhead from Space connection very easily.

  • Aug. 17, 2012, 4:42 p.m. CST


    by Scott MacDonald

    16mm can see a great deal of benefit from Blu-ray, just check out the Blu's of Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Evil Dead as proof.

  • Really well put together covering his whole time as the doctor, and the impact he'd had. I'm definitely on a Troughton Kick now between this and Mind Robbers. Shame there's so little else of his to enjoy, some of the stories they mentioned sounded great. I'll have to round up the other ones of his that are currently in release and the 'lost in time' collection. Does anyone know how of his still exist but just haven't been released yet on dvd? All the Davison, C.Baker, and McCoy stories are already released. For Tom baker they only have to release Terror of the Zygons, and the Shada recreation projection they are working on, so I expect those will be announced before mid 2013. Pertwee only has The Mind of Evil yet to be released. Which pretty much leaves just whatever remains of Troughton and Hartnell's eras.

  • Aug. 17, 2012, 8:25 p.m. CST

    blu-rays of the classic era Who stories...

    by Rebel Scumb

    while there's not really anything to be done about the picture/sound quality (which admittedly I actually think is part of the charm anyways) the one thing they could do with blu-rays is just take advantage of the storage capacity and fit entire seasons onto 1-2 discs at dvd or slightly better quality.

  • ...feature entire, intact scenes / episodes. So if you're on a Troughton kick, why not start at Square 1 w/ "Power of the Daleks"? Shows a primitive regeneration sequence from Hartnell to PT, waking to a confused Ben & Polly...


  • Aug. 18, 2012, 5:20 a.m. CST

    Quatermass 2 Movie Trailer

    by HornOrSilk

    This is the trailer for the movie version of the story, and you should be able to see some of the influences on Spearhead:

  • Aug. 18, 2012, 6:48 a.m. CST

    Thanks obijuan

    by Rebel Scumb

    It's more just that I prefer to watch things on dvd as opposed to on the internet not for any ethical reasons, I just prefer my 60" LED tv to hunching over my 16" laptop with a pair of headphones to watch anything longer than the newest episode of Jenna Marbales or Half in the Bag. But if need be I will check out the links you sent if thats the only way to see Power of the Daleks and others.

  • Aug. 18, 2012, 7:02 a.m. CST

    Rebel Scum, Troughton Who on DVD

    by Stegman84

    The Krotons was the last complete Troughton story for dvd release, however it is strongly believed that the 6 episode story The Ice Warriors will get its missing two episodes reconstructed via animation and released some time in the future, as will the Hartnell era The Tenth Planet, which is missing only the final episode. Also, if the upcoming Hartnell era reconstructed Reign of Terror release does well (they have animated the two missing episodes of this six part story), there is also a general feeling that other stories with only a couple of missing episodes might also see the animated reconstruction treatment. This would most likely be the Troughton stories The Underwater Menace (one episode of which was only discovered last year!) and The Moonbase, both of which have two existing episodes, and two missing ones, and if reconstructed would also give us a pair of back to back stories from Troughton's first season, as well as the Hartnell story The Crusade, which likewise has two existing and two missing episodes. Here's hoping things pan out that way anyhow. As for complete Troughton already out on DVD, here's a list of what's out there, listed in order of production. Unfortunately, apart from The Tomb of the Cybermen, which kicked off Troughton's second season in the role, all his surviving stories are from his final season. On the upside, apart from the missing Space Pirates story, Troughton's third and final season is a complete and unbroken run: The Tomb of the Cybermen - available both as an older single release, and an updated and better restored special edition, as part of the Revisitations 3 boxed set. The Revisitations 3 boxed set also features a special edition version of The Three Doctors, the Pertwee era story that also featured Patrick Troughton, and to a lesser extent, William Hartnell. So that's two quality Troughton Doctor doses right there. You also get the SE of the classic Tom Baker story Robots of Death. The Dominators - Much like with The Krotons, not one of the more fan favoured Troughton stories to have survived, however still enjoyable enough in my humble opinion. The Mind Robber, which you already mentioned, and which is great, trippy stuff. The Invasion - 2E's first reconstruction, replacing the two missing episodes via animation of this eight episode story, and very good it was too. Some now classic Who moments, first appearance of UNIT and Benton, headed up by now Brigadier Lethbridge Stewart (who, as a character, had appeared only once previously in The Web of Fear), and the first real appearance of what would become the standard Cybermen look (no more Balaclava Cybermen from here on out). Totally recommended. The Krotons, again as you already mentioned. The Seeds of Death - again available as an older single release, and in updated SE form as part of the Revisitations 2 boxed set. Revisitations 2 also features SE's of the Pertwee era Carnival of Death, and the Davison era Resurrection of the Daleks. The War Games - Troughton's swan song story, and an absolutely ripping one at that. A ten episode epic that sees companions depart, a Doctor regenerated, the Time Lords introduced, and the start of the Pertwee era set up. Oh, and it's a great central story too. Thankfully, Troughton was never adverse to coming back on the show from time to time, so with that we have a few other Troughton Who appearances on DVD: Lost in Time - collects most of the 'orphaned' Troughton (and Hartnell era episodes), with the exception of the recently discovered Underwater Menace and Galaxy 4 episodes, the four remaining Ice Warriors and Reign of Terror episodes, and the three remaining Tenth Planet episodes, as the latter were always planned for individual release in some form, and the first two only came to light last year. There's twelve orphaned Troughton episodes from 9 different stories, plus various short clips from other no longer surviving (as far as we know) episodes/stories, and six Hartnell episodes from three different stories, plus a few Hartnell clips as well. There's also raw audio for a couple of the missing Hartnell episodes and a couple of the missing Troughton ones. The Three Doctors - released as an individual release, or as mentioned above, as an SE in the Revisitations 3 boxed set. The Five Doctors - released initially to launch the DVD range, and then as a single release SE, this of course features Troughton along with Pertwee and Hurndall (replacing first Doctor Hartnell) in the Peter Davison era anniversary story. Tom Baker only appears briefly during a bit of footage lifted from the incomplete and abandoned Shada episode. The Two Doctors - Troughton is back again, this time pairing up with Colin Baker's Doctor, in what would be his final appearance before his untimely death a couple of years later. And that's pretty much it. Hopefully fans will continue to support the reconstructed releases like the upcoming Hartnell era the Reign of Terror, and we'll get that Ice Warriors reconstruction next year, and the rumours about The Underwater Menace and The Moonbase also pan out eventually, as the more Troughton we can get completed and in easily watchable shape on DVD the better.

  • Aug. 18, 2012, 9:29 a.m. CST

    And for those who don't know Quatermass

    by HornOrSilk

    It's classic Sci-Fi, and very very influential. Not only are several Doctor Who stories based upon Quatermass stories (Spearhead from Space, Ambassadors of Death, the Daemons), Quatermass really is the foundation of British sci-fi television and a major influence on the X-Files. It's classic and some great sci-fi tv.

  • Aug. 18, 2012, 9:45 a.m. CST

    Agreed, Quatermass is, was, and forever will be awesome

    by Stegman84

    Personally I love the two original TV Quatermass sequels (Quatermass 2 and Quatermass & The Pit), as well as the Hammer Horror filmic adaptations of all three Quatermass stories. Really enjoyed the late 70's Quatermass tv follow up too. Wasn't so keen on the 'live' remake from a few years back (that co-starred David Tennant and Mark Gatiss, oddly enough). And I hear that Hammer Studios 2.0 is looking to remake Quatermass once again, though I haven't heard anything about that for ages now, so maybe that has fallen through. It's a tragedy that four out of the six episodes of the very first tv Quatermass was amongst material wiped by BBC's 70's tape purge. Thankfully the sequels survived though.

  • Aug. 18, 2012, 10:17 a.m. CST

    The Quatermass Experiment

    by HornOrSilk

    I liked the live version -- for what it was, knowing of course it was done line and the problems that caused for effects. It helped give us a sense of the original (combined with the first movie and the remaining episodes of the original). The first story is the second weakest Quatermass story (Quatermass Conclusion the weakest, though the ending and elements of it were awesome). I love Quatermass - when I first saw Quatermass II years ago, which was my first Quatermass story, I was convinced at how good the stories were. I wouldn't mind more, if done right.

  • Aug. 18, 2012, 10:18 a.m. CST


    by HornOrSilk

  • Aug. 18, 2012, 10:18 a.m. CST

    live even

    by HornOrSilk

  • Aug. 18, 2012, 11:06 a.m. CST

    Hmm; "social awareness and gravitas."

    by Kathryn Gail

    I'm not sure Spearhead lacks them so much as, by the time you've slogged through the tentacles and the plastic-film+goo+air-pump Nestene scenes you forget that the setup pulled in a lot of labor fears of the day--going off on a business trip to America and finding all the employees replaced by automation when you return, and mass culture/corporate groupthink walking right out of the shops and offices and coming after you. Not the strongest story, but fun to meet Pertwee and Liz and get a UNIT tour with a nice film look I wish they could have used more ofthen. It's difficult to remember that it was meant to be set slightly in first viewers' future--the only thing that still feels like a visual clue today is Liz' jacket with the molded plastic panels, and that's still squarely late 60s/early 70s retro-futurism!

  • Aug. 18, 2012, 11:39 a.m. CST

    I saw a scratchy, almost B&W copy of this in '83

    by I am_NOTREAL

    At a 20th anniversary con, during the height of my Whovian-ness. In the same day I saw Unearthly Child, The Krotons, and Spearhead and had my lil 12-year-old mind blown a bit. So this one will always get a pass from me, no matter how silly those tentacles are...or how lacking the overall plot is. To wit: this alien consciousness that's managed to infiltrate a large corporation sends its power sources to Earth in such a manner that they wind up scattered across the English countryside in a haphazard and random way, requiring all sorts of chicanery to round them up again...

  • Aug. 18, 2012, 1:35 p.m. CST

    Spearhead from Space

    by Rebel Scumb

    It falls for me under the umbrella of how I feel about almost all of the Pertwee era. The stories/adventures themselves are not among my favorites, but nonetheless Pertwee is my favorite classic doctor. Love Pertwee, Love the Brig, Love Jo Grant. Love Liz Shaw, and love Sarah Jane (more so with Pertwee than with Baker). Love benton and the master as well. There's a class and charm and good old fashion meat and potatos feel to the 3rd doctor exile/UNIT era that is unique to Who, so even though they are mostly earthbound episodes (which all in all is my least favorite format for a Who adventure) I really love them overall. And spearhead fits well into that, and a fun introduction to that format. The few where Pertwee manages to get out into space I love even more, like the peladon stories, colony in space, and death to the daleks I still need to see the Mutants, Day of the Daleks, and Planet of the Spiders + ambassadors of death which is released in october and Face of Evil not yet released. the first 3 I mentioned I'm just waiting for Amazon to put on sale, so will likely snatch them up during my annual Black Friday Amazon classic doctor who shopping spree I've done the past 2-3 years which largely accounts for me having 96 of the currently in release 130ish stories on dvd. I knew I'd reached a turning point in my collecting when i started keeping a list of the ones I DON'T have, instead of the ones I DO have. I started out just wanting to have the multi-doctor stories (which I got first) and a hand full of iconic must haves, but I guess at this point I'm just going to get them all. So far the only ones I've seen that I flat out did not like where The King's Demons and Arc of Infinity. But where the C.Baker stuff is concerned I've only seen 'the two doctors' so I might be less impressed with his stuff.

  • Aug. 19, 2012, 12:01 a.m. CST

    Original Shada footage reconstructed

    by veteran_of_mu I hadn't seen these before. The animation is woeful but the original Baker/Ward scenes are brilliant, very much in the mode of City of Death, and so far as I've viewed them infinitely superior to the animated McGann/Ward series. Very highly recommended.

  • Aug. 19, 2012, 9:50 a.m. CST

    The Rescue The Romans

    by Rebel Scumb

    I really liked both, especially The Rescue. Vicki is cute and instantly likeable, the danger and intrigue of The Rescue was a lot of fun, good creature design, interesting sets (especially the cave ledge, and the crashed rocket), nice little twist at the end. The Romans was fun, and well executed for one of the historicals.

  • Aug. 19, 2012, 9:51 a.m. CST

    Girls Girls Girls

    by Rebel Scumb

    Also watched the GirlsGirlsGirls! documentary on the Rescue. I had no idea that Hartnell and Troughton had so many companions, a lot of these I'd never even heard of before.

  • Aug. 19, 2012, 12:08 p.m. CST

    The Romans

    by DoctorTom

    I always liked that one. Actually, most of the Hartnell historicals are good (I even liked the Gunslingers), and thought they got a bad rap. It's a shame we don't have The Smugglers or The Highlanders episodes to watch any more; it would be nice to see how the last 2 historicals of the B&W era were.

  • Aug. 19, 2012, 12:31 p.m. CST


    by Kevin Bolinger

    With Pertwee being my favorite Doctor, I always give his stories bonus points. While not the best story, it did help introduce how Pertwee would approach the character, and, it brought us Bessie! :P

  • Aug. 19, 2012, 1:13 p.m. CST

    Sigh. Looks like it's not September 1st either for the start date.

    by DoctorTom

    That is, unless BBC America is messing up again with a 1 week delay due to Labor Day Weekend. They are, however, doing a marathon of Doctor Who Season 6 and the 2011 Christmas special, followed by repeats of the 1st 2 episodes of Copper. So, we can hope that it's going to be September 8th now.

  • Aug. 19, 2012, 7:33 p.m. CST

    HEY YOOOOU GUYS!!! Tonight:

    by Perigee

    From BBCA: Don't miss a world premiere insider look at the new season of 'Doctor Who' TONIGHT during the series premiere of 'Copper' at 10/9c! Check out our local channel finder to find out where you can tune in.

  • Aug. 19, 2012, 10:50 p.m. CST

    ... and for those of you that missed it...

    by Perigee

    You didn't miss too terribly much. A few seconds of additional footage, which was nifty, most of which seemed culled from Daleks and Dinosaurs. The usual talk-up by Matt and Karen; "Best season yet. Certainly the the most emotional season we've done yet." "They take the Pond's relationship in directions we've never seen before." Nice, but I'm glad I didn't mis Breaking Bad for it...

  • Aug. 20, 2012, 2:25 a.m. CST

    It is September first for BBC 1, at least

    by V'Shael

    according to the BFI preview of August 14th.

  • Aug. 20, 2012, 8:59 a.m. CST


    by ByTor

    V'Shael, was that confirmed? I heard it was not. On the other hand, looking at the Sept 1 schedule for BBCA, I see the S6 marathon. But...there seems to be an extra hour between "The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe" and Copper. (Even with ads they surely wouldn't block out 2 hours for the Xmas special, would they?)

  • Aug. 20, 2012, 9 a.m. CST

    Also, I'm hearing for 2013 (SPOILERS)...

    by ByTor

    The Master, Omega, and the Time Lords. Not 100%, but that's what's being considered for the anniversary.

  • Aug. 20, 2012, 9:08 a.m. CST

    Date (again)

    by ByTor

    Well, 9/1 has now filled in on my DVR's program guide, and sure enough it shows 2 hours for the bloody Xmas special. Bah. Guess we start thinking about 9/8.

  • Aug. 20, 2012, 9:26 a.m. CST

    Bytor - BBCA schedule

    by DoctorTom

    I'm not sure that's an extra hour between the two. I agree that it shouldn't take 2 hours for the special, but I think it took 1 1/2 hours originally with commercials to show it. They just might pad the extra half hour with bits from the BBC "The (fill in the blank) of Doctor Who" specials, some of the other behind the scenes stuff, or just go back and pull part of a Graham Norton Show that had one of the Who cast making an appearance (they've certainly done that before). If they show the uncut version of The Wedding of River Song, didn't that overrun by 5 or 10 minutes? They might do that. On the other hand, I'd be thrilled to find the 1st episode of the new season show up in the 9:00 Eastern slot. They'd be trimming down the Christmas special in order to make it fit a 1 hour time slot in that case (which might actually help it somewhat...)

  • Aug. 20, 2012, 9:28 a.m. CST

    And, on those SPOILERS

    by DoctorTom

    Is the stuff about the Master, Omega and the Time Lords actually been sourced back to someone who would know, or is that just what's been floating around the Internet echo chamber? We've had lots of people guessing those things.

  • Aug. 20, 2012, 9:54 a.m. CST

    doctortom: rumors

    by ByTor

    It's from someone who's been connected to the production team in the past and who has a pretty high success rate -- I can only think of one or two things he's leaked to me that have been wrong. It's not a stone-cold lock by any means; he's not directly connected to the production team anymore, though he has plenty of friends there. So it's more friend-of-a-friend. Take that for what it's worth.

  • Aug. 20, 2012, 12:02 p.m. CST

    Possible Spoilers

    by HornOrSilk

    From IanLevineForum, which, well, as you can see: Asylum of the Daleks The Doctor is walking around the remains of a giant dalek statue. He comes across a little girl. He utters "what now?" the girl's head opens to reveal a dalek eyestalk. Amy is doing a modeling shoot. The photographer points his lense to her. She looks into the camera. It opens into another dalek eyestalk. Rory gets on a bus. The bus conductor's head oens to reveal a dalek eyestalk. All three have been taken out of time into a dalek holding cell. They are then lifted to the Dalek High council. The council has a mission for them.... The Angels Wept The angels turn the Tardis to stone. A new Tardis interior for the second half of the series. A new title sequence/a new arrangement of the theme for the second half of the series to tie in with the 50th anniversary. Stories for the 2nd half of the series The Cold War Mark Gatis' story is set in a submarine and icebase. It sees the log awaited return of the Ice Warriors. David Warner plays an Ice Lord. The Ice Warriors look remains fathfull to the classic series. Although, their body armour is revealed to be just that. The Hider In The House This story is set in the English countryside at an old house. Apparently, it has a very Image of Fedahl/meets Quatermass feel. The Phantoms of the Hex Set in the Tardis and is centred around the Eye of Harmony- a Time Lord adventure There will be a Cybermen story that sees them totally reimagined - no Cybus It is written by Neil Gaiman. No Zygon story known about ....yet. "

  • Aug. 20, 2012, 12:08 p.m. CST

    Sept 8 on BBCA

    by ByTor

    BBC America had a trailer (which has since been pulled) that showed Sept 8 as the premiere date. Of course, the UK premiere could still be Sept 1, with BBCA's date in deference to the US holiday. Hopefully the BBC announces soon.

  • Aug. 20, 2012, 12:11 p.m. CST

    Youtube of trailer showing 9/8 for BBCA

    by ByTor

    Right here:

  • Aug. 20, 2012, 12:35 p.m. CST

    hornorsilk: (SPOILERS)

    by ByTor

    Some of those have been more or less confirmed. I strongly doubt the Neil Gaiman thing. Here's what we do know from set reports/location reports (and I'm skipping episodes 1-5 since we already know a fair bit about those): Xmas Special: Believed to be called The Snowmen, written by Moffat, directed by Saul Metzstein. Introduces Clara Oswin. Episode 6 (start of series 7B): written by Moffat. We don't really know anything else yet. Episode 7: written by Mark Gatiss, directed by Douglas Mackinnon. No title. Some location shots were done at a couple of very industrial locations, which could be almost anything. Episode 8: no info at all, not even an author. Episode 9: The Crimson Horror by Mark Gatiss (yep, he's got two). Directed by Saul Metzstein. Guest stars include Diana Rigg, her daughter in real life Rachel Stirling, Neve McIntosh (Madame Vastra), Caitrin Stewart (Jenny), and Dan Starkey (various Sontarans including Strax). Episode 10: no info at all, not even an author. Episode 11: Phantoms of the Hex, written by Neil Cross. Directed by Jamie Payne. Dunno if it's truly set in the TARDIS, but there was a lot of location work done. Episode 12: no info at all, not even an author. Episode 13 (finale): written by Moffat. Most of the ones we have few details on simply haven't been shot yet, or are in the process of being shot. 95% of the *reliable* spoiler info out there comes from location reports. I may not like hanging around GB (mostly due to some very annoying, very vocal posters) but they do an outstanding job of gathering set report info. You can usually find the latest info at They normally don't post pure speculation; most everything there comes from set reports, and they often link to pictures and video of same.

  • Aug. 20, 2012, 1:47 p.m. CST

    I heard it was confirmed (but after the credits) at BFI

    by V'Shael

    and not everyone stood around to the very end so not everyone saw it.

  • Aug. 20, 2012, 1:48 p.m. CST

    Omega / time lords

    by V'Shael

    Omega is a fan favourite rumor. But I think it's been stated pretty clearly that the Time Lords are done and won't be used/brought back by the Moffat Administration.

  • Aug. 20, 2012, 2:01 p.m. CST


    by HornOrSilk

    On the other hand... rule #1 Moffat lies...

  • Aug. 20, 2012, 2:25 p.m. CST

    Time Lords

    by ByTor

    I'm not convinced that they will be brought back completely, but I dunno. I honestly think it WAS a smart decision to eliminate them; I think that the Doctor as the Last Of works better dramatically. The classic series used them fine for a while, but pretty soon there were Time Lords everywhere, and they were all almost totally useless and stupid. You could've outwitted the Time Lords of the Invasion of Time/Arc of Infinity/Five Doctors/etc. variety with a pair of potted plants and a small, colorful stone. You also ran into renegades everywhere too. The universe was, for no adequately-explored reason, teeming with the buggers. I think the End of Time approach was pretty cool: you got to bring them back, AND make them the Big Bad, AND return them right back to goners-ville. Not sure how you'd pull that off again, but Moffat is a lot cleverer than I am. I certainly wouldn't put any stock in previous denials. How long did RTD say he hated the Master and wasn't going to use him?

  • Aug. 20, 2012, 2:27 p.m. CST

    Hornorsilk - some of those spoilers I'll believe, however...

    by DoctorTom

    The Eye of Harmony one I have serious doubts about, as well as Gaiman writing a story for Season 7. I'm sure we would have heard about Gaiman writing an episode by now if it were happening. Given that they are using the title The Angels Wept instead of the announced title of The Muppets, er Angels Take Manhattan, I wonder about other things that were rumored there. Of course, it's possible we are getting a new TARDIS Interior - we just had a change in where they're shooting again, haven't we? I don't know if the TARDIS interiors had been shot at the old location and the decision was made to just build a new interior instead of moving the old one. Given what's said about how Matt Smith is good at breaking props, I wouldn't be surprised if at least the TARDIS console needed the rebuild.

  • Aug. 20, 2012, 3:07 p.m. CST

    TARDIS sightings on Google Street View

    by DoctorTom

  • Aug. 20, 2012, 3:25 p.m. CST


    by HornOrSilk

    I'm not convinced by much of it -- and since I'm perma-banned on OG I don't know the source, etc, however, the people on IL's forum seemed to suggest it was from good sources.

  • Aug. 20, 2012, 6:32 p.m. CST


    by ByTor

    Wear it like a badge of honor, hornorsilk. :) It's always tricky with these rumors. I remember back on OG (before it became GB) a certain rumor guy. He was well liked and respected by the OG residents. He offered up a slew of rumors for Journey's End and the specials that just turned out to be utter hogwash. (My favorite was the Hannibal one where an elephant would actually sit on the TARDIS. Or the Red Dalek in Journey's End would turn out to contain Harriet Jones.) Now it turns out that some of that was the then-current production team seeding false information to try and track down leaks, but honestly, I doubted those when I heard them because, frankly, they just sounded ridiculous. And yes, even the rumors I'm getting could be a similar approach. ANY rumors could turn out to be bogus. Lots of people in the rumor biz just like the attention. Most of them, I tend to discount until there's at least some credible info to back it all up. And I tend to believe the non-specific ones (e.g. "The Master is being considered for the anniversary year") more readily than the very specific ones (e.g. "Diana Rigg will play the Rani.") I do agree with doctortom that the Gaiman/Cybermen thing is incredibly unlikely.

  • Aug. 21, 2012, 7:27 a.m. CST

    Gaiman says no new Who this season

    by Perigee So, there's one rumor boinked.

  • Aug. 21, 2012, 8:45 a.m. CST

    Thanks, perigee

    by ByTor

    Knew that one sounded fishy. I do hope we get more Gaiman at some point, though. The Doctor's Wife was outstanding.

  • Aug. 21, 2012, 10:33 a.m. CST

    unstoppablepoopenstein - eh?

    by Mister Vertue

    You haven't even seen the episode yet! How can you make a judgement like that? Can I assume that you've already decided to write it off based purely on the brief plot synopsis? I honestly can't understand people like you. I really hope you come back to the Docback *after* you've watched the episode and give us an honest assessment on what you've actually seen, as opposed to what you think *might* happen in the episode before you've seen it.

  • Aug. 21, 2012, 10:39 a.m. CST

    hornorsilk and bytor - spoilers and rumours

    by Mister Vertue

    I'd take a pretty large chunk of what you've listed with a grain of salt. All it takes is one fan with an active imagination to think of something they'd love to see in the show, and then post it on the internet, and then it spreads like wildfire. Speculation is always fun, but I wouldn't get your hopes up for even half of what you've listed there.

  • Aug. 21, 2012, 10:47 a.m. CST

    mov: exactly

    by ByTor

    That's why I tend to discount most things. Most of what I posted came from location reports and photos. The few rumors I listed (mere hints about the anniversary year) are definitely more than fan speculation, but there's every chance they could turn out to be wrong.

  • Aug. 21, 2012, 10:53 a.m. CST

    bytor - Diana Rigg...

    by Mister Vertue

    As the Rani? That one was so crazy I almost want it to be true!

  • Aug. 21, 2012, 1:29 p.m. CST


    by ByTor

    I could see it, if I liked the character. I don't, however. Well, let me take a step back. I don't like the execution. I get what they were going for: an alternative to the Master that was less crazy evil and more pure amoral. And that's fine. However, in her first appearance she stupidly sticks around despite the arrival of the Doctor, knowing full well he (or the Master) could muck everything up. Naturally, everything gets mucked up. Then all we get is the horrid Time and the Rani, which made no sense from stem to stern. I'm also lukewarm on Kate O'Mara's performance. She wasn't bad in Mark, but she was woeful in Time. But hey, that's what's great about the show: everyone can like different bits. :)

  • Aug. 21, 2012, 2:02 p.m. CST


    by DoctorTom

    Nice to see you back! As for Diana Rigg playing the Rani - that could actually be fun. But that raises the question of who her real life daughter is playing - the Master? ;)

  • Aug. 21, 2012, 3:02 p.m. CST

    A couple of Christmas pics...

    by dj_bollocks

  • Aug. 21, 2012, 3:54 p.m. CST

    dj bollocks - thanks for posting the lin!

    by DoctorTom

    Remember all the people complaining about the picture of JLC in the sweater, worried that she'll be dressed like that in the show? She's definitely dressed differently here.

  • Of course, it's all just blah-blah at the moment. But the latest silliness about Amerikay waiting a week for their dose of The Doctor is... well, silly. Six Hours Will Not Pass. Not for me, and, I imagine, not for thee. Can you imagine a docback stretched over two weeks to accommodate the American viewership? Or the boys on the right side being gagged for spoilers for seven days? Not gonna happing. If they're looking for a reason to panic about the BBCA viewership dropping, they're sewing their own seeds. I suppose I could leave the TV drone on in the background for numbers sake as I Acquire the latest episode. Hand me my black patch and parrot, boys; I have waited long enough. Auntie can have her money when she coughs up the season set.

  • Aug. 22, 2012, 7:52 a.m. CST

    BBC Premiere Date

    by ByTor

    Per the Radio Times, it's September 1 at 7:20 PM. Perigee: it's unlikely that the torrenters will have a significant impact on BBCA viewership. Most casual viewers won't bother, and at least some of the hardcore viewers will torrent anyway (so as to have the show in the afternoon, etc.). And the holiday issue is not a silly one for US networks. Holidays deliver terrible ratings, which means terrible dollars from advertisers.

  • Aug. 22, 2012, 9:27 a.m. CST


    by DoctorTom

    I don't think you're alone in your attitude. I think the reason that we got an episode last Labor Day was because of all the people hoisting the mainsail for the episodes that got delayed by their taking the break on Memorial Day. I don't know if there was any signficant impact on the viewership, but I suspect it was more to improve their image with the hardcore viewers. I've heard talk of them possibly showing two episodes back-to-back on the 8th. Then again, they still have that 2 hour block on the 1st for showing The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe - maybe they'll do things at the last minute to slot it in there. I suspect there's a debate still going on at BBCA on how to handle it. Personally I think they should show it on the 1st, then repeat it on the 8th before they show Dinosaurs On A Spaceship. Addressing Bytor's comments - yes, the holiday issue isn't a silly one for US Networks, but the Doctor Who audience seems built in to buck that trend - the show does deliver the biggest ratings that BBCA gets.

  • Aug. 22, 2012, 11:54 a.m. CST

    It's official now

    by DoctorTom

    BBCA has admitted they're showing it on the first - it's on their main webpage. They probably just couldn't announce it until the broadcast date was announced in the UK. Perigee, looks like you won't have to hoist the mainsail after all!