Doctor Who Reflections: Spearhead from Space

2014-11-09

I’ve previously live-tweeted my thoughts while watching classic Doctor Who but as I’m trying to cut down on social media and also so I can provide a more cohesive body of thought, I figured I’d switch tracks and post longer essays. Today’s episode is the start of Pertwee’s era. (For a really great article about this serial, read this.)

General Thoughts:

I love Liz Shaw. She’s the first female companion since the departure of Ian and Barbara who is an adult and who comes to the show with her own fully developed personality. There are things I like about all the other companions, but the previous few seasons have been mostly young companions who end up being “adopted” by the Doctor. Nothing wrong with that kind of relationship, but it’s nice to have a mix of companions and one reasons I loved Donna in the new series.

The wheelchair chase scene is delightful.

The color titles are gorgeous.

The dollmaking sequence comes out of nowhere, and you don’t really know what is going on, but that makes the scene unexplicably creepy…or maybe it’s just generally creepy to see dolls being assembled.

The Autons really do have a high creep factor, even more than those from the new series because the plastic masks for the actors are much less smooth and perfect, so each one is unique and misshapen…like the face is partially melted.

Pertwee makes the part his from the start, bringing a sense of humor but also a keen intelligence and energy that feels more focused that Troughton’s version. His is a more direct Doctor.

Sad Auton is sad.

The back and forth between the Doctor and Liz is lovely and even when explaining things beyond Liz’s experience. Sure, he calls her “my dear,” but he is not at all condescending or insulting, clearly accepting her as a colleague.

The tentacled Nestene conciousness is really silly.

First instances:

  • First mention of two hearts
  • Seeing the Doctor create his new outfit
  • the Autons

Favorite lines:

  • Liz (to the Brigidier): No need to get tetchy.
  • Doctor (referring to the Time Lords): They’ve trapped me here…the mean, despicable, underhanded lot.
  • Doctor: Money? My dear chap I don’t want money. Got no use for the stuff.

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