Blu-ray Review “Doctor Who: Spearhead from Space (Story 51)”

Actors: Jon Pertwee, Nicholas Courtney, Caroline John
Directors: Derek Martinus
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: BBC Home Entertainment
Release Date: August 13, 2013
Run Time: 96 minutes

Film: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3 out of 5 stars

“Doctor Who” is bigger than it ever has been.  With news of the 12th doctor recently released and the upcoming 50th anniversary episode, things have never been hotter for the series. So that is a perfect time to release “Spearhead From Space (Story 51)” on Blu-ray for the first time. In fact it is the first of any classic Doctor Who episodes to be released in this format. This was the first story of Season 7 of Doctor Who and also was the first to feature Jon Pertwee as the Third Doctor. We also get introduced to Caroline John as the Doctor’s new companion, Liz Shaw.  “Spearhead from Space” is a great story in the series and this is a must buy for any “Doctor Who” fan for sure. I hope that BBC has plans for future stories in this format.

Official Premise: Exile! The Time Lords have banished the newly regenerated Doctor to Earth. But the Doctor isn’t the only alien to have arrived, as a swarm of meteorites have crashed into the sleepy English countryside, bringing with them a terrible new threat to mankind. As the Nestene plan takes shape, UNIT, the Doctor and his newly appointed scientific advisor, Liz Shaw, race against time to stop humanity being replaced by a terrifying plastic facsimile race.

If you are curious as to why there isn’t more classic “Doctor Who” episodes being released on high-definition on Blu-ray, that is because “Spearhead From Space” was the first o be shot entirely on film, due to BBC strike. It was also the first classic story to be presented in full color. It has been restored from the original 16mm film elements and scanned into a beautiful high definition transfer.  It looks amazing on Blu-ray and within its original television 1.33:1 aspect ratio. The audio is also impressive with a sharp DTS HD-Master Audio 2.0 track. There is also a few decent special features included on the Blu-ray including “A Dandy and a Clown”, “Carry On: The Life of Caroline John”, “Title Sequence Material” and “Restoration Comparison: Digitally Remastered Picture and Sound Quality”. So this is a well-rounded release, another solid release from BBC.


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