Spearhead From Space

So begins another era in the wildly unpredictable history of Doctor Who. The departure of Patrick Troughton and his co-stars at the close of the sixth season added additional uncertainty to the direction (or entire future) of the show. Producers, writers, and script editors including the legendary Terrance Dicks and Derrick Sherwin set out to redefine the television programme, breathing new life with new filming techniques, supporting cast, theme and tone, and the casting of a lead actor who could carry the demands of affability, action, humour and gravitas that the change in direction called for. Enter: Jon Pertwee.

This week, we fall headlong into the debut of the Third Doctor, in “Spearhead From Space”. We discuss all the backstory components that contributed to such a monumental shift in the franchise, the “Series 6B” theory that went from fan-fiction, to ‘fanon’, to canon, the ideal selection of Pertwee at this pivotal moment, and our complete adoration for Liz Shaw.

Bonus Segment: Another lovely sit-down with “Old Sixie” himself, COlin Baker, from the hustle and bustle of L.I. Who 4!

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3 Thoughts on “Classic Rewatch: Spearhead From Space”

  • LI Who was my first ever convention. It was a weekend of pure happiness. Even when hearing stuff I had already heard at the con, it puts a big smile on my face.

  • The thing I always found interesting about the Season 6B theory is that they would later use it to cover in-show continuity glitches. When the 2nd Doctor came back for The Five Doctors, he faces a vision of Jamie and Zoe, only to realize they can’t be real because Jamie and Zoe had their memories erased of their travels with him. But that didn’t happen until the very end of The War Games. In The Two Doctors, Jamie says they are on a mission from the Time Lords. Once again, Jamie never heard of the Time Lords until the end of The War Games. So where exactly in their personal timelines did these appearances take place? Fan theory is that they took place during Season 6B (in this version of it, Jamie was pulled back to perform missions for the Time Lords with the 2nd Doctor before being sent back to the Battle Of Culloden with his memory scrubbed again), to which the BBC pretty much said, Yeah, sure, let’s go with that.

  • Some of my favorite things about the arrival of Jon Pertwee as the Doctor : 1) Third Doctor is notable as the first ever Fashion Plate Doctor. The scene of him trying on hats in front of the mirror was a conspicuous omen. 2) An urban legend that I love (even though it is likely nonsense) is that the three real life people on whom Ian Fleming based James Bond were Jon Pertwee, Christopher Lee and Fleming himself.

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