Doctor Who Concordance Wiki

"Spearhead from Space" is the first story of the seventh season of Doctor Who.

Spearhead from Space
Season 7 (1970), Episode 1 to Episode 4
Air date 3 - 24 January 1970
Written by Robert Holmes
Directed by Derek Martinus
Episode guide
The War Games
Doctor Who and the Silurians


Episode 1[]

Episode 2[]

Episode 3[]

Episode 4[]


The new Doctor


The Brigadier and Liz

Background information[]

  • In Episode 1 of the original story breakdown, "Facsimile", the nameless poacher who finds the sphere is attacked by something with "two oddly white and waxen hands"; the tracking station operatives were not UNIT personnel. Government research scientist "Liz Shore" enters a branch of UNIT via "a shabby run-down shop" in a London street. Captain Munro was called "Captain Monro" and when the Doctor was kidnapped from his private ward, he is held in a storeroom: "The Doctor is slumped on a chair in a circle of light, questioned by a man whose face we do not see... The Doctor makes no reply and we see that he is given an injection. After a moment he simply crashes to the floor. Baffled, his questioners leave... [The Doctor] manages to smash open a small window and make his escape."
  • Robert Holmes revised his story breakdown for "Facsimile". The facade for UNIT entered by Liz Shaw was now "a Railway Station/Shopping Arcade" and Captain Monro has become "Captain Munro." When the Doctor is kidnapped, this time in reception, "There is a struggle between the intruders and the Unit Guard. The intruders are forced to retreat. In the melee, the Doctor recovers and escapes from the hospital." This version introduced the concept of Channing creating the creature in the plastic coffin, seen from Episode 2 onwards. The Poacher finds another globe in the woods while out rabbitting with a small boy; they later ask a policeman about a reward for finding the object. The Doctor escapes from the hospital via a window and makes his own way to UNIT HQ. In Episode 3, the small boy is with the Poacher in the hut when the Auton attacks; he runs for help, finding Munro and his men. Episode 4 varied substantially, with only the Doctor and Liz initially visiting Madame Tussauds while Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart visits the Home Secretary. The real Scobie is in a container at the Security Area - and his replica prepares to recover the globe. The Brigadier, Liz and a UNIT team leave to get a facsimile from the waxworks for the Doctor; there is a battle with the activated Autons which are forced to retreat. In the UNIT Lab, Munro brings in two MI5 men who are guards from Auto Plastics; in the ensuing fracas, Munro and one MI5 man are shot, but the other assailant escapes with the globe. When UNIT attack the factory, the Doctor and Liz now arrive with the UHF transmitter and the Doctor confronts Channing, Hibbert and the Autons whereupon he is attacked by the monster in the plastic coffin. The UHF unit sends the monster berserk, "destroying the autons and Channing and George Hibbert, and finally collapsing into a shapeless puddle of plastic." Back at UNIT HQ, the Brigadier blackmails the Doctor into continuing to work for UNIT.
  • On 13 September 1969, Caroline John was driven around Euston Road and Midland Road near St Pancras. Holmes' scripts suggested that UNIT HQ was accessed via the top level of a multi-storey car park. The part of the UNIT commissionaire was originally played by extra Geoff Brighty; when he failed to give the performance required, Sherwin took over the role himself. For Liz's costume, Christine Rawlins recalled some vacuum moulding work done by the Royal College of Art in her teaching days; vacuum formed beige panels were added to a red jacket made from jersey material. Caroline John found that this costume was not very warm - nor what she expected a Cambridge scientist to wear.
  • The BBC Centre at Wood Norton was the former home of the Duke of Orleans, acquired by BBC before World War II for emergency broadcasting. The underground nuclear bunker built by the BBC in the 1960s was used for the scenes in the Tracking Station in Episode 1 on Wednesday 8 October and then as the Brigadier's UNIT HQ office and adjacent UNIT Laboratory for the rest of the serial. The Auxiliary Building was dressed as the Hospital Room in Episodes 1 and 2 used for several days from Wednesday 8 October, while the bathroom of the main Wood Norton hall featured in Episode 2 on Sunday 12 October. The Rose Garden was used for a scene set in the Hospital Foyer where Munro showed the Brigadier the meteorite fragments in Episode 2; this was filmed on Tuesday 14 October.

Links and references[]


Uncredited performers[]


  • Written by Robert Holmes
  • Directed by Derek Martinus
  • Produced by Derrick Sherwin
  • Title Music by Ron Grainer & the BBC Radiophonic Workshop
  • Incidental Music - Dudley Simpson
  • Special Sound by Brian Hodgson & the BBC Radiophonic Workshop
  • Special Effects designed by John Horton
  • Costumes - Christine Rawlins
  • Make-up - Cynthia Goodwin
  • Film Camera Team -
    • Stan Speel
    • Robert McDonnell
  • Sound Recordist - Derek Medus
  • Film Editors -
    • William Symon
    • Adam Dawson
  • Script Editor - Terrance Dicks
  • Designer - Paul Allen


1 billion BC; 1960s; 1971

air vice marshal; ambulance; Ashbridge; Ashbridge Cottage Hospital; Auton; Auto Plastics; Baltimore; Barney; blood; blood pressure; blood type; brain; brigadier; British Army; Brook Cottage; bus stop; Cambridge University; captain; car; cardiovascular system; corporal; constable; The Daily Chronicle; The Daily Post; Delphon; Delphon language; dematerialisation code; doctor of medicine; dog; double-decker bus; duty officer; Earth; Eisenhower, Dwight D.; electric convulsive therapy; electroencephalography; Epping; Essex; Franklin, Benjamin; the Galaxy; Gandhi, (Mahatma); Geneva; gun; Harris; heart; heat wave; Home Secretary; homing watch; Hoover, Herbert; Institute of Space Studies; invisible ink; Johnson, Lyndon B.; Kennedy, John F.; King, Martin Luther; Land Rover; laser; lateral molecular rectifier; Lincoln, Abraham; London; London Transport; Madame Tussauds; major general; meteorite; Metropolitan Police; MG; micron probe; nervous system; Nestene; Nestene duplicate; Nestene energy unit; Nixon, Richard M.; nurse; Oh Well; Oxley Wood; pathology; physics; physiology; plastic; platelet; poacher; police box; polymer; porter; rabbit; radar; radio; regeneration; rocket; Royal Air Force; Royal Geophysical Laboratory; Royal Navy; section three; sergeant; Smith, John; spectrograph; sphyg; spy; staff car; support platoon; TARDIS key; tea; telepathy; telephone; thermoplastic; United Nations Intelligence Taskforce; United States; UNIT HQ; UNIT tracking station; vet; Washington, George; Wilkes; X-ray

Additional references[]

47ER83; Bentalls; cheddar; Distinguished Service Order; Defence Medal; France and Germany Star; Italy Star; John Sanders Ltd; Korea Medal; Legion of Honour; Lilley & Skinner; Military Cross; New Zealand; NF3226; OLR461E; Order of the British Empire (Military Division); Tesco