“Doctor Who: Spearhead from Space” is the first and only classic “Doctor Who” serial to be released on Blu-ray, and has been taken care of very well in the remastering department. As the only all-film production, this is the only “Doctor Who” serial where a high definition release without upconversion is feasible.
The list of episodes are as follows:
- “Episode 1”
- “Episode 2”
- “Episode 3”
- “Episode 4”
The seventh season’s first serial marks the first appearance of Jon Pertwee as the Third Doctor, replacing Patrick Troughton, and Caroline John as companion Liz Shaw. Pertwee would become one of the more popular incarnations. The Third Doctor stories were the first to be broadcast in color and has early episodes set on Earth due to cost constraints. This brings about the explanation that the Time Lords banished the doctor (as the Second Doctor) to Earth, and forced him to regenerate.
“Doctor Who: Spearhead from Space” has a run time of approximately 96 minutes, and is not rated.
The Blu-ray features a 1080p/AVC-encoded presentation in the original 1.33:1 aspect ratio. This high definition transfer is an impressive upgrade to the original 16mm print. The picture’s grain and details haven’t been too washed out, even after a DNR wash. Colors are consistent and not oversaturated, although are almost a little undersaturated at some points. The most notable part of this transfer is the removal of the dirt, scratches, and other flaws from the print. There are still some lingering here and there, but overall this is a great looking remastering.
The Blu-ray features a DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0, which is a little disappointing. It is a dual mono track, meaning the same audio comes from both the left and right speakers. The audio quality depends on each scene, with indoor scenes being echoey while outdoor scenes sound more natural. The issues seen and heard in the transfer are from the original recording, and not flaws in the rendering so it is worth noting that this is a fantastic transfer and everything that has been done to it is an upgrade.
There are no commentary tracks, but there are new high definition bonus features. The bonus features include:
- A Dandy and a Clown
- Carry On: The Life of Caroline John
- Title Sequence Material
- Restoration Comparison
“Doctor Who: Spearhead from Space” is a recommended release for any Whovian with a great restoration, both in the audio and visual departments, and exclusive bonus features that include a notable documentary on the beloved Jon Pertwee.
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