From the people who brought you Flight Through Entirety.

Saturday 3 January 1970

Spearhead from Space

The Pertwee I Have in My Head

New Beginnings, Episode 2
Sunday 21 April 2024.

In the first week of the 1970s, Doctor Who is back, with a new Doctor, a new alien threat, new companions and a new earthbound premise. So what makes it the same show?

Notes and links

Jon Pertwee’s Doctor is well known for regularly going into a coma to heal himself. He does that in this story, in The Dæmons, in Planet of the Daleks, in The Monster of Peladon and in Planet of the Spiders. (I’ve probably left some out.) This phenomenon is so well known that is has a name — the Pertwee death pose — characterised by Pertwee lying flat on his back with one knee bent. Flight Through Entirety named its Jon Pertwee retrospective after this — Episode 31: One Knee up for Pertwee.

When Peter and Simon refer to “625-line Pertwees”, what they mean is the episodes that still existed in their original PAL format, as opposed to episodes that only existed as film transfers. The 625-line Pertwees were the only episodes repeated by ABC-TV in Australia in the late 70s, which meant, roughly speaking, that we would go from Spearhead from Space straight to Day of the Daleks, and then to Seasons 10 and 11, skipping Planet of the Daleks and Invasion of the Dinosaurs, each of which had one episode that only existed as a film transfer. You can find an account of the history of Doctor Who repeats in Australia on this page from BroaDWcast, and you can find details of the state of our collection of colour Pertwee episodes on this page from The Destruction of Time.

Malcolm Hulke’s novelisation of the Season 8 story Colony in Space was called Doctor Who and the Doomsday Weapon (1974). Colony in Space was Jo Grant’s fourth story on TV, but the novelisation describes her arrival at UNIT and her boredom in the job until she is whisked away by the Doctor to an alien planet. It’s not until the following year that we get the novelisation of Jo’s actual first story in Doctor Who and the Terror of the Autons.

The sting is the screaming sound that leads into the music of the closing credits of the Classic Series, starting with The Ambassadors of Death, two stories after this. (It can now be heard at the beginning of the opening credits as well.)

Startling Barbara Bain is our commentary podcast on Space: 1999, a lavishly expensive British TV show from the mid-70s shot entirely on 35mm film, with lots of visual effects done in-camera (including the famous model sequences).

ADR is part of the post-production process: actors are brought into a recording studio to record dialogue for scenes that have already been shot.

Flight Through Entirety discussed Spearhead from Space in Episode 21: They’ve Cancelled My Show.

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Nathan is on X as @nathanbottomley, Simon is @simonmoore72, and Todd is @ToddBeilby. The 500 Year Diary theme was composed by Cameron Lam.

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And more

You can find links to all of the podcasts we’re involved in on our podcasts page. But here’s where we’re up to right now.

Flight Through Entirety will be back at Christmas in July to discuss The Return of Doctor Mysterio, and we’ll be covering Peter Capaldi’s final year on the show after that, concluding with Twice Upon a Time at Christmas.

The Second Great and Bountiful Human Empire will be back soon after the screening of the first two episodes of the 2024 season on 11 May. In the meantime, you can hear our hot takes on the four episodes we’ve seen of Doctor Who’s second RTD era.

Last week saw the release of Episode 2 of the new Avengers commentary podcast, The Three Handed Game, featuring our very own Brendan and Richard, as well as frequent-guest-of-the-podcast, Steven B. In Episode 2, they continue their Reach for the Stars theme, with a Tara King episode called Invasion of the Earthmen.

There’s also Startling Barbara Bain, our Space: 1999 commentary podcast. We’ve covered the first four episodes of Series 1; Episode 5 should be out in the next couple of weeks.

Maximum Power will be back later in the year to talk about the final series of Blakes 7.

And finally there’s our Star Trek commentary podcast, Untitled Star Trek Project, featuring Nathan and friend-of-the-podcast Joe Ford. This week, we watched what Nathan believes to be the worst ever episode of Star Trek: Voyager — Course: Oblivion. You won’t believe how shrill his ranting gets.

New Beginnings, Episode 2: The Pertwee I Have in My Head · Download · Open in new window · Duration: 0:54:43 · Recorded on Sunday 17 March 2024
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