shower of meteorites falls on Essex, England and the Brigadier and his
newly recruited scientist Doctor Elizabeth 'Liz' Shaw, from Cambridge,
enlist the aid of a physically changed Doctor to investigate the phenomenon.
Factory boss Channing is a Nestene - a member of an Alien collective intelligence
which colonizes planets by copying native life forms. Nestenes have a
special ability to control plastic; Channing is making Autons,
plastic mannequins able to fight and kill, controlled by the Nestene consciousness.
He has also been making plastic facsimiles of Cabinet ministers to enable
him to gain world domination. The Doctor and Liz confronts Channing, and
the Doctor is attacked by a huge octopoid creature - the collective being
of the Nestenes. With the aid of Liz, they manage to defeat the Nestene
as the Autons start on a killing rampage. He agrees to work for UNIT as
a scientific advisor in return for facilities to repair the TARDIS, grounded
by the Time Lords on 20th Century Earth, help form Liz Shaw, and a sprightly
yellow roadster later known as Bessie. The Brigadier agrees and asks the
Doctor what his name is. "Smith," replies the Doctor. "Doctor
Doctor: Jon Pertwee
Dr. Liz Shaw: Caroline John
Brig. Lethbridge-Stewart: Nicholas
Seeley: Neil Wilson
Captain Munroe: John Breslin
Dr. Henderson: Antony Webb
Nurse: Helen Dorwood
Corporal Forbes: George Lee
UNIT Personnel: Iain Smith, Tessa
Shaw, Ellis Jones
Reporter: Prentis Hancock
Scobie: Hamilton Dyce
Dr. Beavis: Henry McCarthy
Soldier: Clifford Cox
Waxworks Attendant: Edmond Bailey
Voice of Dr. Lomax: Ellis Jones
Sherwin, Peter Bryant (uncredited).
Script Editor: Terrence
Trevor Ray (uncredited)
Director: Derek Martinus.
Make up: Cynthia Goodwin.
Visual Effects: John
Music : Dudley
as "Doctor Who and The Auton Invasion" by Terrence Dicks (0
426 11295 4) first published as "Doctor Who and The Auton Invasion"
by Universal Tandem in 1974 with cover by Chris Achilleos. New edition
by W.H. Allen (now Virgin Publishing Ltd.) in 1982 with cover by Andrew
Skilleter. New edition 1n 1991 with cover by Alister Pearson. Target library
as "Spearhead from Space" in the UK February 1988, and
in Australia & New Zealand (BBC catalogue #4107). US & Canada
release 1991 (CBS/FOX catalogue #5421, reclassified as WHV #E1163). With
in UK, February 2001, and in US & in Canada September 2001 on DVD
Commentary by Actors Nicholas Courtney and Caroline John
Pop-Up Production Notes Option
Unit Recruitment Film
was the first story made in colour.
In 1997 a fan produced sequel to this story was released on video.
four episodes exist as 16mm colour film and 16mm black & white film
prints, as held by the Film & Videotape Library when audited in 1978.
filming Exterior. (13-19 September 1969)
filming Interior. (8-10, 12-17, 20-23, 29-31 October;
3-7, 22 November 1969 - exact dates unknown)
Doll Factory, Georges Road, Holloway, London, N7. (13
Junction of Euston Road and Midland Road, London, NW1. (13
National Car Parks, Raer of St. Pancras Station, Midland Road, London,
John Sanders Ltd, The Broadway, Ealing, London, W5. (14
Road, Ealing, London, W5. (14
Street, Ealing, London,
Royal Horticultural Society, Wisley, Surrey. (15-16
Hatchford Park School, Ockham Lane, Hatchford, Surrey. (17
Condensors, Wales Farm Road, Ealing, London, W3.
Wood Norton Estate, Eversham, Hereford and Worcestershire. (30
.. Wood Norton Hall. (9-15
Nuclear Bunker. (8-9,
13-17, 20, 22-23 October 1969)
Mansion House Hotel, Coopers Lane, Eversham, Worcestershire. (23
Castle Cottage, Radford, Worcestershire.
Marylebone, London, NW1. (5
1 - The newly-regenerated Jon Pertwee gets
off to a good start. As he collapses to the ground in his very first scene,
he nearly pulls the left-hand TARDIS door off its hinges!
1 - In Liz's first scene with
the Brigadier, the alleged physics and meteorite expert says, "Most
meteorites don't even reach the Earth's surface – they usually burn up
in the atmosphere." However, the very definition of a meteorite is
a meteor that reaches the Earth's surface.
1 - When the Brigadier says to
Liz, "Since UNIT was formed, there have been two attempts to invade
this planet", his voice sounds completely unlike Nicholas Courtney's
– in fact, it sounds quite a bit like Jon Pertwee! Either the line was
overdubbed by someone else for some reason, or something strange happened
to the sound on the master recording at that point.
1, 2 - The Doctor supposedly has
the TARDIS key tightly clenched in his hand during the kidnap attempt
and subsequent shooting. However, he is shown operating the wheelchair
with open hands, and he claps his right hand (the one in which he put
the key in the hospital) to his forehead on being shot, with no sign of
the key being there.
2 - When the Doctor arrives at
UNIT HQ, he blusters his way past the commissionaire (Derrick Sherwin).
In the brief shot of him saying the line "And I'm not going to tell
you my name, either!" the movement of his lips completely fails to
match the words he's saying.
2 - Immediately after the previous
blooper, the commissionaire phones the Brigadier, saying that the visitor
hasn't got a pass and won't reveal his name. But on the phone the Brigadier
can be heard saying "The Doctor? Send him up!" Does the Brig
have Time Lord telepathy?
3 - When the dog is barking at
Sam's house and is abruptly silenced (apparently by an Auton), the sound
is obviously not a dog barking. It sounds a bit like a man pretending
to be a dog, but whatever it is, the attempt at sounding like a dog is
laughable at best.
3 - When Mrs. Seeley
confronts the Auton and it turns to face her, there's a big close-up of
it where you can see the actor's right eye blinking behind the Auton mask.
4 - During one of the
scenes at Madame Tussauds, one of the female "waxworks" forgets
to remain still: you can see her look up and then look down again.
4 - The famous montage
of the Auton rampage in the high street contains two different shots of
people *starting* to run from the bus stop after the Autons fire on them
– first from behind, and then from in front.