Wednesday, August 12, 2009
This episode sees another phase in the birth of the Pertwee era - that of action (not yet provided by HAVOC). It also sees, for really the first time in the show's history, innocent civilians bearing the brunt of alien invasions in the now famous sequence where Autons disguised as shop window dummies relentlessly mow down people waiting for the bus. First it was scaring off children from wanting to ride the London Underground in The Web of Fear, now taking the bus is a life-or-death prospect. What did Doctor Who have against public transit?
The sequence also shows that Autons have no honour. Their first mass of victims, after dispensing with a police officer, are those folks at the bus stop - a non-threatening bunch if ever there was one, yet most of them get shot from behind in the back. If the Sontarans and the Autons ever got into a skirmish, the Autons would probably win, but the Sontarans would probably claim victory in their final breaths on the fact that they held the moral high ground.
The shop window dummy attack sequence isn't the only action seen in the episode, though, as several UNIT soldiers meet their explosive end via Auton hand-guns in a battle outside the factory. With all the death and explosions, Spearhead From Space is a shocking change from the prim and proper Doctor Who we've come to know and love, but, with all of it shot on film, isn't necessarily representative of what was to come, either. That doesn't make it any less entertaining, though.
Posted by Steven at 8:32 AM