Is this the template for the Pertwee years? If so, it isn’t a bad start: Good introduction, good villain, new dynamics, and just the right length.
The Nestenes are an interesting concept. Following on from creatures such as The Animus and The Yeti, The Nestenes are a disembodied consciousness. Their ultimate goal is to colonize Earth by manipulating plastics. The meteors that fell to Earth in part one were fragments of the colonizing consciousness. Once reunited, they were able to create a form and begin the invasion. Unfortunately, for their cause, The Doctor was able to find a way to stop them before they could succeed. I like this idea, an invasion based on infiltration and destabilization. It almost worked, too, if not for that pesky UNIT and their Doctor.
So, what do we have in this new era?
- Spearhead was a fairly high-concept story, masquerading as a simple alien invasion. Granted, it didn’t have enough time to really explore the concepts, but it does ease us in to the new season.
- The dynamic between The Doctor, Liz, and The Brigadier works quite well. We have the scientists and the military. They goad one another, but they will have to work together to confront threats. My biggest concern is how long this dynamic can last. The premise may start to wear thin as the writers attempt to find new ways to bring threats to Earth. RTD had a bit of difficulty with this in his series finales, with each series escalating in scope. Doctor Who of the 1970s doesn’t have the budget for this.
- As an aside, I can’t help but think of the spirit of the Pertwee era existing in Fringe. While I am a few seasons behind on Fringe, I am loving the format of an FBI/science division that investigates supernatural phenomena which may actually be science gone out of control. If Doctor Who did another era set on Earth, it would probably look a bit like Fringe. End digression.
My biggest concern at this point, as mentioned in an earlier post, is the editing. When a scene shifts mid-word, I think there is a problem. Granted, many of the Pertwee episodes were recovered from fan recordings. Perfection is not guaranteed. But for reasons I don’t quite understand, I can overlook shoddy special effects (especially in black and white), but abrupt editing bothers me.
And on that bombshell, we bid farewell to Spearhead from Space and eagerly await Doctor Who and The Silurians. This will be a first-time viewing for me, and I’m quite excited.