Spearhead from Space
The first episode of the third Doctor, also marks the first episode of
the show, in full colour.
Jon Pertwee starred as the newly regenerated Doctor, exiled to Earth by
the Time Lords as punishment for his constant meddling in the affairs of
other planets. On Earth, the Doctor stumbles out of the TARDIS,
unconscious, and with no memory of how to operate the TARDIS.
Meanwhile, Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart (Nicholas Courtney) has been given
charge of UNIT,
the United Nations Intelligence Task force, a crack unit designed to
deal with alien intervention with the Earth. We soon learn that a series
of meteorites have been crashing to Earth, several times in the same
location...too many to be a coincidence. To help him discover the reason
behind the mysterious meteorites, he calls in Dr. Elizabeth Shaw, a
scientist from Cambridge. When the Brigadier learns of the unknown
stranger found in the viscinity of the meteor shower, and of the police
box he was found near, he has reason to believe it is his old friend the
mysterious Doctor, who helped him several times in the past. When the
Brigadier and Miss Shaw arrive at the hospital, the man in the bed wakes,
recognizing the Brigadier, claiming to be the Doctor, but the Brigadier does
not know him. Upon regaining his strength, the Doctor steals some
clothes, and a visiting physician's car and makes his way to UNIT
Headquarters, following the trail of the TARDIS. Agreeing to help UNIT,
the Doctor and Miss Shaw discover the meteorites are actually alien power
sources, sent by the Nestene consciousness to develop their Auton slaves
to take over the Earth. The Autons being made from plastic shells,
inhabited by the force of the Nestenes. The Doctor and UNIT find a power
source, and develops a device to combat the alien invasion...
This is the first real story where the Doctor encounters a parallel
Project Inferno is being headed by Professer Stahlman, the project is
designed to drill a shaft to the center of the Earth, where it will
release a gas providing a new energy source for the world, called
Stahlman's Gas. Providing security for the project is UNIT, with the
Doctor, who is exchanging his knowledge for the use of the projects
nuclear reactor, attempting to repair his TARDIS.
The Doctor realizes the gas will have horrible
consequences on the planet if released. Output from the drill shafts is
an extremely hot liquid, turning those who touch it into hairy,
primate-like savages, driving them crazy, and making them red hot to the
touch, but Stahlman will not have his
dream destroyed. Stahlman sabotages the project computer so no one will
know of it's warnings, he also pulls the plug on the Doctor's projects,
while in a critical dematerialization test. The resulting power
fluctuations send the Doctor "sideways in time", to a parallel universe
where England is run by a fascist power, and the Inferno Project is
nearer to completion than the one on the Doctor's Earth. The Doctor
finally convinces those in charge of Inferno (Brigade-Leader
Lethbridge-Stewart, and Section Leader Elizabeth Shaw) who he is, and
just before that world is destroyed in flames from the Earth's core, is
transported back to the Earth he had left. Once the Doctor regains
consciousness after rematerialization, he convinces the Brigadier to stop
the Inferno Project. In the end, Stahlman's warped dream is stopped and
the Earth is saved...
This seven part adventure was recently put
out on video by the powers that be (either CBS/Fox or BBC Video).
By mistake however, the box lists the story being in black and white,
while it really is in colour.