Doctor Who (season 7)

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Doctor Who (season 7)
Doctor Who Season 7 DVD.jpg
Cover art of the Region 2 DVD release for first serial of the season
Country of originUnited Kingdom
No. of stories4
No. of episodes25
Original networkBBC One
Original release3 January (1970-01-03) –
20 June 1970 (1970-06-20)
Season chronology
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Season 6
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Season 8
List of Doctor Who episodes (1963–1989)

The seventh season of British science fiction television series Doctor Who began on 3 January 1970 with Jon Pertwee's first story Spearhead from Space and ended with Inferno.


Main cast[edit]

Jon Pertwee makes his first appearance as the Third Doctor replacing Patrick Troughton in the role. Caroline John makes her first appearance as companion and assistant Liz Shaw in Spearhead from Space and last in Inferno.

Recurring cast[edit]

Nicholas Courtney returns as Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart and he would continue to make regular appearances in Doctor Who until season 12.

John Levene also makes his first appearance as Sergeant Benton since The Invasion in The Ambassadors of Death and would continue to make regular appearances until season 12.


Barry Letts took over as producer from Derrick Sherwin after Spearhead from Space. From this season onwards the programme was produced in colour. To accommodate the new production methods the number of episodes in a season was cut: season 6 has 44 episodes; season 7 has 25 episodes. The seasons would continue to have between 20 and 26 episodes until season 22. Following the opening four parter, the remaining episodes were divided into three serials each of seven episodes. This, along with setting the entire season exclusively on Earth, had been the choice of previous producer and script editor Peter Bryant and Derrick Sherwin, which Letts and script editor Terrance Dicks were unhappy with.[citation needed]

Spearhead from Space was intended to be produced identically to previous serials, with a mixture of location material shot on 16mm film, and studio based material on videotape. Owing to industrial action by studio technicians at the BBC, the planned studio recording sessions were cancelled, with instead all four episodes being shot on location on 16mm film.

StorySerialSerial titleEpisode titlesDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
UK viewers
(millions) [1]
511Spearhead from Space"Episode 1"Derek MartinusRobert Holmes3 January 1970 (1970-01-03)AAA8.454
"Episode 2"Derek MartinusRobert Holmes10 January 1970 (1970-01-10)AAA8.1
"Episode 3"Derek MartinusRobert Holmes17 January 1970 (1970-01-17)AAA8.3
"Episode 4"Derek MartinusRobert Holmes24 January 1970 (1970-01-24)AAA8.157
The newly regenerated Doctor is exiled to Earth in the 20th century. The Doctor has to devise a way to destroy the Autons before they kill humanity.
522Doctor Who and the Silurians"Episode 1"Timothy CombeMalcolm Hulke31 January 1970 (1970-01-31)BBB8.858
"Episode 2"Timothy CombeMalcolm Hulke7 February 1970 (1970-02-07)BBB7.358
"Episode 3"Timothy CombeMalcolm Hulke14 February 1970 (1970-02-14)BBB7.557
"Episode 4"Timothy CombeMalcolm Hulke21 February 1970 (1970-02-21)BBB8.260
"Episode 5"Timothy CombeMalcolm Hulke28 February 1970 (1970-02-28)BBB7.558
"Episode 6"Timothy CombeMalcolm Hulke7 March 1970 (1970-03-07)BBB7.257
"Episode 7"Timothy CombeMalcolm Hulke14 March 1970 (1970-03-14)BBB7.558
The Silurians, the original inhabitants of the Earth, have been awakened from their hibernation in the caves.
533The Ambassadors of Death"Episode 1"Michael FergusonDavid Whitaker and Trevor Ray (uncredited)21 March 1970 (1970-03-21)CCC7.160
"Episode 2"Michael FergusonDavid Whitaker, Malcolm Hulke (uncredited), and Terrance Dicks (uncredited)28 March 1970 (1970-03-28)CCC7.661
"Episode 3"Michael FergusonDavid Whitaker, Malcolm Hulke (uncredited), and Terrance Dicks (uncredited)4 April 1970 (1970-04-04)CCC8.059
"Episode 4"Michael FergusonDavid Whitaker, Malcolm Hulke (uncredited), and Terrance Dicks (uncredited)11 April 1970 (1970-04-11)CCC9.358
"Episode 5"Michael FergusonDavid Whitaker, Malcolm Hulke (uncredited), and Terrance Dicks (uncredited)18 April 1970 (1970-04-18)CCC7.1
"Episode 6"Michael FergusonDavid Whitaker, Malcolm Hulke (uncredited), and Terrance Dicks (uncredited)25 April 1970 (1970-04-25)CCC6.961
"Episode 7"Michael FergusonDavid Whitaker, Malcolm Hulke (uncredited), and Terrance Dicks (uncredited)2 May 1970 (1970-05-02)CCC6.462
The British space programme oversees the launch of the Recovery Seven probe that has been sent to Mars to make contact with the missing Mars Probe Seven and its two astronauts, who lost contact with Earth eight months earlier. Van Lyden makes contact with the Probe but is then silenced by a piercing unearthly sound.
544Inferno"Episode 1"Douglas CamfieldDon Houghton9 May 1970 (1970-05-09)DDD5.761
"Episode 2"Douglas CamfieldDon Houghton16 May 1970 (1970-05-16)DDD5.961
"Episode 3"Douglas Camfield and Barry Letts (uncredited)Don Houghton23 May 1970 (1970-05-23)DDD4.860
"Episode 4"Douglas Camfield and Barry Letts (uncredited)Don Houghton30 May 1970 (1970-05-30)DDD6.060
"Episode 5"Douglas Camfield and Barry Letts (uncredited)Don Houghton6 June 1970 (1970-06-06)DDD5.4
"Episode 6"Douglas Camfield and Barry Letts (uncredited)Don Houghton13 June 1970 (1970-06-13)DDD6.758
"Episode 7"Douglas Camfield and Barry Letts (uncredited)Don Houghton20 June 1970 (1970-06-20)DDD5.560
Inferno is the nickname given to a project to penetrate the Earth's crust. The project, however, has its own problems and the Doctor is sent to an alternate universe.


The entire season was broadcast from 3 January to 20 June 1970. Peter Bryant and Derrick Sherwin had originally envisaged replacing Doctor Who with a Quatermass-style serial, with Nigel Kneale involved, but this fell through when Kneale refused to write for the show. The plan did, however, have an effect on the programme, seeing the Doctor exiled to a near-future earth as UNIT's scientific advisor.

DVD/Blu-ray releases[edit]

Serial name Number and duration
of episodes
R2 release date R4 release date R1 release date
Spearhead from Space 4 × 25 min. 29 January 2001 12 September 2001 11 September 2001
Spearhead from Space – Special Edition
Only available as part of the Mannequin Mania box set in Regions 2 and 4.
4 × 25 min. 9 May 2011 2 June 2011 14 August 2012[2][3]
Spearhead from Space – Blu-ray Edition
Includes bonus features exclusive to Blu-ray
4 × 25 min. 15 July 2013[4] 17 July 2013 13 August 2013
Spearhead from Space – "Doctor Who DVD Files" Issue 35 4 × 25 min. 5 May 2010 5 May 2010 N/A
Doctor Who and the Silurians
Only available as part of the Beneath the Surface box set in Regions 2 and 4.
Available individually or in the box set in Region 1.
7 × 25 min. 14 January 2008 5 March 2008 3 June 2008
Doctor Who and the Silurians – "Doctor Who DVD Files" Issue 65 7 × 25 min. 29 June 2011 29 June 2011 N/A
The Ambassadors of Death 7 × 25 min. 1 October 2012[5] 3 October 2012[6] 9 October 2012[7]
Inferno 7 × 25 min. 19 June 2006 6 July 2006 5 September 2006
Inferno – Special Edition 7 x 25 min. 27 May 2013 5 June 2013 11 June 2013
Inferno – "Doctor Who DVD Files" Issue 44 7 × 25 min. 8 September 2010 8 September 2010 N/A

In print[edit]

Serial name Novelisation title Author First published
Spearhead from Space Doctor Who and the Auton Invasion Terrance Dicks 17 January 1974
Doctor Who and the Silurians Doctor Who and the Cave Monsters Malcolm Hulke 17 January 1974
The Ambassadors of Death The Ambassadors of Death Terrance Dicks 21 May 1987
Inferno Inferno Terrance Dicks 19 July 1984


  1. ^ a b "Ratings Guide". Doctor Who News. Retrieved 27 December 2014.
  2. ^ "Doctor Who: Spearhead from Space: Special Edition – DVD". Bbc Retrieved 18 May 2011.
  3. ^ Doctor Who DVD news: Update about Spearhead From Space: Special Edition and The Greatest Show in the Galaxy | Archived 26 July 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Doctor Who Magazine 453
  5. ^ "Buy online at and read reviews. Free delivery to UK and Europe!". Archived from the original on 1 August 2012. Retrieved 19 July 2012.
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 15 July 2014. Retrieved 16 August 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ "Doctor Who: Ep. 53 – Ambassadors of Death: Jon Pertwee, Caroline Shaw, Nicholas Courtney: Movies & TV". Retrieved 18 July 2012.