The Property of a Gentleman’s Drinking Buddy

What’s your most prized possession?

My most prized possession?

In terms of absolute value to me I am going to have too say my VHS compilation copy of the Doctor Who story “Spearhead from Space”. Fist up there is the story itself which marks four firsts:

  1. It was the first story to be shot in colour
  2. It was Jon Pertwee’s first story (and indeed first appearance as when Patrick Troughton filmed his final scene, Pertwee had still not been cast and the regeneration merely has Patrick Troughton’s features blurred then they mask away his head in long shot).
  3. It was the first (and until 1996, the only) story to be shot entirely on film.
  4. It was the first appearance of one the iconic Doctor Who villains, the Autons.

But it isn’t the story, excellent as it is, which makes the VHS copy special to me. After all I have two copies of Spearhead from Space on DVD (various reasons), but the VHS itself. Why? I hear you asking. Well when I was about 10 years old my Mum read in the newspaper that Morrison’s in Shrewsbury was holding a promotion for some dog food and it was going to hosted by none other then Jon Pertwee. So off we trotted to Shrewsbury early one Saturday and I got my VHS cover signed by the man himself as he was doing a signing as well. It was all free of charge and he even appeared in (almost) full costume, he left his off his famous cape when sitting down to do the signing. What I remember most is how some little kid (not me) talked to him as he arrived and he told the promotion people he’d come when once the little boy had finished talking to him, which I think was rather sweet. So I have my VHS copy signed by the Doctor himself and since Jon Pertwee is no longer with us it makes it all the more valuable.

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