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Doctor Who - Planet of Giants [DVD] [1964]

William Hartnell    Parental Guidance   DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
Price: 11.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Doctor Who - Planet of Giants [DVD] [1964] + Doctor Who - The Sensorites [DVD] + Doctor Who: The Reign of Terror [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: William Hartnell
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: 2entertain
  • DVD Release Date: 20 Aug 2012
  • Run Time: 73 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B007Z10IMW
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 12,212 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



"Planet of the Giants" opened the second season of Doctor Who with William Hartnell's Doctor and companions Susan, Barbara and Ian finding themselves in a mysterious labyrinth filled with dead giant ants. A TARDIS malfunction has left the travellers an inch high and they have landed in the cracks in a garden path, part of a testing ground for an insecticide which could trigger a biological apocalypse. The plot combines the urgent warning of Rachel Carson's 1962 environmental landmark Silent Spring, with the basic scenario of Richard Matheson's The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957), the characters facing similar hazards including being menaced by a domestic cat. The low budget means the huge props necessary to realise the story are limited, but what there are prove surprisingly good. Even the over-size ants and a big fly look fairly impressive. The story maintains an unsettling mood, with an effective cliff-hanger involving the laboratory sink. Continuity problems stem from the original four-episode story being re-edited into three parts prior to transmission, but this is still a superior example of early Doctor Who, predating the popular American TV series Land of the Giants (1968) by four years. Lindsay Gutteridge's once popular 1973 novel Cold War in a Country Garden owed much to the story. --Gary S Dalkin

Product Description

The TARDIS doors open while the ship is still in flight by accident. Although they have arrived back on Earth in the 1960s, a time they have been trying to return to since they all met, the travellers soon realise that something is very wrong.

The Doctor, Ian, Barbara and Susan discover that they have all be reduced in size and the world they are now exploring has dangers at every turn…

Special Features
• Commentary with vision mixer Clive Doig, special sounds creator Brian Hodgson, make-up supervisor Sonia Markham and floor assistant David Tilley. Moderated by Mark Ayres.
• Episode 3 and 4 Reconstructio--Originally shot as a four-part story, the final two episodes of Planet of Giants were edited into a single episode for transmission. Using the original scripts, newly recorded dialogue and animation, this feature gives viewers and idea of how the original four-part version might have appeared.
Rediscovering The Urge to Live--The team behind the reconstruction explain how it was put together.
Suddenly Susan--Carole Ann Ford talks about her role as the Doctor’s granddaughter and the first companion in the TARDIS in this interview originally recorded for 2003’s The Story of Doctor Who.
The Lambert Tapes - The Doctor--Doctor Who’s original producer looks back on her time on the series in the second part of this interview recorded for The Story of Doctor Who
• Prop Design Plans (DVD-ROM only – to be viewed on PC/Mac).
• Radio Times Listings (DVD-ROM)
• Programme Subtitles
• Production Information Subtitles
• Photo Gallery
• Coming Soon Trailer
• Digitally remastered picture and sound quality
The story was originally broadcast on BBC1 between 31st October – 14th November 1964.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Planet of Giants was the first commissioned serial of Doctor Who's second season and it was duly anticipated by viewers in 1964, according to the Radio Times at least. I have previously owned the VHS version of this serial, which was the first to receive the VIDFIRE process, and I always thought that it was an interesting story, though maybe a little too convoluted as a season opener. Upon discovering more information via this DVD I have learned a lot more concerning this particular serial, and I now have a newfound fondness for this three-part addition to the Who mythos.
The plot of the story revolves around the malfunction of the Tardis door opening mid-flight, resulting in the miniaturising of the occupants inside to roughly one inch tall. Suffice to say, conspiracy unfolds concerning murder and agricultural ethics in the form of an indiscriminate fertiliser. Originally, this serial was meant to air with four parts, but it was necessary to edit them down to three due to thoughts that the pace of the story was far too lagging. This led to a loss of some crucial plot elements, I think, and it is only through the reconstruction of the original episodes three and four that, in my opinion, has renewed 'Planet of Giants' to its intended status as a worthy second season opener.
The DVD itself contains the complete serial, at approximately 73 minutes in length, with digitally remastered picture and sound quality. This is particularly evident in comparison with the VHS release, and the team have done a brilliant job yet again at cleaning up the odd grain and dirt stain. The serial can be viewed with optional English subtitles and production notes, which provide significant insight into the making of and history behind the serial, along with information regarding the cast and crew.
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30 of 35 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Ambitious Start to Dr Who's 2nd Season! 3 Dec 2001
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
Don't believe everything you read in reviews, especially when they're full of inaccuracies! This story is three episodes long, not because of problems with any other story, but simply because the last two episodes were edited together before broadcast to make a much more taut result. Ray Cusick's giant size sets work well, as do the optical effects used to render the TARDIS crew only one inch tall. Listen out too for future regular composer Dudley Simpson's very first incidental score for the programme. This is also the first Dr Who story where the direction was credited on screen to Douglas Camfield, arguably the series' finest director. Although not perfect the story is still highly entertaining and well worth buying, especially for the opportunity to see Hartnell's Doctor on "video" as opposed to "film" for the first time since the original transmissions, thanks to the new VidFIRE process being applied!
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Doctor goes down the plughole 15 Feb 2010
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
The Doctor is attempting to return Ian and Barbara to earth, but when they get there they find that they have all been shrunk to 1 inch tall, and are in a garden where a powerful new insecticide has been tested, and has killed every living creature. They find themselves in all sorts of trouble, being menaced by a cat, Ian being stuck in a matchbox, the Doctor and Susan nearly getting flushed down the drain when the tap is turned on etc. And they have to try and stop the spread of the deadly insecticide.

This is a very amusing and unusual Doctor Who story, with plenty of excitement and some very cleverly construced props (I thought the giant plug and plughole were particularly convincing.) I thoroughly enjoyed it.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Planet Of Giants is so underrated! 5 Aug 2005
Format:VHS Tape
I don't really see what's wrong with this story. Everyone I've met and asked seems to like it, but most reviews on the internet always give it a bad one. The 'sink set' is very good effects wise, but some of the other things aren't... but so what? What makes it good is it is just very simple- the Doctor and his companions wandering round discovering deadly traps. Worth the money, so buy it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Planet of Giant Props 10 Mar 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Apparently this was one of the first ideas they had for Dr Who - the TARDIS miniatures the crew and they end up running round Coal Hill School only one inch high, but very wisely they decided to do one about cave men instead, not that there's anything wrong with this...

But there are implicit challenges, and one of these is that if you're only one inch tall, who are you going to talk to, apart from each other? The cat? No - to the cat, you're just another edible toy. When Carole Ann Ford recalls that the story was heavy on dialogue, one reason for this is that there weren't any other characters that our friends could talk to.

Being an inch tall means that most of the story has to be about coping with stuff that usually you'd not think twice about - a crazy paving path is a strange stone maze, a drain pipe assumes the role of the convenient ventilator shaft that they always use to get into places, and the cat means to torture and kill you, and it's a good job there's insecticide everywhere or those ants would be really dangerous. Here's another problem with small size stories - all the scenery has to be tiny things made big, so it can't really be as detailed as a big thing at its normal size, so after the initial `Oh that's a big plughole' reaction, you're kinda stuck with something that's really only as interesting as a plughole, and if you want something else that's interesting, you need to make more set - hence the reason that there's quite a lot of talking in front of big sets going on - there is only so much money to spend on sets. When they need a shot of the dead body's head, or one of the phone, it's a big photograph (though it may be closer to the lens than the actors).
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Dr Who
Not a bad story line could have been a bit longer but not the best hartnell story by any means.
Published 6 days ago by Diane Armstrong
5.0 out of 5 stars Hartnell classic
Intended to be a four part serial way back for the second season of the original show, the Planet of Giants really stands out for the whole cast, crew and the design departments. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Scott Poole
5.0 out of 5 stars Good
It's good to see Doctor Who when William Hartnell was the first original doctor, takes me back to watching this in my childhood.
Enjoyed it and great fun to watch.
Published 2 months ago by D. E. Clarke
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow, this now makes sense
I used to think this story was a bit daft, I was very reluctant to purchase it on DVD after seeing the story on UKGold so many years ago, but with the extras explaining about... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Jonathan J. Myler
5.0 out of 5 stars great
super dvd will recomend. a hartnell classic a valued addition to my dr who collection also great value for money
Published 3 months ago by colin jackson
5.0 out of 5 stars Great discovery
I wasn't sure about getting this but it is a really great episode. I'm really loving the early Dr's at the moment and at this price, it's a gem.
Published 3 months ago by Stu
5.0 out of 5 stars Planet of Giants
Loved it. A great three parter. Love the early era of Doctor Who. Had to switch off when watching the extra with the reconstruction of episodes 3 and 4 though.
Published 4 months ago by DH
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Cracking Story!
Everything is quiet in the garden - which is hardly surprising since it has all been killed! Restored to an amazing standard, this is one of those 'makes you think' stories from... Read more
Published 6 months ago by J. Palmer
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent episode from classic Who
Charming episode. Not the most original idea, but performed well. Not the best ever from Barbara, but the Doctor, Ian and Susan are a pleasure to watch. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Raphus
5.0 out of 5 stars A clasiic loving restored
Whilst I can see why they cut is down to 3 parts I really enjoyed Ian Levine's recreation of the original four parter.
Published 11 months ago by Michael Horner
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