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Doctor Who - The Web of Fear [DVD]
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Unseen in the UK for 45 years – marvellously restored and remastered and brought back to life for you to own on DVD. The TARDIS narrowly avoids becoming engulfed in a cobwebby substance in space. It arrives in the London Underground railway system, the tunnels of which are being overrun by the web and by the Great Intelligence's robot Yeti. The Intelligence's goal is to drain the Doctor's mind; can the Doctor sabotage the device before the Intelligence’s plan comes to fruition?
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Top Customer Reviews
Originally a story of six twenty five minute long black and white episodes, all that existed in the bbc archive of this one till recently was episode one. The others having fallen foul of the BBC's old policy of wiping tapes of programmes they never expected to repeat or to have any long term value.
Copies of episodes two, four, five and six were recently found, though. All have been restored to pretty decent picture quality.
Episode three remains gone. To allow for a quick release of the story on DVD, this has episode three recreated by using the original soundtrack and photos that were taken of it at the time that it was broadcast.
The story was the second appearance of the Yeti. And their controller, the great intelligence. The Doctor, plus companions Jamie and Victoria, had met them three stories before, in 'The Abominable Snowmen.' Which was set in 1930's Tibet. And where they met scientist Professor Travers.
The Web of Fear starts with a quick scene that resolves the cliffhanger ending to the last episode of preceding story 'The Enemy of the World' [and which really belongs in the finale episode of that, but was presumably held over just to create a cliffhanger] and then it's 1960's London. Where the much older Travers lets his curiosity get the better of him. The Yeti return.
As London falls foul of a strange fungus, and the Yeti prowl the streets of the city and Underground tunnels, a small army unit is trying to fight back. When the Doctor and friends join them they find they have enemies both outside the military base. And within....Read more ›
The yeti (1st seen in Abominable Snowmen) return after one of their control spheres is reactivated led by the Great Intelligence (recently seen battling Matt Smith) and spread a deadly weblike substance through the London Underground.
This a good sequel to Snowmen, more of the same but different. A very innovative idea to place the yeti in an incongruous setting such as the Underground. As you will know even if you're only ever seen Ep1 (as on Lost in Time), a small section of the underground was recreated brilliantly in studio and show from myriad different directions & angles so it passes for lots of bits of the underground. the script is a good script confident in the brilliance of its monster and enemy and just out to make a thumping good action adventure.
The characters are good too, the returning Travers ( also in Abominable Snowmen) is excellently portrayed by Jack Watling. He plays the role here as an older man (some 40m years separates the 2 stories) and avoids the usual playing much older than your self cliche's. Instead he gives us a more temperamental & emotional man & suggests he gets tired easily.
Playing Travers' daughter Anne is Tina Packer. An instantly likeable character when she rebuffs mild advances from Capt Knight. She is also believably intelligent and a credible scientist. Taking a leaf out of Ice Warriors' Jan Garett she finds time to have a change of costume.
Derek Pollit's Evans is a coward you can't help liking ( what a trick missed not seconding him to UNIT and having the Brig exasperated in later stories by his behaviour!Read more ›
Key to this was director Douglas Camfield. Long regarded as the best Doctor Who director of his era, viewing all five existing episodes only serves to enhance his reputation. The studio scenes set in the Underground are full of menace and shadows, with the Yeti rarely seen full on. The brief glimpses we do see are much more effective, as in the cold light of day they are fairly comical.
This is best demonstrated in the Covent Garden sequence in episode four - the initial shots of the waddling Yetis doesn't do them any favours, but this is quickly forgotten when Camfield orchestrates one of the best action sequences in 60's Who. Given his affinity with the military, it's a pity he never directed more during the early 1970's when the UNIT/Pertwee era would have fitted him like a glove.
Patrick Troughton is totally commanding as the Doctor. Encapsulating Troughton's strengths is a difficult task in just a few words, but his economy of performance is always striking. He could clown with the best of them, but Troughton is so compelling when he downplays. The less he does the more effective it is - just a glance or a few words can say so much when they're delivered by a quality actor.
Apart from the return of Jack Watling as Travers, the story is most notable for the first appearance of Nicholas Courtney as Lethbridge-Stewart. He's put through the mill here, particularly in the aftermath of the doomed Covent Garden expedition.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A bit hokey, a bit hard to watch, one episode reconstructed from audio - I loved every moment. Patrick Troughton was a fine Doctor.Published 3 days ago by Elizabeth Kerner
Apparently this was found in a web in my home country Nigeria, the cleaner had a great fear of webs so wouldn't clean near it. All I can say is well done that spider.Published 7 days ago by Brigadier General Cliff Hanger (retired)
This story followed on from"The Enemy of the World". Another story I wanted to see more of having previously seen the surviving Episode 1. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Darren
Bought this for my son, a diehard Doc Who fan from way back.One of the best stories ever and great resolution on the video, especially for the age.Published 2 months ago by John
Excellent smooth transaction - prompt & efficient - one to recommend to all A++
Prompt delivery, good value and required to complete collection