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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Classic comes back"
Web of Fear was one of my favourite target novelisations back in the day, I was disappointed to learn (in 1982) only 1 episode was intact and never expected to write this review.
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...
Published 1 month ago by Bob Marlowe

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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars excellent series (five star) but no extras!
I want to give this 5 stars, its great to see this lost episodes resurface but i was disappointed to find that there are no extras on the disc which is one of the things that i personally look forward to on any Doctor Who release.
Published 1 month ago by Spacehed


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Classic comes back", 3 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Doctor Who - The Web of Fear [DVD] (DVD)
Web of Fear was one of my favourite target novelisations back in the day, I was disappointed to learn (in 1982) only 1 episode was intact and never expected to write this review.
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!) and Jack Woolgar's Sgt Arnold is the sort of tough but fair army type so often played by one Mr Hartnell before he was the Doctor.
The man of the match of course is the Brigadier; who at this stage is still Col Lethbridge-Stewart. Great debut as the character by Nicholas Courtney, sadly his 1st appearance is in the still missing Ep 3 represented by soundtrack and telesnap pictures but what a memorable start as he holds the Doc at knifepoint! The hallmark of the character-military but human and not narrow minded is here for all to see.

A great show for Mr Troughton, devious (he doesn't tell others what he's up to), clever, compassionate and with Miss Travers almost flirty!
Frazer Hines' Jamie gets to do plenty as the man of action & forms an odd couple double act with Evans.
Deborah Watling's Victoria now warming up to being out of her era ( for the character her outfit is quite daring) does her usual stuff getting captured etc. but she does it so well you don't mind. Shame she doesn't get more screentime with Jamie.
The yeti are a marvellously incongruous monster & just fantasic fun. With John Levene playing one it means Sgt Benton's in the story too (Levene recalled that at this early point when he only got the monsters to play, Troughton was very encouraging to him).

Generally the webstuff is well made occasionally there are pulsating things clearly made of cellophane but the look is generally pretty good. Great direction & the soundtrack only episode doesn't ruin things at all (in a few bits they cannily reuse other episode's footage).

Good restoration work too.

Just briefly because I thoroughly enjoyed this, no extras! There clearly was ample time to do a commentary even if animation and a making of doc might have delayed things too much.

This story never comes to life on audio and now it's restored to glory, I recommend it for evreyone.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Going Underground, 21 Feb 2014
By 
Mr. D. K. Smith (South Wales, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Doctor Who - The Web of Fear [DVD] (DVD)
The Web of Fear has long been regarded as an all-time Doctor Who classic, even when all we had to go on was one surviving episode and the soundtrack. With four of the five missing episodes now recovered its reputation seems secure, as with the luxury of more visuals it's clearly a story where everyone was on the top of their game.

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. But he's only one of a uniformly strong cast, with Jack Woolgar as Staff Sgt Arnold and Jon Rollason as the oily Harold Chorley giving particularly good performances.

True, the story does lack a little logic. The Great Intelligence seems to have draped London in a web of fear purely to lure the Doctor into its trap. But how did they know that the Doctor would return to this point in time? If it had been the early 1970's then the Doctor did have a base on modern day Earth, but in the Troughton era this wasn't the case. One draft more might have come up with a better plan for the Intelligence, one which actually involved the Earth rather than the rather cod sci-fi concept of draining the Doctor's brain.

Notwithstanding this, The Web of Fear is a creepy tale that deserves its classic status. The Enemy of the World might be a better written and more ambitious story, but Web is a supremely good example of the Troughton base-under-siege story.

It's bound to disappoint some that the missing episode three is represented with a telesnap recon rather than animation. And like Enemy of the World, this DVD lacks the special features that we've come to expect. The one plus-point the DVD has over the ITunes download is that it's VIDfired. Whilst it's a shame there's no commentary, documentary or animation, it's maybe worth taking a moment to wonder why.

Several possibilities have been mentioned over the past few months. The first is that the contract with Dan Hall's company Pup Ltd (who, following the collapse of 2E, were commissioned to produce extras) expired before these stories were found.

The second possibility is that there could have been numerous expenses incurred in retrieving these episodes, so maybe a bare-bones release is partly to regroup some of the money already spent.

And it could just be that BBC Worldwide knew that this story would sell without special features, so maybe an extras-packed SE might follow in the future.

Maybe sometime the complete story of Philip Morris' efforts will be told (in the third edition of Richard Molesworth's Wiped! maybe?) and will answer some of these questions, but for now we just have the stories. Although if anyone had told me at the start of 2013 that within twelve months I'd have all of Enemy of the World and most of The Web of Fear sat on my shelf in DVD format I'd have bitten their hand off. And I doubt I'm the only one.

If anyone doesn't want to buy this bare-bones release then they can stick with the non-VIDfired ITunes download and wait for a possible SE which may or may not happen. I'm more than happy though to have this DVD on my shelf as whilst it may lack the special features of other releases, the quality of the story shines through.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The one with the Yeti in the London Underground, 23 Mar 2014
By 
Paul Tapner (poole dorset england) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Doctor Who - The Web of Fear [DVD] (DVD)
The fifth story from Patrick Troughton's second year as Doctor Who comes to DVD.

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....

'The one with the Yeti in the London Underground' comes from the fact that this one did stick in the public consciousness for a long time, and attained the status of lost classic as a result.

It's nearly all studio bound, apart from a couple of location bits. Including a superbly directed battle sequence as the Army take on the Yeti. The jump from film material to video recording is noticeable but you do get used to it.

The sets are very good - as a result of which London Underground did inquire how the BBC had gotten to film in the tube without their permission. And the supporting cast are all well drawn. The actor playing reporter Chorley seems to try and imitate Alan Whicker - a name that would have meant a lot to viewers at the time - Travers' scientist daughter comes over as being genuinely intelligent. Although with somewhat stereotypical Welshman Private Evans, who is always looking to get away from danger, you can never be sure if he's meant to be comic relief or not and his attitude does get a bit annoying at times.

Amongst the character is a military man called Col. Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart. Whose first meeting with the Doctor occurs off camera and whose first appearance is in the missing episode three. Nicholas Courtney delivers a commanding performance from the off. And thus the name of the character became rather familiar...

Amongst these people though is someone who is working for the intelligence. This fact creates a great deal of tension [to audiences of the time, who had never seen Lethbridge-Stewart before, they wouldn't have known whether to trust him or not] an the best of the story is in parts three and four when things all seem to go against the humans, and a great deal of tension and action and shocks await.

Six parters could always be overlong, and this possibly is. Ultimately it's perhaps an overlong runaround. But it's a really good one.

Can it live up to it's reputation and the memories of those who saw it at the time?

That's for the viewer to decide. But at least you can get a chance to do so. Which is great.

The dvd has the following language and subtitle options:

Languages: English.

Subtitles: English.

It's English audio captioned.

The only extra whatsoever is a trailer for the story 'The Enemy of the World' on dvd. And since that one is already out, the trailer is thus 'also available' rather than 'coming soon.'
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nicholas Courtney, in the Underground?, 2 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Doctor Who - The Web of Fear [DVD] (DVD)
Following its defeat by the Doctor (the Abominable Snowmen), the Great Intelligence has been studying the Time Lord. Finally able to take advantage of the scientific curiosity of Professor Travers in repairing one of its control spheres, the Great Intelligence has constructed an elaborate scheme to trap the Doctor. While its robot Yeti servitors lay siege to the London Underground, the Tardis is first caught and then released to materialize within the tunnels of the Circle Line.
With the Yeti gradually cutting off the Circle Line and it becoming obvious that someone within their number is working for the enemy, the few remaining soldiers and civilians still trapped underground are facing certain destruction unless they can find a way to destroy or disable the Yeti.
Ultimately, the Great Intelligence aims to capture the Doctor, absorbing the entire contents and experience of his mind into its own.

I have particularly vivid memories of the Web of Fear from its first broadcast in 1968, so the chance to see it again was irresistible. Although it's still a good story the Web of fear is probably now best remembered for the introduction of Nicholas Courtney as Colonel (later Brigadier) Lethbridge-stewart.

The restoration and transfer to DVD is excellent, although the third episode is still missing. Instead, the episode is represented by the original soundtrack and stills, which in this case works well enough not to detract from the overall experience. Apart from a trailer for the already released "Enemy of the World" there are no special features at all on the DVD but this is still a great addition to the Classic Doctor Who series.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Real Classic, 1 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Doctor Who - The Web of Fear [DVD] (DVD)
It was such an exciting time last October when the BBC called a press conference to announce the recovery of missing Doctor Who episodes, and speculation was arife as to which episodes had been found. I was absolutely delighted when I heard which episodes had been found: 'The Enemy of the World' and 'The Web of Fear', which was long considered a "Holy Grail" find.

I purchased the episodes on iTunes immediately and pre ordered the DVDs as soon as they were up. I was slightly dismayed when I learnt that neither DVD would contain any of the usual special features such as a making of etc. But I'm sure SE's of both stories will be released at some point in the future.

Episode 3 of this story, is sadly still missing and is represented on this DVD by a reconstruction, which combinesthe original off air soundtrack and the Telesnaps taken by John Cura during the original transmission. Although it would of been nice to have an animated episode to fill in the gap, the reconstruction does the job just fine.

This truly is one of the best Doctor Who stories of all time, and is a great addition to anyone's DVD collection.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Return of another classic, 27 Feb 2014
By 
Mr. R. W. Graham (Lincoln, U.K.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Doctor Who - The Web of Fear [DVD] (DVD)
As we come to the end of the BBC classic Doctor Who dvd range, who would have guessed that this would turn up out of the blue to be one of the last titles!! A miracle find in 2013 along with 5 episodes of the also excellent Enemy Of The World, this sees the 2nd Doctor, Jamie and Victoria land in the middle of a near deserted London in the London Underground which is under attack by the Great Intelligence and the Yeti who are trying to take over the world. Sadly episode 3 is still missing but has been recreated using the original soundtrack and telesnaps but is still a fantastic, well acted and tense 6 part episode and the Yeti are excellent monsters seen in full for the first time on dvd as their debut The Abominable Snowmen is still sadly missing apart from one episode. This may well turn out to be Patrick Troughton's best serial untill more are redisocovered and at time of writing 97 episodes of classic Doctor Who are still sadly missing but if these can be found then i say there's hope for the others. This also sees the first appearance of one Allistair Gordon Lethbridge Stewart, a supporting character and mysterious Colonel here who would go on to be one of Doctor Who's best loved characters.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Essential purchase but shame about no extras or animation for episode 3, 11 April 2014
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Yep, everyone is right - this is an essential purchase but docked a star as there are no extras and episode 3 is telesnaps only. Frankly, the Beeb should have waited and done some extras and animated the third episode (particularly after this is available in iTunes). No doubt we will have a 'special edition' to fleece us of our pennies within a year!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great adventure!, 4 April 2014
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Lv Humphrey - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Doctor Who - The Web of Fear [DVD] (DVD)
This is a Doctor Who series that's very sensibly written. The story is well-balanced, with a sensible thread ('sensible' bearing in mind the genre!) linking up everything, not like today's adventures which tend to be incomprehensible at times, and don't bare scrutiny. AND there's the bonus of the Brigadier's maiden appearance!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Caught in the Web of Years, 28 Feb 2014
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A wonderful web of action and intrigue spun from pure TV gold! 46 years may be "a handful of heartbeats to a Time Lord", but in the life of television it's an age. To watch a legendary show from the distant black-and-white days of 1968 that has been wiped, lost, then retrieved and restored is near miraculous. But is it still worth watching? Absolutely yes! I read the novelisation almost 40 years ago, the surviving first episode with its `Gothic' atmosphere was one of the best `teaser' trailers I could imagine, this DVD with the almost complete 6-part story fully lives up to its high reputation. 5*

The newly recovered, VidFIRE restored episodes look amazingly good. Episode 3 (still in some lost film can? Or found but damaged beyond repair?) is reconstructed with telesnaps and audio, not animation. Personally I prefer this for a single episode, especially as here we have the first meeting with Col. Lethbridge-Stewart, so I'd rather see still images of the actors than animation. Fortunately, episode 3 has quite large sections of exposition, lab work and walking through tunnels; important to the story but if one episode had to be missing it could have been worse. There are no extras on this DVD, maybe a later release will come out with extras but in fact much of the possible background material is already there on other DVDs. For example, the commentary and features on `Inferno' have information about the formation of UNIT, memories from Nicholas Courtney and John Levene about their early days on the show and working with Douglas Camfield and there is a special feature about him on `Terror of the Zygons', while `Tomb of the Cybermen' includes much about the Patrick Troughton era from Frazer Hines and Deborah Watling.

`The Web of Fear' brings Patrick Troughton's TARDIS to modern-day London in a way that would be very familiar to fans of the Jon Pertwee years, but was a novelty at the time. This story presages the elements that made the earthbound Pertwee years so popular: invading monsters, a villainous master-mind, exciting action scenes filmed on location and the heroic military battling to save the world. The forces here aren't UNIT, not yet, but already they are commanded with style by the young Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart. Nicholas Courtney seems to have found the character ready-made for him; he is perfectly at home in the role in this, his first story.

With so much gloom and subterranean darkness in the story, the black-and-white filming adds to the atmosphere, like a `Doctor Who' film noir, as the plot (and the Web) thickens and weaves around the fine cast of complex, well-drawn characters. Expertly directed by Douglas Camfield, (also `Inferno', `Terror of the Zygons' and many other credits) we can enjoy tense encounters in the tunnels, engaging moments between the Doctor and his companions, the brisk military intent of the Colonel and some splendid action sequences including the famous Battle of Covent Garden. The air is thick not only with the Web but with mistrust - the scientists and the military are arguing over their plans, an insensitive journalist is disliked by all, some of the soldiers are none too brave and it seems someone may be a traitor...

This was the second clash with the robot Yeti for the Doctor, Jamie (Frazer Hines) and Victoria (Deborah Watling), only three months after the broadcast of their first encounter in the still mostly missing `Abominable Snowmen'. Then, Professor Travers was trying to find the `real', animal yeti and met robot Yeti in the more probable setting of Tibet. Perhaps because it was so recent, not all the details of the unusual menace are spelled out this time. In the first story, the evil but formless Great Intelligence was accidentally contacted by a Tibetan monk travelling spiritually on the `astral plane'. It then instructed the monk to build the robots, disguised as Yeti, to seal off the monastery while the Intelligence tried to embody itself on Earth. The Intelligence is desperate to gain a physical existence in the Universe; in the first story this was as a torrent of shapeless ooze defeated by the Doctor, this time it is weaving the Web to give itself substance, and seeking revenge. In a brilliant return for the climax of the 2013 season we again saw the Great Intelligence, still wanting to end the anguish of its own bodiless state - and to give a similar fate for eternity to the Time Lord who had defeated it long before.

Roaring through the tunnels and streets of London, the Yeti look incongruous but still menacing and it's great to see them in a full story at last. Quite why the Intelligence would bother disguising its robots as yeti when they are thousands of miles from the Himalayas is anyone's guess. Perhaps as an `astral intelligence' it has no proper understanding of distances on Earth? Or perhaps it knew the BBC still had the costumes... ? Either way they are unforgettable monsters that you wouldn't want to meet in a dark tunnel and in one of the Yeti costumes is John Levene, better known as Sergeant Benton, here in his first `Doctor Who' appearance. The tunnels of `The Underground' (as most people still called the Tube) are some of the most convincingly claustrophobic studio sets ever used in the show; famously they even convinced London Transport who complained to the BBC about what they thought was unauthorised location filming!

You'll probably want to remove and reverse the DVD sleeve to show a design matching the classic collection DVDs rather than the `new series' look. Then sit back and enjoy the unexpected return of a skilfully woven yarn from a time when delays on the Circle Line are caused by a glowing web and rampaging robots. "Mind the Gap ..." And mind the Yeti!

Thanks for reading.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars nice to buy, 12 April 2014
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waited 40 years to see this . so have others, put that on a 50 inch screen , and enjoy the uncomplicated black and whiteness, of the show, held up well for its age
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Doctor Who - The Web of Fear [DVD]
Doctor Who - The Web of Fear [DVD] by Patrick Troughton (DVD - 2014)
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