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13 of 14 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 7 months ago by Bob Marlowe

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 8 months ago by Spacehed

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13 of 14 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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Recovered Second Doctor Classic, 13 Oct 2013
Timelord007 (The Tardis) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Doctor Who - The Web of Fear [DVD] (DVD)

Doctor Who:The Web Of Fear (DVD).

Product Info.
Format: PAL
Language: English
Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
Region 2
Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
Number of discs: 1
Classification: PG
Studio: 2entertain
Running Time: 146 minutes

Patrick Troughton, Frazer Hines & Deborah Watling all deliver superb performances.
Its U.N.I.T first adventure featuring the superb Nicholas Courtney as Colonel Alistair Gordon Lethbridge Stewart.

Episode 3 is still missing along with 97 other missing episode's.

1)Doctor Who production were refused permission to film in Londons subways resulting in set designers producing this ultra realistic sets so convincing that London Underground contacted the BBC to voice a complaint for unauthorised filming.
2)Nicholas Courtney got the role of Lethbridge Stewart when original cast actor David Langton pulled out during rehearsals.
3)Jack Watling (Professor Travers) is father of Deborah Watling.
4)Professor Travis also featured in The Abominable Snowman Second Doctor adventure.

What's Up Doc.
The TARDIS narrowly avoids becoming engulfed in a cobwebby substance in space & materializes in the London Underground railway system, the tunnels of which are being overrun by the web from 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?

Timelord Thoughts.
Missing episodes are like buses you wait years for a episode to turn up then 9 turn up all at once.
This 38 year old Whovian was so excited at 12am Friday morning as he leapt with excitement even waking up his family due to his Whovian fanboy loving.

This story has been missing from series 5 & at last has been returned to the BBC archives 46 years after original transmission thought lost forever.

The plot involving Yeti's in the underground subway & the first apperance of The great intelligence that threaten the earths inhabitants & it's up to the Doctor, Jamie, Victoria & U.N.I.T to put a stop to the great intelligences sinister plans once & for all or do they?

This is the Yeti's second apperance having first appeared in The Abominable Snowman.

Great Direction comes from the excellent Douglas Camfield who was one of Doctor Who's greatest director's who handles the action sequences superbly & paces the drama well to add suspense to the scary elements of this adventure.

This sees the begining of one of the Doctor's most trusted allies U.N.I.T led by the infamous Colonel Lethbridge Stewart played superbly by Nicholas Courtney, This was a backdoor pilot for future adventures of Doctor Who but that's another story entirely.

This is your typical Second Doctor story with invading monsters combined with the cunning intellect of great intelligence as this is easily one of Troughtons best performances as the Doctor & as ever is whimsical, childlike & very clever as to not miss a trick.

All the elements are here for classic Doctor Who which now us fans can settle down to finally see after 46 long years & the episodes have been cleaned up & restored using VIDfire looking & sounding superbly detailed & sharp, yet sadly there is no animated episode 3 which is still currently missing & there sadly is a lack of extras due to it's rushed DVD release which sees a pity as surely there's plenty to discuss on the recovery & restoration of these episodes.

Doctor Who fan's should thank the talents of Phillip Morris who's hard work locating these storys cannot go unrewarded, So a huge Thank You from the Whovians around the world as you have returned to us Two classic adventures of the Second Doctor we thought we'd never see again.

Timelord Rating.
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27 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Going Underground, 21 Feb 2014
Mr. D. K. Smith (South Wales, UK) - See all my reviews
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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5 of 6 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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This review is from: Doctor Who - The Web of Fear [DVD] (DVD)
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 quite a novelty at the time - I think this was only the third or fourth such story ever. 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 credited `Doctor Who' appearance. The tunnels of `The Underground' 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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5.0 out of 5 stars A Doctor Who Holy Grail!, 30 July 2014
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This review is from: Doctor Who - The Web of Fear [DVD] (DVD)
You probably already know that this story was lost from the BBC archives bar it's opening episode and was rediscovered in 2013.
What you want to know is- is it any good?

I first saw The Web of Fear part one in 1991. The story begins with a lot of tension and I always wondered if the quality would be kept up through its entire 6 episodes. Being extremely familiar with part one, it was with real excitement that I was able to press on into part two and finally see what happened next.
What follows is a brilliant 'base-under-siege' story, a staple of this part of the Troughton era but this must surely be the best example. The yeti are for the most part used sparingly (though there's a brilliant action set piece in part 4) but you are constantly aware of a sense of menace throughout the story despite a lack of discernible villain.
There are some great characters too from the big hitters like Travers and (debuting) Lethbridge Stewart (later The Brigadier) right down to minor characters who get killed off early. The self serving Weems is a delight as is smarmy Harold Chorley.
And Troughton really shines here playing a more serious version of his Doctor. If you want consequences in your Doctor Who, look no further.
It's a shame part 3 is still missing (just a soundtrack with some stills) but there's still plenty to love here.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The one with the Yeti in the London Underground, 23 Mar 2014
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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133 of 165 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than you can ever imagine!, 11 Oct 2013
S. Vance "doc1970" (Birmingham UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Doctor Who - The Web of Fear [DVD] (DVD)
Like many fans of Doctor Who, I have waited with bated breath this week for the announcement of exactly which episodes of WHO were back at the Beeb. The Web of Fear has always been at the top of my list of episodes that I wanted to see, so to discover (admittedly before the embargo was lifted at midnight) that all bar one of these episodes was recovered was the biggest thrill I think I have ever experienced (and I've had a few!!!)
Naturally I immediately headed to iTunes at a minute after midnight and downloaded all 6 eps of Web as well as all 6 eps of The Enemy of the World, and believe me when this hits the DVD release day you will not be disappointed.
The remastering is phenomenal - the picture is crystal clear, the sound is sharp and clear, and the action is truly wonderous to behold.
Pat, Fraser & Deborah are on sparkling form, and the supporting cast are simply fantastic.
But for me, a huge reason I had to see this story was for the arrival of a certain Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart. I had the privilege of meeting Nick Courtney on many occasions - and getting very drunk with him on most of them. With his performance here in Web you can totally understand why he was asked back to reprise the role the following season in The Invasion.
I'm not going to waffle on - I'm just going to suggest you get this ASAP. Then sit back, relax, and marvel at how brilliant 60's Doctor Who was and cross your fingers that there are more missing episodes on their way back home................
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5 of 6 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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5.0 out of 5 stars Scary Yeti!, 11 Aug 2014
Mr. Stephen Redman (York England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Doctor Who - The Web of Fear [DVD] (DVD)
At last, a fairly complete Yeti adventure with the second doctor. One episode is made up of a number of stills with the original soundtrack, but the other five episodes are complete and ä joy to watch. This is also one of the few early Who's that I can really see why I was scared as a child! This has kept well (dramatically).
Your collection needs this.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Yeti in the London Underground!, 11 Aug 2014
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This review is from: Doctor Who - The Web of Fear [DVD] (DVD)
Again another lost classic found after all these years!

This is the second story out of the nine missing episodes to be found from the Patrick Troughton days of `Doctor Who'.

Found in 2013 along with `The Enemy of the World' by missing episode hunter Phillip Morris, this is a 50th anniversary present of `Doctor Who' fans weren't expecting. I certainly wasn't expecting these episodes to be found and it's great to have them back. `The Web of Fear' is a classic story not just because it's Patrick Troughtons' Doctor who's in it, but it also features the celebrated villains of his era - the robotic Yeti. This is their second appearance in `Doctor Who' and I'm very pleased to have seen it on the TV screen with our family DVD player. Sadly, only one episode out of this six-part story is missing. But it's great that most of `The Web of Fear' is back with us and it gets its DVD release.

`The Web of Fear' was broadcast in 1968 during Patrick Troughton's fifth season of `Doctor Who'. The only episode to exist from that story before its recovery was `Episode 1' that was included in the 'Lost in Time' DVD as well as some surviving footage from Episodes 2, 4, 5 and 6. I remember enjoying watching this episode and was really captivated by the superb direction and pacey action under the late Douglas Camfield. The episode ended on a cliff-hanger which was truly edge-on-your-seat. I remember new series writer Robert Shearman saying on the Patrick Troughton documentary `Second Time Round' on 'The Krotons' DVD that he was in tears for the fact they were weren't going to see what happens next after that first episode since the rest of the story was lost at the time. Well Rob, you don't have to cry anymore. `The Web of Fear' is bar in its entirety barring one episode. The only episode to be missing from this story is `Episode 3' which is a shame since it makes the story still incomplete and it's the episode where we first met Colonel (later Brigadier) Lethbridge-Stewart for the first time, which annoys me slightly.

Like with `The Enemy of the World', I bought the audio soundtrack to accompany the story and learn what happened following the surviving Episode 1. But in a similar situation to the preceding story, I had no visual references and didn't watch the tele-snaps for `The Web of Fear' which made it hard-going for me to listen to on audio despite superb linking narration by Frazer Hines. I was willing to give it another try and listen to the audio soundtrack, but thankfully that doesn't have to happen as I can now watch and enjoy the story of `The Web of Fear' on DVD. I remember certain things in the audio soundtrack that were in the actual TV episodes which came back to me as I watched the story.

`The Web of Fear' as I said before is very special for featuring Patrick Troughton's Doctor with his companions Jamie and Victoria. Also it's special for featuring the Yeti in their second appearance in `Doctor Who' that are monsters I've been fascinated by from watching documentaries and seeing them briefly in 'The Five Doctors'. Until that point, these creations by writers Mervyn Haisman and Henry Lincoln could not be seen on TV properly, so it was great to actually watch them on DVD and discover what the Yeti were all about. Also this story's special for featuring in his first appearance in `Doctor Who', Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart, who would later become the Brigadier in many `Doctor Who' stories played by Nicholas Courtney. Also Jack Watling appears in his second appearance in `Doctor Who' as Professor Travers. The late Jack Watling happens to be Deborah Watling's father, and it was great to see the two of them acting together in `Doctor Who' and I'm sure Debbie's delighted to see her father again acting with her in the series.

The story follows on directly from the cliff-hanger of 'The Enemy of the World', where the Doctor, Jamie and Victoria manage to close the doors of the TARDIS and avoid being sucked out into space. They eventually arrive in London during the 1960s where the TARDIS lands on the platform of an underground tube station. Finding no trains running on the tube lines, the Doctor, Jamie and Victoria decide to explore and investigate. They discover army officers who are dealing with a menace in the underground tunnels. The menace happens to be the Yeti who the Doctor fought in 'The Abominable Snowmen'. Trying to find out what the Yeti and the Great Intelligence are up to, the Doctor and friends work with the army including Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart and get to reunite with Professor Travers who is delighted to see them after so many years.

I'm impressed with how director Douglas Camfield makes this story feel so action-packed and utilises the army for the fight scenes against the Yeti. The action sequences in Episode 4 with the Brigadier...sorry Colonel leading his men to fight the Yeti in the streets of Londo are truly mesmerising. I especially like how the underground tunnels were filmed, and according to Frazer Hines they were actual sets. To look at them you'd think they were in the London Underground, and London Transport were actually going to sue the producers for using the underground station when they actually weren't. It's very impressive and so much thought goes into this story in terms of plot, characters, set design, action and of course the Yeti who look cute and cuddly as well as terrifyingly frightening.

This story in many ways is a prequel to 'The Invasion', as the events of this story would inspire Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart to form U.N.I.T. (the United Nations Intelligence Taskforce) where we would see him again as the Brigadier. Douglas Camfield would also go on to direct `The Invasion' and utilise the army forces again and action-packed direction for that story as well as using them here in `The Web of Fear'.

I really enjoyed Patrick Troughton as the Doctor in this adventure. I like his horrified face when he discovers it's the Yeti in `Episode 1'. He seems to get blown up by the end of `Episode 1', leaving him absent from `Episode 2'. But the Doctor comes back to be reunited with Victoria when held at gunpoint by the Colonel. I like it when he and Anne Travers get to work together on the spheres and actually program one of them to follow their instructions. To see the Doctor watching the Yeti sphere roll about on the floor was a truly magic moment and I remember seeing a clip of that on BBC News 24 when the nine missing episodes found was announced.

Frazer Hines is equally good as Jamie, being heroic and daring as ever. He and Evans go down the tunnel to find the Doctor before coming up against some Yeti and web-like fungus in the tunnels. I found it tense when Jamie was angry and determined to go after Victoria and rescue her from the possessed Travers and Yeti before the Doctor and Colonel stop him. Jamie gets to use the control device to give commands to the Yeti that the Doctor and Anne gain control of, even though he doesn't know which one it is. I liked it when Jamie embraces Victoria at one point, as it demonstrates how fond they are of each other.

Victoria is wonderful in this story too, played by Deborah Watling. I loved the look on her face when she recognises Professor Travers when she and Jamie first meet him. I remember listening to that scene on the audio soundtrack and found the reunion moment very touching. I was looking to seeing that scene when the story came out on DVD and found it equally enjoyable to see Travers agog at seeing Jamie and Victoria and Jamie commenting how old he is which made me laugh. Victoria's very brave when she goes into the tunnel to look for the Doctor and very brave when she's with Professor Travers in the underground tunnel and are prisoners of the Yeti.

It was great to see Nicholas Courtney as Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart in his first appearance of `Doctor Who'. Nick Courtney had been in `Doctor Who' before playing Bret Vyon in `The Daleks' Master Plan', which was also directed by Douglas Camfield. But the Colonel (later Brigadier) is what Nick is fondly remembered for in `Doctor Who'. Even though Episode 3's missing and we have to put up with telesnaps, I like that first scene where he meets Captain Knight and introduces himself, "Expect you're wondering who the devil I am, hey?" At this point, we're not whether he's a goodie or a baddie. Even though we as viewers today know the Brigadier is a good guy, back then in `The Web of Fear' it was pretty uncertain. I really like the whodunit plot of who's working with the Yeti, as it's either the Colonel or not.

Jack Watling playing Professor Travers was a joy to watch. I like that first scene in Episode 1 where he's trying to get the Yeti back from private collector Silverstein and is easily frustrated when he doesn't. He's pretty erratic and irritable in his eccentricity at the beginning of the story. But eventually we soon come to discover he's a pretty clever man and is delighted when the Doctor, Victoria and Jamie show up remembering them from `The Abominable Snowmen'. Travers has a daughter named Anne who he seems to love devotedly. It's pretty frightening when Travers gets kidnapped by the Yeti and the Great Intelligence possess and use him to speak their words to the Doctor and the others. Travers regrets activating the sphere and bringing back the Yeti from Tibet, as he's `sacrificed the world...and for what...'

The rest of the guest cast includes Tina Packer playing Anne Travers, Professor Travers' daughter. Jon Rollason playing Chorley, a television news journalist and reporter. Ralph Watson playing Captain Knight. Jack Woolgar playing Staff Sgt. Arnold. And there's Derek Politt playing Welshman Driver Evans, who I found really funny and seems to be rather cowardly at times in this story. Also there's John Levene (who is best-known in `Doctor Who' terms playing Sergeant Benton with U.N.I.T.) and here he's one of the Yeti which is most extraordinary.

The Yeti, I found were very interesting monsters to watch in the story. They happen to be robots dressed up as Yeti being controlled by something called the Great Intelligence. Now whether the Great Intelligence in the Second Doctor Yeti stories is the same Great Intelligence in the Matt Smith stories I don't know. I assume they are. But they use these Yeti robots to carry out their dirty work and to kill and kidnap human beings in their conquest to take over the Earth. It's quite a frightening moment when one of the Yeti kills Silverstein at the beginning of the story. They know the Doctor and are the ones who brought him and companions down to Earth in the TARDIS. The Yeti use some sort of web or fungus to kill or paralyse their human victims in the tube train tunnels in London. They have guns that spray web-like fluids to attack the Earth soldiers which is pretty frightening indeed. These are upgraded versions of the Yeti looking more scary compared to the ones in `The Abominable Snowmen' yet still have that cuddly feel to them when out in force.

Sadly like `The Enemy of the World' DVD, there aren't any special features to go with this story. There's only a trailer for `The Enemy of the World' that's available now and also a DVD sleeve booklet to accompany the story with behind-the-scenes information. And if you want to call a special feature, there's the `tele-snap' Episode 3 to cover the blanks of the missing episode. If you have the `Lost in Time' DVD, there is an audio commentary on Episode 1 of the story featuring Deborah Watling and script editor Derrick Sherwin that is moderator by Gary Russell

I was saddened when watching the DVD there was no Episode 3 to watch apart from the use of tele-snaps. I had to switch on the subtitles for me, my mum and my dad's sake to understand what the Doctor, Jamie, Victoria and other characters were saying to know what's going on in terms of the story. Why couldn't they have re-animated Episode 3 for the DVD. I would have been happy to wait for them to animate the episode like they did with 'The Moonbase' and 'The Ice Warriors' to make the story complete. But sadly they didn't' do that, as they wanted to get the DVD sent out to purchasers who wanted to see these missing episodes. I suppose one day we'll get the special edition of `The Web of Fear' with Episode 3 animated and making-of documentary included.

I really have enjoyed `The Web of Fear'. It's a great action-paced adventure with splendid direction by Douglas Camfield and wonderful performances by Patrick, Frazer, Debbie, Nick Courtney and Jack Watling. I'm so pleased this story is found as it is one of the most significant stories in `Doctor Who's history. It sets things in motion for what is to come in later years of the series with Jon Pertwee's Doctor and U.N.I.T.. It's a story worth having and I'm glad to have watched something with the Yeti in it.

The next story with the Doctor, Jamie and Victoria is 'The Great Space Elevator'.
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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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