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Doctor Who - Planet of the Spiders [DVD] [1974]

4.5 out of 5 stars 87 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Jon Pertwee, Elisabeth Sladen, Nicholas Courtney, Richard Franklin, John Levene
  • Writers: Robert Sloman
  • 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: 2
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: 2entertain
  • DVD Release Date: 18 April 2011
  • Run Time: 150 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (87 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004P9MUK0
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,749 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

At a Tibetan retreat in the English countryside, a group of men are using ancient meditation rituals to tap into a mysterious alien power. They unwittingly create a bridgehead between Earth and Metebelis 3, a planet where the ‘Two Legs’ are oppressed by giant spiders. The creatures are desperate to recover the blue jewel that the Doctor gave to Jo Grant as a wedding gift.

Now the Doctor must risk everything and return to Metebelis 3 to face the awesome power of The Great One, who plans to use the crystal to enslave all of human kind...

Special Features

  • Audio commentary
  • Trailer
  • John Krane remembers Planet of the Spiders
  • Directing Who with Barry Letts
  • Now and Then: the locations of Planet of the Spiders
  • Photo gallery
  • Extract from Wogan relating to Doctor Who

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on 15 April 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Despite some of the negative critisisims on the "Padding" on this serial, the final one by Jon Pertwee as the Doctor, It is my all time favorite Doctor Who Serial, Classic or New. Jon brought an elagance to the role that has never been duplicated.

Yes, I am a Yank. But you British have a very nasty habbit of making vastly superior Television than we do, even at it's worst. I got hooked on Doctor Who way back in 1975,when Time Life Television first brought Tom Baker's Doctor to America, terribly cut, and with those absolutely horrid Howard Da Silvia narrative inserts. But several years later, some PBS stations started running uncut Jon Pertwee Doctor Who Serials, and I became hooked forever. So a tip of the hat to Jon Pertwee and of course, the forever lovely Liz Sladen for turning me into a life long Who fan.
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By Paul Tapner TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 15 May 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Jon Pertwee's final story as Doctor Who comes to dvd. All six twenty five minute long episodes on one disc in this two disc set, with various extras on the second.

The story sees the Doctor's actions in earlier storyDoctor Who - The Green Death [DVD] [1973] come back to haunt him, when people at a spiritual retreat practising ancient meditation rituals find it creates a way to travel to the alien world Metebilis Three. A world ruled by large sentient and telepathic spiders, who keep the human population primitive and under their control. In the Green Death the Doctor took a crystal from the planet that has healing properties. And now the spiders would like it back. They are using an embittered human called Lupton to help them get it. Plus, world domination of Earth is also on their minds.

The Doctor has to face the spiders and their queen. And may not walk away entirely unscathed.

This contains pretty much everything the Pertwee era had to offer. A six part story. UNIT. The Brigadier. Sarah Jane Smith [Jo Grant is mentioned but doesn't return]. Sergeant Benton. Mike Yates. An alien threat to Earth. Vehicles. And high speed chases.

And like a lot of six parters from the time it is also a bit too long. Contains a fair amount of padding. Plus it rather uses the Brigadier for comic effect. Mike Yates starts his final story well but then gets less and less to do. There are obviously supermiposed backgrounds and some special effects that don't quite come off. A lot of part two is an over extended chase sequence involving lots of vehicles that gets rather silly and doesn't really serve much dramatic purpose.
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A Buddhist parable, an action adventure, a personal redemption, a final project for the old team, a nostalgic farewell - and the story where *my* Doctor suddenly vanished. `Planet of the Spiders' has many legs to stand on and sometimes wobbles slightly, but there wasn't a dry eye in the house at the end ... 5*

Somewhere in `darkest Mummerset' (as Sarah Jane Smith sarcastically puts it) two exiled Tibetan monks have established a peaceful retreat where people can seek inner truth through meditation. Ideal, you might think, for (ex-) Captain Mike Yates (Richard Franklin), formerly of UNIT, seeking peace and personal redemption for his earlier actions. He would find the second, but not the first, as the centre is also hosting failed businessman Lupton (John Dearth), on a quest for mental power. Neither of them expected to meet the giant spiders of Metebelis III, but when they scuttle into view, Mike knows exactly who to call.

The Doctor and the Brigadier (a small but important role in this story for Nicholas Courtney, excellent as always) are enjoying/enduring a slightly seedy variety show as part of the Doctor's research into the paranormal. They have just invited a stage illusionist back to HQ to demonstrate his real powers, when the infamous blue crystal of Metebelis III turns up in the post, sent back by Jo Grant from somewhere up the Amazon (the river, obviously!). Her letter reads "the indian porters say it's bad magic" - highly perceptive people, these crystals enhance mental powers and in the wrong hands are very bad magic indeed.

Power-hungry Lupton and the spiders of Metebelis are most definitely the wrong hands (and legs) and a six-part struggle ensues for possession of the last `perfect blue crystal' which the Doctor acquired on a previous visit.
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My Doctor’s dying.

It’s 1974, and my Doctor, the Third one, collapsed exhausted on to the laboratory floor and, with a little nudge from Cho-je, changed.

Heartbreaking for a nine year old, as it would be for a 2010 nine year old as their Tenth Doctor did the same.

Would I have the same feelings of desolation as I closed the DVD tray, watching the same inevitability (losing the Doctor again but 37 years later) sliding silently into the machine?

The Barry Letts’ co-written (Robert Sloman) and directed, DOCTOR WHO - PLANET OF THE SPIDERS is a four-parter in the sheep’s clothes of a six-parter, and there is far too much padding to be comfortable including a gadget-led chase sequence that was neither exciting or driven by the plot. However, for fortysomethings, the story has remained an iconic cornerstone in the series’ long history; a conclusion to Pertwee’s avuncular Doctor, and the disbandment of the “Letts’ Family” (this is extensively analysed in the DVD’s featurette, THE FINAL CURTAIN) that had become so engrained over the previous four years.

Released on 18 April 2011, this newly restored (and, yes, the quality of this new “print” is stunningly clear, saturated with colour and devoid of dirt & dust specks) release will entertain and enthral younger fans of the NEW SERIES whilst it will reinforce within older fans why they embraced the series in the first place and continued to do so as the series ebbed & waned through its turbulent years of the 1980s.
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