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on 23 September 2000
The BBC, in the days before home video, decided that some of its programs were no longer required in its archives. In a somewhat unsystematic purging, many classics were consigned to the flames, including several Doctor Who stories. Fortunately, some fans of the series had made their own audio recordings, and these (following a thorough re-mastering by the BBC) are being released.
"The Web of Fear" is one of these releases. This story is very important in Doctor Who's long history - it points the way forward to a major change in format. At the beginning of the series, the Doctor's companions included two teachers Intelligence (Ian and Barbara). No story took place on contemporary Earth as one of the plot threads was the endeavours of these two teachers to return to their own time and place. Even after they returned home, this aversion to contemporary Earth continued. The first story fully set on contemporary Earth was "The War Machines", and "The Web of Fear" was the second.
Following on from the popularity of the Yeti in "The Abominable Snowmen" (another lost story, and sadly not also available as a CD soundtrack), the Doctor, Jamie and Victoria again encounter the Yeti - this time in the contemporary London Underground. This story introduces Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart, who afterwards is promoted to Brigadier and placed in charge of the British section of the United Nations Taskforce. One of the most popular of Doctor Who's supporting cast.
The story is strong, with an underlying mystery - who is the agent of the Great Intelligence who is controlling things? There is a sizeable cast with lots of suspects. As the story progresses, the web closes in and the cast members are thinned out. Tension would have been quite high for the viewers experiencing this story, one episode at a time over six weeks. It is still palpable in this story, even if you were to listen to all two and a half hours in one sitting.
Of course, we are deprived of the visuals and linking narrative read by Frazer Hines (who plays Jamie in the story) can only go some way towards bridging these gaps. For me, the season in which "The Web of Fear" appeared is the first I can remember watching Doctor Who as a child. My memory could supply a limited amount of imagery to accompany the sounds, but I don't believe this is necessary.
"The Web of Fear" is one of the best stories of Patrick Troughton's era playing the Doctor, and it is a good story for anyone interested in the show. For the fans, the bonus is that the story is a precursor to the UNIT stories, which were to form the backbone of the series a couple of years after this story was broadcast.
Highly recommended. OK BBC, where's "The Abominable Smowmen"?
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on 1 March 2001
Truly the most scary Dr Who from my childhood memory I was in no way disappointed by the audio. The atmosphere of the programme together with the challenges and twists of an action mystery make this alongside the Tomb of the Cybermen as the best Who ever.
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on 15 July 2000
This has always been one of my favourate Doctor Who stories ever since I heard a copy of the original off-air recording. Since then I have gone through the novelisation and the telesnap reconstruction with a fine tooth comb, and now that the BBC have released this story on audio it seems almost complete. It is only with hindsight that we can actually see how important this story was. It included the first appearance of Lethbridge-Stewart, a character which was to appear with the five predecessors to Troughton as the Doctor, and it also laid the foundations for the United Nations Intelligence Taskforce (or UNIT) which was to make it's first appearance later in the Troughton era in 'The Invasion'. The Web of Fear was also the last proper (and the best) appearance of the Yeti. This is in many ways a shame. They were at the time amongst the most popular enemies of the Doctor (barring of course the Daleks and the Cybermen), and had it not been for a fall out between Haisman and Lincoln [the creators of the Yeti, and writers of this story], they would probably have played a prominent role in future Doctor Who stories. However, it was not to be, and their final outing is certainly a worthy one. The BBC release of this story is done to perfection with the audio crystal-clear, and Frazer Hines linking narration completely unobtrusive and extremely appropriate. I just hope that the BBC continue to delve into Doctor Who's lost past through the use of audio... There may not be any pictures, but it's far better than nothing!
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on 13 November 2007
Doctor Who is best remembered for the monsters. Doctor Who is one of the best series ever produced. Doctor Who never seems to run out of fresh ideas even when it comes to sequels. The Yeti appeared first in The Abominable Snowmen, which was a great introduction to these classic monsters. But the Web of Fear is even better.

Some would say this is the classic story formula, a few people in a claustrophobic setting with plenty of scary moments and monsters just around the corner. But never did the series do it any finer than on this great story. Set in the london underground, amidst dark tunnels. The yeti in this story dont look cute as they did last time either, they look huge and formidable.

Some of the yeti scenes are the best in the whole history of the show, and its a shame only the soundtrack now exists as a whole. The few surviving clips are terrifying. This is a very scary story, especially in the opening episode as the first yeti comes to life....and the ending is fresh and slightly different for a change. Altogether this is a very good story with plenty going for it.
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on 27 January 2012
The highly regarded "Web of Fear" confuses me, I can appreciate that it is a classic Patrick Troughton story, but I don't think its his greatest, that surely goes to "Power", "Evil" or even "Tomb", anyway you look at it, the Web of Fear is a solid serial from the imfamous monster season of Doctor Who. Now then, I have never been the Abominable Snowmen's biggest fan, in fact I have never been a big fan of the Yeti, I was hoping that the Ice Warriors would be the 60's monster that is set to appear in series 7 of new Who in 2012, but hey, as long as they are bringing back the classics, I don't mind. I'm sure the Ice Warriors will follow on soon afterward, in season 15 or something.

Having been privilaged to sit down and enjoy all 6 episodes of the Web of Fear via Loose Cannons brand new reconstruction I can tell you that it is a much better improvement on the slow and drab Abominable Snowmen. The one great improvement is of course setting the serial in the London Underground, what a great idea that was!!! Next off we have Nicholas Courtney's first apperance as Colonel Lethbridge Stewart, soon to be a national institution on the programme and in recent years {20 or more} has become as popular with the fans and the viewers as Tom Baker.

The tight, dark and echoing atmosphere of this classic tale is what makes it, well, a classic. The Underground sets were so life like that the BBC were accused of illegally filming on London Underground property, Ha! When I first sat down and watched the first and only surviving episode on the Lost in Time DVD box set, I got chills from the vibes I was picking up from it, the incidental music is outstanding and really adds to the Hammer Horror feel of the production, you will get what I mean when you sit down and absorb this episode. Truly wonderful stuff. It is in episode 2 where things dip a little, and pretty much from then on until the final episode in fact. The story becomes too much of a run around, and we really don't get anywhere. Its basically a cat and mouse game in the tunnels beneath London, but with some great moments and one liners that manage to keep it interesting and the attention resolute.

The regulars are all on fine form, with special mention going to Pat and Nic of course. Thank god the bloke who was hired to play Nic's part of the Colonel fell ill and so Nic {who was originall meant to play doomed soldier Knight} was promoted to Colonel Lethbridge Stewart, if this had not occured, there would have been no Brigadier and hence forth no classic Jon Pertwee U.N.I.T. serials.

All in all, the Web of Fear will never rank as my all time favouite Patrick Troughton serial, but I don't deny that it is a piece of classic Doctor Who at the height of the Troughton era. Highly recommended.

Many thanks for your time,

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on 22 April 2001
this is another example of doctor who at its best every episode adds tothe doctor who myth and the yeti with the intelligence come though as a real force and it is a shame that they did not return later in the doctor who legand. This story is a classic and one that that the more you listen the more you like
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on 11 March 2000
As with the other recent releases, this is a superb, surprisingly high quality soundtrack of a story that has become deservedly mythical. In my view, it contains the first meld of the elements of that became traditional Doctor Who storytelling: claustrophobic, familiar 'contemporary' setting: the London Underground juxtaposed with bizarre and 'frightening' elements, bordering on the surreal: the Yeti of myth. Monsters, suspense, action and humour: this story has it all with excellent performances all round, particularly from Patrick Troughton. The soundtrack is crystal clear and perfectly complemented by easy to follow, through unobtrusive narration by Frazer Hines which does not allow any 'visual' sequences to drag on audio. The first appearance of Nicholas Courtney as the (to become much-loved) Lethbridge Stewart makes this a milestone. Interestingly, here he is a far more intelligent, well-realised man with real leadership qualities rather than a military buffoon: hear the scene where he is the only person to believe in the TARDIS on hearing of it for the first time! A forward, open-minded military thinker! An excellent, atmospheric story with moments of humour and suspense. What a pity we can't see it but this is the next best thing.
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on 22 January 2013
For saying it's second hand the quality was superb as was the service received
. The Web of fear audio track makes you wish it was available to watch but it certainly fills in the gap...a little bit of who history in this one as the Doctor meets the Brigadier for the first time. great stuff.
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on 24 April 2011
I bought the audio collection The Yeti Attack which included The Abominable Snowmen and The Web of Fear. The Web of Fear follows on from the Abominable Snowmen. When I first listened to The Web of Fear I found it exciting, thrilling and sinister. This episode has action and intrigue from the beginning. Out of all the episodes I found that episode 5 was the most stimulating. The series brings back a previous character from the Abominable Snowmen, the elderly Travers, who now has a daughter called Anne. I found the plot for this story better than The Abominable Snowmen because The Abominable Snowmen is a bit slow but I still enjoyed it. I found the alien intelligence quite sinister and cunning. This story also introduces a well loved character, Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart, who is a Colonel in this story. This story kept me on the edge on my seat and is one of my all time favourites. This story definitely does not deserve to have a bad review since lots of Doctor Who fans love this story. I recommend this story to any Doctor Who fan!
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on 25 February 2011
I'm probably committing sacrilege here, but I never totally got the Yetis. An ethereal super-intelligence is planning to take over earth and needs an invasion force, fair enough, but why are they robot yetis? The Amazing Mind-Controlled, Robotic Yetis! Sounds like a comic strip from Viz. Why are they lumbering around in the London Underground, how will this help achieve their global conquest? When the Intelligence was trying to take over the Tibetan Monastery in The Abominable Snowmen, an earlier episode, the Yetis made sense. The Web of Fear is basically just a rerun of that story in a different location. I found much of the story vague and in need of deeper explanation, you never really get the sense of what the Intelligence is or what it hopes to achieve.

The Underground setting, very atmospheric at first, becomes confining after a couple of episodes. The characters have little to do except dash down one tunnel or another, and like many of the Troughton era stories the middle episodes drag on a bit. The problem with this audio version is that during action scenes where there is little dialogue you are often left wondering what is going on, despite the well judged linking narration.

The story does have some iconic moments, the opening sequence in the museum, the Tardis landing in Covent Garden station, the first appearence of the Brigadier for example. However I think the story is revered for these moments rather than the total experience.
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