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on 15 January 2013
Planet of Giants was the first commissioned serial of Doctor Who's second season and it was duly anticipated by viewers in 1964, according to the Radio Times at least. I have previously owned the VHS version of this serial, which was the first to receive the VIDFIRE process, and I always thought that it was an interesting story, though maybe a little too convoluted as a season opener. Upon discovering more information via this DVD I have learned a lot more concerning this particular serial, and I now have a newfound fondness for this three-part addition to the Who mythos.
The plot of the story revolves around the malfunction of the Tardis door opening mid-flight, resulting in the miniaturising of the occupants inside to roughly one inch tall. Suffice to say, conspiracy unfolds concerning murder and agricultural ethics in the form of an indiscriminate fertiliser. Originally, this serial was meant to air with four parts, but it was necessary to edit them down to three due to thoughts that the pace of the story was far too lagging. This led to a loss of some crucial plot elements, I think, and it is only through the reconstruction of the original episodes three and four that, in my opinion, has renewed 'Planet of Giants' to its intended status as a worthy second season opener.
The DVD itself contains the complete serial, at approximately 73 minutes in length, with digitally remastered picture and sound quality. This is particularly evident in comparison with the VHS release, and the team have done a brilliant job yet again at cleaning up the odd grain and dirt stain. The serial can be viewed with optional English subtitles and production notes, which provide significant insight into the making of and history behind the serial, along with information regarding the cast and crew. There is also an offering to view the story with an audio commentary with vision mixer Clive Doig, special sounds creator Brian Hodgson, make-up supervisor Sonia Markham and David Tilley, moderated by Mark Ayres. This provides an interesting account of the production of this particular serial and the show in general, and the people engage wholeheartedly in the programme to deliver an entertaining first-hand account. Also provided are two interviews, taken from 'The Story of Doctor Who' in 2003, with Verity Lambert and Carole Anne Ford, who played Susan, which provide an insight into characterisation and programme development. The real bonus, in my opinion, is the reconstruction of the original unaired episodes three and four, which were originally edited into one episode for reasons described above. The team have done an absolutely brilliant job in using stock footage and new material, alongside existing actors and impersonators to recreate these missing episodes, which provide an extension of the main story, with a lot more plot development and interactional dialogue. There is also a documentary detailing the making of the reconstructed episodes, alongside a photo gallery of on-set photographs and a PDF version of the Radio Times listings for this particular serial, with an integrated overview of the first season recounted by the article writer.
All in all, it is definitely worth picking up this DVD, even if you aren't a dedicated Whovian, as there is so much history to be explored within this little serial, with plenty of extra features to keep you occupied. As previously stated, I have a newfound fondness for 'Planet of Giants' and I am glad that it has finally received the treatment it deserves.
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on 5 May 2014
The first story of the second season, originally transmitted October and November 1964.Rather than just having The Doctor and the 3 original companions land somewhere, this story had the travellers shrunk to 1 inch tall, due to the Tardis doors opening pre materialisation. Ian witnesses a murder and the rest of the plot revolves around the travellers trying to expose the murderer and get Barbara back to the Tardis as quickly as possible, as she has been contaminated with an extremely dangerous insecticide. Needless to say all turns out well in the end.
An interesting story, somewhat different to what was originally offered at the time. The special effects, for the time, are well done, and the restoration team have done an excellent job, as the picture and sound quality are excellent.
The bonus material with this disc are once again excellent. This story was originally planned as a 4 part story, but was cut to 3. The bonus material recreates how it would have been if it was transmitted as a 4 part story. Carol Ann Ford expresses her time on the programme, which is interesting if you can remember her in the series all of those years ago. Altogether, I would recommend this story if you were a fan of the series when it first aired.I would think that viewers who have only seen the new series (from 2005 onwards) would probably find this story a bit dull.
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on 24 March 2017
This is very interesting, it includes the broadcast 3-episode story and a rebuilt 4-episode story featuring new voice material from William Russell and Carol-Anne Ford as well as voice actors who do Hartnell etc very well. To be honest, the story makes more sense in the 3-episode format, as in the 4th some things seem to repeat, or be used in two different ways. But either way it is a clever story, taking place in 2 distinct theatres, one of the biggers and one of the smallers.

The DVD extras on making the 4-parter live are well worth watching
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on 6 January 2018
Before we had land of the giants from american television producers we have a doctor who classic Planet of the Giants where Ian and Barbara land back in 1963 but everything is not what it seems as they are now tiny people having to stay alive against giant ants etc. There is on 2 episodes of the original transmission seen on tv but once again thanks to Ian Chesterton and Carole Anne Ford with a couple of voice actors recreate the audio so that animators can translate what we see on screen.
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on 2 June 2018
A good attempt at making everyone look smaller than they really are considering when it was made and on a small budget worked very well william hartnell excelled in his own performance as did all the regulars and supporting actors good story line delightful to be able to see it for the first time all in all good for all fans of the programme .
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on 24 October 2013
Everything is quiet in the garden - which is hardly surprising since it has all been killed! Restored to an amazing standard, this is one of those 'makes you think' stories from Doctor Who's distant past. After the TARDIS doors open in flight, the crew are reduced to just one inch tall. The rest of the plot could really stand on its own without this extra element, but it does give the special effects department something to do. The edited episodes are cleverly restored, although I'm sure that some cat lovers will be dismayed at a couple of the animated scenes!
All in all, a good package with some useful extras. If you have never seen early Doctor Who, this isn't one of the most immediately exciting stories, but it has a strangely claustrophobic atmosphere and as I wrote above, it does make you think!
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on 3 February 2018
Classic sci fi 'shrink the cast' idea. Done a few times in Who but this also then turns into a murder mystery. Echoes of the Avengers here too. Great sets and capers down pug holes etc!
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on 3 January 2018
Considering the source material is over 50 years old, both the story & the picture quality is very good
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on 21 April 2017
This is a 3-part story which is as relevant today as it was then with its ecological message.
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on 26 January 2014
It's good to see Doctor Who when William Hartnell was the first original doctor, takes me back to watching this in my childhood.
Enjoyed it and great fun to watch.
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