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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Doctor Who - The Web of Fear [DVD]
Format: DVD|Change
Price:£6.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on 30 September 2015
Just wonderful to be able to finally see this on screen after so many years. Pity about the one missing episode and a shame about the lack of extras but no doubt there will be a Special Edition at some point.
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on 21 August 2017
An outstanding story. The first episode was a classic and perhaps is still the best episode ironically, given it was the only episode not missing from the BBC archives. The Bartok used in the episode (as well as "Enemy") adds an extra menace in the scene.

Not the best 1960s serial, but close to it.
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on 9 June 2015
As a formerly lost story (and being too young to have seen it when first aired) I had heard of the popularity of the Web of Fear as a classic story of legend. I must admit it was far better than the later Troughton stories and really lives up to the mythos that had surrounded it. A must-have.
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on 13 November 2015
Bought this for my son, a diehard Doc Who fan from way back.One of the best stories ever and great resolution on the video, especially for the age.
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on 27 August 2017
Excellent service and quality
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on 23 July 2017
bit dated but great
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on 1 May 2017
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on 19 June 2017
Brilliant. So glad it was re-discovered.
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on 27 February 2014
iwas always going to like this story, because I have always enjoyed it - the novelisation, the audio story. But I was never pre-ordained to love it, but the story is so good that I do!

Episode 3 is worth considering. In 'The Invasion', the animation looked good but gave me a headache, in 'The Ice Warriors' the animation felt much more natural and was fantastic in its way. But here, the use of telesnaps, harking back to the filler episodes of VHS, is actually much better, allowing the viewer to see the story, the characters, the actors as they were. Whilst this is nice for Victoria, in eye candy terms, this is also very important for Lethbridge-Stewart, Nicholas Courtney's first appearance in this role, in historical terms.

Episode 4 is therefore where we see Lethbridge-Stewart in first motion, but the telesnaps in episode 3 have established the character. Nicholas Courtney is now in command, a position he won't give up for another decade. "Let's get on with it, shall we Knight!"

Patrick Troughton is on top form in this story, his voice skills really on show both when he retells events, and in many of the exchanges. The 2nd Doctor has always been as much about the sound of his voice as the visuals, perhaps because a high percentage of my early exposure to his stories was through the audio stories on cassette in the 1990s.

Jamie and Victoria are a lovely caring duo, this story following directly on from its rescued twin 'Enemy of The World' where the relationship was cemented. Fraser Hines' Jamie is always a reliable solid character, but never a boring one, the actor always playing him with intelligence. Deborah Watling's Victoria is very pretty, and dressed in a very fetching Native American outfit, but she is given some good lines, and some serious plot developments, and is allowed to be an independent-minded character in her own right.

The Yeti on their own terms are ideal for an enclosed environment, viz the London underground. When seen on the streets of London they are paradoxically effective both at long distance and close up, but verging on the laughable in the middle distance where their body shape strikes one as odd. Given that Doctor Who monster problems would continue for the next twenty years, this is not really a problem, as the majority of the time they are seen they are very a very powerful visual image.

The web itself is a strange element. Visually it is striking, and whilst it is applied well with the pseudo-gun, it is also a bit of an anti deus ex machina, something which exists, does the dirty work of the enemy, but is not properly explained.

Travers taken over by the Intelligence is both creepy and sinister, not least because we think the visage as belonging to a slightly doddery friendly old soul. It is a nasty surprise to find he has been taken over, and extinguished. "I am only using this body", the Intelligence says, but can we believe it?

Germanium must have meant something in the 1960s, but to me it just sounds like a muddled pronunciation of 'geranium'. What a germanium circuit is, well is it germane? Who knows?!

Evans is played very well, fully to develop suspicion but always with the right words, the right strategy to seem not to be the traitor. From episode to episode one is never sure! The watcher at the time would not know it was not Lethbridge-Stewart, that is a disadvantage the fan has in watching this. "I can assure you it's not me, McCrimmon" he says when Jamie fancies him as the traitor. It would have had a greater power of the moment at the time, when the viewer was not sure.

The supporting cast are great, given that most of them are soldier types. 'Staff' Arnold is a great resilient character.

We see the Doctor playing the Skye Boat Song on his recorder, a so-called typical Second Doctor scene, for all that we rarely actually get to see and hear this happen. Seeing it is a rare treat.

There is some amusing dialogue, such as Jamie asking the Doctor
"How do I know if I've got the right one?"
"You'll soon know if you haven't got the right one"
the Doctor replies, raising a wry grin and giggle in the viewer.

I didn't really notice the lack of special features, though it would have been nice to have had some colour snaps, and colour footage made whilst filming, but if such do not exist, they cannot be included. A retrospective on the filming would have been interesting, but how many people remain alive, it must be a small number. That is the only drawback in having a classic rediscovered so late in the day!
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TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 23 March 2014
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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