The Web Planet

I’ve just watched the Web Planet.

Definitely both good and bad. Episode one in general was a lot of fun.

For the whole thing, the Doctor, Ian, Barbara, and Vicki were great, really, as can be expected. We get some time with Barbara and Vicki together where we find out a bit more about where she comes from, as she considers aspirin to be on a level with using leaches for medicine.

We also get some good moments with Ian and the Doctor involving Ian’s pen, and then his tie.

I rather liked them having specialized equipment they put on when going out of the Tardis, atmospheric density jackets and respiratory compensators.

I was noticing the Doctor treating Vicki a good deal like a substitute for Susan.

Once we actually start getting into the aliens, we start coping with the weird camera stuff and bad costumes and acting.

The moth people had silly furry striped costumes, but those were actually probably the best costumes of the bunch. The larval ones were a bit sillier, and the ant ones totally took me out of it, as the human legs were pretty obvious.

With the acting, there were a lot of silly voices and bad cavemen impressions, and stuff from the captain kirk school of voice acting.

OTOH, Vrestin was great, and so were Prapillus and the Animus.

The writing… well, sometimes it was great, and sometimes it was “Zarbi! Zarbi! Zarbi!”, or hopping around saying “The Light!”. But, you know, sometimes we were given:

PRAPILLUS: Hilio, the Menoptra have no wisdom for war. Before the Animus came, the flower forest covered the planet in a cocoon of peace. Our ancestors carved temples like this for resting places of our dead, but that was all the work we did. There were no other plans to make. Light was our God and we existed in light, flying above thought. Our banishment has taught us of enemies and weapons, and my captivity has taught me strategy. They tore my wings from me and I felt, as you feel, that all was lost. But if our Gods favour our survival, we must learn their lesson and use our brains and not our wings. This Earth woman we must trust, for she can show us how to exist without wings, to survive and flourish. What should we do?

Like a lot of 6 parters, I do feel it could’ve been shorter, especially since you could cut out a bunch of the bad bits.

The Doctor’s games of wits with the Animus were great, not the least because arguing with a tube meant we didn’t have to deal with wonky costumes.

All in all, I did quite like it, despite some of the stuff it had going against it. Main issue really was that they were trying to do more than they could pull off, and I’d rather that then not trying to do enough…

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I love this story! I’m glad you enjoyed it. There’s actually a novel that’s a sequel with the Second Doctor, which I really enjoyed, called Twilight of the Gods

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And the Big Finish audio imaginatively titled Return to the Web Planet.

(I, unfortunately, found very little to enjoy in Twilight of the Gods).

I’m glad to see someone who genuinely enjoys The Web Planet! Incidentally, I’m one of the many who don’t. It’s painfully slow; the music and sound design are annoying and loud; the acting is bad; the Zarbi are good on paper but not so much in execution; the weird lens effects (made by applying Vaseline to the special camera lenses!) are distracting; and the story isn’t very interesting at all. Granted, it was an ambitious project in terms of its production values, but one that didn’t fully pay off. It’s one of only a couple of Classic Who stories I have to watch at 2x speed to get through it (and I only rewatch it if I am doing a complete classic series rewatch). I don’t think I could sit through it if it was partly or completely missing.

I do love the scene in which one of the Zarbi actors accidentally bump into the camera as well as the famous Hartnell flub of “many light Earths” instead of “many light years”.

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Well, you know, it probably helps for me that I’m more of a classic Who fan who also likes new Who. I think 6 episodes is longer then I’d like, but I also think new Who is too short. I’d actually be happier with new Who if it was mostly two parters.

That and I like moments where they slow down and explore the characters more, which is part of why I liked the first episode. For me, Ian and the Doctor walking around bantering is perfect. When it’s slow and not advancing the plot or characterization, and might even be them repeating the same things several times, is more of an issue…

I actually feel like reading the novelization on this one might be interesting, if they expand on some of the stuff like “Light was our God and we existed in light, flying above thought.”. I have to wonder if this was originally intended to be a novel.

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Yeah, this is the one Classic story that I had to come back to and force myself to finish it. I applaud their ambition, but this is not a favorite of mine.

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I go back and forth on this one. I used to enjoy it but on my recent rewatch with my eldest found it dragged a bit. I do love the Optera though and all the poetic ways they have of describing things. It is to the credit of the production team that they were willing to push themselves so much in these early days.

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I’m in the middle of watching this story now (I’ve seen parts 1 & 2; usually I only watch 1 or 2 episodes in a sitting). I really enjoyed the first episode – the fact that it was mostly just the TARDIS crew interacting with each other did alert me that this was probably going to be one slow-paced story, but those interactions were so fun to watch :smile: Vicki and Barbara bantering about what a primitive time Barbara must’ve come from, for example. Part 2… well, it felt a lot slower. Clearly I still need to watch the rest of the serial to judge the thing as a whole, though!

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Yeah, and it’s definitely one of these spots where part one being that good when I’m watching them back to back definitely affected my opinion.

I love the banter, and it’s always something I’d like to see more of.

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I’d always heard bad things about this story but honestly, I really enjoyed it when I watched it a few months back. It’s slow but oh so charming. That’s what lifts it way up for me is how ambitious it is. I love the Menoptra. Their design and particularly the way they speak and deliver lines is excellent.

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Should this be merged with the TV Club when we hit this story in early September?

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Might not be a bad idea, since it’s pretty much the same things I’d be saying at that point about it…

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I just watched this the other day. I liked the first episode for the most part but for the rest of it I kinda zoned out a lot.

The costumes were ambitious and bad for the most part, the sounds almost gave me PTSD from its repeated use, the visuals were a smudgy mess. I think the funniest part, from a production standpoint, was the creaking of the set whenever the creatures moved around.

The plot was plodding and repetative, with back and forth across the creaky sound stage. The three seperate stories was nice to see, with them all working towards the same goal. Vicki didn’t get as much to do as she had in the last Serial but she was a high point for this one.

Overal it was ambitious but falls short. and it can be a struggle to get through. 2.5/5

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