Say Something Nice – Doctor Who: The Web Planet

In an effort to find something quick that can be written as part of Daily Doctor Who, we are continuing with Say Something Nice, where I look back at each of the Doctor Who stories and pull out one or two cool things about it.

(Daily Doctor Who #91)

Read the previous entry here. Today, we continue with the second season’s fifth story…

The Web Planet

Featuring the same cast as last time: William Hartnell as the Doctor, William Russell as Ian Chesterton, Jacqueline Hill as Barbara Wright, and Maureen O’Brien as Vicki. Written by Bill Strutton and directed by Richard Martin..

Individual episodes are called The Web Planet, The Zarbi, Escape to Danger, Crater of Needles, Invasion, and The Centre.

Say Something Nice…

(Named for Missy–aka the Master–and her catchphrase from her first full appearance in Dark Water).

The Web Planet is one of the early series’ most ambitious efforts, in terms of the elaborate alien world and species that are displayed. It displays the show’s efforts to avoid simple “monsters of the week” but rather to create interesting concepts and thoughtful commentaries. The Zarbi and the Menoptra apparent reflect thoughts about socialism, for example. It’s been a while since I’ve seen it but my memory is that it is quite a good Barbara story.

But because we’re equal-opportunity fans here, we’re not going to only be sycophantically complimentary.

You craven-hearted spineless poltroon!

(Another cry from the Master, but not exactly a catch-phrase, this time from The Deadly Assassin)

Yes, the show was ambitious, but it still tried to depict giant ants and butterflies with Doctor Who’s 1965 budget and technology, an effort that is bound to be problematic. I also remember thinking that Ian didn’t have much of a role, and that his whole effort to get to the heart of the problem just amounted to nothing (although I guess he provided a distraction for Barbara to save the day).

Catch you next time!

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