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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Entertainment & Interests > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Doctor Who

Doctor Who "Bigger on the inside..."

View Poll Results: Rate The Web of Fear
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Old October 11 2013, 07:55 AM   #1
Candlelight
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The Web of Fear - Grading & Discuss

Rate The Web of Fear, which was discovered and released to the world on October 10.

Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GPm6zcy_6j0

Starring Patrick Troughton, Frazer Hines (Jamie), Deborah Watling (Victoria) and introducing Nicholas Courtney as Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart, The Web of Fear sees the Doctor do battle once more with the Great Intelligence - but this time, deep beneath the streets of London...
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Old October 11 2013, 11:18 PM   #2
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Re: The Web of Fear - Grading & Discuss

What is Victoria wearing!!!!????

A miniskirt, and she's sliding across the TARDIS floor!

I think I saw her knickers.

Frazer said something wonderful in an issue of Doctor who magazine which I read when I was really young... "Jamie is keeping the kilt. If you put him in trousers or blue jeans, it's not Jamie anymore."

So after the shock of this Victorian lady, by the standards she was raised, rhything around "naked" on the tilting floor of the TARDIS control room, I new that I was going to be in for a super fun time.

Patrick isn't in episode 2. How odd.

Just put episodes three on.

WHAT!?? They still haven't found episode 3?

Aren't Nicholas' young shoulders so damn broad?
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Old October 12 2013, 02:57 PM   #3
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Re: The Web of Fear - Grading & Discuss

Holy crap, UNIT dating just got permanently solved. A poster for the 1967 film In The Heat of the Night in the underground means Mawdryn Undead and the new series were right all along and all the Pertwee stories (plus Sarah Jane's "I'm from 1980") that acted as if it was the near future were wrong.

Other than that, not as many surprises in Web of Fear as Enemy of the World, we know what Douglas Camfield could do and had a much fairer idea of how good the story would be. Which is very good indeed. Tense, well acted (you can see why Nick Courtney was able to turn his four week job into a four decade career and he's never better than when the then Colonel has his breakdown after all his men are killed) and generally, odd dodgy model shot of the BBC foam machine filling tunnels, looks great.

The two Yeti going at each other looks like a hairy version of the end of the first Cybernauts episode of The Avengers though.

Oh, and love the completely gratuitous way that when Victoria is being led down the tunnel by the possessed Travers the camera stays on her legs for most of the walk.

And actually, you know what's interesting, over the years the argument has been made that the reason so many people found Tomb of the Cybermen disappointing was because after being missing for so long and being bigged up for so long there was no way it could live up to its reputation.

But every missing episode that's been found since has either elevated the reputation of its story (you might not be able to polish a turd, but Derek Martinus is doing his best Mr. Sheen with the direction on Galaxy 4) or, in the case of the equally much loved and well remembered Web of Fear, confirmed it. Maybe it's simply the case Tomb of the Cybermen just isn't all that good?


EDIT: Oh wait, it seems the film poster has been doctored (ha!) with a fake title, I just assumed it was a British variation on the main poster with "Block Busters!" meaning to refer to the two stars...
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Old October 12 2013, 03:49 PM   #4
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Re: The Web of Fear - Grading & Discuss

The About Time books noticed that all the posters in the underground were spot on for Christmas 1967/January 1968 (well, they would be, wouldn't they?) ages back! But for every background detal like that in one story, you'll find three in others which contradict them. No solution works.
I just go for a 'history's changed' approach. The UNIT stories happened in the 1970s, a few years into the future, when they first went out. And now they all happened in the past, they all happened when they went out. It makes no sense, but it works!
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Old October 13 2013, 03:11 PM   #5
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Re: The Web of Fear - Grading & Discuss

Prior to watching the recovered episodes, I had previously seen a fan reconstruction of this serial, but unfortunately, the telesnaps and audio were in poor quality. I think my previous opinion of the story, as well as the story's predecessor, The Abominable Snowmen, suffered greatly as a result. Nonetheless, I went into this story very excited because of the introduction of Colonel Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart and the return of Professor Edward Travers, as well as the general premise of the typical base under siege premise taking place in the London Underground.

The first episode quickly sets the tone of the story with its eerie music and jumping shadows in the opening scenes in Silverstein's museum and the subsequent events in the Underground. The story introduces a new element to the Great Intelligence and Yeti's with the presence of the giant white foamy, webby substance described as "fungus." The addition of such substance gives a new, faceless horror for the story, even it is a little silly in its slow form. While I like this additional element, I've never been keen on the change of the robot costume for the Yeti, despite by The Doctor's the quick explanation that they were "Mark II" robots. I always preferred the more bearlike version of the robots as oppose to the big glowing eyes of the robots seen here.

Along with the great atmospheric story, the serial is filled with great characters including the return of Professor Travers and the introduction of Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart, but also Anne Travers, Capt. Knight, Staff Sgt. Arnold, Evans and even the spineless reporter, Harold Chorley. While it's a shame Lethbridge-Stewart's debut episode still hasn't been recovered, it is wonderful to see the following three episodes of his first story restored and it is a joy to watch the beginnings of the great friendship between him and The Doctor. I find it amusing that throughout most of this story, The Doctor finds himself not trusting Lethbridge-Stewart, not because he's a military man, which would be a point of conflict between the two in future stories, but simply because The Doctor doesn't know if Lethbridge-Stewart is the Great Intelligence's inside man. Equally amusing is how easily Lethbridge-Stewart believes The Doctor's claim of having a space-time vehicle when in future stories, Lethbridge-Stewart is more skeptical of The Doctor's claims of the fantastic. Nonetheless, I can't help but wonder if Lethbridge-Stewart would be so easily trusting of The Doctor, and thus allow the great friendship to begin, if Professor Travers hadn't vouched for The Doctor from the get go. Considering how easily The Doctor almost always manages to talk his way into the action with or without any trust from the leadership, it's probably a moot point, but it's one I can't help but imagine anyways.

This story begins the so-called UNIT dating controversy, and while I don't really care about any of that, I find myself wondering a simpler question: why set the story 40 years after The Abominable Snowmen in the first place? Jack Watling clearly doesn't look 40 years older than he was in that story. At best, he looks 20 years older with the additional make-up. Until this point, the show hadn't tried all that hard to make stories "present day" so I don't see the need to do it at this point.

A few stray observations:

The conversation of the soldiers disbelieving the Yetis were of extraterrestrial origin and instead believe the robots are creations of a foreign power is a nice touch and plays nicely to the modern day episodes of the show where many people don't notice and don't believe in certain extraterrestrial events.

At the sight of the gas masks Staff Sgt. Arnold and Cpl. Lane put on, I couldn't help but think "Are you my mummy? Mummmmmmmmyyyy."

As handy as the Underground map at headquarters that tracked the movement of the Yetis and fungus was, I found myself wondering how that actually worked. The Doctor already established that the tracks weren't electrified, so how was the map able to show the Yetis' and fungus' movements?

Anyone know which Yeti John Levene played?

Guy Gardener wrote: View Post
Patrick isn't in episode 2. How odd.
Actually, the actors playing The Doctor and his companions in the early years often disappeared for a whole episode to allow them to go on a holiday and would disappear for a whole episodes. A precursor of sorts to The Doctor-lite and companion-lite modern day episodes.
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Old October 13 2013, 11:34 PM   #6
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Re: The Web of Fear - Grading & Discuss

I don't see how this story has anything to do with the UNIT dating problem, there's no UNIT personal in this story and Col. Lethbridge-Stewart was still in the regular army at the time.
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Old October 14 2013, 02:22 AM   #7
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Re: The Web of Fear - Grading & Discuss

i too had seen a reconstruction a few years back and knew what to expect. that being said, the battle against the Yeti in episode 4 was really great. the paranoia of who is a traitor comes across much better as well.
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Old October 14 2013, 04:22 AM   #8
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Re: The Web of Fear - Grading & Discuss

DWF wrote: View Post
I don't see how this story has anything to do with the UNIT dating problem, there's no UNIT personal in this story and Col. Lethbridge-Stewart was still in the regular army at the time.
Because specific dates are given and the story is an immediate precursor to The Invasion, the introduction of UNIT.
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Old October 18 2013, 08:13 PM   #9
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Re: The Web of Fear - Grading & Discuss

Guy Gardener wrote: View Post

Patrick isn't in episode 2. How odd.
Not that odd really.

If you read the BBC pages on the classic era stories, it often mentions when the doctor or companion is hardly seen in an episode it's because they were on holiday.

IIRC in an episode of the Wheel In Space, Jamie is unconcious in a hospital bed the whole time because Fraser Hines was on holiday when the particular episode was filmed.
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Old October 21 2013, 07:03 PM   #10
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Re: The Web of Fear - Grading & Discuss

Above average.

I finished Enemy of the World and moved on to Web of Fear. I really enjoyed it. However, I rate it a bit lower than Enemy.

Enemy had a much faster paced plot. However, while Web of Fear wasn't among the worst of the padded 6 parters by any means, it did have it's share of padding.

Like Enemy, the supporting characters in Web of Fear were fantastic. The soldiers had personality, including of course Lethbridge-Steward. Anne and the Professor were great.

But, this story suffers from the all too typical base under seige syndrome common to Troughton's stories. Enemy had avoided that but Web of Fear had a bunch of it. They had their HQ which the made various excursions from and retreats to through the story. A bit tedious at points.

I did enjoy the creepiness of this story. The lighting was particularly effective in creating the mood. Although the writing and directing didn't play up the creepiness.

All in all, a fun watch. However, not quite up to the quality of the previous story. Still any "new" Troughton is fantastic! No dissappointment here at all!

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