There's something not quite right about Vortis. The planet
looks dead but its ashen surface hides a sinister secret that
threatens to trap the Doctor and his companions in the middle
of a war between the ant-like Zarbi and the Menoptra, a race
of flying moth creatures...
Web Planet is the one first Doctor story that's guaranteed
to divide fans. On the one side there's the 'slow and cheap-looking'
camp, on the other the 'daring and different' campaigners.
In truth, both views are valid. The story is deathly slow
at times and boasts some pantomime costumes - step forward
the Optera grub people. It sometimes seems pompous and there
are moments of truly dire acting. However, it's an ambitious
production, it's often extremely atmospheric and there are
also moments of real humour and pathos.
the one thing that everyone will agree on is the quality of
the DVD transfer - both the picture and sound quality are
excellent. The package is rounded off with an informative
commentary, great production notes (the seaweed and condoms
story is a real highlight!) and a fine photo gallery.
Zarbi slides from the 1960s Doctor Who Give-a-Show
Projector are also included - oddly scanned in with some very
dodgy-looking, home made cardboard surrounds - and then there's
consists of talking heads interspersed with clips and photos
(interestingly, two are in colour) and as such is always competent,
but sadly never more than that. More disappointing is the
fact that if you watch the documentary first you'd think you
were about to sit through a classic story - albeit flawed
- that set new standards in TV production back in 1965. The
truth is you're not about to unearth a hidden gem - The
Web Planet is more curate's egg than mother lode.
However, I can't be too cruel as I clearly remember watching
and enjoying The Web Planet when it was first transmitted.
Sadly, the Junior Points of View segment on the show
has long since been lost but the sight of the Zarbi checking
into their dressing rooms at TV centre will live with me for
a very long time.
one for fans of a certain age. Younger viewers will find it