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The Web Planet

The planet Vortis

Where Menoptra fight Zarbi

For the web planet

This story is a six parter but when watching the first episode, you tend to ask yourself why? The first part is mostly filler but ends with not one, not two but four cliff-hangers (1 for each of the crew).

This is a story I really wish I saw as a child. I have (as an adult) seen some episodes that gave me nightmares as a child but now I see how the effects were done, their effect has lessened. This story has a similar kind of after-effect seeing it as an adult. But this story must have been really strange to watch when it was first aired. It is a credit to the people who made the show that a story like this was even made. The shots on the alien planet have an unusual effect due to Vaseline being applied to the camera lens. The Doctor and Ian have to wear special jackets to compensate for the atmosphere, although these are casually discarded in the second episode. The aliens are also something to behold. The Zarbi are antlike creatures who scurry about making high-pitched beeping sounds. There are also the Menoptera, winged creatures with stripy bodies. The costumes are really elaborate and a lot of effort has gone into their creation. The movements of the creatures were also choreographed and the Optera that appear a few weeks into the story have the habit of doing a small jump at the end of their sentences while the Menoptra use strange hand movements as they speak.

The planet Vortis really feels alien in a way that not many other stories do, this was in the days before filming in a quarry stated Alien Planet. If you let your imagination allow you to make the jump from actors in suits to alien insects then you will enjoy this story but if you can’t, then this story isn’t for you. But I hope you will join me as we travel back in time and see two faces who will appear again in Doctor Who in the future…

  1. The Web Planet
  2. The Zarbi
  3. Escape To Danger
  4. Crater Of Needles
  5. Invasion
  6. The Centre
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