Doctor Who Reactions: "Planet of the Spiders" (SPOILERS)

Episode One:

1)Get a haircut, Yates!

 

2)"Very fit, that girl."

 

3)The Doctor and Clegg are wearing the same tie!

 

4)I like the idea of a "fake" psychic turning out to be real.

 

5)It's hard to believe that Cho-Je is played by the same actor that played Lynx.

 

6)"Darkest Mummerset"?  Must be a British thing.

 

7)I believe that's the first mention of Doris. "A little too much, perhaps - eh, Alastair?"

 

8)I'd love to see the new series take on a Drashig.  Those things always scared the bejabbers out of me.

 

9)Cliffhanger #1: A giant spider materializes!

 

Episode Two:

10)There is something on his back!

 

11)"Oh, is that you, Sullivan?"  Foreshadowing.

 

12)"My old teacher" - He's been mentioned before.

 

13)"Billy-O"?

 

14)Never was wild about the "Whomobile" - I always liked Bessie better.  From what Barry Letts said on the commentary, Pertwee had it built on his own, and then persuaded Letts to use it on the show.

 

15)Letts himself has pointed out that if the spider could teleport them away at any time, then the whole chase was rather pointless. My rationale is that while teleporting the crystal a short distance was relatively easy, teleporting Lupton all the way back to the lamasery was more difficult, and not something she would do unless it was absolutely necessary. (It doesn't seem to have occurred to the Doctor or the Brigadier to send someone to the lamasery to wait and see if Lupton showed up there.)

In reality, the chase enabled Letts to indulge Pertwee's love of exotic vehicles, as a sort pf parting gift.

 

16)Cliffhanger #2: Lupton has disappeared!

 

Episode Three:

17)The spiders aren't the worst thing I've seen in the show, but they're kind of unconvincing.

 

18)I didn't expect the bit where Lupton is able to hurt the spider back.

 

19)"Tommy did it!" "You certainly did."

 

20)The CSO background of Metebelis III is also unconvincing.

 

21)"You speak as if she were alive." "Yes. Yes, I do, don't I?"

 

22)Cliffhanger #3: The Doctor is zapped!

 

Episode Four:

23)I like the bit with Tommy learning how to read.

 

24)Cliffhanger #4: Sarah Jane sees that the Doctor has been captured!

 

Episode Five:

25)"Tommy, you're normal! You're just like everybody else!"  "I sincerely hope not!"

 

26)Cliffhanger #5: The heels attack Tommy!

 

Episode Six:

27)"My greed for knowledge, for information..."

 

28)"I know who you are, now." "You always were a little slow on the uptake, my boy."  One of the few times in the show where we see the Doctor with someone he looks up to as a teacher.

 

29)There was clearly a string involved!

 

30)"We'll never see him again."

 

31)"I had to face my fear - that was more important than just going on living."

 

32)"A tear, Sarah Jane?"

 

33)"While there's life, there's ..."

 

34)Pertwee really does look deathly at the end.

 

35)"You may find his behavior somewhat erratic." "'Cause he's gonna turn into Tom Baker."

 

36)"Well, here we go again."

 

37)Cliffhanger #6: The Doctor regenerates! (Apparently, this was the first time that the process was referred to as "regeneration".)

 

I enjoyed this - all in all, a fairly good send-off for Pertwee, I thought - there's some genuine emotion at the end. As with most six parters, it probably could've been edited down to a four-prter, but apart from the soemwhat over-long chase, it doesn't feel too padded.

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The DVD pack for this included what was called the "Omnibus" version of the story - essentially an edited-down version that was originally shown before the premiere of "Robot", Tom Baker's first story.  They shaved about 50 minutes off the story. It doesn't suffer too badly in the trimming, there are only one or two moments where the trims seem "abrupt".

I'm halfway through; should finish up Thursday night. Nothing really to say about it so far. Kind of convoluted.
I pretty much agree with your overall assessment. I was getting really sick of that mantra chanting, especially since they decided to use a scene of it for the main menu (which I couldn't move past fast enough). Metebelis III reminded me of nothing so much as a trailer park. Tracy says that's appropriate.
"You may find his behavior somewhat erratic." "'Cause he's gonna turn into Tom Baker."

I will say, too, that I appreciated the foreshadowing and experienced a little shiver of anticipation as Pertwee regenerated into Baker.

 6)"Darkest Mummerset"?  Must be a British thing.

 

Mummerset

Very interesting  - thanks!

Doctor Hmmm? said:

 6)"Darkest Mummerset"?  Must be a British thing.

 

Mummerset

Yeah, I went and watched the first part of "Robot". It was interesting watching both sides of the regeneration "all in a row".

 



Jeff of Earth-J said:

"You may find his behavior somewhat erratic." "'Cause he's gonna turn into Tom Baker."

I will say, too, that I appreciated the foreshadowing and experienced a little shiver of anticipation as Pertwee regenerated into Baker.
I've read so much about so many things connected to the show over the years, and the end of Jon Pertwee's run is one of those "What if?" things we may never really know. According to Barry Letts, he wanted the last story to feature The Master, in which we would not only find out EXACTLY who he was-- and WHY he did everything he did, but also, that the guy would wind up giving his life to save The Doctor's.  I've heard conflicting arguments from some fans about this, but with what i just said in mind, try picturing The Master in place of "Lupton" and see how much better this story could have been.  With this in mind, Lupton's talk about his past and what drove him to be where he's at in this story sounded very much to me like it could have been an explanation for The Master himself.
That's an interesting idea - I've heard a couple of different explanations for what was meant sot be the "Final Master story" - that would''ve been interesting.

Someone at another board argued with me that the last Master story was intended to be called "The Final Game"... but I couldn't see how that was supposed to totally contradict his being in THIS story. ...SPIDERS just feels to me like it was written as a Master story, but then went thru several re-writes.

 

You have a thing where The Doctor meets his "mentor" --described by Pertwee to Jo Grant in THE TIME MONSTER-- who, oddly enough, is played by George Kormack, the same actor who played the King Of Atlantis IN that story (doesn't it get confusing sometimes?).  And then you have the revelation that for the entire story, this Time Lord was existing in TWO forms AT THE SAME TIME-- Kampo, and his "future" self, Cho-Je.  When I saw this, it "explained" the whole damn thing about "The Watcher" in LOGOPOLIS, as The Doctor was doing the same thing there-- manifesting a future self-- except, being The Doctor, he was rather incompetent at it (to the point he didn't even realize he was doing it).  This also "explained" the various "regeneratons" (NOT!) we saw Romana exhibit in DESTINY OF THE DALEKS.  She didn't really go thru multiple bodies (the way Tom Baker went thru multiple costumes in ROBOT), she was mentally projecting possible future selves, before going thru with it.

 

It reminds me a bit of THE AVENGERS, where it was said, by the time Mrs. Peel came along, the producers just took it for granted the tv audience knew what was going on, and so didn't bother to keep explaining it-- they just got on with the story.  But Americans might be completely lost, not having seen the earlier stories!  PLANET OF THE SPIDERS was never seen in the US until Peter Davison was already into his 2nd season, I think.

...I remember that the version (1) ashown in America for many years missed the first episode entirely , IIRC?? Because the color tape had been lost or even because " an industrial action " led to it being filmed only in B&W ?

(2) And later , an archaic form of color tape for US formats was found to colorize the B&W ep. from or am I thinking of " The Witches " ?

  I rather thought that Tommy was somehow " propelled into normal " . not " slow " , intelligence...Okay , they at least say that he has to start , in skills , where a " normal " 4-yr.-old or so does ???

It was the middle episode of PLANET OF THE DALEKS, and, the 1st episode of INVASION OF THE DINOSAURS, where the US was missing 1 episode.

 

The BBC wiped a lot of original tapes, thinking they had no future licensing value, AND, they figured the license dept. had film compies anyway.  Meanwhile, the license dept. DESTROYED returned films, figuring, the archive had the original videotapes anyway.  BUREAUCRATIC STUPIDITY!!!!!

 

When Pertwee's era first made it to America, in the early 70's, his first 3 seasons were available.  But Channel 17 in Philly only ran THE SILURIANS to DAY OF THE DALEKS-- more or less 2 seasons, if you see what I mean.  And, they were all heavily edited for commercial time.  THE SILURIANS Part One, for example, was missing the scene where The Doctor shows Liz his new car Bessie.  My 1st-ever view of Pertwee's Doctor was when he walked into the research complex, all arrogance and bad attitude.

 

Around 1983, PBS imported Pertwee's run-- BUT, a lot of episodes only existed as B&W film copies made for overseas statiuons who didn't have color broadcast technology.  Initially, PBS only ran complete color stories-- the earliest they had being INFERNO.  A couple years later (if memory serves), they got the rest in B&W-- except for SPEARHEAD FROM SPACE, which was originally shot ON FILM because of a strike!  However, in their stupidity, because those 2 stories I mentioned had 5 episodes in color and 1 in B&W-- they decided not to run the B&W episodes, as they felt it might "confuse people".  (IDIOTS!!!)  So... to this day, I have still never seen those 2 B&W episodes, even though I have read both novelizations.

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