November 12th, 2009

1st Doctor

Doctor Who Original Series 13 - The Web Planet

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7.6/10 The Web Planet

Web Planet is a magnificently insane attempt to bring an alien planet full of giant insects to the screen. Even with today's effects technology it would tax a feature film. So trying to do it in 1965 on television with a tiny budget, in small studios, is unbelieveably ambitious. To give a sense of proportion, in 1966 the average cost of a 50 minute episode of Star Trek was US $180,000 (£75,000). The whole six part story of Web Planet cost £16,525.

The Zarbi are large and clumsy, however in an age where most aliens were humanoids, they are an interesting idea. The same can be said of the larvae gun. The Menoptera are also primitive costumes, but still striking and lovely. And I love the effort that has been gone into to give them an alien way of moving and talking. It may often seem a little silly, but at least some effort has been made to move away from standard speech.

I especially like how each creature has its part to play in the planet's ecosystem, even the larvae guns, as is explained at the end.

There's no doubt that Web Planet's flaws are many, but the core of the story is solid enough if one can get past the visuals and slow pace.