Monday 6 June 2011

196 The Web of Fear: Episode Five

EPISODE: The Web of Fear: Episode Five
TRANSMITTED: 02 March 1968
WRITER: Mervyn Haisman & Henry Lincoln
DIRECTOR: Douglas Camfield
SCRIPT EDITOR: Derrick Sherwin
PRODUCER: Peter Bryant
FORMAT: CD: Doctor Who: The Web of Fear
TELESNAPS: The Web of Fear: Episode Five

I'm writing this sat at my Mother's house: she has a classical music concert on (She tells me it's Swan Lake) and as I sat down to write this episode a quiet piece started with a beat sounding exactly like a Yeti control sphere!

The Intelligence relays it's instructions through Travers: The Doctor will surrender himself and have his knowledge drained by the Intelligence, which has built a machine for this purpose. They abduct Victoria and give the Doctor 20 minutes to surrender himself. Evans suggests the Doctor give himself up. Jamie wishes to rescue Victoria so he and the Colonel go on a scouting mission. However on reaching the surface they find the fungus outside. Unable to seal the outer doors they make do with closing fire doors. The Doctor gets one of Travers' broken control spheres working by thumping it and is then able to test his machine to control it. Evans confronts the Colonel & Jamie believing one of them to be a traitor. Victoria & Travers have been brought to Picadilly Circus where the Intelligence releases the professor. Hiding in the tunnel beyond the station is the wounded staff sergeant Arnold. Victoria gets him to take a message to the Doctor telling him where they are. The Doctor has perfected his device and is now able to voice control a Yeti. He goes north to Warren Street to find a Yeti. Arnold is found by Jamie & the Colonel and returned to the Goodge Street HQ. The Doctor's path is blocked by fungus, and his way back by a Yeti which he takes control over. Evans tends to Arnold's wounds but as he goes to fetch something the wall of the fortress disintegrates letting the fungus in.....

Am I reading this right? Is everything the Intelligence has done in this story an attempt to gain the Doctor's knowledge? That's what it seems like here. That explanation has come a little from left field here and changed the track of where we're going, almost forming the "change of location" used by many six part stories to stretch it out. Another cracking episode though with the survivors all at their wits end and suspicions being pointed all over the place.

The Web of Fear isn't the only station to use the London Underground as a setting: the resistance have a base in a disused tube station in Dalek Invasion of Earth, then Doctor and (the by then promoted) Brigadier Lethbridge Stewart visit Moorgate where they fight a dinosaur in the Invasion of the Dinosaurs. Moorgate's situated on the city branch of the Northern Line and was the site of the 1975 Moorgate Underground Crash, the most serious accident on the London Underground. The Doctor mentions an Tube station in the Sontaran Experiment but I can't remember which one while the Mysterious Planet, parts 1-4 of The Trial of a Timelord are located in the remains of Marble Arch station. The Doctor has even availed himself of another city's Underground Railway: he visits several Paris Metro stations during The City of Death.

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