Tuesday 7 June 2011

197 The Web of Fear: Episode Six

EPISODE: The Web of Fear: Episode Six
TRANSMITTED: 09 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 Six

Evans and Arnold escape the fortress' destruction with Evans fleeing from the sergeant. The Doctor returns his Yeti to Intelligence control until it's needed. They meet first the Colonel & Jamie then Arnold and move towards Picadilly Circus. They are soon captured by Yeti as is the lone Evans. Arnold manages to escape. Travers and Victoria are brought to the ticket hall at Picadilly Circus where they catch sight of a figure in the shadows. Dominating the hall is a large glass pyramid which Travers thinks the Intelligence will use to drain the Doctor's mind. Arnold find the long missing journalist Harold Chorley in the tunnels and takes Chorley with him. Evans is brought in to the prisoners and The Doctor taken away. He immobilises the Yeti and alters the helmet apparatus they're carrying before reactivating the Yeti and continuing. Everyone is brought to the ticket hall. Chorley enters propelled into the room by the Intelligence's servant: Staff Sergeant Arnold. Jamie is brought in by a Yeti. The Doctor is placed in the pyramid and the machine activates. Jamie orders his Yeti guard, the one brought under control earlier, to attack the Pyramid and the Yeti. The Doctor is rescued and the Pyramid destroyed, killing Arnold and immobilising the Yeti. The Doctor is distraught: he'd altered the device so the intelligence would be drained into him and not the way the Intelligence had planned. Now it's free to wander again. The Travers praise him as a hero. Making their farewells the time travellers return through the now clear tunnels to Covent Garden.

A great final episode with the Doctor cooking up a plan that gets ruined by his companions! You feel sorry for him at the end, but he's known Jamie long enough to know this is exactly what he'd do. This whole story is cracking, sounds superb, looks great in it's one surviving episode and the Telesnaps.

Both of the Haisman & Lincoln six parters are cracking, probably the best Doctor Who stories I've encountered so far. They're great 6 part stories, the best examples in Doctor Who where instead of sagging in the middle or suddenly changing direction they just increase the tension a some more. I waver between the two though as to which is better! At the moment Abominable Snowmen probably has a slight edge but that's no slight on Web of Fear. They're both magnificent and it's a shame just one episode of each remains.

All six episodes of Web of Fear were issued as a soundtrack cd with narration by Fraser Hines which was released on 6th March 2002. The Soundtrack was re-released in a 2-pack with the previous Yeti story, The Abominable Snowmen, called Yeti Attack in 2003.

I first encountered The Web of Fear as a novelization, by Terrance Dicks, in my local library. They had an extensive range of Doctor Who books (for the time: 1981-4 ish). These are what I can recall reading there:

An Unearthly Child (Paperback)
The Daleks (Hardback)
The Tomb of the Cybermen (Hardback)
The Web of Fear (Hardback)
The Claws of Axos (Hardback)
The Sea Devils (Hardback)
The Mutants (Hardback)
Carnival of Monsters (Hardback)
Frontier in Space (Hardback)
Planet of the Daleks (Hardback)
The Time Warrior (Paperback)
Invasion of the Dinosaurs (Paperback)
Death to the Daleks (Paperback)
Planet of the Spiders (Hardback)
Robot (Paperback)
The Sontaran Experiment (Hardback)
Genesis of the Daleks (Hardback)
Revenge of the Cybermen (Hardback)
Terror of the Zygons (Paperback)
Pyramids of Mars (Hardback)
The Android Invasion (Paperback)
The Brain of Morbius (Paperback)
The Masque of Mandragora (Hardback)
The Deadly Assassin (Hardback)
The Stones of Blood (Paperback)
Destiny of the Daleks (Hardback)
State of Decay (Paperback)
Logopolis (Paperback)
Castrovalva (Paperback)
Four to Doomsday (Paperback)
Kinda (Paperback)
The Visitation (Hardback)
Earthshock (Paperback)
Warriors of the Deep (Paperback)
The Awakening (Paperback)

The Web of Fear Hardback sits on my shelves at home to this day, as do the Paperbacks of Invasion of the Dinosaurs and Castrovalva. As we'll see later on it's rather appropriate that my local library, in Tudor Drive, Kingston Upon Thames, should have a copy of Invasion of the Dinosaurs....

Several other Who novels were read from other locations:

The Daleks (School)
The Cave Monsters (School)
The Terror of the Autons (School)
The Doomsday Weapon (School)
The Dæmons (School)
The Green Death (School)
Genesis of the Daleks (School)
The Talons of Weng Chiang (Mobile Library)
The Horror of Fang Rock (Kingston Library)

And of course my parents were busy buying them for me too :-)

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