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Doctor Who: Planet of the Spiders (Story 74)

48 customer reviews

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Doctor Who: Planet of the Spiders (Story 74) + Doctor Who: The Monster of Peladon (Story 73) + Doctor Who: Death to the Daleks (Story 72)
Price for all three: $76.82

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Editorial Reviews

In the Third Doctor's last and most dangerous adventure, a misguided group of transcendental chanters forge an unnatural link with the evil spider rulers of Metebelis 3.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Jon Pertwee, Nicholas Courtney, Richard Franklin, Elisabeth Sladen, John Levene
  • Directors: Barry Letts
  • Writers: Robert Sloman
  • Producers: Barry Letts
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: BBC Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: May 10, 2011
  • Run Time: 150 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004L9GMC6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #22,038 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Doctor Who: Planet of the Spiders (Story 74)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

55 of 64 people found the following review helpful By David W. Curry on February 2, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
FOR a show like Dr. Who where several actors have played the lead role, There is always debate over who was the best. The general consensus with Doctor Who fandom is that Tom Baker was the best of the classic series Doctors while David Tennet is the best, so far, of the current series. That being said I respectfully submit that Jon Pertwee, the third actor to play the enigmatic time traveler, is ever bit the equal of Baker and Tennet and was, as they were, "Born to play the role".

Pertwee took on the role of Doctor who at the dawning of the 1970's (His first episode aired late December 1969) and looking back now he bore the weight of the entire series' future on his shoulders. There was great debate at the BBC over weather or not to continue on with the program given the expense of converting and filming the show in color. Add to that a looming strike at the BBC, and fickle fan base facing a new decade with new interest and a series cut way down in length do to budget constraints (the final Patrick Troughton series had seven stories comprising 43 episodes while pertwee's first series had just four stories comprising 25 episodes) and you had a recipe for a show lost in a wave of insurmountable odds and a show cut short before it`s time. Dr Who could have easily been relegated to a quirky little black and white show that ran for a few years back in the 1960's...releases decades latter on DVD in a "Shmultzee" little compellation box set with a toy Dalek. Or worse yet it could have been wipe away all together if the show had not survived past it's first decade.

Enter the great Jon Pertwee with his tall, imposing frame, Flaming white hair , James Bond persona and some Venusian Uja to boot.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Nancy A. Fox on February 4, 2012
Format: DVD
In 1974 after 5 full-color, groovy years filled with Venusian karate chops, James Bondesque gadgets, the Master, high octane old roadsters, frilly shirts, and frequently reversing the polarity, Jon Pertwee called it a day and packed it in as the Doctor. Planet of the Spiders is his final outing as the Doctor, and while it's not a great story, it is a fitting goodbye to the Pertwee era.

The story comes off as John Pertwee's greatest hits. There is a letter from Jo Jones (nee Grant). The Brigadier and Sergeant Benton join in for a rousing chase sequence. As a bonus, we get to see Mike Yates (former UNIT captain) one last time, and he is redeemed for his dastardly turn the last time we saw him. We get one last chase with Bessie and the Whomobile, plus a gyrocopter, speedboat and hovercraft thrown in for good measure. The Doctor even has an opportunity to use his Venusian karate and reminisce about one of his many famous friends (Houdini this time). It's a nice walk down memory lane with the Doctor and the UNIT family.

The story itself, well you see there are these giant spiders, and they want this blue crystal that the Doctor took from Metebelis 3. (He'd given it to Jo Grant as a wedding present after solving the problem of the giant maggots in the Green Death a year earlier - luckily Jo mailed it back to the Doctor from the Amazon jungle at the beginning of the story). OK, so meanwhile off in the country Mike Yates is at a Buddhist monastery where he's trying to find himself after the nastiness with the dinosaurs, and he discovers this group of guys chanting away in the basement without proper supervision when something starts to materialize.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Renfield on November 30, 2014
Format: DVD
As I mentioned in my review of Caves of Androzani, Doctor Who didn't have the luxury of being like a big budget blockbuster flick. Back then, a final episode for whoever the Doctor was was just a final episode, period. They were written by people who knew how to make stories that elide entirely on your imagination because, in spite of the limited budgets, to someone who doesn't have an imagination, the Doctor and his companions aren't materializing onto other planets, they're materialIng onto quarries and studio interiors. However, I don't have a preference over either era of Doctor Who because really, they both have their ups and downs. One thing that both eras have in common was that final episodes were very hard to nail.

Planet of the Spiders is one of the finest examples. It's got a decent and terrifying concept but it's plagued with problems. The story is pretty simple: the Doctor is sent back the wedding gift he gave to Jo because the natives from the Amazon which is where her expedition takes place think it contains dangerous properties. It's a crystal from Metabalis Three and it turns out the dominant species of that planet want it back. The species? Spiders, of course. To be fair, it does have its good bits. We get one final chase involving Bessie, and it's a great adrenaline pumper. There's some suspenseful moments and some tight dialogue, and when has Pertwee ever been disappointing?

However, it falls prey to two huge problems: first, its pacing. It's clear at times that this story doesn't have quite enough constant for six episodes.
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