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Doctor Who: Planet of the Spiders (Story 74)

4.3 out of 5 stars 52 customer reviews

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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: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004L9GMC6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #51,222 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Doctor Who: Planet of the Spiders (Story 74)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The 5-Star rating is for the quality and value of the DVD. Superb job as is typical of the Doctor Who Restoration Team in their production of Classic Era Doctor Who DVD's.

PLANET OF THE SPIDERS
Story # 74
Season 11's Fifth and last Story; the final story of the Third Doctor Era.
Third Doctor, Jon Perwee Era, final season 1973-74
Fifth Classic Sarah Jane Smith Story

OVERALL STORY RATING 7/10
PLANET OF THE SPIDERS is mostly an excellent, entertaining story where the regular cast truly shine. There are a few rough shoals to wade past involving the guest cast, but it is well worth the "wade" because PLANET OF THE SPIDERS is a tale in WHO history too important to miss! PLANET OF THE SPIDERS is mostly a 9/10 story pulled down to 7/10 by a bit of off-key acting by the guest cast in several Metebelis 3 scenes, and by the indulgent chase scene in Part 2 eating up 11 minutes of story time, while doing little for the plot.

The good news about PLANET OF THE SPIDERS is that where it is good, it is VERY, VERY good and well worth the time. It is probably PLANET OF THE SPIDERS and ROBOT together that provide the actual "Final Curtain" on the exceptional WHO era of Pertwee-Letts-Dicks. A 5-year era, Seasons 7-through-11, that moved the program into more adult story lines, with often brilliant stories and production. While a few stories were let down by the limited technical capabilities of the time, the Letts-Dicks production team earns major respect for having the guts and imagination to try, even when the technical limitations of the time couldn't quite "do it". WHO fans unfamiliar with the Classic Series, are in for an enormous treat when viewing stories from Seasons 7-11, because most are often brilliant even with the limitations.
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