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The Third Doctor - Planet Of The Spiders

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« on: January 11, 2012, 03:57:48 pm »

Planet of the Spiders was one of the DVDs I got for Christmas and I finally got around to watching it today. Well, I started last night but then I fell asleep so I started again this morning and watched from beginning to end and I absolutely loved it. LOVED IT!

Pertwee was the first classic Doctor I watched last year when I got Frontier In Space and Planet Of The Daleks in a box set and I thought they were both amazing, and despite now seeing at least one serial of every Doctor, he has remained my favourite Doctor from the classic run.

I wasn't sure what to expect with this story. I knew it was a regeneration story and had something to do with spiders but other than that I had no idea what it was about or whether it was any good, but it was one of those stories that got me hooked from the very beginning. Episode 2, which was pretty much 25 minutes of constant chasing over land, sea and air, which ultimately actually led to nothing, was brilliant. It was like watching James Bond or something and you could tell Pertwee was loving every minute of it.

I really enjoyed Sarah Jane in this and it was nice to see a new side to Yates as well, though I Googled him after I watched and came accross a nasty story about the guy who plays him forcing himself onto some guy after plying him with drinks, which wasn't a particularly nice read. I have no idea if it's true though and on the bits of the bonus features I watched that had him in, he seemed like a nice charming man. I guess you never know though. The bonus features, though I didn't watch them all, were really good. Lis Sladen was quite noticeably absent, but again after Googling to find out why, it turns out she stopped doing extras a while before she died because she felt she wasn't being paid enough, which is a shame because I'm sure she would have had some good insights. There was some cool archive footage of Jon Pertwee doing an interview about the story as well.

Unlike a lot of stories, some of Pertwees included, this one never felt for a minute like it was dragging or just pointlessly trying to fill empty time. The 6 episodes just whizzed by and were very enjoyable. There were some bits I didn't fully understand. Lots of Metabilis stuff was referenced which I am not sure I have seen yet or if it was off screen stuff, the stuff with the Tibetan Time Lord felt a bit like I was missing something too. Was he in it before? The Doctor obviously knew a younger incarnation but had it been in the show or off screen? And I'm not sure why Yates wasn't working for UNIT anymore, either, but other than that I kept on top of it all and when it came to the regeneration I was really sad to see him go (and a little bitter to see Tom Baker in his place). Its the first classic regen I've seen, too. I mean, I've seen The War Games now, but that was entirely different. I liked how understated it was compared to todays big dramatic orange glowy-ness, though I do like that too.

So yea, very happy with this one. I'm being a bit slow getting through all the classics I got for Christmas, which was about 15 I think, but I shall no doubt update again once I do Smiley
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« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2012, 06:45:16 pm »

I love this story too.  To answer your questions:

The Doctor was trying to get to Metabilis III throughout the previous series, and he did (briefly) during The Green Death, when he brought back the blue crystal and gave it to Jo.  It was a very different place then, apparently uninhabited apart from monstrous creatures.

The Lama hadn't actually appeared before, but the Doctor had talked about his old mentor rather more fully than here in The Time Monster.

Without too many spoilers, Mike Yates left UNIT in Invasion of the Dinosaurs.
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« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2012, 01:09:54 am »

I love Planet of the Spiders. It's one of my favourite regen stories and a real classic of the later Pertwee years. It's one of the few examples in early who of strong continuity between stories so it would be easy to get a bit lost if you haven't seen some of the other stories or weren't paying close attention to them. You are right about episode 2, though. So very pointless but yet brilliant to watch.

I love hearing peoples 'first watch' stories and feelings. I don't have many of those left, if any (I can't think off the top of my head), so it's always good to read, especially when they are positive.
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« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2012, 05:51:46 pm »

This serial is excellent and one of my Pertwee favourites. It has that extra ick factor for me because I hate spiders and even though I knew they weren't real, they still freak me out a bit. It's definately one of the better 'final' stories for a Doctor and JP was excellent throughout. It was such a simple idea but it worked so well.
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« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2012, 06:04:06 pm »

Pertwee was supposed to have love fast cars and other "boys toys", and I've always assumed that chase was basically a goodbye present to him.  I agree - pointless but great.
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« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2012, 06:12:19 pm »

Yea it says as much in Lis Sladens book, that it was written just to basically entertain him. She also said that he personally paid for the Whomobile when the BBC wouldn't, but even when it became popular and well known they wouldn't pay him back for it or let him keep it. Cheeky buggers.
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« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2012, 04:38:05 pm »

I've never seen this, but now I really want to. This is exactly why I like the classic section in here. I'm a bit slow getting through a lot of them and seem to hover around the last half of the classic series, but then someone comes in and bigs a story up and makes me want to watch.
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« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2012, 12:44:38 am »

I'm always doing that. Usually I don't even expect anyone to reply because I feel like the last person on earth to have seen the stories, but it's always good to see what others think.

You should definately watch it though. It's great.
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« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2012, 04:54:51 pm »

The great thing about this story is that you can watch it and it really sums up JPs 4 years as the Doctor. It has a little bit of everything thrown in, but instead of feeling over crowded or bogged down, it really works and it's a brilliant story. I think the only thing that is sort of obviously missing, although it doesn't hinder the story, is The Master. It's a shame he wasn't around to play a part in it, but I think given the circumstances they did the right thing by leaving him out entirely instead of trying to write around it or even recast. I know they did that much later, but I really don't think it would have worked for this. Still though, it's a shame that after such a successful partnership he wasn't around for Three's final story
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« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2012, 01:56:21 am »

That had been the intention - to make the finale a kind of Reichenbach Falls set-up - but Delgado's death made that impossible.
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« Reply #10 on: January 21, 2012, 04:11:32 pm »

Yea I think the Master did feel sort of absent considering how much he had features previously. Though it was more of a physical absense than something lacking from the story. Such a shame he died. He is the best version of the master I have seen and I think I have seen them all except for the one that looks like a corpse. I saw the one in The Kings Demons and Delgado and the ones from the new series. Are there many more?

I've watched this again this week and I forced a friend to watch with me. I don't think I converted him but he watched it all and said he enjoyed it so you never know.
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« Reply #11 on: January 21, 2012, 09:32:22 pm »

Yea I think the Master did feel sort of absent considering how much he had features previously. Though it was more of a physical absense than something lacking from the story. Such a shame he died. He is the best version of the master I have seen and I think I have seen them all except for the one that looks like a corpse. I saw the one in The Kings Demons and Delgado and the ones from the new series. Are there many more?

I've watched this again this week and I forced a friend to watch with me. I don't think I converted him but he watched it all and said he enjoyed it so you never know.

The Masters (in order) are;

Roger Delgado Jon Pertwee era

Peter Pratt (a one off appearance in the Deadly Assassin - he was "an emaciated creature" entirely covered in make up. Peter Pratt found fame as an Opera Singer and was cast largely for his voice)

Geoffrey Beavers (Another one off appearance as an emaciated, fully made up Master, cast for his silky voice in The Keeper of Traken)

Anthony Ainley The final "Classic Series" Master whose tenure ran from The Keeper of Traken right through to the final story of Sylvester McCoy era "Survival".

That takes you through to Sir Derek Jacobi and John Simm.

I might have dreamed this, but Geoffrey Beavers has been recast as the Master for some Big Finish work as well Smiley

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« Reply #12 on: January 21, 2012, 09:45:09 pm »

You've forgotten He Who Shall Not Be Named (aka Eric Roberts)  Huh?
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« Reply #13 on: January 21, 2012, 10:04:04 pm »

I accept the admonishment but.....*shudders remembering "No Way","Yes Way"*
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« Reply #14 on: January 22, 2012, 07:03:11 pm »

Well you might shudder.
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« Reply #15 on: January 24, 2012, 06:04:28 am »

Ehh, Roberts was as much a victim of the script as McGann and everyone else. I accept all Masters...

And I loved Planet of the Spiders. It was the last scene where Pertwee rematerializes and regenerates that got me interested in the third. I instantly took a shine to him, and this story is fantastic.

Also, I believe the Metebelis crystal ends up in Human Nature/Family of Blood.
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« Reply #16 on: January 26, 2012, 03:06:33 pm »

Oh I forgot about the Master from the Movie. I've seen him too. I didn't like him though.
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« Reply #17 on: February 03, 2012, 10:44:56 pm »

I quite like this one. Not the best regen story but a strong one nonetheless. It really did have Jon Pertwee written all over it though with those action scenes.
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« Reply #18 on: January 19, 2013, 02:37:48 pm »

I've only seen this story once a few months ago but I thought it was brilliant and definitely one of the stronger regeneration stories. I'm hoping to get to it again soon.
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