Doctor Who (1963–1989)
8.4/10
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4 user 2 critic

The Web of Fear: Episode 1 

The TARDIS becomes trapped in space before ending up in an underground station of a mysteriously deserted London.

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Jack Watling ...
Tina Packer ...
Frederick Schrecker ...
Rod Beacham ...
Richardson Morgan ...
Ralph Watson ...
Jon Rollason ...
Jack Woolgar ...
Stephen Whittaker ...
Bernard G. High ...
Soldier
...
Gordon Stothard ...
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Storyline

The TARDIS becomes trapped in space before ending up in an underground station of a mysteriously deserted London.

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Details

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Release Date:

3 February 1968 (UK)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The story "The Web of Fear" was largely set on the London Underground. The BBC were not allowed to film on the Underground so they constructed their own studio sets of the tunnels and the stations. These were so realistic that when the episodes were broadcast, London Transport accused the BBC of surreptitiously sneaking into a real station for the filming. See more »

Goofs

The Doctor tells Victoria that underground trains are a little after her time; however, Victoria is from 1866, and the first underground railway between Bishop's Road (now Paddington) and Farringdon Street was opened three years earlier, on 10 January 1863. See more »

Quotes

[the TARDIS has landed, rather bumpily, in a London Underground railway tunnel]
Dr. Who: For the moment, we have eluded our captor. Look at the scanner, both of you.
Victoria: Well, where are we?
Dr. Who: I really don't know, Victoria. Shall we go out and have a look.
Victoria: Now? Is it safe?
Dr. Who: [mischievously and airily] Oh, I shouldn't think so for a moment! Jamie... I think we're going to need torches.
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Connections

Featured in 'Doctor Who': The Troughton Years (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

Palpitations
Written and Performed by John Scott as Johnny Scott and his Orchestra
Courtesy of Associated Production Music
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User Reviews

 
Miracle Day Has Arrived And It Doesn't Disappoint
11 October 2013 | by (Isle Of Bute , Scotland) – See all my reviews

Dreams can come true . As a life long fan of DOCTOR WHO my knowledge of the show came via books on the show and found out about obscure aliens like the Sensorites and the Monoids in stories that were broadcast before I was born . Fondly remembered stories I did see remained in my memory with the sad knowledge that I'd probably never see them again . The advent of the video recorder meant the BBC did eventually release the show on video which was a dream come true to a fan , but the sad thing was the BBC have deleted so many master tapes of the stories from the 1960s so they'd be gone for good and my only taste of these lost classics would be relegated to the Target novelisation range . Of the missing stories the one I wanted to see was The Web Of Fear , a story in the tradition of QUATERMASS of which only the opening episode existed and one I'd never see in its entirety . Rumours went around the internet a few months ago that some episodes had been discovered in Africa and until a week ago nothing had been confirmed . Thank you to the efforts of one Philip Morris episodes 2, 4,5.and 6 had been found and released on ITunes

There might be a downside to this . I did enjoy The Tomb Of The Cybermen another lost classic found and released in 1992 , but due to obvious hype that had built up around it the finished product didn't really meet expectations and how could it ? A story combining atmosphere , imagery and body horror is sometimes let down by uneven directing , wooden performances and dated attitudes to race . It was a very good story but not really as good as its reputation among fandom suggested . Would my most wanted story The Web Of Fear suffer from the same fate being seen in the very cold light of day ?

In my own critical opinion no it doesn't . It lives up to everything I expected from it . From the outset where Professor Travers confronts Juluis Silverstien in his house this is no holds barred horror territory very similar to QUATERMASS , though slightly more incident driven and slightly less cerebral which is not in anyway a criticism . Director Douglas Camfield makes sure the child audience will be watching this from behind the sofa . So many things are worthy praise such as the use of stock music which greatly lends to the on screen action especially in the climax to episode six . Perhaps the greatest praise goes to set designer David Myerscough-Jones for recreating the London Underground . The production team were refused permission to film there so built their own sets only to receive an angry letter during broadcast from London Transport wanting an apology for filming in the underground without permission or payment. Notice how the sound mix is tweaked for the Underground scenes so there's a slight hollow echo . You can understand how London Transport were fooled

The characters are very well drawn by Haisman and Lincoln's script . Soldiers in these type of stories are fairly non descript and the script probably tries a little too hard to make private Evans a little too colourful and cowardly not helped by a slightly over enthusiastic performance by Derek Pollitt but the rest of the guest cast are fine especially the smary and insincere journalist Chorley played by Jon Rollason . The story also sees the debut of the character of Lethbridge-Stewart who'd become such a mainstay in the show later on he'd be as much as part of the show as any of the Doctors . Courtney is absolutely fascinating to watch compared the caricature he'd later become and it's something of a shock to watch an air of defeat come from the character towards the end of episode four . Interesting too that he comes under suspicion as being the agent of The Great Intelligence which the last two episodes of the plotting concerns itself with . The climax is a bit too easily resolved but not enough to ruin the story in anyway

" So is there anything you actively disliked about this much wanted story Theo ? "

To be honest no there isn't . I read the novelisation as a child , knew how the story played out but I still constantly found myself being close to be shock as to how well everything was done . Even watching it in the context of Season five where the " base under siege " plot is in danger of being over used this is still the stand out story of its era and anyone with a passing interest in DOCTOR WHO or the horror genre will want to check out this story . As the 50th anniversary of the show counts down this fan will remember the return of The Web Of Fear as being their 50th anniversary highlight more than The Day Of The Doctor or the casting of Peter Capaldi . Thank you very much Philip Morris


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