Doctor Who (1963–1989)
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The Web Planet 

The TARDIS is drawn by a mysterious force and lands on the alien planet Vortis. There the Doctor, Ian, Barbara and Vicki find themselves caught up in a war between an evil force known as "... See full summary »


Richard Martin


Bill Strutton

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Episode complete credited cast:
William Hartnell ... Dr. Who
William Russell ... Ian Chesterton
Jacqueline Hill ... Barbara Wright
Maureen O'Brien ... Vicki
Robert Jewell ... Zarbi Operator
Jack Pitt Jack Pitt ... Zarbi Operator
Gerald Taylor ... Zarbi Operator


The TARDIS is drawn by a mysterious force and lands on the alien planet Vortis. There the Doctor, Ian, Barbara and Vicki find themselves caught up in a war between an evil force known as "The Animus", its ant-like Zarbi allies, and the butterfly-like Menoptra race and their allies the subterranean Optera. Written by Daniel Williamson [edited]

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Release Date:

13 February 1965 (UK) See more »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Fans voted this number 151 in a countdown of the 163 Doctor Who (1963) stories in Outpost Gallifrey's 40th anniversary poll in 2003. See more »


After the Doctor and Ian leave the Tardis, a piece of elastic can be scene stretching from Ian's pocket. This is how his pen "vanishes" later in the scene. See more »


The Doctor: Well, well, well. That is remarkable.
The Doctor: Gracious. During all my travels, I don't think I've ever come across this. Magical. Isn't it extraordinary? I say, are you there Chesterton? Chesterton. What are you doing, dear boy? Fiddling and gaping over there. Come over here and learn something.
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Featured in Tales of Isop (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

The Web Planet
15 July 2008 | by ametaphysicalsharkSee all my reviews

I want to love "The Web Planet". I came to terms with thinking it was rubbish as a script ages ago but I so badly want to find the entertainment others do in it that I am incapable of finding. I mean, you can only laugh at the worst bee-like costumes in the history of film or television for so long, right? When the ordeal lasts two and a half hours it expectedly gets unbelievably trying to sit through, especially as the 'plot' here is so bewilderingly, bizarrely dull and pointless. For whatever it's worth I actually kind of like the Zarbi design. For 1965 on the BBC it's not horrible. I kind of like the Zarbi in general. Hell, I even like Vortis as a setting. I like the idea of this story much better than the outcome. Luckily, Big Finish productions would exploit the potential this story had in "Return to the Web Planet", an audio drama featuring the Fifth Doctor which is far from great but fairly entertaining.

The first episode here, titled "The Web Planet", is really quite good. Vortis is quite decently realized and a sense of menace builds quite well. It isn't without its moments of cheesiness, but it is more than tolerable, it's enjoyable. I even like the second episode a bit, although it is mediocre, since it is still introductory and decently paced, I suppose. The third episode slips into 'bad' territory but isn't quite 'terrible' yet. Fourth onwards? Really quite unbearable. Just boring. BORING. Unbelievably... boring. Really, really boring. There are very few if any positives about these episodes.

Like the rest of fandom has said: what was Peter Haining thinking?! "The Web Planet" is not the worst "Doctor Who" story of all time thanks to its first two episodes. They make a nice little story with no conclusion. It is really unbelievable that out of all the First Doctor stories, somehow, SOMEHOW, this little 'gem' survived while "Marco Polo" went missing. How unjust is that? I can understand some defending this as entertaining (no, I can't really UNDERSTAND it, but I'll forgive it), but to think there's still people out there who think this is some sort of avant-garde masterpiece? They should try watching this without LSD...

Episode 1: 7/10, Episode 2: 6/10, Episode 3: 4/10, Episode 4: 2/10, Episode 5: 2/10, Episode 6: 2/10.

Average: 3.83/10

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