Saturday, 7 November 2015

The Web of Fear


So the Web of Fear picks up exactly where the Enemy of the World left off!

Salamander was sucked out and Jamie nearly joined him.
MAW Holmes@MAW_H What a way to spend a week... ;-)

JAMIE: "I'll try, Doctor, but I'll have to get to a better position."
50dw50@50dw50 what is the point of that ugly blank wall in the TARDIS? looks terrible.
MAW Holmes@MAW_H Patrick's still plastered...

Bizarre, isn't it! Only story this blank wall appears in as far as I know.

Here we go again!

I adore this bit with Travers on film. Soooo creepy. 
Fantastic use of music throughout this story.
Chris@KosmicKris the music is perfect - I always think this story has a real filmic quality to it! I can believe it as a British horror film.
John Mark Frankland@JMFrankland Such a great opening. Creepy atmosphere, great lighting - its like a silent movie.
50dw50@50dw50 always wonder if the production team had not fallen out with the writers if Anne would have been used rather than Liz Shaw?

Travers has managed to reactivate the Yeti's control sphere, but the sphere has disappeared...

...and sure enough, after Travers and Anne have left, it returns for its Yeti...
Chris@KosmicKris this is such a clever opener: an explicit link to Enemy AND fresh peril that doesn't need the previous story.
Although it is a sequel to an earlier story, of course.

The Yeti regenerates and strikes Silverstein down!

Agent S(ean Bassett)@WhoPotterVian Hang on. I don't remember seeing the Yeti regenerate into a new form...
Yup! It downloads an upgrade when the sphere returns, I guess!
MAW Holmes@MAW_H Nanotech...?
Nick Mellish@nickmellish "The new Yeti isn't canon because I didn't see it regenerate on screen! It can't be a woman either!"
MAW Holmes@MAW_H You never hear much about Abominable Snowwomen, do you...?

"MOFFFAAAAATTTTT!!! *shakes fist* I'm never going to watch again! See you next week when I'll tell you what I hate about the next episode!"
Victoria's warmed to the idea of 60s clothing by now. 
MAW Holmes@MAW_H After a week writhing around on the floor with Pat and Frazer...
50dw50@50dw50 that chest must be bigger on the inside.
The TARDIS is suspended in space!

It's caught in a web! Wonder what type... 
"Of Fear", I bet.
Now we're in a military base of sorts where a smarmy reporter is interviewing Captain Knight, paying tribute to his deceased commanding officer. A new one must be on the way...
It's Travers! Seems time has passed since the museum.
There's an emergency on that he's been drafted in to help with.
"Television? Never watch it. You an actor or something?"
MAW Holmes@MAW_H Dammit! Sudden realisation that I'm turning into Travers...

I love that they have that dartboard in the base.
Must have been very unusual at the time for a character like Travers to return to the show.
50dw50@50dw50 first time unless you count the Monk.
His last appearance was only about 3 months ago, though of course he's changed a lot.
MAW Holmes@MAW_H What with the random nature of TARDIS travel back then... nowadays he'd be "significant" in some way...
50dw50@50dw50 Evil Travers who is responsible for every death in this story!

The TARDIS is free of the web, and has landed somewhere underground... 

"Is it safe?"
"I shouldn't think so for a moment!"
The Underground sets are absolutely brilliant.

Shove your "wobbly sets".

Something's not right. Where is everyone?

Love that creepy scene of the webbed newspaper seller. 

Deliciously macabre.
Of course, we've been able to watch Episode One of this story for ages so this is not so much a novelty...
...but this does look to be a better print, and it's so atmospheric and magical anyway that it *always* feels new.
50dw50@50dw50 London must have been quickly evacuated if bodies were left around. grim thought that the city could be full of corpses.
Bek Hobbes ‏@Greebobek Similar to James Herbert's Rat novels.

As the Doctor follows the cable the soldiers have been laying...

...Jamie and Victoria walk into an ambush.

Beep beep beep beep beep beep beep beep beep...

It's the Yeti! First overground, now underground. Wombling free...

Anne Travers is such a top character, brought to life with great gusto by Tina Packer.
John Mark Frankland@JMFrankland "Well, when I was a little girl I thought I'd like to be a scientist, so I became a scientist." Great stuff...
50dw50@50dw50 I always think she is the prototype for Liz Shaw.

Yes, very much so :-)
 Chris Cwej ‏@chriscwej yes I agree. And another female character Troughton gets to flirt with a little.

The Doctor hides by the tracks...

It's the Yeti making the web! The new style Yeti carry guns that spray the web.
MAW Holmes@MAW_H "Yeti? Spraying webs? In the underground? What kind of "intelligence" came up with that?"
The soldiers are going to blow up the tunnel...
...but the Yeti have webbed the explosives.
There's an explosion of sorts...

...and the Doctor is blown off the platform by a flash of lights!

Okay, episode 2, now we're into the *really* missing-but-not-missing-anymore bit!
50dw50@50dw50 its still amazing that we can SEE it.

Jamie comes clean that the Doctor was on the platform so the soldiers theorize he's responsible for the non-explosion.

Chorley's such an oily coward. A gem of a performance there, hopefully he gets recognition now you can see it.
50dw50@50dw50 he used to be Dr King in The Avengers so its hard to feel bad about him.
Travers is still tinkering with Yeti spheres when Anne brings the news that there are newcomers who know the Yeti are robotic. Travers has not only a sphere but the little Yeti control models. Doesn't exactly seem a good idea.

The reunion between Travers and Jamie & Victoria is just lovely. 

Debbie and Jack, of course.

"She was born years before I was!"

Whilst Anne is sceptical of Victoria's explanations...

...Chorley makes the Doctor his chief suspect.

Anne makes mincedmeat of "sensationalist" Chorley.
Bek Hobbes@Greebobek I bet Chorley has had her phone tapped.
Here come the Yeti!

They look so great looming in the tunnels with their giant glowing eyes & claws.
The Yeti batter their way through the barricade...

...and web the doomed soldiers.

So much great use of sound in this; the Yeti roar is brilliant, toilet flush or not!
Bek Hobbes@Greebobek Recorded in Tooting Bec?

The musical refrains used are relentless and oppressive, really adding a layer to the dark, spooky atmosphere of the tunnels.

Relegated to making the tea, Victoria has the opportunity to earwig on Travers & Anne.
Victoria only hears the bit where Anne wonders if the Doctor is responsible for the web, of course...
...and leaves before Travers shoots down Anne's suspicions in flames.
Jamie and the soldiers have a lucky escape when the Yeti that have them under guard are summoned away...

"Tee-bet? Tee-bet? You must be joking!" The soldiers could be nobodies but Blake, Lane & Weams are all sympathetic.
Lovely little moments as they speculate where the web came from, and what it is.
50dw50@50dw50 brilliant actually, people in Who rarely seem to speculate why something is happening rather than solving or disbelieving.
MAW Holmes@MAW_H Is that the classic "Hot, sweet Army tea" so beloved of Uncle Tewwy...?

"So I says to Tel, you have to make a good cuppa. Of course, it doesn't necessarily have to be YOUR cuppa!"

Travers isn't getting very far and needs the Doctor's help...

...and sooner rather than later: the web fungus is advancing again.

Driver Evans is a bit stereotypical, isn't he?

A recognisable figure in post-war depictions of British army groups, mind.
MAW Holmes@MAW_H "Taffy, Jock, Ginger and Snowy walk into a tunnel..."
50dw50@50dw50 Evans is not a subtle performance.

Jamie and Evans do make a great little doubleact though.
Love how claustrophobic the whole thing feels. 

We get the same plot several times in a row this season but the atmosphere on this one makes it feel quite different.
That fungus looks suspiciously like washing up liquid.
MAW Holmes@MAW_H "I know I said that they ought to clean out these tunnels, but..."
50dw50@50dw50 foam? in a second Doctor story, that never happens... This should be called The Mushroom Menace or Fungus of Fear.
MAW Holmes@MAW_H "The Ssssuds of Death"...?

And now the slideshow. Urgh. Shame on them for not animating this. Unforgiveable.

You'll never convince me recons are any good, sorry.
50dw50@50dw50  i guess they will animate it in an extra filled special edition as they try to get two bites of the cherry. Oddly if you watch this skipping episode three it makes very little difference!

Ah, but you'd lose all the great scenes of the Colonel Brig taking charge. 

How bizarre (in hindsight) that the Doctor and Lethbridge-Stewart met off-screen.
Simon Pittman ‏@LibraryPlayer Wonder if Clara pops up in this against the Great Intelligence? ;-)

Well, as we now know, "Victoria" is just another splinter...

Lethbridge-Stewart really gets everyone's arses in gear. He dazzles straight away, doesn't he?
Feels so odd now that the Doctor & Lethbridge-Stewart don't entirely trust one another...
They're so pally in the Invasion, but the antagonism is back in full(er) swing when the 3rd Doctor arrives.
Victoria grows anxious for the missing Jamie. 

He and Evans have had to double back to evade the fungus.
MAW Holmes@MAW_H Always tricky when you've got fungus in your tunnels...

Evans says he has to go and take care of a number one.
The Found Episodes ‏@LostWhoEpisodes his chocolate bar is called Camfields :)

Oh, the bitter, bitter, irony, as the Colonel shows them a slideshow.
The Doctor spots that the Yeti have regenerated, christening the souped up new models a "Mark 2".
Not to be confused with the Mark 3.
50dw50@50dw50 or the even less healthy Mark 1.
MAW Holmes@MAW_H "Scratch off a Yeti's fur and you'll find a Dalek" as we used to say at strange political meetings...
Vote Yeti, get Dalek? I agree with Nick (Courtney).
The Doctor hatches a plan to strike back at the Yeti.

As long as there are no traitors in their midst, job's a good 'un.
The Colonel cannily plans to keep Chorley busy - and out of the loop.
MAW Holmes@MAW_H In that coat he's either selling used cars or he's off to report on the big match...

"Wenley Moor 1, Tooting Bec 1. Score draw for the pools there."

The Doctor's rumbled that there are forces at work from within.
The armory has been webbed up and is useless!

Poor old Weams is a gonner...

...and Travers is attacked by a Yeti in the base!

Slideshow over!
50dw50@50dw50 i remember that picture of Travis and the Yeti claw from the Monster Book as a kid really scared me!

Benton needs a shave.
MAW Holmes@MAW_H "Scratch the fur off a Yeti and you'll find a loyal sergeant" as we used to say in UNIT recruitment offices...

Nice to see the Colonel in action at last!
50dw50@50dw50 shame his first episode is missing but its wonderful we have most of his first story, shame courtney did not live to see it.

The Doctor decides to gather a sample of the web fungus for analysis.

There goes Evans' baccy. At least he's still got his chocolate bar.

That pulsing cobweb looks great.
The scouting parties are reunited, both having been beaten back by the web fungus.

Returning to base, the Doctor and Jamie realize something is wrong straight away, and come across the webbed corpse of Weams.

Anne's shaken up by the Yeti attack. 
The Doctor wonders why Travers was taken and not just killed...
The fungus is on the move again. Ain't no stopping it now.
The Colonel wonders why the Yeti didn't destroy the base altogether, but the Doctor knows that "they came for something, and they got it," meaning Travers...

The Intelligence is "a sort of formless shapeless thing floating about in space like a cloud of mist, only with a mind and will." Troughton in full-on sinister mode.

Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart doesn't remember Evans being his driver. Curious...
50dw50@50dw50 is this ever explained other than The Brig not being interested in the little people?

Just down to a slight touch of concussion from when the lorry was attacked, but there to induce paranoia that one of them's a traitor.
The Intelligence always knows...
The Doctor admires Anne's skills with a screwdriver. 

Registering a 4 on the Trout-Flirt-O-Meter.

Evans hardly seems the supervillain type, could he be the Great Intelligence in er, a Welsh driver's clothing?
MAW Holmes@MAW_H Look, you...

The Colonel formulates a plan to rescue the TARDIS, but it involves going overground at Covent Garden...
50dw50@50dw50 he is very trusting of the Doctor thinking it is real.

The Doctor attempts to analyse his web sample, only to find that someone's picked his pocket and cleaned the baccy tin out!

Arnold recruits Evans to help him and Lane enact the Doctor's plan to send explosives into the fungus on a moving trolley...

...while the Colonel leads a squad overground, with Blake wielding a rocket launcher.

Arnold and Lane go into the web, and moments later Evans hears their death screams...

When Evans pulls the trolley back, Lane is dead, and Arnold is nowhere to be seen.

You can see why the battle of covent garden blew people away when this was returned. 

There's only actually four Yeti...

 ....but hats off to the late great Douglas Camfield...
...who has them relentlessly ploughing through the soldiers from every angle...

...tearing through them again and again.
Even if they do it to the Cybermen's theme tune...!
MAW Holmes@MAW_H "Scratch the fur off a Yeti and you'll find a silver giant..." as, erm...

Things go from bad to worse as the Doctor and Knight are attacked in the electronics store.
MAW Holmes@MAW_H That moment is a genuine shocker...!
50dw50@50dw50 amazing episode, well filmed and blood thirsty.  Evans proved correct again! no wonder he survives!

The Yeti are unexpectedly called away...

...and the Doctor finds Knight had a Yeti model planted on him.
The missing Chorley's just too obvious a suspect, isn't he? Got to be a red herring.
The Colonel is the only one to make it back from the Warehouse. Wonder how he alone managed that...
It seems he's brought back a familiar beeping sound with him.

The Yeti arrive, followed by... a possessed Travers! Great cliffhanger to part 4.
50dw50@50dw50 best episode! High death toll this week, the wages accountants will have been pleased!

Travers' "Intelligence Voice" is brilliant. Whispery, raspy, so laboured.
The Intelligence has taken a rather creepy fancy to the Doctor, and, in particular, his TARDIS.

Remember how it dragged them down to Earth at the story's beginning?

The Intelligence confirms Travers was not the traitor, but "I have many other human hands at my command..."
Travers really is like an animated corpse here. 

The Intelligence has constructed a machine to drain all knowledge from the Doctor's mind, an dhe has 20 minutes to decide whether to give himself up before it sends in the Yeti. To guarantee their co-operation it takes Victoria as a hostage.

At least she's able to leave her necklace as a trail for the others to follow. 

Yeti Benton politely steps over it.
The Colonel wonders if the Intelligence will keep its' word . "It didn't in Tibet," remarks Jamie.

"Come on, Anne, don't give up! I need your help!" Troughton charming the ladies as always.
50dw50@50dw50 art copies life!
Jamie and the Colonel find the web fungus is boxing them in every which way.

The Doctor has the sphere working. Love Troughton coaxing it off the edge of the table.
Jamie and the Colonel make it back to base, but get short shrift from Anne.
Evans has reached the conclusion that either Jamie or the Colonel are working for the Intelligence.

Anne & the Doctor have succeeded in gaining control of a Yeti sphere. Now they just need a Yeti to try it out on!
50dw50@50dw50 they should run off together, she is more fun than dreary Victoria.
Travers and the Yeti take Victoria to the Intelligence's lair, where Travers is released by the now disembodied voice.
Jamie still suspects the Colonel may be the traitor, but they're soon on the right track with Victoria's necklace.
Also in the Yeti's lair is Staff Sergeant Arnold! He survived the explosion but looks rather the worse for wear.

Travers hopes Arnold can get away and lead the others to the lair. Yeah, I reckon he can do that.
Ooh, now the Doctor's sphere is voice activated. La-di-da!
"I may be stupid, but I'm not daft!" Evans is obviously the comedy relief character, but endearing nonetheless. 
He can't really be the traitor, can he...?
I like to think that at one time or another, they were all "the traitor", the Intelligence hopping from one to another...
Arnold has managed to make it back to Jamie and the Colonel...

...and together they return to base.

As time ticks on, the Intelligence relocates Victoria and Travers.

The Doctor and Anne are off to capture a Yeti, but the range is rather shorter than Anne had expected!
Now they have a pet Yeti. They should give him a name. I suggest "Benton".
50dw50@50dw50 Vicki would have.
MAW Holmes@MAW_H ...and then Babs the Assassin would have shot him.
50dw50@50dw50 and kicked its corpse as she sauntered past, smoothing down her cardigan.
The last line of defence falls as the web fungus pours into the base.
50dw50@50dw50 has to be said thats a brilliant effect.

I love the mist coming off it.

Evans legs it, Arnold goes all Skeletor: "I'll get you for this!"
That lumbering gait the Yeti have is great.
The tone of the Doctor's "Hello Colonel" seems to imply he still suspects the Colonel...
The Doctor's 20 minutes are up & he must turn himself in for possession by the Intelligence...

Evans is surrounded by Yeti...

...and while the Yeti pen the the soldiers in....

...only Arnold is able to give them the slip and remain at large.
50dw50@50dw50 a new set this late in the story, money to burn!
The Space Pirate@spacepirateoz To be fair they've only been using two sets the whole serial! Smart budgeting Dougie!

There's someone hiding by the Intelligence's pyramid...
50dw50@50dw50 a whisperman?

Bek Hobbes@Greebobek My money is on Sutekh.

Actually, Travers, yes, it pretty much is all your fault. 
Though presumably if he hadn't someone else would have reactivated the sphere in another time and place.

The Doctor treats us to a lovely little tune on the recorder while they await their fate.
Arnold bumps into Chorley, who says he got lost and is terrified. Do we believe him?

The Doctor tells his friends not to resist the Yeti when he hears the familiar beep of Yeti Benton.
50dw50@50dw50 instead of trying to tip them the wink about what he is actually going to do!

The Doctor walks past a poster advertsing Blockbusters.

Must be in Old Holness...
Chris@KosmicKris I'll have a 'P' please Brig! *runs off sniggering*

The Doctor activates his Yeti, and would like a control hat like that, ready for the showdown.

Anne is reunited with the Professor. 

Jamie plays with the remote control Yeti the Doctor gave him for Christmas.
The Doctor is ready to be placed into the mind-draining machine.
"I'm not the Intelligence!" Chorley never struck us as the intelligent type. Gutter press.
Such a different performance from Jack Woolgar as the Intelligence stops pretending to be the long-dead Arnold.
The tinfoil hatted Arnold shoves the Doctor in his pyramid. Cut and blow dry please.
Jamie sends his pet Yeti into battle...

...but oddly the Doctor tells him to get back.
The mind-draining pyramid disintegrates...

... and Arnold is horribly burned in the explosion, casting the Intelligence out into space.
50dw50@50dw50 the Doctor really is an ungrateful old sod in this story!
Why didn't the Doctor tell the others his plan? Did he really suspect them all?

Not like he only figured out to cross the wires after going into the Pyramid & couldn't reveal the plan till then.
And with that, the Doctor & friends bustle off, one eye on the studio clock as 10pm approaches!

MAW Holmes@MAW_H "Pub's still open, Jamie..."

"All these tunnels look the same to me!" They panic that the trains might start up again. Fat bloody chance.
50dw50@50dw50 the novelty of actually being able to SEE these episodes has not worn off, so exciting.

Chris@KosmicKris this is such a brilliant story. The 'missing' aspect has given some stories a status they don't deserve. Not this!

So much in the performances, apart from the obvious greatness from Troughton (and yet again there is much in his flirting, this time with Anne Travers), there's Tina Packer's wry glances, Jack Watling's frustration and zombie acting, Weams' swagger, Blake's nervous ticks, Lethbridge-Stewart's focus, determination and strength, Chorley's misplaced professional pride. On top of all this you have sets and lighting that top pretty much anything else in the whole of the Troughton era, and the punishing and brutal battle of Covent Garden.

50dw50@50dw50 episode 4 is astonishing, one of the best the series ever produced

Doctor Who Thing@DoctorWhoThing It's a great story. The only thing that vaguely irks is the quick resolution. But otherwise, as good as it gets.

Coming Soon... Fury from the Deep

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