41) THE WEB OF FEAR

3 February - 9 March 1968

Average Viewing Figure: 7.6M

Plot

The Doctor and his companions discover, The Great Intelligence is once again using robotic Yeti to invade the  Earth

Cast

Patrick Troughton (The Doctor), Frazer Hines (Jamie McCrimmon), Deborah Watling (Victoria Waterfield), Jack Watling (Professor Travers)

Jack Woolgar (Staff Sergeant Arnold), Nicholas Courtney (Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart), Tina Packer (Anne Travers)

Frederick Schrecker (Julius Silverstein), Rod Beacham (Corporal Lane), Richardson Morgan (Corporal Blake), Ralph Watson (Captain Knight)

Jon Rollason (Harold Chorley), Stephen Whittaker (Craftsman Weams), Bernard G High (Soldier), Joseph O'Connell (Soldier)

John Levene, Gordon Stothard, Colin Warman, John Lord, Jeremy King, Roger Jacombs (Yeti), Derek Pollitt (Driver Evans)

Uncredited Cast

Bert Sims (Newspaper Seller Corpse), Maurice Brookes (Soldier Peters), James Jordan (Solider Brown)

Crew

Mervyn Haisman, Henry Lincoln (Writers), Derek Ware (Fight Arrangers), Ron Grainer (Title Music), Brian Hodgson (Special Sound)

Ron Oates (Visual Effects Designer), Martin Baugh (Costumes), Sylvia James (Make-Up), Clive Leighton (Lighting), Ray Angel (Sound)

Alan Jonas (Film Cameraman), Philip Barnikel, Colin Hobson (Film Editors), Derrick Sherwin (Story Editor)

David Myerscough-Jones (Designer), Peter Bryant (Producer), Douglas Camfield (Director)

Broadcast

Filming Locations

  • Ealing Film Studios: Stage 3

  • TJ Poupart, Covent Garden, London

  • Ealing Film Studios

  • Television Centre: Puppet Theatre

  • Lime Grove: Studio D

Deaths

  • Julius Silverstein [killed by a robotic Yeti]

  • Corporal Lane [killed by the robotic Yeti web]

  • Corporal Blake [killed by a robotic Yeti]

  • Captain Knight [killed by a robotic Yeti]

  • Staff Sergeant Arnold [killed when the Great Intelligence is defeated]

  • Craftsman Weams [killed during the robotic Yeti rampage]

  • Solider [killed during the robotic Yeti attack]

  • Soldier [killed by a robotic Yeti web gun]

Production Days

  • 16 Days between Friday 15 December 1967 - Saturday 17 February 1968

Production Errors

  1. During episode two, soldiers begin shooting at advancing Yeti. There is a moment when the tunnel is plunged into complete darkness and then the tunnel is suddenly bathed in light

  2. When Victoria is taken hostage during episode five, Jamies goes after her. When Jamie opens and closes the door, the set walls shake about 

  3. During episode one, Jamie places his hand on the Tardis console whilst looking at the Tardis scanner, but he quickly withdraws as if the console has burned him 

  4. Why does the Yeti change appearance in episode one? Does the Great Intelligence give it an upgrade?

  5. The Doctor informs Victoria that underground tunnels come from after Victoria's time. The Doctor is wrong here, Victoria is from 1866 and the first underground tunnel was opened in 1863

Working Titles

  • [no known working titles] 

Verdict

Following on from The Enemy of the World this is another six-parter which works well compared to other six parter episodes. The Yeti are remarkable, more muscular, and expressive which work well in the dark, claustrophobic underground train sets. There is a new plot point where The Doctor lands right in the middle of everything and is drawn into mix through pure chance. There is a strong cast and design team working on this epic who all use their smarts and skills to the story’s advantage. An impressive battle sequence in episode four hypes up the invasion with a serious high body count right in the middle of everything. The effects are the best seen in a look time – the Yeti web which appears in every episode and the Yeti web guns. There is a mystery side to the story thrown in where one character is apparently helping the Yeti with their plans, but nobody knows who it is. There are some good characterisation with Anne, a strong female character for younger viewers instead of the happy, smiling character which has appeared time and time again. The plot does escalate to a big ending which is rather rushed and poorly blocked which is a shame from Douglas Camfield who usually gets this stuff right. A good all-round effort. ****