9) PLANET OF GIANTS

31 October - 14 November 1964

Average Viewing Figure: 8.5M

Plot

When The Tardis crew is shrunk down in size they must avert the plans of Forester and his insecticide 

Cast

William Hartnell (The Doctor), William Russell (Ian Chesterton), Jacqueline Hill (Barbara Wright), Carole Ann Ford (Susan Foreman)

Alan Tilvern (Forester), Reginald Barratt (Smithers), Frank Crawshaw (Farrow), Rosemary Johnson (Hilda Howse), Fred Ferris (Bert Howse)

Crew

Louis Marks (Writer), Ron Grainer (Title Music), Dudley Simpson (Incidental Music), Daphne Dare (Costumes Supervisor)

Sonia Markham (Make-Up Supervisor), Howard King (Lighting), Alan Fogg (Sound Mixer), David Whitaker (Story Editor)

Raymond P Cusick (Designer), Verity Lambert (Producer), Mervyn Pinfield, Douglas Camfield (Directors)

Uncredited Crew

Dawn Robertson, Val McCrimmon (Assistant Floor Managers), Norman Stewart (Production Assistant)

Mark Lewis (Technical Operations Manager), Clive Doig, Graham Giles (Vision Mixers), David Tilley, John Adams (Floor Assistant)

Kay Fraser (Director's Assistant), Chris Thompson (Design Assistant), Cyril Julius (Technical Manager), Chris Haden (Film Editor)

Brian Watkins (Dubbing Mixer)

Broadcast

Filming Locations

  • Ealing Film Studios

  • Television Centre: Studio 4

Deaths

  • Arnold Farrow [killed by Forester]

Production Days

  •  6 days between Thursday 30 July - Friday 11 September 1964

Production Errors

  1. A couple of boom microphones enter the frame during "Crisis" at the 4:30 and 14:14 mark

  2. At the end of "Dangerous Journey", Smithers unplugs the sink and leave it outside of the sink. However at the start of "Crisis", the plug is in the sink without any explanation as to how it moved 

  3. Despite having been previously murdered by Forester, Farrow can be seen blinking a few times​​​​​

Working Titles

  • The Miniscules

  • Episode 2: Death in the Afternoon

Verdict

An ambitious idea brought to life by super-sized sets and props, Planet of Giants is both something to be desired, and a giant creative mess. The plot opens up well with the Time Travellers believing they must have landed on an alien planet with giant Insects; only to discover they are actually on Earth, in the middle of an ordinary garden. Things then go at a tangent where a greedy businessman wants to make a quick buck by exploiting a dangerous new chemical for his own selfish needs. Not exactly the most original idea that could have come from this highly experimental three-part series. A far better story would have pitted the time travellers in a garden full of dangers whilst trying to find a way to restore them to full size. The direction is generally all around top notch – Douglas Camfield helmed ‘Crisis’ and will go onto to become the show’s top billing director of all time, and there are some great production values with the puppet insects, but on the whole Planet of Giants is nothing that special. ***