THE WEB OF FEAR was one of those stories
thought lost to
time when four of the five missing episodes of THE WEB OF FEAR were found. Also
another copy of episode one was
recovered (the only episode of the six part serial that existed for years). The
story is important because it introduces
UNIT and Colonel Lethbridge Stewart (even though his first episode, episode
three, is still missing and presented here with audio and telesnaps). It
is one of the strong stories of the
Second Doctor era and one of the many that fell under the base under siege
formula for many of the Second Doctor tales.
The Doctor (Patrick Troughton) and his companions
(Frazer Hines) and Victoria (Debra Watling) are drawn to the London Underground
subway system by the Great Intelligence that is spreading a web through the
subway system and using the robotic Yeti.
They team up with UNIT and Professor Travers (and his daughter Ann) to
find a way to stop the Great Intelligence.
The black and white look to the story provides some mood to the story
and the production value is great for a low budget (that the London Transit
authorizes thought that the production team somehow shot in the real subway
system and not on a set). It is great to
see this story after thinking was lost to the web of time (and episode one was
the only known surviving episode until episodes 2, 4 to 6 were discovered last
year). THE WEB OF FEAR is an important
part of DOCTOR WHO history and thankfully this story has been mostly found and
not one of the poorly written stories.
The studio shot material looks very clean and crisp while the tunnel
stuff in the dark is of variable quality, but the VIDFIRE process on these
episodes is great.
Only the trailer for the other recovered (thought
missing to time) story THE ENEMY OF THE WORLD is on the disc. I do
wish they could have produced some extras for this DVD like an audio
commentary, production notes track, or even a featurette on it, but then again
there will probably be a double dip down the line as a Special Edition. On the
plus side, the BBC has made this release and the upcoming THE ENEMY OF THE
WORLD a little cheaper due to the lack of extras.
FINAL ANALYSIS: THE WEB OF FEAR is a classic
story. I’m happy they found four
episodes of the story. Too bad they
couldn’t find episode three of animate it with the off-air soundtrack.
It is a little sad they couldn’t have made
some extras. In the end, it is a
blessing the story has been mostly found and can be seen for the first time by
This DVD review is ©5-8-2014 David Blackwell
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