Timestamp #13: The Web Planet

Doctor Who: The Web Planet
(6 episodes, s02e16-e21, 1965)

Timestamp 013 The Web Planet

This serial had so much ambition, but so little payoff in six episodes to cover a very threadbare story. The costumes were laughable, and the Zarbi noises grated on me with seconds of hearing them for the first time.

There were some nice moments with Barbara and Vicki comparing notes on eras they were familiar with, and the Doctor is starting to remind me of Yoda with his giggling. From the production side, I’m glad they removed the handicap of losing power to the doors trapping the travellers in the TARDIS over the years. It seems like a silly stumbling block, even though it gave purpose to the Doctor’s rings. It was good of them to acknowledge the thin air, but those jackets made me giggle over the absurdity.

I give the serial extra credit for the enthralled Zarbi called Zombo, but, honestly, I’d rather watch The Sensorites again.


Rating: 1/5 – “EXTERMINATE!”


UP NEXT – Doctor Who: The Crusade


The Timestamps Project is an adventure through the televised universe of Doctor Who, story by story, from the beginning of the franchise. For more reviews like this one, please visit the project’s page at Creative Criticality.



7 thoughts on “Timestamp #13: The Web Planet

  1. Ouch! I guess I’m in the minority who doesn’t mind the Zarbi trilling. It never bothered me although you’re not the first that I’ve heard that it bothered. I really like the sense of exploration of these 60′s stories, watching the characters observe and deduce details from what they can see. I also like that they tried to create some truly alien races with their own culture and terminology. Even details like the Optera talking about making a mouth in a cave so that it can speak light gives you a sort of sense of how they perceive the world. This is also the only time that Doctor Who does a story where ever character is alien except for the TARDIS crew. I love the ambition and I even think that a lot of it succeeds like the scenes of the Menoptra flying are pretty good.
    I’m not arguing that it doesn’t have big warts. It does. They’ve obviously maxed out their floorspace because there are tons of scenes where the characters are to close to the painted backdrop and cast a shadow over it, so that you can easily tell that the terrain in the distance really isn’t terrain at all. We’ve also got weird technical hitches like the Zarbi running into a camera. Yet this was one of the highest rated episodes of Doctor Who ever back in the 60′s. I think it just goes to demonstrate my theory that spectacle ages the most of anything.

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.