The Web Planet – Story #013

DW13

Jael’s Judgment:

The Web Planet? Lame name, for a lame story. Sorry, but this one was booo-ring. The most entertaining part was watching all of the actors try to walk around as the different bugs, especially the ants. I do not know why this story was spread out over so many episodes.

  • Story Grade: D

 

Tony’s Take:

This story SUCKED.  Plain and simple.  I will not sugarcoat it, the writing and setting for this story was a complete failure.  After the first episode I thought that withholding the “monster” and adding an element of surprise was good, and at the end of the last episode, I thought that the underlying theme of freewill and humanity (or in this case, bug-manity?) was interesting.  The problem?  The story was drawn out and lost.  I wrote the following in my notes which sums up the story perfectly in my view, “Great, now a plastic tube that talks to The Doctor.  This story is like a stoner’s dream… boiled down to a lifeless goo and molded into something kid safe.  I am convinced that there is no meaning and the plot was lost by the writer.”

There was one point that I thought could have been great, but again, it was not well played and was instantly buried and written off.  The Doctor mentions ‘evolution’, and I can’t help but wonder what the outrage would have been like in the US for mentioning that on a kids show… in the 1960s!  We can barely get away with it today (talking about small scale evolution of insects and birds).  In future episodes of Doctor Who (around Tom Baker’s time), this point would have been the overwhelming theme and driven home in 4 episodes, not just another small piece to a scattered story which tried to address issues of freewill AND separation of races (the races being the different types of bugs).

One last comment to drive home my opinion of disdain for this story: “This is just ridiculous.” I spouted off to my wife just over 31 minutes into the disc. The steam had already run out, this story just got odd and drawn out.  It makes me really appreciate the better done “future and alien” stories.

After much feedback from an unnamed source (JAEL!!!!!!!!), I have decided to only include a couple of my favorite notes:

The Doctor is still giggly, like he was doing drugs in the TARDIS or magically 30 (human) years younger.
Barbara loses control of her arm temporarily, a la Paranormal Activity.
The Doctor is not worried about Ian losing his pants, even though he demanded that Ian give him his belt.  The belt disintegrated after dipping it in a weird ooze.
Ian caught in a net, Barbara almost walking into the pool of acid, Vicki uncontrollably moves the TARDIS. Could The Doctor finally have to save the day and save everyone?  NOPE!  Still not the hero, savior of all type.
The big reveal of the “monster” is for… an interpretive dancing tribesman that mated with a bumblebee? Odd.
“He’s very good at this sort of thing,” says The Doctor to Vicki I  regards to Ian leaving to find Barbara.  Yep, you’re right, probably because this happens in every story!
The bee-man are acting like matadors and treating the ant like a bull (or maybe they are farmers treating them like a pig, yelling “soo-ie”) and trying to get it to go after them.  This may be the most “WHAT?!”-worthy scene yet.
“Zarbi, yi, yi, yi!!!” or “Zarb-eee-eeee-eeee” your choice. Both silly.
  • Story Grade: D-
  • The only saving grace to this story was the fact that the first episode was kind of enjoyable, and the IDEA was decent.  The actual writing of the idea and the setting for the theme could have been done MUCH better.

 

I am not sure that I really have many people to thank for this story.  I guess my thank yous go out to all of the bug actors.  Those costumes looked terribly uncomfortable, you made the best out of a confusing script.

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