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Reviews for Planet of the Spiders

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Far better ending than usual...

By:Matthew David Rabjohns, Bridgend, United Kingdom
Date:Monday 18 April 2011
Rating:   10

It may be true that the regeneration from Jon pertwee into Tom Baker is one of the most dissapointing of the whole of the classic series, but the final whole scene has to be one of the finest in the show's long history. And far more poignant and effective than those stupid way over the top new series finales. Understated and excellently acted. It really is a scene to make you sad that Jon is finally leaving the role. Well let me put it this way, this scene on first viewing was one of the only times in the show's history that I nearly cried!!

His final story in his maintime of acting the errant timelord is packed with excitement and adventure and spiders that actually arent that bad looking at all. The story is extremely well paced for a six parter, one of the most ripping yarns of the third Doctor era. The finale with the Queen Spider in the cave is still one of my favourite Doctor Who endings ever. And its brilliant that the villian iniates her own downfall.

Elizabeth Sladen always seemed far more better served as a companion during her single season with Jon than in her two with Tom Baker. She got decent sized chunks of script to get her teeth into. And she really was a stellar companion. And we get the return of Richard Franklin as Mike Yates who always was such an interesting character. The other characters too are all well rounded and none appear to be too extremely faceless. All the elements tie together rather well.

The cliffhangers throughout this story too are very satisfying and tense. This is all one could ask from a final story. A crescendo that delivers on all fronts. This is one of the best stories of the original series, with plenty to offer. Far better than anything in that stupid new series. The new series has totally lost its way. Im not looking forward to the latest series from all the new casts on the BBC site: i hope theyre not planning on making the role of the Doctor more moronic and antihero than ever...if they do its a serious mistake indeed....The classic series always has been far more fulfilling. Yes, even with its wobbly sets and dodgy effects and stupid costume design at times. It had such character. And Planet of the Spiders has plenty of that.

Arachnaphobia much?

By:Huw Davies, Taunton, United Kingdom
Date:Thursday 21 April 2011
Rating:   9

I've gotta say, I really enjoyed 'Planet of the Spiders'. For all its faults (and there are some), it's a really great story which ends the Pertwee era perfectly. It features some great characters and ideas, and its only downfall is its 6-episode length.
Story-wise, it's good up to Part 4, when the "oppressed humans" stuff that we've seen on 'Who' time and time again returns to us. Sure the chase sequence in Part 2 is a little long but it's great fun, taking in land, sea, air, and even a bumbling policeman for comic relief on the way. Part 6 takes us back into solid action with the reveal of the Great One, a giant spider who is realised quite well for the day. Then of course we have the Doctor's regeneration, and although the actual effect is a bit unimaginative it is all played very tense and emotionally, which is great.
In the character department the main villains are the Eight-Legs, or spiders, whose voices are done by Ysanne "Alpha Centauri" Churchman, Kismet "wife of Roger" Delgado, and Maureen "the Great One" Morris. The voices are great and really add a sense of drama and other-wordliness. Lupton, the lackey of the spiders for much of the story, is also played very well - wonderfully evil! Also guest-starring are John Kane as the simpleton Tommy (this is also an exemplary performance) and Kevin "Sontaran" Lindsay as the sort-of-Time-Lord monk Cho-je.
If slimmed to a 4-parter this might have been up there as one of the greats. As it is, it isn't that far off.

Come in number 3

By:Trevor Smith, Nottingham, United Kingdom
Date:Wednesday 6 July 2011
Rating:   8

It light of recent events, the death of Elisabeth Sladen, this is now an even more poignant story.
Jon Pertwee was my doctor growing up the 70's & I can still remember how upset I was when he left, but still this is a hell of goodbye.
Action packed (even if if the chase scene is far to long), heroic, thought provoking, interesting character's & a very moving end.
The story does drag a bit towards the end but what a final episode.
The extras are a bit thin but do consist of The Final Curtain, an in depth look at the end of the 3rd Doctors era & the making of Planet of the Spiders & an interesting interview with John Kane who stared as Tommy.
The end of an era.
The commentary with Barry Letts, Elisabeth Sladen & Nick Courtney is both wonderful but very sad.

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