The Web Planet
13 February 1965
The Zarbi*: Robert Jewell [1-3,5-6], Jack Pitt [1-3,5-6], Gerald Taylor [1-3,5-6], Hugh Lund [3,5-6], Kevin Manser [3,5-6], John Scott Martin [3,5-6], Catherine Fleming (Animus Voice) [2-6], The Menoptra: Roslyn de Winter (Vrestin) [2-6], Anne Gordon (Hrostar) [2,4-6], Arthur Blacke (Hrhoonda) , Jolyon Booth (Prapillus) [4-6], Jocelyn Birdsall (Hlynia) [4-6], Martin Jarvis (Hilio) [4-6], Ian Thompson (Hetra) [4-6], Barbara Joss (Nemini) [4-5].
|Written by||Bill Strutton|
|Directed by||Richard Martin|
|Produced by||Verity Lambert|
When the Doctor and his friends stray from their astral plane and the TARDIS materialises in eerie alien surroundings, a mysterious force prevents them from leaving. Is it a natural phenomenon or some malevolent intelligence?
Uncanny occurrences are followed by encounters with the deadly Zarbi and their unknown leader, to whom the travellers fall prey. With their allies, the Menoptra, the travellers must discover how to immobilise the Zarbi, save the Menoptra from massacre and rid the planet of this powerful and horrifying evil.
As a growing web building begins to envelop the planet, imprisoning the travellers in its mesh, the Doctor must consult all of his wisdom to escape its hypnotic power.
But what is At The centre of the web and from where does it draw its power?
- This story was originally entitled The Zarbi and was made under the working title The Centre of Terror.
- The Centre was initially titled Centre of Terror. The novelisation restores this title for the sixth chapter.
- The first and so far only television story in which all the characters, other than the regulars, are entirely non-humanoid.
- Robert Jewell, Jack Pitt, Gerald Taylor, Hugh Lund and Kevin Manser are credited as Zarbi Operators for The Web Planet and The Zarbi, and under the heading ‘The Zarbi for Escape to Danger to The Centre. They are billed as The Zarbi in Radio Times for The Zarbi to The Centre.
- Roslyn de Winter (Vrestin), Arne Gordon (Hrostar), Arthur Blake (Hrhoonda), Jolyon Booth (Prapillus), Jocelyn Birdsall (Hlynia) and Martin Jarvis (Hilio) are credited under the heading ‘The Menoptra’. Roslyn de Winter is credited as Menoptra Vrestin in Radio Times for Escape to Danger.
- Ian Thompson (Hetra) and Barbara Joss (Nemini) are credited under the heading ‘The Optera’ for Crater of Needles and Invasion. Ian Thompson is credited as Optera Hetra in Radio Times for The Centre.
- Jacqueline Hill does not appear in Escape to Danger as she was on holiday while it was filmed. She is not credited in this episode’s closing credits and later complained to the production team about this, but her request for her credit to be reinstated for overseas sales of the story was not acted upon.
- Noted choreographer Roslyn De Winter was hired to create the distinctive movements and stilted speech of the Vrestin (which she accepted).
- The costumes for all of the aliens who appeared in this story were created by Daphne Dare.