The Web Planet




Also Called:

Project world




Isop Galaxy
briefly Mutter’s Spiral




larvae guns

First Seen In:

The Web Planet


Frederick Muller novelisations

Doctor Who and the Zarbi

Virgin Missing Adventures

Twilight of the Gods

Short fiction
Doctor Who annual

The Lairof Zarbi Supremo
The Lost Ones

The Shakespeare Notebooks

The Dream

Doctor Who Monthly
Special releases

Return to the Web Planet

ComicsTV Comic

On the Web Planet

Doctor Who yearbook

The Naked Flame


Vortis, called the project world by the Gods of Light, was a planet in the Isop Galaxy. It was home to various native insectoid species, including the Menoptera, the Optera, the Zarbi and the larvae guns. The first, second, fourth and fifth incarnations of the renegade Time Lord known as The Doctor visited this planet.


Vortis was originally covered in flower forests. When the malevolent Animus invaded, the planet changed into a world with a thin atmosphere, low oxygen, natural crag-like rock formations and pools of acid. (The Web Planet) Isocryte was also found in unnatural abundance on the world due to the Gods, who transformed the centre of the world into a laboratory. Vortis then journeyed through space until arriving in the Rhumos system before leaving again. (Twilight of the Gods)


Vortis was created by Bris and Ilex, two Gods of Light, as their student science experiment. They selected Menoptera from an unknown world and transplanted them to the project world. (Twilight of the Gods)

The Elder Horrors once dominated life on Vortis. This included Clynex and possibly the Animus. (The Naked Flame)

Early in the history of Vortis, the Zarbi, led by a queen, fought a war against the Menoptera, forcing them to flee to the moons. An advance scouting party was sent to spy on the Zarbi, where they were attacked by a group of Atlanteans who had crash-landed there. Soon afterwards, the Menoptera discovered and captured the First Doctor, who was making his first visit to Vortis. The Doctor escaped and encountered the Atlanteans, who took him to their ship, having assumed that he was one of them. The Atlanteans escorted The Doctor back to his TARDIS, where a battle between the Zarbi and the Menoptera was being waged nearby. From the TARDIS, The Doctor watched as the Atlanteans were cornered and killed by the natives of Vortis. (The Lost Ones)

A long time afterwards, the native species of Vortis lived in harmony in the flower forests that covered the world. At some point, the malevolent Animus invaded and the planet became barren and lifeless. (The Web Planet) The Clynex was also weakened by the coming of the Animus. (The Naked Flame) Most of the Menoptera fled to Pictos, while the few that stayed behind evolved into Optera. It was in this situation that The Doctor returned, bringing with him Ian, Barbara and Vicki. After aiding the Menoptera in destroying the Animus, The Doctor hoped that Vortis could once more regain its verdant beauty. (The Web Planet)

Some years after the death of the Animus, the crystalline Clynex began to revive and drain the energy from its surroundings. The Fourth Doctor and Sarah Jane Smith visited Vortis, where he saved the Menoptera from Clynex (who was attracting them to their deaths) by shattering it with his sonic screwdriver. (The Naked Flame)

Generations later, the Skirkons came to Vortis, took control of the Zarbi and forced captured Menoptera to mine for Galvinium X until they were once more saved by the First Doctor, this time with assistance from his grandchildren, John and Gillian Who. (On the Web Planet)

Over time, the forests of Vortis had begun to regrow. Vortis drifted into the neighbouring Rhumos system and became disputed territory for the Rhumons, who were in the midst of a civil war. During this time the Animus returned, having not been completely destroyed, a seed of it surviving. With the help of the Second Doctor, Jamie and Victoria, the Animus was destroyed again and Vortis eventually was left to regain its beauty. The Rhumons declared Vortis neutral territory and hoped the other Rhumons would learn of this, ending the war and bringing the Rhumos system to peace. (Twilight of the Gods)

By the 20th century, Vortis had left the Isop Galaxy as a rogue planet and entered the Mutter’s Spiral galaxy. The First Doctor discovered that the planet had been engineered by the Zarbi Supremo to travel through space and was near the orbit of Jupiter. He confronted the Zarbi Supremo with the aid of Gordon Hamilton and returned control of the planet to the Menoptera. (The Lairof Zarbi Supremo)

The Fifth Doctor and Nyssa visited Vortis, where he once again helped the Menoptera deal with the Zarbi. (Return to the Web Planet)

The Eleventh Doctor instructed his old friend Snorglar to send some of his boys to Vortis in three days time where “a man with a recorder” would “sort out” a debt that The Doctorowed to him, because from the Eleventh Doctor’s perspective, he already paid it. (The Rise and Fall)


When remembering his travels with the First Doctor, one of the things that Ian Chesterton recalled was the planet Vortis. (Hunters of the Burning Stone)

The Fifth Doctor told Nyssa that he could imagine relaxing on Vortis, but that he had never had the opportunity to do so. (Return to the Web Planet)

In 1929, the Eleventh Doctor claimed that Vortis was visible from Earth. (The Hounds of Artemis)

Vortis was known to the Drashani Empire. (The Shadow Heart)

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