Jan. 26th, 2019

purplecat: The Third Doctor (Who:Three)
Insofar as there are unloved Pertwee stories, Planet of the Spiders, is unloved. I think The Time Monster has worse rep in fandom, but Planet of the Spiders is often discussed as too long and derided for devoting an entire episode to a chase scene.

Tame Layman loved the chase episode. This may have been because it gave him an opportunity to debate the merits of hovercraft as a mode of transport, with particular reference to 1970s attitudes to the same, but frankly one of the advantages of a chase it that events at least keep happening.

Personally, I think the story slows down mostly with events on Metebelis 3. The buddhist retreat in the UK is more relatable, as well as being something of a period curiosity, while society on Metebelis 3 is one of Doctor Who's more generic attempts consisting primarily of evil overlords/spiders, oppressed peasants (complete with Mumerset accents), and reckless young men. It doesn't help that a lot of the scenery is CSO. The spiders, a brave attempt at puppet work by the production team, are the most interesting thing there. There is a genuine attempt to differentiate them and give them some politics. The puppets themselves occasionally veer on the edge of ludicrous (especially during the several scenes where the spiders debate among themselves) but mostly, I think, the production gets away with them.

I'm inclined to agree that the story could use a trim, but its the Metebelis sections that really need the attention, not those set on Earth.

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