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TV show review: CONTINUUM season 4
PHOTOGRAPHY

DOCTOR WHO: THE WEB OF FEAR (Story No. 41)

DVD Review by David Blackwell

 

DETAILS: 146 minutes (six episodes), trailer for Enemy of the World

VIDEO: 1.33:1

AUDIO: English 2.0 Mono

Subtitles: English SDH

 

STUDIO: BBC/ BBC Video/ Warner Home Video

RELEASE DATE: 4-22-2014

 

THE WEB OF FEAR was one of those stories thought lost to time when four of the five missing episodes of THE WEB OF FEAR were found.  Also another copy of episode one was recovered (the only episode of the six part serial that existed for years).  The story is important because it introduces UNIT and Colonel Lethbridge Stewart (even though his first episode, episode three, is still missing and presented here with audio and telesnaps).   It is one of the strong stories of the Second Doctor era and one of the many that fell under the base under siege formula for many of the Second Doctor tales. 

 

The Doctor (Patrick Troughton) and his companions Jamie (Frazer Hines) and Victoria (Debra Watling) are drawn to the London Underground subway system by the Great Intelligence that is spreading a web through the subway system and using the robotic Yeti.  They team up with UNIT and Professor Travers (and his daughter Ann) to find a way to stop the Great Intelligence.   The black and white look to the story provides some mood to the story and the production value is great for a low budget (that the London Transit authorizes thought that the production team somehow shot in the real subway system and not on a set).  It is great to see this story after thinking was lost to the web of time (and episode one was the only known surviving episode until episodes 2, 4 to 6 were discovered last year).  THE WEB OF FEAR is an important part of DOCTOR WHO history and thankfully this story has been mostly found and not one of the poorly written stories.  The studio shot material looks very clean and crisp while the tunnel stuff in the dark is of variable quality, but the VIDFIRE process on these episodes is great.

 

EXTRAS:

Only the trailer for the other recovered (thought mostly missing to time) story THE ENEMY OF THE WORLD is on the disc.   I do wish they could have produced some extras for this DVD like an audio commentary, production notes track, or even a featurette on it, but then again there will probably be a double dip down the line as a Special Edition. On the plus side, the BBC has made this release and the upcoming THE ENEMY OF THE WORLD a little cheaper due to the lack of extras.

 

FINAL ANALYSIS: THE WEB OF FEAR is a classic Doctor Who story.  I’m happy they found four episodes of the story.  Too bad they couldn’t find episode three of animate it with the off-air soundtrack.   It is a little sad they couldn’t have made some extras.  In the end, it is a blessing the story has been mostly found and can be seen for the first time by many.

 

This DVD review is 5-8-2014 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission.  Send all comments to feedback@enterline-media.com

 

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