The Web Planet

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Story Code: N / Season 2 UK Airdate: 13 Feb to 20 Mar 1965
Doctor: William Hartnell Previous Story / Next Story

This story aired in the following countries. They are listed in chronological order according to known airdate. If no month is noted, the actual airdate is not confirmed, and is a close approximate. (Refer also to Selling Doctor Who for expanded airdates.)

Bill Strutton interview; Australian TV Week, 27 March 1965
Australia Feb 66 b/w
Gibraltar May 66 b/w
Singapore Jul 66 b/w
Nigeria Sep 66 b/w
Zambia Nov 66 b/w
Barbados May 67 b/w
Mauritius Nov 67 b/w
Mexico Apr 68? b/w
New Zealand did not air b/w
Sierra Leone Jun 68 b/w
Venezuela Nov 68 b/w
Jamaica Feb 69 b/w
Chile Nov 69 b/w
Iran May 70 b/w
Ethiopia Nov 71 b/w
Costa Rica Mar 72 b/w
Nigeria (again) Apr 73? b/w
  • New Zealand received prints in mid-1967, but the serial was not screened due to censorship issues. It's unknown what happened to the prints, but it's likely they were junked by the NZBC along with many others in late 1974.



Dr Misterio

  • In the Spanish dub, the Animus speaks with a male voice, whereas in the original English, it was female.
  • In the Spanish edition of part six, the "Next Episode" is given by voice-over as "EL LION" to match the caption - and yet The Crusade did not screen in any Spanish-language countries.
  • Aside from a full set of uncut negatives, in the late 1970s, the BBC also held two 'odd' prints from this serial: a copy of part 1 from which the cliffhanger reprise from The Romans part 4 had been removed, and a print of part 6 that had a different "Next Episode" caption that read "The Space Museum" rather than "The Lion". It was thought that these two different prints existed so that the BBC had two different versions to offer overseas buyers, especially any that didn't also acquire The Crusade... and it was thought that this was on account of some Middle Eastern countries not being offered The Crusade due to the story's content and subject matter -- but that idea doesn't really work because only nine serials from A to L (all non-historical) were ever dubbed into Arabic by the BBC, and The Crusade was never sold outside the Commonwealth. There's also the fact that the edited prints are in English not Arabic and that there is no corresponding negative with the alternative caption, as there would have to be in order for any prints with the other captions to exist. Besides, as can be seen from the translated narrations on our Arabic page, the Next Episode captions weren't translated or even acknowledged in the Arabic narrations that played over the closing credits anyway, therefore it wouldn't have mattered to Arabic viewers that the episode had the "wrong" caption. The caption must therefore have been changed for other reasons... These are some of the points to note:
    • The BBC was still offering Inside the Spaceship, The Web Planet, The Space Museum, The Time Meddler and Galaxy 4 for sale as late as 1974. Therefore, the BBC may have amended the reprise and the caption on the prints they held to reflect that The Romans was no longer available and that The Space Museum was now the next serial after The Web Planet in terms of the limited package that was available. (On that basis, the "Next Episode" captions for the last installments of the other serials would also have been amended accordingly.) If these alternative prints of parts 1 and 6 were indeed prepared for that purpose, it's clear they were ultimately never used since there were no further sales of the serial after Nigeria in 1973 (the print of part 6 sent to Nigeria in 1973 had the 'correct' Next Episode caption.).
    • The BBC's existing master negative of Inside the Spaceship part two has a splice five minutes before the cliffhanger ending. The negative is a Stored Field telerecording, but the last five minutes is from an earlier Suppressed Field recording. This might indicate that the ending was re-edited as part of this 1974 package, and that the full ending was later replaced by splicing from the earlier inferior copy. (The BBC also holds a version of Inside the Spaceship without the final cliffhanger link to Marco Polo, but this edit appears to have been made in the mid-1980s, along with similar edits to other stories, when the reissued package of 17 William Hartnell stories was released for syndication to the United States.)
      • Although it ought to be noted that the splice could just as easily have been done circa 1967 when the Suppressed Field negative was replaced by the superior Stored Field negative. If the original video tape had been damaged prior to the upgrade, the BBC would have been able to replace the affected section by splicing from a Suppressed copy, which they would still have had access to in 1967, whereas it's doubtful the BBC would still have had any Suppressed Field prints on hand in the mid-1970s.
      • Was the "Next Episode The Space Museum" caption lifted from a print of The Crusade part 4? If so, the caption could perhaps be classed as a clip from a now-missing episode?
  • A print of part five was apparently returned from the "Far East" in 1978, but no countries in that region would have still held a broadcast print as late as that. Was it perhaps from Iran?
  • The prints sold to Nigeria in 1973 (part six of which had the correct "The Lion" caption) were recovered from that country in 1984.
  • See Hartnell Junkings


Reissue

  • The serial was reissued by the BBC in late 1985, and sold to:
United States from Sep 85 b/w
Canada 1990s b/w
New Zealand Jul 00 b/w


US TV Guide descriptions

More Information
Title: The Web Planet

  • Episode 1: A mysterious force draws the Tardis to the planet Vortis, where ant-like aliens known as the Zarbi have seized power.
  • Episode 2:
  • Episode 3:  
  • Episode 4:  
  • Episode 5:  
  • Episode 6:  
  • Compilation: A mysterious force draws the Tardis to the planet Vortis, where ant-like aliens known as the Zarbi have seized power.


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