Saturday, 24 February 2018

195 The Web of Fear: Episode Four

EPISODE: The Web of Fear: Episode Four
TRANSMITTED: Saturday 24 February 1968
WRITER: Mervyn Haisman & Henry Lincoln
DIRECTOR: Douglas Camfield
SCRIPT EDITOR: Derrick Sherwin
PRODUCER: Peter Bryant
RATINGS: 8.4 million viewers
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - The Web of Fear
TELESNAPS: The Web of Fear: Episode Four

"I wish I could give you a precise answer. Perhaps the best way to describe it is a sort of formless, shapeless thing floating about in space like a cloud of mist, only... with a mind and will."

Captain Knight's party are stopped from reaching Holborn by the fungus as is the Doctor's attempt to get to the Tardis. The Doctor takes a sample of the Fungus in Evans' tobacco tin. Returning to HQ they find the soldiers, including Weams, dead and Professor Travers missing. The Ops room map shows more stations have fallen to the fungus with just a few left. Lethbridge-Stewart speculates on who the traitor is, thinking it may be the abducted Professor Travers while the Doctor feels the absent Chorley is a much more likely candidate. The Doctor tells them about the Tardis and the Colonel decides to mount a rescue mission. The Doctor and Anne work on a device to override the Intelligence's signals and control a Yeti. Evans finds one of the missing Yeti models which the Doctor deactivates. Arnold, Lane & Evans are to take a trolley to Covent Garden while he takes the majority of the soldiers overground to the station. Examining Evans' tobacco tin The Doctor finds it empty, casting suspicion on the Welsh driver. Arnold & Lane don respiratory gear and venture into the fungus with the trolley. Hearing screams Evans drags the trolley back finding Lane's dead body on it. Lethbridge-Stewart's party are ambushed by Yeti. Captain Knight accompanies the Doctor to the surface to fetch electronic spares. While they are raiding a shop a Yeti enters, killing Knight before leaving. Searching Knight's body the Doctor finds one of the other two missing Yeti statues. He returns to Goodge Street just before Lethbridge-Stewart, the sole survivor of the surface expedition to Covent Garden. Searching the Colonel's pockets they find the final Yeti statue as two Yeti enter with an Intelligence possessed Professor Travers.

It's a bit of a bloodbath this episode with virtually the entire supporting cast wiped out: the first few episodes gave us lots of named characters in the army but here most of them are used up giving us one named death per major incident with the Yeti:

Weams dies in the Yeti attack on HQ.
Lane is killed trying to move the trolley through the Web. Arnold disappears in the same incident but at the moment his fate is uncertain.
Blake is the final casualty in the battle at Covent Garden which only Lethbridge-Stewart survives.
Knight is killed by the Yeti at the electronics shop.
Lane's death, suffocated in the Fungus and then his corpse being unmasked is particularly gruesome:

vlcsnap-00006 vlcsnap-00005

Knight and Blake's deaths are just brutal, clubbed down by the Yeti. But both happen in front of us. Knight dies protecting the Doctor, on a trip to the surface that Knight wasn't particularly in favour of, but there's just something about Blake's demise that seems wrong. Apart from Lethbridge-Stewart, he's the last survivor of the party travelling to Covent Garden and he's seemed such a likeable character, a tribute to Richardson Morgan's acting skills which made him stand out in the first few episodes of the story.

So by the end of it suspects for the traitor are few: You can make a decent case for the traitor being Lethbridge-Stewart at this juncture: he doesn't recognise Evans, supposedly his driver to Holborn, he's responsible for the deaths of all the army personnel trying to get to the Tardis and he's the only character carrying around a Yeti model to survive. Yet we, as 2013 Doctor Who fans know it can't be him. It'd be nice to see some contemporary reviews and see if anyone jumped to that conclusion. The other candidates are Evans, the abducted Travers and the missing Chorley, absent for the entire episode

COLONEL: Doctor. Been thinking about what you were saying earlier. About someone here in HQ being responsible for all this. Could it have been Travers?
DOCTOR: I doubt it.
KNIGHT: Well, after all he has disappeared.
DOCTOR: Yes. So has Chorley. I'd say he was a much more likely suspect.
DOCTOR: On the other hand, of course, whoever is in league with the Intelligence could still be amongst us here.
COLONEL: That's a fact of which I am uncomfortably aware. But tell me, Doctor, this Intelligence, exactly what is it?
DOCTOR: Well, I wish I could give you a precise answer. Perhaps the best way to describe it is a sort of formless, shapeless thing floating about in space like a cloud of mist, only with a mind and will.
COLONEL: What's it after? What's it want?
DOCTOR: I wish I knew. The only thing I know for sure is that it brought me here.
KNIGHT: Brought you here?
COLONEL: Yes, been wondering how you got here.
DOCTOR: Yes, well, I don't think there's any harm in telling you now. I have a craft that travels in time and space.
KNIGHT: Oh, come now, Doctor, you can't expect me to
COLONEL: This craft of yours, this time space craft. Could it get us out of here?
DOCTOR: Well, yes, but it's at Covent Garden.
COLONEL: What does it look like?
DOCTOR: It's a police box.
KNIGHT: Oh really, Colonel, you're surely not going
COLONEL: So if we could rescue that craft, you could take us out?
DOCTOR: Yes, yes, I could, but I have to stay here and finish Travers' work.
JAMIE: Ah, Doctor. Miss Travers is feeling all right now and would like to see you right away.
DOCTOR: Very good, Jamie. Excuse me, gentlemen, please.
KNIGHT: Well, I've heard some stories in my time, but that one really takes
COLONEL: So you don't believe him?
KNIGHT: No, of course not, sir. The whole idea is screwy. A police box?
COLONEL: Well whether you think it foolish or not, we are going to rescue that craft.
KNIGHT: Oh, but sir. Our job
COLONEL: Captain Knight, the Army has failed to defeat this menace. Now the Doctor thinks he might succeed. Personally, I doubt it. But if we stay here, we're as good as dead. Therefore I do not intend leaving any escape route unexplored, however screwy you may think it.
KNIGHT: Oh, surely Colonel
COLONEL: Let's get on with it, shall we, Knight?
KNIGHT: Sir. I suppose you've considered that the Doctor might be leading us into a trap?
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COLONEL: So my party will get above ground and approach Covent Garden by Neal Street. Is that clear?
ALL: Yes, sir.
COLONEL: Now Staff here will be taking the trolley through the tunnel, and will arrive, we hope, at the same time as we do. You picked your two men, Staff?
ARNOLD: Yes, sir. Lane and Evans.
COLONEL: Right. Now as soon as we get there, we shall be looking for a police box.
BLAKE: A police box, sir?
COLONEL: Yes, a police box. Now I want that box either out of the station or onto the trolley as quickly as possible. Is that understood?
ARNOLD: Yes, sir.
COLONEL: Right. Any questions?
BLAKE: Yes, sir, this police box. Is it important?
COLONEL: Corporal Blake, we'd hardly be going to this trouble if it weren't.
KNIGHT: Who's going to look after the civilians, sir?
COLONEL: I'd like you to stay behind and look after them, Captain Knight. The Doctor's got work to do. Right, gentlemen, time to go.
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Despite this attempt to rescue the Tardis, Lethbridge-Stewart doesn't even see the outside of the Tardis here, that'd have to wait till the Third Doctor's/Jon Pertwee's début story in 1970. As for the inside of the Tardis, he doesn't see that for another 5 years after this! He first goes inside in the Three Doctors and interestingly it's Patrick Troughton's Second Doctor in it then!

When I first watched this episode for the blog I said that the fight scenes sounded good and looked great from the telesnaps (it was the first time I'd seen them) and that there was even a few moments of the battle preserved thanks to the Australian censors which gave us our first surviving glimpse of Lethbridge-Stewart. Now of course we can watch the entire thing. I'll freely admit that, tipped off by a comment made online, one of the first things I watched when the downloads became available was the battle from this episode (appropriately enough on my iPad while in the bathroom) and it's fab, a superb action sequence. The rest of the episode is superb too especially the sequence with Arnold, Lane and Evans pushing the trolley into the web: Arnold and Lane go in but following screams only Lane's body is pulled out with Arnold missing presumed dead. This scene is one of two sequences in the episode where Camfield's filmed back through the web to show the action occurring outside it and the effect looks superb. It's worth noting that the cowardly Evans doesn't even try to do a bunk following this he just heads straight back to HQ.

web4_trolley web4_tunnel

That scene appears to have the web effect vision mixed over the scenes in the tunnel but earlier, as the Doctor collects the fungus there's a physical layer too which then has the pulsing web laid over it as the Doctor tries to cut some off:

JAMIE: Hey, come back, Doctor.
DOCTOR: It's all right, Jamie. I'm not going to do anything silly. I just want to try and get a little bit for analysis.
VICTORIA: Oh Jamie, stop him.
DOCTOR: It's all right, Victoria. Has anyone got a box?
EVANS: I've got my tobacco tin.
DOCTOR: Oh, splendid.
EVANS: But then it's got tobacco in it.
DOCTOR: Never mind.
EVANS: Hey! Oh, all right. I only hope you think the sacrifice is worth it.
DOCTOR: Hold the tin for me, would you, Evans?
As we see the Fungus sample disappears casting suspicion on Evans:
EVANS: Well, don't look at me. I didn't want to come down here in the first place. I shouldn't be down here at all, really. Driver, I am, see. Well you'd better have this before you say I've nicked it.
DOCTOR: Thank you.
EVANS: And I'll have that tin back when you've finished with it.
DOCTOR: Don't look so unhappy. We're all under suspicion, you know, including me.
ANNE: What's in the tin, Doctor?
DOCTOR: It's the fungus from the tunnel. I thought if we examined it, it might give us a clue.
04_16 04_15
DOCTOR: Now you'd better stand back, Anne.
ANNE: Is it really necessary, Doctor?
DOCTOR: This fungus is an unknown quantity, you know.
JAMIE: Ah, Doctor.
DOCTOR: Oh, Jamie, what is it?
JAMIE: The Colonel says to tell you he's on his way.
DOCTOR: On his way where?
JAMIE: To rescue the Tardis.
DOCTOR: He's wasting his time.
VICTORIA: Well that's what I told him. And I think that man Chorley must be behind
DOCTOR: Shush. Now look. Get behind me, both of you, and keep clear. Here we go.
ANNE: What is it, Doctor?
DOCTOR: The tin's empty! Evans!
04_11 04_12

The disappearing Fungus is obviously meant to cast suspicion on Evans. But assume for a moment he isn't the traitor then what did happen to the Fungus in his Tobacco Tin? Did it just evaporate? If Evans didn't tamper with it or pass it to anyone else it's the only solution that makes sense!

This episode is really, really fabulous well worth a watch and one of the best examples of sixties Doctor Who I've seen. We might be be upset about episode 3, the first proper appearance of Lethbridge-Stewart being missing but I think it would have been so much worse if this episode had been the one missing from the set in Nigeria.

If Douglas Camfield makes one mistake in this episode it's his use of Martin Slavin's Space Adventure over the Covent Garden battle scene. Not that it isn't suitable or doesn't fir the action, it works fine on those points. It's just that to my mind, and many other Doctor Who fans too, this piece of music is too strongly associated with the Cybermen having been used in The Tenth Planet, Moonbase and Tomb of the Cybermen.

The appearances of the actors who play the Yeti in these episodes are somewhat chaotic: not every actor is in every episode nor are they credited for the ones they're in. Episode four, with it's battle, easily contains the most with four Yeti actors appearing and a further one uncredited. According to IMDB this is who appeared in what episode: C indicates they're credited, U that they're uncredited and a blank that they're not in that episode:

  Episode 1
Episode 2
Episode 3
Episode 4
Episode 5
Episode 6
John Levene C C   C C C
Gordon Stothard C C   C C C
Colin Warman C U   C    
John Lord   C   C   C
Jeremy King   C C U    
Roger Jacombs           C

If you're a Doctor Who fan you'll immediately recognise the top name on that list: John Levene, the future UNIT Sergeant Benton. He'd already had an uncredited role in The Moonbase episode 3 in early 1967 as a Cyberman. He then spent most of the rest of the year appearing as an extra in Z-Cars notching up 13 episodes between March and September. Four of these were directed by Douglas Camfield, who re-employs him here and would later use him on an episode of Detective, and another was by future Who producer Barry Letts, who was in charge of Doctor Who when Levene became a regular. He features on the Fantom Films Who Talk Commentary CD for this story appearing on episode 6.

The Web of Fear is Gordon Stothard's first acting job. He returns as a Cyberman in four episodes of the Wheel in Space and then, uncredited, as a Prison Officer in Mind of Evil. After that he changes his stage name to Gordon St Clair and appears under this name as Grun, the King's Champion, in all four episodes of the Curse of Peladon. John Lord also returns as Masters, one of Reegan's henchmen in episode 4 of The Ambassadors of Death.

Meanwhile we also have a few more extras playing the soldiers and amongst them are some very familiar names:

Philip Ryan (on the right)returns to Doctor Who in the Mind Robber 2 & 3 as a Redcoat and Inferno 5 & 6 (director D Camfield). Tim Condren (center) had been in Time Meddler 4: Checkmate as a Saxon Warrior (I wonder who directed that ;-) ? ) and would return in Day of the Daleks 1 as a Guerilla. His lengthy career involves a lot of extra and stunt work.

Web4_tw Web4_dw

But the three most recognisable names here are Derek Ware (IMDB), Terry Walsh (IMDB) and Derek Martin (IMDB.

In this photo Martin's on the right looking at the camera, Walsh is semi obscured behind him and to the left and to the left of him, looking left, is Ware. (My Thanks to David Brunt for correcting my identification of who's who in the photos) He's been a Doctor Who supporting artist for many years appearing as an Extra in The Romans 4: Inferno and a Parisian in Rue des Fosses St. Germain in The Massacre. After playing a soldier here he fulfills the same role in Spearhead from Space, Inferno & Claws of Axos, a Thug in The Ambassadors of Death, a Prisoner in The Mind of Evil and David Mitchell in Image of the Fendahl. He was in Out of the Unknown as a Guard in The Counterfeit Man which you can see in the Out of the Unknown DVD Set. He's also in The Sweeney as Spooner in Messenger of the Gods and The Professionals as Renshaw in Not a Very Civil Civil Servant. He's now best known for playing Charlie Slater in Eastenders. He pops up on the Who Talk commentary CDs talking about Web of Fear 4 and fetures in the Inferno Special Edition DVD Havoc documentery.

Derek Ware had worked on the program since the very beginning serving as the fight arranger on the very first story, which Camfield worked on as a Production Assistant. He returns for the Aztecs and then the Crusade (Camfield's full directorial début), cameos as a Bus Driver in The Chase 6: Planet of Decision (in a sequence directed by Camfield). He serves as a Trojan Solider & Fight Arranger for the Myth Makers before being reunited with Camfield during the Daleks Masterplan. He serves as a Spaniard & Fight Arranger on the Smugglers, which is also Terry Walsh's Who début as a Militiaman, before Fight Arranging episode 3 of the Underwater Menace. For probably your clearest view of him see the first three episodes of Inferno where he's Private Wyatt. He founded the Havoc group of stuntmen, used regularly by Doctor Who in the early 70s until the point where Terry Walsh took over as regular stuntman for the Doctor doubling for first Jon Pertwee and then Tom Baker.

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There's some excellent location work in this episode involving the battle scenes in Covent Garden, filmed in and around the real world location . It's really odd seeing the Yeti above the surface wandering the streets of London after our only glimpses of them for years was in the tube tunnels.

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There's some lovely behind the scenes shots from this location shoot in the recently released Daily Mirror - The Doctors Archive which is well worth a look for many older and previously unseen photos.

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More of the story would have been filmed on location, but famously Douglas Camfield was denied permission to film on the Underground. However we'd already seen filming involving London Underground locations in a previous Doctor Who story. In the first episode Dalek Invasion of Earth the river bridge, under which a roboman throws himself to death on location which is then recreated in studio, was Kew Railway Bridge which carries the District Line over the Thames between Kew and Gunnersbury. Later that same episode there's location filming of Barbara & Susan crossing a deserted London including some filmed at the abandoned Wood Lane Central Line station. In Web of Fear the Army's fortress is the Deep Level Shelter at Goodge Street. Another Deep Level Shelter, at Camden Town, provides a location in The Sunmakers. Incredibly the country railway station seen in Black Orchid was at one time a London Underground station! Quainton Road Station was once served by Metropolitan line trains. The Met terminates now at Amersham, but once upon a time continued north, through Aylesbury to Quainton after which it branched to either Verney Junction or Brill, which is in Oxfordshire!

If you'd like to see The London Underground's homage to Doctor Who then visit the Jubilee line station at London Waterloo. The panels used on the wall there are suspiciously Tardis like as you can see in these photos.

This episode was shown on 24th February 1968. The Web of Fear DVD was released on 24th February 2014, the 46th anniversary of the broadcast of this episode.

Saturday, 17 February 2018

194 The Web of Fear: Episode Three

EPISODE: The Web of Fear: Episode Three
TRANSMITTED: Saturday 17 February 1968
WRITER: Mervyn Haisman & Henry Lincoln
DIRECTOR: Douglas Camfield
SCRIPT EDITOR: Derrick Sherwin
PRODUCER: Peter Bryant
RATINGS: 7 million viewers
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - The Web of Fear
TELESNAPS: The Web of Fear: Episode Three

"Lethbridge-Stewart. Expect you're wondering who the devil I am, eh?"

On the original run of the Blog we found ourselves half half way through the Troughton episodes with this episode, though of course the production team didn't know that at the time. Neither did they have an idea quite how important today's episode would turn out to be. You'll know why virtually immediately.

Evans shoots at the glass pyramid shattering it but the fungus web in the tunnels continues to advance. Victoria is calling for the Doctor in the tunnels when she is waylaid by the soldier "One Moment" he says stepping out the shadows, but he's accompanied by the Doctor.

3a 3b

Learning they're connected with Travers he takes them back to Goodge Street. Anne reports to Captain Knight that the circle line is completely enclosed with fungus now. Arnold delivers word that Victoria has returned, with the Doctor and a Colonel. The Doctor tells Victoria he was knocked out by the explosion and then met the Colonel in the tunnels. Blake guards the Colonel waiting for Knight. When he arrives the Colonel introduces himself: He is Colonel Lethbridge Stewart and presents his authorisation papers to take over command of the Goodge Street fortress. Travers and Ann apologise for the misunderstanding that led Victoria to go into the tunnels. Now on the Central Line, Jamie & Evans have reached St Paul's. At the fortress Chorley is trying his best to leave. Travers recounts how one of the control spheres brought back from Tibet was reactivated. Reaching Chancery Lane, Evans and Jamie part company with the Welsh driver attempting to return to the surface. Knight & Lethbridge-Stewart hold a briefing bringing the Doctor up to speed on how the mist and fungus appeared and spread. Chorley interrupts proposing they be air lifted out, but the Colonel dismisses the idea. Jamie is reunited with Evans: he couldn't get out because the gates were locked. Queensway, Lancaster Gate, Strand and Chancery Lane all fall to the fungus as it works it's way inwards from the circle line. The Colonel gives Chorley the job of liaison officer to keep him occupied and out of the way. The Doctor suggest a way of remote detonating some explosives in the tunnel to seal themselves in. Someone is opening the main door to the fortress. Victoria finds the Yeti models in Travers' lab - however one is missing. Elsewhere the missing model is placed on the floor, making a bleeping noise summoning a Yeti. Victoria is horrified by the plan to blow up the tunnel: Jamie won't be able to get to them. The Yeti enters the base. Knight finds the padlock for the door and the Yeti model at the explosives store and leaves Lane guarding it. The Doctor opens the explosive store to find it full of web: the Yeti have destroyed their means of attack. The Colonel and Knight take a squad to Holborn to attempt to recover the explosives there. Victoria accidentally tells Chorley about the Tardis at Covent Garden and he leaves to find it, shutting the Doctor and Victoria in a room. They're released by Jamie and Evans. They all depart to find Chorley. There's a scream in fortress: Travers finds Weams's body with a Yeti statue as an actual Yeti looms over him.

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You can't get round it, what you have to talk about this episode is the first appearance of Lethbridge Stewart, here still ranked as Colonel. He'll be back more often than any other character in Doctor Who and Nicholas Courtney would have a job for life. But it could all have been so different: Originally cast in the role was David Langton, who backed out in late November after being offered other work. Douglas Camfield instead offered the part to Nicholas Courtney , who he'd previously used in Dalek Masterplan, and he had planned to have played Captain Knight. The script, as written, calls the character Colonel Lethbridge: Douglas Camfield altered the name to Lethbridge Stewart.

COLONEL: Afternoon. Captain Knight?
KNIGHT: Afternoon, Colonel?
COLONEL: Lethbridge-Stewart. Expect you're wondering who the devil I am, eh?
KNIGHT: Well, as a matter of fact, sir, yes.
COLONEL: Well, I couldn't tell you before but you're a bit cut off down here, aren't you? I'm taking over from Pemberton. Sorry about him. Very fine soldier.
KNIGHT: Taking over? I see. Well, excuse me, Colonel, but have you got any
COLONEL: Authorisation? Yes, of course. Here are my papers. Glad to see you don't take things at face value.
KNIGHT: All right, Blake. You can fall out.
KNIGHT: How did you get in, sir?
COLONEL: Holborn. Ammunition party. Got badly beaten up. All the men dead, I'm afraid.
KNIGHT: Not all. Evans managed to escape.
KNIGHT: The driver.
COLONEL: Oh, yes.
KNIGHT: Evans didn't mention any other survivors.
COLONEL: No, well, it all got a bit confused. Driven into a side tunnel, myself. After that, got a bit lost, and then found this Doctor.
DOCTOR: Yes, I was wondering when you where going to get around to me.
KNIGHT: Yes, well, the Professor's spoken for him. We do know a little about the Doctor already.
COLONEL: I see. In fact, more than you do about me, eh?
KNIGHT: To tell you the truth, sir, yes.
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Of course *knowing* that Colonel Lethbridge Stewart would go on to become such a huge part of the show does rather defuse an aspect of the story here: he shows up, with slightly flimsy credentials, and suddenly things start going wrong in the fortress. Someone's under the intelligence's control and, without the knowledge of the future, Lethbridge Stewart is your number one suspect. Once you know who the traitor is it's worth going back and listening to the episodes again: they do drop some little tiny hints on the way.

"Don't you understand, Sergeant? I've... I've got to get out of here!"
Your main alternate suspect at this stage is Chorley, new holder of the "most annoying character in Doctor Who" trophy. He's busy going to pieces here and looking for a way, any way, out of the situation he finds himself trapped in. Lethbridge-Stewart immediately finds him irritating:
CHORLEY: Ah, Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart.
COLONEL: What is it, Mister Chorley? We're in the middle of a briefing.
CHORLEY: Yes, so I see. Did you know about this door to the surface? A helicopter could lift us all out.
COLONEL: Could it? Always assuming we could make contact with the outside world, which we can't, how do you imagine they would find us in that mist? Sit down, please.
CHORLEY: Look, Colonel, I resent your tone. You seem to forget that I'm here as a representative of the Press, and as such
COLONEL: And as such, Mister Chorley, you are no more than a passenger.
Then the way that Lethbridge-Stewart deals with Chorley, sending him off into a corner to "co-ordinate" things is fabulous:
COLONEL: Queensway, Lancaster Gate, Strand, Chancery Lane. All in a half hour, and it's creeping in all the time. How long do you think we've got, Professor?
TRAVERS: It's difficult to say. Why, at this rate, oh, a couple of hours at the most.
CHORLEY: Look, Colonel, you've got to do something. We can't just stand here waiting, can we?
COLONEL: Ah, Mister Chorley. You'd like to help, wouldn't you?
COLONEL: Yes, of course you would. Now look, I'll tell you what I want you to do. We shall all be rushing about a bit, so what I want you to do is to wait in the Common Room. Act as a sort of Liaison Officer. You could do that, couldn't you?
CHORLEY: Well, I don't know, I
COLONEL: Yes, of course you could. Off you go. We'll all report progress to you personally.
CHORLEY: What, do you mean coordinate things?
COLONEL: Yes, that's it. Corporal Blake?
COLONEL: See that Mister Chorley has everything he needs. Desk, comfortable chair, plenty of paper and so on.
COLONEL: Off you go. Right, that's enough diplomacy for one day. Now, let's get down to some practical soldiering.
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"Aye, well I've got it all worked out, see. Next station's where I'm getting off. Last time, the Yeti were at Holborn Station, so I reckon if I can get out at Chancery Lane, I might be able to reach my lorry."
Evans too blatantly doesn't want to be there as his refrain of "shouldn't be down here at all, you know. Driver, I am." makes clear. Unfortunately his attempt at doing a bunk goes rather wrong and he ends up back with Jamie in the tunnels.
VANS: Argh! You gave me a fright there for a minute, boy.
JAMIE: I thought you were supposed to be
EVANS: Aye, well, I changed my mind, see. Quite right, you were. Can't leave your mates when they're in trouble, can you?
JAMIE: Oh, aye?
EVANS: No, well, it wouldn't be right, would it?
JAMIE: Well, what was it like up top then?
EVANS: Don't know. Well, between you and me, I couldn't get out, see. The gates were locked.
JAMIE: Come on.
EVANS: Aye, let's get over to HQ. At least we'll be safe there.
The theme of being trapped is emphasised by the hope of escape being closed off as the Circle Line completely falls to the fungus sealing them in.

We've got a station mentioned in this episode that you won't find on any present Tube map: The Strand was then the name for the Northern Line station that now forms part of Charring Cross. See This Lononist YouTube Video for an explanation as to how the names have changed.

The cast of this story features some familiar faces from other Doctor Who productions. As we've noted, Nicholas Courtney was previously Brett Vyon in Dalek Masterplan and Jack Watling was Edward Travers in his previous appearance in Abominable Snowmen.

3 L-S 1 Travers

Ralph Watson's already been a scientist in The Underwater Menace before he featured as Captain Knight here and will be back as Ettis in Monster of Peladon and Ben in Horror of Fang Rock - his fellow lighthouse keeper Reuben was played by Colin Douglas who was Donald Bruce in the previous story. He's got a Porridge episode on his CV playing the Landlord in A Day Out. You can hear him interviewed by Toby Hadoke in Who's Round 154 and he appears on the Fantom Films Who Talk Commentary CD for this story speaking about episode 1, 2 & 4.

2 Knight 2 Weams

Stephen Whittaker appears as Craftsman Weams. In 1967 he'd been in both parts of the Z-Cars story Finch & Sons, directed by Douglas Camfield.

As we've noted previously Z Cars Finch & Sons part 2 includes episode 1's soldier Bernard G. High but as well as these two actors that Z-Cars episode also features Richardson Morgan, who plays Corporal Blake here. Camfield had used Richardson Morgan during 1967 in Z-Cars again as an Ambulance Man in The Placer part 2 (which also features Yeti actor John Levene, previously a Cyberman in Moonbase) and he'd return playing James Bilson in the two part Camfield directed Fear or Favour in 1969. He'd later work for Camfield yet again in Van Der Valk. Morgan also appeared in Doomwatch playing an Engineer in the First Airline Crew in The Plastic Eaters and Bill Manzaro in The Killer Dolphins.

2 Blake 2 Lane

Rod Beacham, as Corporal Lane, is in his first TV job here. Camfield would ruse him in Special Branch: Assault. He'd go on to become a writer and pen the Blake's 7 episode Assassin - interestingly the NEXT Blake's 7 episode was written by the former actor Bill Lyons who was in the PREVIOUS Doctor Who story The Enemy of the World as a guard.

Jon Rollason, as Harold Chorley, has a significant role on his CV as Dr. Martin King, one of John Steed's temporary assistants following the departure of Dr David Keel, in the first few episodes of the second series of The Avengers.

2 Chorley 2 Evans

Derek Pollitt, Driver Evans, will return as Private Wright in Doctor Who and the Silurians, and A. St. John D. Caldera in Shada. His brother is Clyde Pollitt who is a Time Lord in the final episode of The War Games and then the Time Lord Chancellor in The Three Doctors.

Where's Walter Randall? It's not a proper Camfield production without him!

Of the remaining human cast Jack Woolgar, as Staff Sgt. Arnold, had had a long TV career. A web site set up by his son is worth a look especially as it includes an article on this story.

1 Arnold 1 Anne

Tina Packer, Anne Travers, was a TV regular at the time who later emigrated to the USA where she founded a theatre company.

So Web of Fear 3: The one that got away. When Phil Morris found the episodes of Web of Fear and Enemy of the World at the TV Station in Jos Web of Fear 3 was the one missing. Doctor Who Magazine 466 confirms that this is the state of affairs in it's fabulous article on the missing episode finds, which hopefully puts to death the rumours that it's being held back somewhere: it just wasn't there. Sad but true. Things get lost the entire time and the world of Doctor recordings is prone to that: when Ian Levene first visited the BBC archive there were certain stories there with odd episodes missing: Tenth Planet (4), Dominators (5), Invasion (1 & 4), Krotons (4) and Seeds of Death (6). Planet of the Daleks was missing the tape of episode 3. When the videotapes of Invasion of the Dinosaurs were located episode 1 was AWOL. Yes it's a pain that one episode of the story is missing, and yes it is a pain it's a significant one, featuring the first appearance of Lethbridge Stewart. Web of Fear now joins the Tenth Planet as the only two stories which have just one episode missing and oddly BOTH are significant: the missing Tenth Planet 4 is the last regular episode to feature William Hartnell as the first Doctor.

In it's place on iTunes and the DVD we get a reconstruction: the off air audio recording is married to the Telesnaps for the episode. I'm a fan of Telesnap reconstructions and personally prefer them to the animations where possible as they're a step close to the original show than inventing new pictures. For the Invasion and Reign of Terror then yes animate them as no Telesnaps exist. But for the other stories with less than two episodes missing - The Crusade, Tenth Planet, Underwater Menace, Moonbase and The Ice Warriors - I'd much prefer them to be presented with a full length telesnap recon even if an animation is also included. I've made my own for the Moonbase and was very pleased when the existing Tenth Planet recon was included on the Tenth Planet DVD.

The Telesnaps for this episode aren't of the greatest quality so other sources including publicity stills, telesnaps from other episodes and freeze frames have been used to augment them along with movement including zooming in & out and panning across photos. It's very interesting comparing the telesnap recon of this episode with those produced for The Underwater Menace DVD which are a straight slideshow of the telesnaps for that episode in order.

By far the biggest embellishment they've added to this recon is in the sequence where Evans obtains his chocolate bar from the machine.The shot of the chocolate machine doesn't appear in this episode's telesnaps. I think it's been lifted from another episode's snaps, zoomed in, with the image of the back of soldier inserted.

Web3_machine Web3_fairymilk

More is to follow as the chocolate bar emerges: This shot has been completely created anew for the recon and those responsible have taken the opportunity to insert a little visual joke. A well known brand of milk chocolate has it's name corrupted to become Camfield's Fairy Milk as a homage to the director.

One thing I got from the recon was how the web started out covering an area of South Kensington. That'd tie in nicely with the original intention to use the Natural History museum as the location for the Yeti's reawakening shown in the first episode.

As I pointed out in Abominable Snowmen episode 4, Mervyn Haisman & Henry Lincoln have some form for the sourcing of their character names from material related to the story. We've already seen how Staff Sgt Arnold and Corporal Lane probably got their names from the contemporary Pink Floyd song Arnold Layne but what of the rest of the characters? Several can be found on the London Underground map! We've mentioned how Colonel Lethbridge Stewart had his name lengthened: If you taken the original version of his name, Lethbridge, and put it after the name of his Captain you'll see that KNIGHT and lethBRIDGE probable share a joint origin in Knightsbridge station on the Piccadilly Line. Corporal Blake comes from the now disused Blake Hall on the eastern extremes of the Central Line while Harold Chorley probably gets his name from Chorleywood near the now limits of the Metropolitan Line. I've seen it suggested that Weams, an unusual name in itself, might be a deformation and shortening of West Ham. There's plenty of stations with the word Lane in their title, including the disused Wood Lane, close to the BBC and employed as a location in Dalek Invasion of Earth. That really just leaves Evans, the Driver unaccounted for.... You are invited to look at the list of Underground Stations and have a guess!

Weams and Arnold also probably benefit from Military Buff Douglas Camfield's presence directing the show. Weams is given the unusual rank of Craftsman: this indicates he's a private in the Royal Engineers while a Staff Sergeant is a higher ranking NCO than a Sergeant. It all helps to add realistic detail to the company assembled in the tube tunnels.

Saturday, 10 February 2018

193 The Web of Fear: Episode Two

EPISODE: The Web of Fear: Episode Two
TRANSMITTED: Saturday 10 February 1968
WRITER: Mervyn Haisman & Henry Lincoln
DIRECTOR: Douglas Camfield
SCRIPT EDITOR: Derrick Sherwin
PRODUCER: Peter Bryant
RATINGS: 6.8 million viewers
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - The Web of Fear
TELESNAPS: The Web of Fear: Episode Two

"It's no good, Jamie, they can't hear!... What have we done?"

The soldiers have discovered the Doctor was at Charring Cross. Captain Knight dispatches Staff Sergeant Arnold to find him. Weams reports that blast recorder has measured no damage. Word comes in that there is trouble at Holborn and Jamie, to his alarm, overhears the word Yeti. On the phone line gunfire is heard and a roar before the line goes dead. Knight takes a team of soldiers to Holborn to see what's happened. Arnold & Blake find the destroyed explosive boxes under the Yeti's web: both suspect the Doctor of interference. Travers is reunited with Jamie and Victoria, vouching for them to the soldiers. Arnold returns, sure that the Doctor has sabotaged the explosion. Jamie, insisting that the Doctor didn't do it, says he suspects he knows where the Doctor can be found. The journalist, Chorley, is suspicious of the Doctor & his friends as well. Falling back from Holborn Knight's party have been engaged by Yeti, with several soldiers killed by the web guns.

2 Yeti 1 2 Web 2

They attempt to build a barricade, packed with explosives which they detonate but the Yeti are unharmed. Victoria overhears Ann Travers accusing the Doctor of being responsible for the Yeti and leaves the fortress to find him, not hearing Professor Travers robust denial and defence of his old friend. Arnold & Jamie have met Knight & Lane in the tunnels but all are captured by Yeti.

2 Yeti 2 2 Cornered

Blake & Weams speculate about the origins of the Yeti, with the Doctor being accused of responsibility again. The illuminated underground map on the shelter wall suddenly starts to shows the Yeti's web fungus advancing round the circle line at both the top and bottom of the loop. Travers is informed and is astonished at the rate of progress. Chorley suggests the Doctor's responsible. Victoria has become lost in the tunnels. Meanwhile the Yeti guarding Jamie and the soldiers suddenly are summoned away and walk off abandoning their prisoners. They hear a welsh voice singing in the tunnels and meet Evans, the driver on the ammunition truck. He has seen the web advancing following a Yeti holding a pyramid. Remembering how the Pyramids helped the Intelligence maintain it's earthbound presence in Tibet, Jamie leaves with Evans to destroy the pyramid. Evans meanwhile intends to do a runner at the earliest opportunity. They proceed to Cannon Street and onwards to Monument. Chorley wants to evacuate the base. Knight and Arnold return to base with no news: all three of the time travellers are now missing in the tunnels. An unknown soldier stalks Victoria in the tunnels. Jamie and Evans hear a noise, then see a light: the Fungus is advancing down the tunnel towards them!

2y 2z

This episode, with it's battle with the Yeti in the tunnels sounds superb. Like Abominable Snowmen we've got an early episode existing so we've got a decent idea of what everything looks like, helped here by (if you're a Londoner) familiarity with the location. When Haisman and Lincoln last did a Doctor Who story they had accusations being flung at the Doctor that he's responsible for the alien menace. The same trick is used again here. Last time suspicion passed round the cast when we knew who was responsible: this time it's slightly different. Patrick Troughton's on holiday this week but unlike Evil of the Daleks 4, where all his material was pre filmed, he doesn't appear at all.

2 Victoria 3 2 Victoria 4

Similarly the Army boots seen in the tunnel towards the end aren't filled with their usual owner but instead are occupied by by extra Maurice Brooks, saving the cost of hiring the actor in question for a cameo scene.

The main setting for this story is the Deep Level Shelter at Goodge Street Tube Station. Constructed at various points along the Northern line these shelters exist bellow the level of the tube stations to offer a good level of protection in the event of an air raid. People had been sheltering in Tube stations since the start of WWII, indeed Churchill used the disused Down Street Tube Station as a shelter. If you watch the James Bond film, Die Another Day, the fictional Vauxhall Cross station Vauxhall Cross Tube Station shown in the film occupies the space where Down Street would be on the Pica dilly Line map. For more information on deep level shelters see Ten years later the Camden Town deep level shelter would be used in a location during Doctor Who: The Sunmakers.

The London Underground Tube Map features prominently in this and subsequent episode, particularly in the form of an illuminated version on the wall of the Goodge Street Fortress showing the progress of the web fungus. The tube map is a piece of iconic design created by draftsman Harry Beck that's become an icon of London in it's own right and a template for public transport maps everywhere. Mr. Beck's Underground Map is a great read on the development of this important document.

2 Map 1 2 Map 2

The map at Goodge Street helps us date this story: No Victoria line is shown so it's prior to 1st September 1968 when the branch from Walthamstow Central to Highbury & Islington in North London opened. Likewise the Jubilee line, opened 11 years later in 1979 is also missing from the map. There's three branches present that are missing from the map now: The Piccadilly line spur from Holborn to Aldwych and the Central line from Epping to Ongar railway station have ceased operation while the Northern City Line, which you can see to the right of the second picture of the map, from Moorgate to Finsbury Park is now operated by National Rail.

This week's randomly credited soldier is played by Joseph O'Connell. He'd been in Z-Cars: The Great Fur Robbery Part 2 the previous year. The episode is one of 3 to feature episode 1's soldier, Bernard G. High, as Detective Constable John and was directed by this story's director Douglas Camfield. The likelihood is he plays the soldier with Knight in the Tunnel named as Thompson in the script.

2 Thompson 2 Obrien

There's another soldier here, O'Brien, who's Rifle jams and gets mown down by a Yeti and another, Cooksey, is killed in the same battle.

The so called "Omni Rumour" of impending episode returns swept fandom during 2013 - I've written about it before here and here. The rumours varied from telling to telling with anything up to 96 episodes returned. The most popular variant was the "MEW" version: Marco Polo, Enemy of the World and Web of Fear. And out of all these the one that really thrilled me was the possibility of seeing more of Web of Fear. These rumours rumbled on and on until on October 6th the Sunday People, a national newspaper, ran a story about missing episodes on their website. At that point mainstream media really took an interest leading to this report on the BBC Website which all but confirmed the story to be true in some form!

Thursday 10th October was an odd, odd day to be a Doctor Who fan. Debbie Watling's website had let slip the press conference was that day but a plan to Live Tweet it by The Daily Telegraph was scuppered by the news revealed being embargoed till midnight. I spent the day listening to my Web of Fear Soundtrack for what I hoped would be the last time and, like many who fans, glued to my PC in the hope of a leak from the press conference. And sure enough someone accidentally let the cat out the bag with Northern Echo posting the story on their website just after 6pm..... and removing it about thirty minutes later when they realised.

But by then the secret was out: All the missing episodes of Enemy of the World and four of the five missing episodes of The Web of Fear had been found and what's more they'd be on iTunes the next day!

To explain to my readers who may not know: I suffer from a neuro muscular condition that leaves me very tired. Sheer excitement had meant I didn't sleep in the afternoon like I usually do. Unfortunately the weather conditions that night left me in a lot of pain so I was still awake come midnight when the episodes were released. So surrendering to the inevitable I got up, stuck the PC on and attempted to download the newly revealed episodes. Because the secret of comedy is timing at that point Windows Update decided to lock up my machine for ages and then the weather had a go at our broadband connection in a way it hasn't done for some time. But before I got to sleep that night (2:30am, not great) I'd seen some of episode 1 of Enemy of the World, the very start of episode 2 of Web of Fear and, because I'd been tipped off that it was good, the battle scene from episode 4 of Web of Fear (appropriately enough on my iPad while in the Loo!)

Given a choice between Enemy of the World and The Web of Fear, The Web Of Fear wins every time so I set out the next day to watch the story. Unfortunately real life had intervened and I needed to go out for the morning. How would I get to see the episodes? Simple, I took the iPad with so my first experience of the recovered episode 2 and the recon for episode 3 was watching them on the iPad on the bus!

Oddly enough, just as I was starting episode 3, I had a text from my friend Ralph who was doing exactly the same thing with Enemy of the World!

The were two scenes that really stood out for me in the episode watching it for the first time: One was Blake & Weams chatting to each other over tea, it just looked so natural. Two Pals having a chat.

2 Weams Tea 2 Blake
WEAMS: Tibet? Tibet? You're joking.
BLAKE: That's where old Travers says they come from. He reckons they're Abominable Snowmen.
WEAMS: Well, he's off his chump, ain't he? How'd they get here in the first place?
BLAKE: Come through the post, don't they?
WEAMS: Nah, seriously. Outer space, that's where they come from. Well, that's what I reckon, anyway.
BLAKE: Oh do leave off. You've been reading too many kids' comics, you have.
WEAMS: All right then, Corp, where do they come from?
BLAKE: It's a foreign power, ain't it? Bacteriological warfare, that's what that stuff is in the tunnels.
WEAMS: What, that fungus stuff?
BLAKE: Yeah. And them Yeti are some sort of new weapon. Well, a sort of robot army.
WEAMS: What, you mean it ain't real then?
BLAKE: Well of course they ain't, you nit! Otherwise we'd be able to knock 'em out with the small arms, wouldn't we?
WEAMS: Yeah. Nothing hardly touches them, does it?
BLAKE: Not unless you can cop 'em straight between the eyes. Then they've had it.
WEAMS: Yeah, well that'll take some doing. I mean, I'd have a job just holding me arm steady if one of them ugly creeps came at me, wouldn't I?
BLAKE: Yeah. I wish we had some more hand grenades, cus they're the things that seem to stop them dead in their tracks.
WEAMS: Yeah, but we ain't got any, have we?
BLAKE: It's a pity that ammo truck they stopped at Holborn had all the gear in.
WEAMS: Stone me! Here, we ain't got much of a chance if we come up against that lot, have we.
BLAKE: Not with the funny old crowd we got down here with us. You got civvies, RE's, REME.
WEAMS: Here, watch it, mate.
BLAKE: The lot. A right old Fred Karno's Army, innit? Still, not to worry, me old son. Not the end of the world, is it. Want some more tea?
WEAMS: Yeah, all right mate.
BLAKE: Well, move then.
WEAMS: Here, Corp, look at this.
BLAKE: What? Oh, crikey. That's what comes of talking about it.
WEAMS: It's that fungus stuff, it's moving again.
While they're talking Blake describes the group in the fortress as "A right Fred Karno's army" a reference I've never got and never thought to look up till now. Fred Karno was a music hall impresario in the late 19th and early 20th century who employed a group of comedians - among them Stan Laurel and Charlie Chaplin - as part of a group known as Fred Karno's Army, a term which became used as slang for "a chaotic organisation". Karno had the Astoria Houseboat, no doubt named after the theatre, constructed in 1911. It's now used as a recording studio by the Pink Floyd musician David Gilmour.

As for those he describes as being in Fred Karno's Army I'd never given it much thought until my Father in Law talked about his national service days. REs are Royal Engineers and REMEs are Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, which is almost certainly the branch of the service Craftsman Weams hails from, hence his reaction!

The other scene that really stands out was when Travers meets Jamie & Victoria again.

2 Victoria 1 2c
TRAVERS: Well now, you've got some explaining to do, haven't you?
JAMIE: We have? Now look here.
TRAVERS: Now, now, just what do you know about the Yeti?
JAMIE: Quite a lot, but before we go into all
TRAVERS: And the spheres? Where'd you find out about them?
JAMIE: That's none of your business. I'd just like to
TRAVERS: Who are you?
JAMIE: I'd like to ask you the same question.
VICTORIA: Wait a minute, Jamie! I'm Victoria Waterfield. And that's Jamie McCrimmon!
ANNE: Father?
TRAVERS: But it can't be. Why, that's over forty years ago.
JAMIE: What's going on here?
VICTORIA: Oh Jamie, don't you recognise him? It's Professor Travers.
JAMIE: So it is! Professor Travers! Here, hasn't he got old? Oh, but we're very pleased to see you, Professor. Very pleased.
Listening to it it's dominated by Jamie but watching it is a revelation:

2 Victoria 2 2d

The picture concentrates on Victoria as the light slowly dawns in her eyes that this portly older man is the same Edward Travers they met two adventures back in Tibet.

1 jw 2 1 Travers

I've also noticed for the first time quite how intrusive Chorley's Microphone is, how he's constantly pressing it into everyone's faces as he's interviewing Victoria and then taping the battle at Holborn, much to Captain Knight's disgust!

2 Tape 1 2 Tape 2

The one place this episode falls down at being able to see it is Jamie & Evans' venture eastward/clockwise on the District/Circle line. It's only a problem if you know the locations: Compare Jamie & Evans at Cannon Street with the real thing:

2 Cannon Street 1 2 Cannon Street 2

Likewise here's Jamie & Evans at The Monument and the actual station.

2 Monument 1 2 Monument 2

All stations on the District/Circle line are built using the Cut & Cover method which results in larger more open station areas with both tracks passing through between the platforms rather than those used for the deep level tunnel lines, where each track and it's platform are in their own tunnel, like the Northern line where most of this story's action takes place. Seeing Monument and Cannon street represented by the typical deep level station design is just wrong. On the deep level tube lines the design is broadly similar from station to station, which allows director Douglas Camfield to use the same set for all the stations with just the name signs redressed.

But a big HURRAH for the appearance of a Troughton stable, for the first time on moving pictures, at the end of this episode: The foam machine is here pumping foam into the station to represent the web!

When we listened this episode for Blog the first time we entered into our joint longest run of missing episodes at 13 episodes, equalling the run from Tenth Planet 4 - Underwater Menace 2. Here it consisted of Web of Fear 2-6, Fury from the Deep 1-6 (the whole story) and Wheel in Space 1 & 2. But after that there was just NINE missing episodes of Doctor Who...... all that's different now though. For a start for nearly two years this was the longest run of Doctor Who missing episodes due to Underwater Menace 2 showing up! Tenth Planet 4 to Underwater Menace 1 solely annexes the record at 12 consecutive missing episodes. Next we get the remainder of the run that used to start here which is now an 8 from Fury from the Deep 1 - Wheel in Space 2. After that comes the 7 from Galaxy 4 1 to Dalek Masterplan 1 and the 7 that represents the whole of Marco Polo - although if rumours are to believed that may change. Web of Fear 2 now represents the end of an 11 episode run of existing Troughton episodes from Ice Warriors 4 through Enemy of the World to this episode. It equals the 11 from Wheel in Space 6 through the Dominators to Mind Robber 5 and only beaten by the 14 from Invasion 5 through the Krotons to Seeds of Death 6