The Web Planet



31 Oct 63 - 14 Nov 64
21 Nov 64 - 26 Dec 64
02 Jan 65 - 09 Jan 65
16 Jan 65 - 06 Feb 65
13 Feb 65 - 20 Mar 65
27 Mar 65 - 17 Apr 65
24 Apr 65 - 15 May 65
22 May 65 - 26 Jun 65
03 Jul 65 - 24 Jul 65


1. The Web Planet.
13th February 1965
5:40 p.m.
2. The Zarbi.
20th February 1965
5:42 p.m.
3. Escape to Danger.
27th February 1965
5:42 p.m.
4. Crater of Needles.
6th March 1965
5:40 p.m.
5. Invasion.
13th March 1965
5:40 p.m.
6. The Centre.
20th March 1965
5:55 p.m.

The TARDIS is drawn by an unknown force to the planet Vortis. While the Doctor and Ian are busy exploring, the force causes Barbara to leave the TARDIS. Eventually she is captured by ant-like creatures, the Zarbi, who are at war with the butterfly-like Menoptera.  She is taken to a slave colony and the Zarbi drag the TARDIS to their web headquarters. The Doctor and Ian follow the tracks and the Doctor confronts the Animus, a binding white light concealing a large spider parasite, who is the mind behind the Zarbi. An invasion by the Menoptera to regain their planet fails, but the Doctor manages to obtain an isotope brought to Vortis during the attack.  When the Doctor and Vicki are taken to the Animus, Barbara manages to use the isotope and destroys the Animus. The Menoptera return to Vortis while the Zarbi revert to mindless creatures.

The Doctor: William Hartnell
Ian Chesterton: William Russell
Barbara Wright: Jacqueline Hill
Vicki: Maureen O'Brien

Guest Appearances:
 Robert Jewell, Jack Pitt, Gerald Taylor, Hugh Lund, John Scott Martin, Kevin Manser
 Roslyn de Winter
 Arne Gordon
 Arthur Blake
 Jocelyn Booth 
Jocelyn Birdsall
Captain Hilio: 
Martin Jarvis
Ian Thompson
Barbara Joss
Voice of Animus: Catherine Flemming

Producer:  Verity Lambert, 
Script Editor:  Dennis Spooner.
Writer:    Bill Strutton.
Director:  Richard Martin.
Designer: John Wood..
Costume:  Daphne Dare.
Make up:
Sonia Markham
Music : None

1988 1st Edition Book CoverNovelised as "Doctor Who and the Zarbi "  by Bill Strutton (0 426 20356 9) first published by Frederick Muller Ltd. in 1966.  New edition published by Universal Tandem (became W.H. Allen) in 1973 with cover by Chris Achilleos.  New edition published by Virgin Publishing Ltd. in 1990 with cover by Alister Pearson.  Target library number 73.

Image of Vicki, Ian, Barbara, and The Doctor around TARDIS consoleImage of The OpteraImage of a venom grub
Image of Vrestin (Roslyn de Winter)

Image of Video CoverReleased as "The Web Planet" in UK [September 1990] and Australia and New Zealand as a two-tape set (BBC catalogue #4405). Released in US and Canada in 1994 as a single tape (CBS/FOX catalogue #8142). Cover art by Andrew Skilleter; episodic format.



Originally entitled "The Zarbi"; the working title of episode six was "The Centre of Terror".
On the end credits, sub-titles are used above each race. For part one the actors playing Zarbi are billed as "Zarbi Operators", for the rest of the story they are just "The Zarbi".
Jacqueline Hill does not appear in part three.
Because of the supposed sensitive nature of the following story, "The Crusade", hence it was not sold abroad to some countries, so there exists a second version of part six of "The Web planet " which indicates that the next episode is "The Space Museum" and not "The Lion

All six episodes exist on 16mm telecine recordings. "The Zarbi" was held by the Film & TV Library when it was audited in 1978; negative film prints of all six episodes were recovered from BBC Enterprises circa 1978.

Ealing filming. (4-8, 11 January 1965)
Studio recording in Riverside 1. (22, 29 January; 5, 12, 19, 26 February 1965)

Episode 1-6 - The backdrops in this story cause a great deal of credibility problems, barely an episode goes by without a character walking past a "mountain range" and casting a shadow on it!
Episode 1 - Hartnell loses his lines and changes the entire scene. After Ian's line, "How do we open the doors? We have no power?", the fluff begins. The Doctor is supposed to explain the presence and purpose of an item he is holding, but he can't get his lines out. In fact, he appears to have forgotten the entire purpose of the scene. Ian has to look three times at the small object before Hartnell spits out inexplicably: "This is not merely a decorative object". He then goes on to finish the scene as if it had all made perfect sense.
Episode 1 - Outside the TARDIS, in the same scene where Ian's pen vanishes, a boom mike shadow makes a brief but unmistakeable appearance on the front of Ian's coat. Look for it as he follows the Doctor off the set, a split second before he whirls around to see if he is being followed.
Episode 1 -In the scene where Barbara goes in to see if Vicki has awakened from her aspirin-induced nap, she sits down in front of a very reflective wall (you can see her reflection at the end of the scene, when she gets up abruptly and leaves the room). The blooper comes soon after she first sits down, however: you can see a spotlight being moved in to shine on her, but it also reflects into the camera. In the next shot of Barbara it has been moved.
Episode 1 - At the episode's climax, Hartnell returns to find the TARDIS missing, and has the line, "My TARDIS". It was dubbed over for some reason, and incredibly badly. His lips move almost a full second before any sound is heard.
Episode 2 - In the scene immediately after the Menoptera destroy Barbara's gold bracelet, the Doctor and Ian walk onto the set. Some mountain ranges ring the background, but when Hartnell walks on, he casts his shadow on them.
Episode 2 - In the scene right after Vicki leaves the TARDIS and encounters the Zarbi, the Doctor and Ian are still being taken somewhere by their own group of ant creatures. They enter the set from directly in front of the camera, walking away from it with their backs to the lens. Look for another great shadow on Ian's coat just as they move away: the camera and the cameraman's head!
Episode 3 -When Ian is running away from the Zarbi, there is a scene where two bloopers happen in rapid succession. First, a Menoptera flies down to land behind him and follow him; the rope on which he was lowered shows brightly against the black background. A half-second later, the "Larvae gun" is dragged onto the scene; the rope used to pull it can be seen on the floor.
Episode 3 - A Zarbi is scuttling about when it manages to run straight into the camera with a loud CLUNK. The camera shakes for a second or two after that.
Episode 4- At the episode's climax, the Menoptera spearhead flies in to do battle with the Zarbi. And there's not a single one of them without a hugely visible rope dangling them from the ceiling.
Episode 6 - Just as the episode begins, the Animus dome descends to speak with the Doctor. "You attempted escape?", it asks. Says Hartnell: "We have been on a slight ... exploitation."
Episode 6 - At the end of that first scene, the Doctor and Vicki are led off, ostensibly to "the centre"; Hartnell is groaning and clutching his face. The camera cuts to Barbara, who is supposed to be on the other side of the planet, yet we still hear Hartnell groaning pretty loudly! Jacqueline Hill just has to ignore him, and keep a straight face while saying, "The Doctor will have reached the control section by now".
Episode 6 - The string from which the Animus itself is suspended is clearly visible in almost every scene.
Episode 6 - Watch the mountains closely, in some scenes you can see the wooden supports holding them up.
Episode 6 - Just after the Animus is destroyed, a group of Zarbi proceeds to dig out water from the planet surface, and some Menoptera come over to join them. The weight of all the actors makes the wooden stage creak fearfully for a good long while.
Episode 6 - When the TARDIS finally takes off, we see a side view of it. One of the window panels is broken and is leaning inward.