EPISODE: Planet of the Spiders Part Three
OVERALL EPISODE NUMBER: 378
STORY NUMBER: 074
TRANSMITTED: 18 May 1974
WRITER: Robert Sloman (and Barry Letts - Uncredited)
DIRECTOR: Barry Letts
SCRIPT EDITOR: Terrance Dicks
PRODUCER: Barry Letts
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - Planet of the Spiders
Episode Format: 625 video
Lupton materialises at the meditation centre where his arrival is witnessed by Tommy. The spider communicates with her sisters and queen on Metebelis 3. Their leader, the Great One, plans the conquest of Earth. The Doctor, Sarah & Mike come to the Monastary accusing Lupton of stealing the crystal. Barnes overhears and warns Lupton. Tommy spots the crystal and steals it while Lupton is distracted and hides it in his collection of pretty things in a shoebox. Sarah follows Lupton to the cellar leaving a message with Tommy to say where she has gone. Sarah see Lupton dematerialise, but following him steps on the prayer mat he was was using and is transported to Metebelis 3. Sarah is first captured and then sheltered from the spiders by the humans living on Metebelis 3. The Queen is demanding the human Arak be surrendered for attacking a guard but takes his father Sabor instead. As Sarah is found the Doctor arrives in the Tardis and, after a fight, is knocked out by a blast from on of the spider's servants.
Hmmm. I'm not sure we move very far in this episode, it feels a bit like padding. And the humans on Metebelis 3, the descendants of colonists, don't feel terribly realistic to me.
We hear the other two spider voices in this episode. Kismet Delgado is of course the widow of Roger Delgado. After her husband was killed in a car crash in Turkey she found herself in impoverished circumstances due to his life insurance refusing to pay up. Barry Letts obtained her an equity card and got her this job to help tide her over. The third spider voice is Maureen Morris who was in the second & third episodes of the second series of the Tripods and as Mrs. Macready in the BBC's 1988 version of The Lion, the Witch, & the Wardrobe.
Onto the Metebelis colonists: Arak should be recognisable as Gareth Hunt, shortly to find fame for playing Mike Gambit in The New Avengers. Ralph Arliss, playing Tuar, appears to have been in most dramas I've ever watched from the 70s including Survivors, The Sweeney & Return of the Saint. The older Sabor is played by Geoffrey Morris has a TV career stretching back to 1946 but the thing you'll mostly likely have seen him in is the Fawlty Towers episode The Hotel Inspectors where he plays John, one of the two inspectors. (The same episode features Bernard Cribbins as a man Basil thinks is a hotel inspector. And hilarity ensues). Jenny Laird, playing Neska, was an experienced actress who gave her name to an acting award at RADA won by Richard Franklin (Captain Yates) and Jan Chappel (Cally in Blake's 7). Joanna Monro, here playing Rega, has had a somewhat eclectic career including starring in the stage production of Mamma Mia!, appearing as a regular on the That's Life, and winning a celebrity edition of the Weakest Link! Finally, playing the guard Captain and making his final Doctor appearance is our old friend Walter Randall who'd been in The Aztecs (as Tonila), The Crusade (as El Akir), The Daleks' Master Plan (as Hyksos), The Invasion (as a Patrolman) and Inferno (as Harry Slocum). His first & last appearances are the only ones *not* directed by Douglas Camfield. He died in 2008, aged 89.