The Web of Fear

BBC Audio adventure, Feb. 3- March 9, 1968

They do a good job of concealing who has the Great Intelligence within him. And though the Colonel, later the Brigadiere, is a bit wooden in this one, I can see why audiences liked him. He is commanding and willing to listen to different ideas, such as the TARDIS existing so they can get out. And the model Yetis are now homing beacons, which is quite the different use for the little things. There are moments when I just want the adventure to end because it is just dragging on. They’re wandering around the underground tunnels for awhile, doing not much while they run into Yeti and avoid each other. It’s craziness.

Colonel Lethbridge-Stuart does make a commanding figure, taking his troops out to try to get the TARDIS, once they know about it. But of course the Yeti kick their butts. They are just woefully understaffed and underprepared for the invasion that’s happening. People are evacuated but if the Doctor hadn’t shown up, they would’ve just been overrun. And of course it’s a threat to the entire world! This is the last time we hear from the Great Intelligence. It’s much like the Celestial Toymaker to me, a one-trick villain that you can use in certain ways but despite the power of the Intelligence, it really isn’t very good at strategy. Or it would be able to take into account the Doctor and his intelligence! The Daleks are much better at that, ultimately.

So though this adventure is 3 disks long, it could’ve been a lot shorter. Perhaps it’s better with the visuals but the audio alone is tedious at times. Professor Travers is back as the crotchety old scientist with a young scientist daughter so they all get to try to solve the problem of the Yeti and the fungus/web stuff. But it is, as usual, up to the Doctor to make it all work. Despite Jamie “saving” him at the end, the Doctor gets to show his crotchety side, too, as he would’ve drained the Great Intelligence. And it really needs to get a better villain name. How much more generic can you get?

Patrick Troughton, Frazer Hines, and Deborah Watling

writers: Mervyn Haisman and Henry Lincoln

director: Douglas Camfield

read by: Frazer Hines