Planet Of The Spiders



15 Dec 73 - 05 Jan 74
12 Jan 74 - 16 Feb 74
23 Feb 74 - 16 Mar 74
23 Mar 74 - 27 Apr 74
04 May 74 - 08 Jun 74


Episode 1.
4th May 1974
5:47 p.m.
Episode 2.
11th May 1974
5:40 p.m.
Episode 3.
18th May 1974
5:40 p.m.
Episode 4.
25th May 1974
5:31 p.m.
Episode 5.
1st June 1974
5:36 p.m.
Episode 6.
8th June 1974
5:38 p.m.

The Blue Crystal which the Doctor found on the planet Metebelis 3 and gave to Jo Grant as a wedding present is vitally important to the giant spiders who rule the planet. Both Humans and Spiders came to Metebelis 3 in a colonist ship but the local conditions helped the Spiders to dominate the Humans. The Spiders send an emissary to recover the Crystal. The Doctor and Sarah, alerted by the ex-UNIT Captain Yates, are transported to Metebelis 3 and the Doctor leads a revolt of the planet's Human slaves against their Spider rulers. But he finds that meanwhile the Spiders have started their invasion of Earth. The Doctor defeats them again there and returns to Metebelis 3 to confront the Great One - a gigantic mutated spider - with the Crystal of Power. The stone destroys the Spider but the Doctor's body suffers irreparable damage. The Doctor returns to Earth, dying. However, the Tibetan monk Cho-Je, a new incarnation of the Time Lord K'Anpo, accelerates the regeneration process. The Doctor begins to change . . .

The Doctor:  Jon Pertwee
Sarah Jane Smith: Elisabeth Sladen
Brig. Lethbridge-Stewart: Nicholas Courtney
Sergeant Benton: John Levene
Mike Yates: Richard Franklin

Guest Appearances:
Lupton: John Dearth
Moss: Terence Lodge
Keaver: Andrew Staines
Barnes: Christopher Burgess
Land: Carl Forgione
Professor Clegg: Cyril Shops
Cho-Je: Kevin Lindsay
Tommy: John Kane
Soldier: Pat Gorman
Policeman: Chubby Oates

Man with Boat: Terry Walsh
Hopkins: Michael Pinder
Tramp: Stuart Fell

Spider voices: Ysanne Churchman, Kismet Delgado, Maureen Morris
Tuar: Ralph Arliss
Sabor: Geoffrey Morris
Rega: Joanna Monro
Arak: Gareth Hunt
Neska: Jenny Laird
Captain: Walter Randall
Second Captain: Max Faulkner
Great One: Maureen Morris
K'Anpo: George Cormack

Producer: Barry Letts.
Script Editor: Terrence Dicks
Writer: Robert Solomon, with Barry Letts uncredited.
Director: Barry Letts.
Designer: Rochelle Selwyn.
Costume: L Rowland Warne.
Make up: 
Deanne Turner.
Visual Effects: Bernard Wilkie.
Music : Dudley Simpson.

1975 Target edition with cover art by Peter Brookes1978 Target edition with cover art by Alun Hood1991 Target Edition Book Cover with cover by Alister Pearson

Novelized as "Doctor Who - Planet of the Spiders" by Terrance Dicks (0 426 10655 5) first published by Tandem as "Doctor Who and the Planet of the Spiders" in 1975 with cover by Peter Brookes. New edition by W. H. Allen (now Virgin Publishing Ltd) in 1978 with cover by Alun Hood. New edition in 1991 with cover by Alister Pearson. Target library number 48.

Image of Cho-Je (Kevin Lindsay)
Image of Leader of the Eight-Legs
Image of Arak (Gareth Hunt)
Image of K'Anpo Rinpoche, Time Lord (George Cormack) and the Doctor
Image of Sarah Jane, Arak (Gareth Hunt), Neska (Jenny Laird), and Sabor (Geoffrey Morris)
Image of Doctor & Sarah Jane just before the Doctor regenerates


Image of Video CoverReleased as "Planet of the Spiders" in UK April 1991 and in Australia & New Zealand (BBC catalogue #4491) Released in US & Canada in 1994 (CBS/FOX catalogue #8105, reclassified as WHV #E1262). Cover art by Andrew SkilleterReleased as a two-tape set in UK, on one tape in US, Canada, Australia, & New Zealand.



The term "regeneration" was heard during this serial for the very first time.
Tom Baker, as the Fourth Doctor, was briefly seen at the end, as was Cho-Je, a Time Lord hermit (also known as K'anpo Rinpoche).
Richard Franklin returned to the role of Mike Yates, in his final appearance in the show, although he later made a cameo appearance in "The Five Doctors" and "Dimensions in Time" .
This was the last regular appearance by Jon Pertwee, who would later return for "The Five Doctors," "Dimensions in Time," the stage play "Doctor Who: The Ultimate Adventure" and two BBC Radio dramas, "The Paradise of Death" and "The Ghosts of N-Space" before his untimely death in May 1996.

All six episodes exist in color on PAL 2" videotape as held by the Film & Videotape Library when audited in 1978.

Studio recording in studio TC1. (2-3 April 1974)
Studio recording in studio TC6. (30 April; 1 May 1974)
Studio recording in studio TC8. (16-17 April 1974)

Tidmarsh Manor, Tidmarsh, Berkshire. (11 March 1974)
Mortimer Railway Station, Stratfield Mortimer,
Berkshire. (11 March 1974)
Bloomfield Lane / Mereoak Lane, near
Stratfield Mortimer, Berkshire. (11 March 1974)
Membury Airfield, Membury, Wiltshire.
(12-13 March 1974)
Le Marchant Barracks, London Road, Devizes, Wiltshire.
(13 March 1974)
River Severn, near Westbury on Severn, Gloucestershire.
(14-15 March 1974)

Episode 1 - The sonic screwdriver the Doctor gives to Clegg to try his psychometry on is not the same one that appears in the images on the screen.
Episode 1 - After the UNIT laboratory gets shaken up, notice that the hatstand manages to remain upright, and all the equipment on the workbench also stays in place.
Episode 2 - When Lupton steals the boat during the chase scene, he shoots one guy, and pushes another into the water. But when the Doctor and Sarah arrive on the scene, Lupton is struggling with the same guy he pushed into the water whose clothes aren't even the slightest bit wet!
Episode 2 - Watch for when the "Whomobile" changes colour between gold and silver.
Episode 2 - After the spectacularly pointless chase scene, when Lupton literally vanishes after the Doctor has been pursuing him for a good 15 minutes, you may well ask why he didn't disappear a lot earlier than that and saved us a lot of boredom.
Episode 3 - As Tommy enters the room where the Doctor, Sarah and Mike Yates are talking with Cho-je, the camera follows him in or at least tries to, until the cameraman bumps into something with an audible "clunk" and the picture shakes noticeably.
Episode 4 - As the guard captain speaks to the Queen spider after blasting down the Doctor, you can see the rod used to support and operate the spider puppet poking up through the bottom of the sedan chair. The same problem occurs when the Queen arrives back in the council chamber and confronts Lupton.
Episode 4, 5 - It was very kind, if somewhat out of character, for the spiders to provide pillows for their captives to rest their heads on in the "larder"!
Episode 5 - When Tommy locks the cellar door after rescuing the Doctor and Sarah, the wall beside it wobbles badly.
Episode 6 - The reprise in this episode is considerably different from the cliffhanger in episode 5. There are several new scenes interpolated before we reach the cliffhanger scene of Barnes and co. attacking Tommy.