Doctor Who: The Web of Fear (part five)

After the heights of the previous episode, this one can’t help but be a bit of a comedown. Our son was very frightened when the Yeti and Travers, controlled by the Great Intelligence, take Victoria as a hostage. We also had to pause and explain what a hostage is. He really seemed to enjoy this episode, and told us that he likes the Yeti more than he likes the Cybermen, but his favorite part was the finale, when the Intelligence’s weird fungus-web stuff comes crashing through the wall of their headquarters.

There’s a neat little bit of completely unintentional foreshadowing about where this show would go years down the line. The Great Intelligence becomes the first villain other than the Daleks to identify the Doctor as a time traveler and has been observing him throughout time. You can imagine, knowing the show from the present day, that the Intelligence, thwarted in Tibet in 1935, watched Earth as the seventh Doctor showed up in 1944 to fight Fenric and the tenth showed up in 1953 to fight the Wire, and so on. Of course, 44 years after this story was broadcast, they’d reveal that the Intelligence first met a much later Doctor in 1892, so when the second Doctor first met the villain in Tibet, the villain already knew who he was. I love that.

Now that we know that Travers is not the behind-the-scenes baddie, there’s also a great little scene where Evans forces suspicion right at Lethbridge-Stewart as the traitor in the story. There are still two other suspects besides these two: Chorley, who’s actually been missing from the narrative for two weeks, and Staff Sergeant Arnold, who survived the web in the previous episode and returns, injured, in this installment. Our son has fingered Lethbridge-Stewart as the villain. We’ll see what happens tomorrow night, but first, we’ve got another movie to watch…

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