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The Web of Fear: Misc


Dr Who

Up to date as of January 31, 2010

From TARDIS Index File, the free Doctor Who reference.

"Whether you think it foolish or not, we are going to rescue that craft..."
―Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart
The Web of Fear
Series: Doctor Who - TV Stories
Season Number: Season 5
Story Number: 41
Doctor: Second Doctor
Companions: Jamie McCrimmon
Victoria Waterfield
Enemy: The Great Intelligence
Setting: London Underground; c. 1970s
Writer: Mervyn Haisman
Henry Lincoln
Director: Douglas Camfield
Broadcast: 3rd February - 9th March 1968
Format: 6 25-minute Episodes
Previous Story: The Enemy of the World
Following Story: Fury from the Deep

The Web of Fear was the fifth story of Season 5 of Doctor Who. The story featured the first appearance of future Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, played by Nicholas Courtney, although UNIT would not be conceived until his next appearance in The Invasion.



The TARDIS narrowly avoids becoming engulfed in a web-like substance in space. It then arrives in the London Underground railway system, the tunnels of which are being overrun by the web and by the Great Intelligence's robot Yeti.

The time travellers learn that this crisis was precipitated when Professor Travers, whom they first met in the Himalayas some forty years earlier, accidentally caused one of the Yeti to be reactivated, opening the way for the Intelligence to make another invasion attempt.

The travellers work alongside army forces - led initially by Captain Knight and then by Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart - as they battle against the alien menace, hampered by the fact that one of their number has fallen under the Intelligence's influence and is a traitor in their midst.

The Intelligence's ultimate aim is to drain the Doctor's mind. The Doctor manages to sabotage the device with which it intends to achieve this, so that he can drain the Intelligence's mind instead, but he is 'rescued' by his friends before he can bring his plan to fruition.

The Intelligence is repelled into space, and the Doctor and his friends leave the army to clear up the mess.


to be added

A Robot Yeti in Silverstein's museum




Story Notes

  • First appearance of Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart played by Nicholas Courtney.
  • The surviving episode 1 was rebroadcast on BBC Four on 26th June 2004 as part of a night about cult television of the 1960s. Other programmes that night included a documentary about the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, and an episode of Verity Lambert's series Adam Adamant Lives.
  • Episode one was also rebroadcast on BBC Four as part of the BBC's London Underground night on 18th March 2007.
  • To promote this story, a specially shot trailer featuring the Doctor in the London Underground talking about the upcoming Yeti adventure was featured at the end of Episode 6 of The Enemy of the World. Although considered lost, along with Episode 6, the audio survives and formed the basis of a fan-made computer animated recreation of the trailer which has circulated on YouTube.


  • Episode 1 - 7.2 million viewers
  • Episode 2 - 6.8 million viewers
  • Episode 3 - 7.0 million viewers
  • Episode 4 - 8.4 million viewers
  • Episode 5 - 8.0 million viewers
  • Episode 6 - 8.3 million viewers


to be added

Filming Locations

Discontinuity, Plot Holes, Errors

  • Where do all the other robot Yeti come from? Surely Travers could not have brought them all back from Tibet. If think we assume that they were built from scratch under instruction from the Great Intelligence, by the first Yeti or the possessed Arnold, then why bother to disguise them as Yeti at all? Surely they were only originally made to look like Yeti to exploit the folklore of Tibet for purposes of cover, but in 1960's London that would be almost totally redundant.
  • When talking about underground trains the Doctor tells Victoria they came a little after her time but she is from 1866 and an underground train line opened in 1863. He was mistaken, it must be difficult remembering all of human history.
  • The Yeti changes shape in the museum scene (not intentional, surely?). It certainly seems to be intentional, with a deliberate cross fade between the Yeti's two forms.
  • When Jamie and the others are looking at the scanner in the first episode, Frazer Hines rests his hand on the console but withdraws it quickly as if he's burnt it. (The TARDIS console contains a lot of energy, it could very well be hot.)
  • The 'explosion' at the end of episode one happens several times. It only appears that way. The secondary glowing is merely a side effect of the web absorbing the energy of the blast. (This is confirmed in episode two, when dialogue describes another absorbed explosion as "pulsating".)



DVD, Video and Other Releases

DVD Release

The surviving episode (Episode 1) was released as part of the Lost in Time set.


NTSC - Warner Video E2082 (Troughton 2 disc set) / E2083 (Box set)

Video Releases

The surviving episode (Episode 1) was released alongside The Faceless Ones Episode 1 and 3 and the remaining episodes of The Reign of Terror as part of a two cassette release entitled Doctor Who: The Reign of Terror.


PAL - BBC Video BBCV7335
NTSC - Warner Video E1853

Notes: The US release was also located in The End of the Universe Collection.


Main article: Doctor Who and the Web of Fear

External links

  • Official BBC Episode Guide for The Web of Fear
  • Doctor Who Reference Guide detailed synopsis of The Web of Fear
  • A Brief History of Time (Travel) Guide to The Web of Fear
  • The Locations Guide to Doctor Who - The Web of Fear
Season 5
The Tomb of the Cybermen  • The Abominable Snowmen  • The Ice Warriors  • The Enemy of the World  • The Web of Fear  • Fury from the Deep  • The Wheel in Space

This article uses material from the "The Web of Fear" article on the Dr Who wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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