Previous: The Monster of Peladon
Planet of the Spiders
*rings gong* SPIDERRRRRRS. SPIIIIIIIIIIIIDERRRRRRRRRRRRRS.
"By Robert Sloman." I have to admit, for a brief second I thought it said "by Robert Shearman" and I got really excited.
Now who's this taking a leisurely stroll? Wait...is that...? Yates?...YATES IS THAT YOU??
Cut straight to Three and the Brig listening to some guy making some really bad jokes about Archimedes being a streaker. We're a minute in.
I have so many questions. Where are they. Why are they watching a variety show in a tiny room. How did Three talk the Brig into joining him.
And now we have men sitting and chanting in a basement. If this was a DVD instead of iTunes, I would have the InfoText on right now.
Ah, so it IS a summoning ritual! I expect it'll be a while before we find out what that mysterious blue glow was.
"Well, you enjoyed *that*."
"Extraordinary muscular control. Very fit, that girl. I must adapt some of those movements as exercises for the men."
"It'll take some adapting."
why did it take me so long to come back I've missed this banter
I'VE ALSO MISSED THE BRIG OH MY GOD HIS FACE WHEN THE PROFESSOR SUGGESTS THAT UNIT DOES CABARET
Interesting twist: the clairvoyant professor started his mind-reading as an act but THEN developed actual powers.
Brig a frightened man just made a lunch tray levitate I'm not sure this is the best time to say "You should use that in your act."
Hi Sarah Jane! Aww, it's nice to see you and Yates getting along so well again.
Wow, everyone's being a douche to that one guy with the flower. He just wants to make pretty things and tea...
"It's definitely a job for UNIT."
"Well then you must tell the Brig or the Doctor!"
"Heh, you think they'd believe me? Last time we met, I pulled a gun on them."
"Ohhhhhhhhh, NOW I get it!"
Unexpected tractor hallucination? Unexpected tractor hallucination.
"This watch was given to you...eleven years ago. You received it...in a hotel...a hotel by the sea...Brighton, was it? From a young lady...called Doris. She said it was to mark her gratitude..."
"YES ALL TRUE ABSOLUTELY SPOT-ON."
I need to know the rest of this story now holy crap. So the Brig and Doris have known each other for that long? Nice.
"It translates your thoughts into pictures on this monitor here." The one invention I'd like to see become reality before I die.
Oh, Three, come on, don't give him your sonic to read, you'll overload him! Seriously, how many centuries of memories must that thing have?
"And, that's what meditation is all about?"
"Yes! The old man must die, and the new man will discover, to his inexpressible joy, that he has never existed!"
...Not quite sure I understand that philosophy but okay.
"Doctor, I...ah! Doing a bit of hairdressing on the side, eh?" Hi Benton!
HE HAS A PACKAGE FROM JO!!!
Wait...wait...oh no...ohhhhh nooooo I suddenly have a really bad feeling about what might be in that package...
"From beyond the stars..." PLEASE DON'T TELL ME SHE SENT BACK THE METEBELIS THREE CRYSTAL THAT WAS THEIR PARTING GIFT
Oh...? Three's actually smiling? Whew, okay, I thought he'd be at least a little broken up about it.
Sarah Jane Smith: cannot be kept out of anywhere.
Well this is interesting, she's quite eager to stay a while longer but Yates REALLY wants to get her out of there.
"So why are we running away?"
"We're not. We're letting him THINK we're running away. Now, we'll go back on foot."
Ah, so Jo only sent back the crystal because the South American natives were afraid of it. Good to know.
Hey, the flower-and-tea guy is back! And apparently his name is Tom. Hello Tom! Sorry, Sarah Jane and Yates don't have time for games now.
Sarah Jane, I appreciate your kindness to strangers, but I have a feeling that someone's going to find that pin and wonder where Tom got it.
I'll bet anything that the ritual has something to do with the crystal. Which would explain the psychic wind storm in Three's lab.
"You're too late, Brigadier! He's dead!" Oh. That's unfortunate.
To summon 1x medium-sized alien spider: chant in a circle and accidentally kill a man.
Ohhhh, so these aren't just giant spiders, these are giant ZAPPING spiders!
Giant zapping TALKING spiders!
Also, dude, why are you telling it to leave when you just spent all that time summoning it?
I believe Patrick Star had an apt reaction to this.
"Are you feeling alright?"
"Of course I am! Never felt better!"
Somehow that always seems to be code for "I've been possessed."
BENTON CALLING HIMSELF "EXPENDABLE" MADE ME A LOT SADDER THAN I WAS EXPECTING
and he looks so sad when Three won't let him risk his life for the team oh my god Benton are you okay
Looks like the spiders want their crystal back. Well, to be fair, I don't think we ever saw the Doctor ask for it.
"Oh, is that you, Sullivan? Get over to the lab straight away!" Sullivan? WAIT IS THAT HARRY?
"Look, never mind the dratted coffee! What about the spiders?"
Aww, I think Three's going to tell the Brig the daisiest daisy story. If the Brig doesn't cut him off first.
Yikes, Tom was actually threatening to hit Yates if he didn't listen to him.
Can we please talk about Sarah Jane's coat for a second
ALSO IS THAT THE WHOMOBILE I THINK IT IS
"May I see your pass?"
"I CAST PAIN! PAIN TEN!"
(that's what he said right?)
Umm, guys, I recognize that you're having a very important conversation, but now might be a good time to notice the creeper at the window.
Casting Teleport? Well, that's one way to get your stuff back.
Wow, Benton really isn't having an easy time of it in this episode, is he?
...okay I know the joke is that UNIT's bullets never work, but...you can NOT be telling me that the Brigadier is that bad of a shot.
Or maybe moving targets are just that much harder to hit. I don't know, I've never fired a gun and have no plans to.
Chase time! After the stolen Whomobile in Bessie.
For a second I actually thought the license plate on the front of the Whomobile said "NYOOM."
That is literally the tiniest flyable non-toy helicopter I've ever seen.
I imagine that police officer's day is about to get a lot more interesting.
A man possessed by an alien spider just stole a time traveler's hovercraft and now he's about to hijack the world's tiniest helicopter.
Why did it take me so long to get to this serial.
I remember reading somewhere that Jon Pertwee actually drove the Whomobile around on the streets because why not (can someone confirm?)
"Panda Three to Control...you'll never believe this, Sergeant, but...oh, nothing to report, over. ...I'm comin' in, I don't feel very well."
So now I'm left with the sole question of: how exactly did an alien spider learn how to fly a small helicopter?
Boy, what a conveniently-placed set of watercraft for our heroes and villains to continue their chase with!
How to Run Over a Hobo Without Killing Them: a guide by the Third Doctor.
I'm actually less concerned with how Lupton teleported out of that boat and more concerned with how that plant is moving with no wind.
"...Pretty...!" Looks like Tom wants the crystal now.
I'm seeing this scene with a council of spiders sitting on benches and for some reason I'm having flashbacks to The Puzzle Place.
I think literally the only thing that show had in common with this scene was puppets.
There was a Tumblr post forever ago that said that if Spider-Man's superpower was to shoot spiders at criminals, there would be no crime.
I'm beginning to suspect that's what the Eight Legs' Conquest of Earth plan is: be giant spiders on Earth.
Wow. Tom was so desperate for the crystal that he climbed up a tree to get it.
We just went from "dethroned sales director" to "wants to take over the world" in less than a minute. Lupton, calm the hell down.
Tom actually has a shoebox full of pretty things hidden in a cupboard under the stairs. That's...weirdly sad.
I would call Tom the Beautiful Cinnamon Roll Too Good for This World, Too Pure of this story, but...he did threaten to punch out Yates.
I'll bet Tom was going to give Sarah Jane the crystal, aaaaaand of course now he can't because she needs him to go tell Yates a thing.
OH NO I WAS RIGHT HE WAS GOING TO GIVE HER THE CRYSTAL. Well, this complicates things a bit.
Well at least he was able to pass on the info to Yates and Three.
Looks like they were too late to stop Sarah Jane from getting teleported. Is that Metebelis Three? Kinda looks like the American southwest.
"You speak as if she were alive."
"Yes...yes I do, don't I?"
I could be wrong, but I think this is the shortest time between arriving on a planet and the locals trying to kill them I've seen.
Huh, from that angle it looks like Three landed in the sky...or maybe he landed RIGHT in front of Sarah Jane.
That...might just be the most ludicrously precise TARDIS landing in all of Classic Who. Sans the returns to the UNIT lab, of course.
Ah yes, one last round of Time-Fu with some royal guards before your big exit, Pertwee?
"It's no good! He's dead!"
"He CAN'T be!"
Yeah, we've still got the better part of three episodes to go!
I really hope that bolt isn't what leads to Three's regeneration at the end. Then again, I keep hearing it was "radiation."
Tom's been affected by the crystal? Considering what Three said about it affecting the mind, I wonder what it'll do to him.
He doesn't seem to be having any trouble reading the book anymore. Somehow I saw that coming.
This discussion about whether to attack or not brings me to another burning question: jokes aside, how exactly did the spiders take over?
Was it purely through the use of those crystals? Or are people really just that inherently afraid of spiders?
Of course, now I get to wonder exactly what that machine is supposed to do. Just looks like a lever.
Three I know breakfast is the most important meal of the day but your companion is literally about to be eaten by giant alien spiders.
Actually, I should probably stop calling them "alien" spiders, since they've made it clear that they came from Earth originally.
"Well, now I know what a fly feels like. What an absolutely fascinating experience!" Well I'm glad YOU'RE enjoying this, Three.
When Three said he learned his escape trick from "an old friend," I thought he was talking about Jo at first. But no, it was Houdini.
"Rise, child. You have no reason to fear me, I am your friend." Huh...this was unexpected.
Wait a sec, is that the queen?? This...okay, I have no idea where this is going.
I somehow neglected to bring up bound-and-gagged Yates last time. Nice of them to take that gag off, though.
"You? Why should you help?"
"Because of Sarah Jane Smith, of course! I want her back just as much as you want Lupton!"
It's lines like this that make me kinda sad that neither of the UNIT boys wound up with anyone in the end.
The Brig and Doris finally got together but Benton and Yates seem to be left as eternal bachelors. ACTUALLY WAIT A SEC THAT'S NOT QUITE TRUE
Wasn't there a novel where Yates turns out to be in a relationship with a man later? #englandforabisexualmikeyates
So for a while I was wondering if Tom had been upgraded to a super-genius or something, but it seems he's just been brought to "normal."
Jury's still out on how I feel about a character with a disability being "cured" by alien magic, though.
Tom seemed perfectly happy just the way he was. It was everyone else at the house who was being a dick to him.
There's a longer discussion to be had about representation of people with disabilities in fiction, but this isn't really the place for it.
But speaking as someone with Asperger's Syndrome, I think I'd rather be understood as a person than "cured."
Okay, personal ramble finished. On with the grand finale of Pertwee!
Tom seems to have Sarah Jane's last words to him on skipping repeat. Or, as we used to call it in the 90s, a remix.
"But why do you want that particular crystal? It's no different from all the others!" I WAS WONDERING WHEN THEY WERE GOING TO BRING THIS UP.
Ah. Apparently that one crystal IS special. "The one last perfect Crystal of Power."
Why do I feel like I can make so many jokes about this, but I can't actually figure one out?
Being psychically forced to march in a circle? Three, I know you're angry but I can think of MUCH worse punishments than this.
I know the spiders can set their phasers to Stun or Kill, so I REALLY hope they're not about to use Kill on Tom.
Sarah Jane is being almost worryingly upbeat and chipper about this escape...
"Tommy, you're normal!" ...You know I was kinda hoping they weren't going to use that word. Oh well.
WAIT A SECOND TOM GOT ZAPPED BUT HE WASN'T AFFECTED AT ALL?
Ah, this is K'anpo! I've heard of you! And if I remember right, I think I know how you know the Doctor already.
"You see, I...I found a crystal. A blue crystal."
"...Well perhaps 'stole' might be a better word..."
Wow. Okay, maybe Tom isn't a "super-genius" now, but he seems to've acquired *some* sort of power over the other guys and the spiders.
BECAUSE HE'S LITERALLY JUST STARING AT THEM RIGHT NOW AND THEY'RE BACKING OFF AND IT'S KIND OF BADASS
"KILL HIM!" I WAS ALSO NOT EXPECTING THIS TO BE PERTWEE'S LAST CLIFFHANGER
One of the guys is holding a crowbar...oh my god what did they do.
Aaaaaaand now Sarah Jane is talking with a spider voice and it's kind of unsettling.
Ohhhh, wait a sec, we've gone back a bit with the other guys. They're only just now confronting Tom.
"We need more power!" Okay, everybody join fingers... #byyourpowerscombined #Iamcaptainspider
All this about Three taking the crystal being the catalyst for all this reminds me that I may be due for a rewatch of The Green Death.
That was one of the first Classic Who serials I watched, and my first Classic companion departure. Wow, has it really been five years?
"...I know who you are now!"
"You were always a little slow on the uptake, my boy!"
"It's been a long long time."
"You know each other?"
"Oh yes. He was my teacher. My...my guru, if you like...in another time, in another place."
"Oh no...don't tell me you're a Time Lord too!"
Wait. I wonder...are they implying that K'anpo is the same guy from the daisiest daisy story? Because that would be pretty cool.
Oooohhhhh this story is bringing together all these tidbits and plot threads from the whole Pertwee era and iT'S SO GREAT.
"Cho-je is a projection of my own self!" .........OKAY THEN.
Wait, are they implying that Three is afraid of spiders or mind control? I thought his big fear was fire because of Inferno?
YATES NO #didsomeonecallforaheroicsacrifice
Jeez, you guys zap an old man in the chest and leave him for dead? Now that's not very zen of you.
Not one of your better perspective shots, I'm afraid, guys. The buildings in the background look about the same size as the TARDIS.
"You will die."
"Well, nevertheless I have to go."
The plot demands it.
Oh. So the locals' attack failed after all. That sucks.
"You have beaten us Doctor. It is good that you will die." Wow. That pause finally made it really sink in that this is Pertwee's last story.
"His compassion protected him, just as Tommy's innocence was his shield." Oh my god. Oh my goooood.
So basically what you're saying is that Tom's pure Cinnamon Roll-ness kept him from getting zapped. Amazing.
AND YATES TOO BECAUSE HE TRIED TO SAVE HIM. HE LITERALLY GOT A PASS ON DEATH BECAUSE HE WANTED TO SAVE SOMEONE ELSE. CAN I HUG EVERYONE.
OH MY GOD BETWEEN YATES AND BENTON AND THREE AND THE METEBELANS IT SEEMS LIKE HALF THIS SERIAL'S CAST IS READY TO DIE WHAT IS HAPPENING D:
omg Yates and Sarah Jane are so cute together but they've only known each other for like two serials or something how did this happen
"I'm afraid this old body has had it, Miss Smith." I was SO SURE he was going to go out on a "this old body is wearing a bit thin."
Oh, looks like he's regenerated into his Cho-je form! I wonder if that makes this the only Doctor Who story with two different regenerations
For a greenscreen set, that sure is a lot of blue.
"I...am...complete!" A sentence I can no longer encounter without hearing it in the Devil's voice from Tenacious D and The Pick of Destiny.
Something that bugs me about this story: it's a great Doctor's grand sendoff, but the villain is just a megalomaniac with no depth.
I mean, Four also died because of a megalomaniac, but that was the Master, and he's special.
Oh well, only six minutes left. Let's do this.
Out with a bang! Let's literally blow up a mountain.
Sarah Jane standing in the lab and hugging Three's check coat is not making this any easier. "He's been gone over three weeks now." Ouch.
"We'll never see him again." *TARDIS noises right on cue*
"Sarah...I got lost in the time vortex...the TARDIS brought me home." Brought him home. BROUGHT HIM HOME CAN WE TALK ABOUT THIS FOR A SECOND
MY FIRST THIRD DOCTOR SERIAL WAS HIS FIRST SERIAL: IT WAS SPEARHEAD FROM SPACE. AND I SPENT THE NEXT YEAR WATCHING ALL THESE SERIALS WHERE THREE WANTED NOTHING MORE BUT TO ESCAPE FROM EARTH. AND NOW IT'S FIVE YEARS LATER AND HE'S ABOUT TO DIE AND HE CALLS EARTH "HOME."
FIVE YEARS. OH MY GOD THAT'S THE LENGTH OF HIS RUN TOO. JON PERTWEE I'M SO GLAD I GOT TO GO ON THIS CRAZY JOURNEY WITH YOU.
"Oh, Doctor, why did you have to go back?"
"I had to face my...my fear, Sarah. I had to face my fear. That was...more important...than just going on living."
"...A tear, Sarah Jane? No, don't cry. While there's life there's............"
I...I seriously don't remember the last time I actually teared up a bit while watching Classic Who.
What a perfect moment for K'anpo to show up looking uncannily like Stephen Colbert. I don't know what else to say.
"Thank you...that makes everything quite clear." Brig. Brig pls.
"He will become a new man."
"Of course, he will look quite different."
"You may find his behavior somewhat...erratic?" Did...did they just sum up the entire Fourth Doctor era before it even happened.
"Look, Brigadier, look! I think it's starting!"
"Well...here we go again."
Well. I guess that's it then. I've officially completed the entire Jon Pertwee era of Doctor Who. It's been an adventure...
...and Three, Liz, Jo, Sarah Jane, Brig, Benton, Yates, thank you for everything!
And Tom Baker, who I believe is on BBCA as I speak, welcome! You've no idea of the legacy ahead of you.
Next: Season 12: Robot