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William Hartnell
Planet of Giants
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Synopsis


The Doctor and Susan
The Doctor and Susan
 Whilst trying to return Ian and Barbara to the twentieth century, The Doctor attempts an unorthodox new technique, causing the TARDIS doors to open in mid-flight, setting alarms ringing inside the craft.

 Arriving on Earth, the time-travellers discover that they have all been reduced in size - they are now minute people in a world of giant objects. The TARDIS has landed them between the cracks in a garden patio - a garden teeming with giant worms, ants and cats. All deadly hazards for the miniature travellers.

 To make matters worse, the TARDIS crew are caught up in the trials of a deadly new insecticide - DN6. A chemical so deadly that all insect life is threatened - a chemical that is also lethal to minuscule time-travellers…

Source: BBC VHS Video


General Information

Season: Two
Production Code: J
Story Number: 9
Episode Numbers:43 - 45
Number of Episodes: 3
Percentage of Episodes Held:100%
Working Titles:"The Miniscules" (whole story), "Death in the Afternoon" (episode 2)
Production Dates: July - September 1964
Broadcast Started: 31 October 1964
Broadcast Finished: 14 November 1964
Colour Status: B&W
Studio: Ealing Television Film Studios and Lime Grove (Studio D)
Location: None
Writer:Louis Marks
Directors:Douglas Camfield (Episode 3) and Mervyn Pinfield (Episodes 1-3)
Producer:Verity Lambert
Associate Producer:Mervyn Pinfield
Story Editor:David Whitaker
Production Assistant:Norman Stewart
Assistant Floor Managers:Dawn Robertson and Val McCrimmon
Designer:Raymond P Cusick
Costume Designer:Daphne Dare
Make-Up Designers:Jill Summers (Episode 1) and Sonia Markham (Episodes 2 & 3)
Incidental Music:Dudley Simpson
Special Sounds (SFX Editor):Brian Hodgson
Studio Sounds:Alan Fogg and Howard King
Lighting:Howard King
Title Sequence:Bernard Lodge
Title Music:Ron Grainer and the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Arranged by Delia Derbyshire
Number of Doctors: 1
The Doctor: William Hartnell (The First Doctor)
Number of Companions: 3The Companions: Carole Ann Ford (Susan), Jacqueline Hill (Barbara Wright) and William Russell (Ian Chesterton) Additional Cast: Alan Tilvern (Forester), Frank Crawshaw (Farrow), Reginald Barratt (Smithers), Rosemary Johnson (Hilda), Fred Ferris (Bert).Setting: England (1960's) Villain:Forester

The Episodes

No. Episodes Broadcast
(UK)
Duration Viewers
(Millions)
In Archive
43Planet of Giants31 October 196423'15"8.416mm telerecording
44Dangerous Journey07 November 196423'40"8.416mm telerecording
45Crisis14 November 196426'35"8.916mm telerecording

Total Duration 1 Hour 14 Minutes


Audience Appreciation

Average Viewers (Millions) 8.6
Doctor Who Magazine Poll (1998)58.84%  (Position = 124 out of 159)
Doctor Who Magazine Poll (2009)58.17% Lower (Position = 163 out of 200)
Doctor Who Magazine Poll (2014)57.61% Lower (Position = 214 out of 241)


Archives


 All episodes exist as 16mm telerecordings. An Arabic print is also held.



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Notes


This story was originally shot as four episodes, the third and fourth episodes were condensed into a single episode at the behest of BBC Head of Serials Donald Wilson just two weeks before it was transmitted. This decision though would have ramifications for this season when when the producers were left with a left-over episode block. Rather than producing a single-episode stand-alone story or extend any of the planned serials, "Mission to the Unknown" was commissioned to serve as a prelude to "The Daleks' Master Plan" without the participation of any of the regular cast.

This story was originally filmed as part of the first season bloc. Along with "The Dalek Invasion of Earth", these stories were held over to Season Two.

Fred Ferris, who played policeman Bert Rowse, was a popular Liverpudlian comedian.

This story is the debut of the most prolific of Doctor Who's incidental music composers, Dudley Simpson. He would continue to work on the show periodically until the end of the Season Seventeen in 1979.

Interestingly there is no noise either inside or outside the TARDIS as it arrives at the start of the story and leaves at the end.

This is the first time in the show that The Doctor is shrunk. He would be shrunk again in "Carnival of Monsters", "The Invisible Enemy" (although on this occasion it is merely a clone of himself and his current companion that is actually regressed in size), "The Armageddon Factor" and "Logopolis".

The Target Books novelisation of this story, written by Terrance Dicks and published in January 1990, was the final story of the First Doctor's era to be novelised. This novel also reinstated much of the material cut to make the televised story into three episodes.

This story was released on VHS in 2001; it was the first commercially-released story to receive the VidFIRE process.

This story was released on DVD in August 2012. Included with this release are full-length reconstructions of the original episodes three and four based on the original scripts before they were condensed into the single broadcasted episode.



First and Last

The Firsts:

 The first story of Season Two (even though it was recorded as part of Season One but held back).

 The first Doctor Who story to be reduced from four episodes to three. The last two episodes were condensed into a single episode.

 The first time in the show that The Doctor is shrunk in size.

 The first story other than the initial episode to be set in modern times.

 The first Doctor Who story to be written by Louis Marks.

 The first Doctor Who story to be directed by Douglas Camfield.

 Dudley Simpson's first involvement in the show providing the incidental music.

 The first Doctor Who story not to be recorded at Lime Grove.

 The Target Books novelisation of this story, published in January 1990, was the final story of the First Doctor's era to be novelised.


The Lasts (Subject to Future Stories):

 Jill Summers's last involvement in the show as Makeup Artist.


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The Plot

WARNING: May Contain SpoilersHide Text
The Docor Is Worried
The Docor Is Worried

A malfunction of the TARDIS systems causes the main doors of the TARDIS to open of their own accord just before it materialises. The Doctor insists the fault locator shows nothing is wrong and it is safe to venture outside.

On emerging The Doctor, Susan, Barbara Wright and Ian Chesterton soon discover that they have landed in a very strange world. They come across what looks like a dead giant earthworm followed by a large ant that is also dead. After some deduction the travellers realise that they have in fact landed in an English garden but have also been reduced in size so that they are now only about an inch tall!

Ian is investigating a discarded matchbox when someone picks it up and he is hurled around inside. That someone is a government scientist called Farrow. He is visiting the home of the callous and ruthless businessman named Forester to tell him that his application for DN6, a new insecticide, has been rejected as it is too deadly to all insect life. When they fall out over this news, Forester shoots Farrow and leaves him for dead on the lawn.

Ian, Susan and Barbara
Ian, Susan and Barbara

The Doctor, Barbara and Susan hear the gunshot as an enormous explosion, and head for the house. They find Ian unhurt near the dead body and surmise a murder has taken place but can do little about it. They are determined, however, to ensure the murderer is brought to justice despite their microscopic size. While avoiding a cat, the travellers get split up again with Ian and Barbara hiding in a briefcase. The giant Forester returns to the lawn and collects the briefcase, taking it inside to the laboratory. His aide, Smithers, arrives and suspects him of murder, but does not report him for fear of undermining the DN6 project to which he has given his life.

The Doctor and Susan have to scale a drain pipe to gain access to the house braving the height as they go. While Ian and Barbara, on leaving briefcase, examine what they soon discover is a laboratory. They soon encounter a giant fly, which is killed instantly when it comes into contact with some seeds. Ian deduces correctly that the seeds have been sprayed with a very powerful insecticide. He warns Barbara not to touch them. But he is too late as earlier Barbara had foolishly touched one of the seeds and is now starting to feel unwell.

Leaving the TARDIS
Leaving the TARDIS

Barbara and Ian then hear Susan’s voice and discover her and The Doctor in a nearby sink. Using the plug chain as a ladder the four friends are soon reunited. It then that they realise they have stumbled across the plot by Forester, and his misguided scientist colleague.

The Doctor and his companions soon discover that this new insecticide is so destructive that it can kill not only those insects harmful to agriculture but also those vital to it. They also discover that Forester is even willing to commit murder to ensure the success of his business.

It is during their attempts to thwart the criminals that The Doctor learns that Barbara is suffering from the effects of the insecticide and that they are now in a race against time to return to the TARDIS so as to find a cure.

Barbara, The Doctor and Susan
Barbara, The Doctor and Susan

The criminals are eventually brought to justice when The Doctor and his friends tamper with the telephone in Smithers' laboratory, thus fuelling the suspicions of the local exchange operator who sends her police constable husband. PC Rowse, to investigate.

The Doctor and his companions also decide to start a fire to attract attention to the house and succeed in setting up an aerosol can of insecticide and a lab bench gas jet as a bomb. This coincides with Smithers discovering the true virulence of DN6 and demanding Forester stop seeking a licence. Forester spots the makeshift bomb, which goes off in his face. Smithers retrieves the gun as PC Rowse arrives and then places both men under arrest.

Their work done, the travellers return to the TARDIS as fast as they can. When safely inside The Doctor reconfigures the time machine to return them to their normal size. Barbara, who was on the verge of death, recovers on being returned to full size as the insecticide inside her becomes a much weaker dose.

 
Susan and Ian with a Giant Ant
Susan and Ian with a Giant Ant
Ian and Susan
Ian and Susan
Susan and Ian Find a Hiding Place
Susan and Ian Find a Hiding Place
Mr Farrow and Forester
Mr Farrow and Forester
 
Barbara, The Doctor, Susan and Ian
Barbara, The Doctor, Susan and Ian
Barbara and a Giant Fly
Barbara and a Giant Fly
Forester
Forester
Smithers
Smithers




Quote of the Story


 'Do you know why I'm a success, Mr Farrow? Because I've never allowed the word "can't" to exist'

Forester



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Release Information

FormatTitleRelease Date (UK)Code NumberCover ArtRemarks
Video
VHS
Planet of GiantsJanuary 2002BBCV 7263Photo-montageAll 3 episodes were subjected to VidFIRE video motion remastering process before release
Video
DVD
Planet of GiantsAugust 2012BBCDVD 3479Photo-montage


In Print

FormatTitleRelease Date (UK)PublisherAuthorCover ArtRemarks
Novel
Novel
Planet of GiantsJanuary 1990Target No. 145Terrance DicksAlister PearsonISBN: 0-426-20345-3
CD
CD
Planet of GiantsMay 2017Target No. 145Terrance DicksAlister PearsonAudio version of the Target Novel read by Carole Ann Ford (Susan).
Doctor Who CMS Magazine (An Adventure in Space and Time)Issue 9
Doctor Who WeeklyIssue 11 (Released: December 1979)
Doctor Who Magazine - ArchiveIssue 256 (Released: September 1997)
Doctor Who Magazine - Time TeamIssue 285 (Released: December 1999)

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Photo Gallery


The Doctor and Companions

 
William Hartnell
The First Doctor

   

Carole Ann Ford
Susan
Jacqueline Hill
Barbara Wright
William Russell
Ian Chesterton
   




On Release

VHS Video Cover
VHS Video Cover

BBC
VIDEO
 
DVD Cover
DVD Cover

BBC
VIDEO
   


In Print

Target Book Cover
Target Book Cover

Target
NOVEL
 
Target Audio CD Cover
Target Audio CD Cover

BBC
CD
   


Magazines

Doctor Who CMS Magazine (An Adventure in Space and Time): Issue 9
Doctor Who CMS Magazine (An Adventure in Space and Time): Issue 9

CMS
Doctor Who Weekly: Issue 11
Doctor Who Weekly: Issue 11

Marvel Comics
Doctor Who Magazine - Archive: Issue 256
Doctor Who Magazine - Archive: Issue 256

Marvel Comics
Doctor Who Magazine - Time Team: Issue 285
Doctor Who Magazine - Time Team: Issue 285

Marvel Comics
   


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