E1 “The Web Planet”

 We recap the ending from last serial, then see a planetscape with strange constructs and, well, webs. The TARDIS materialises (again, a little toy, sooooo cute!) and everyone’s changed clothes from their roman garb. There’s no signs of activity outside, but the TARDIS is still held fast.

 It’s fascinating to me to see the stuff in the background on the TARDIS “cockpit”. There’s tables and shelving with electronic equipment around the perimeter, and Barbara even serves up something to drink while they’re discussing their location.

 We see some creatures, humanoid insects. Vicki is sensitive to some noise, a humming. The Doctor passes it off as her being young and more susceptible to extra-sonic sounds. Outside (but apparently still unbeknownst to our heroes) there are insect/bug people of different types. The Doctor tries to dematerialise but cannot. The TARDIS is now without power. The Doctor and Ian suit up, planning to go out. Ian poses the question how will they open the doors if the power is out and The Doctor takes off his ring and uses it to power the door opening mechanism. “This is not merely a decorative object, my boy.” – The Doctor

 Barbara stays behind to tend to Vicki who is still suffering from her experience with the ultra-sonic sounds. Vicki offends Barbara’s sensibilities by being a snotty girl from the future.

 Barbara plays with her bracelet she got from Nero, which surprises Vicki, as they stll haven’t learned that Barbara and Ian had an adventure in Rome as well.

 The Doctor and Ian explore outside. Ian takes out his gold pen, which vanishes from his hand, angering him so that he yells, making echoes. Inside, Barbara feels something pulling on/moving her arm (wearing the bracelet), which is golden, too.

 She’s visibly disturbed, though she denies it when Vicki asks – really getting tired of Barbara being so secretive… think she would have learned her lesson in the Planet of Giants adventure.

 Outside, Ian finds some a pool of water, but The Doctor cautions him not to drink it. They lower a tie into it and the water has a highly acidic effect on it.

 The extra-sonics begin again, this time the adults can hear it; Barbara is under attack from it, much like Vicki was earlier. The TARDIS console begins spinning, and she tries to stop it but is overwhelmed by the sounds, and ends up falling under some sort of spell, walking out of the TARDIS.

 Outisde, Ian and The Doctor can hear the sounds but suffer no ill effects. The Doctor speculates that the sounds are a form of communication.

 Vicki wakes and finds Barbara gone, she runs out and calls out. Ian and The Doctor come running, but Ian gets caught in a web. Barbara is zombie walking to the pool of “water”, and Vicki somehow, by flipping random switches, activates the TARDIS and when The Doctor arrives, it is gone.

This turns out to be the worst serial I’ve ever seen.

 

E2 “The Zarbi”

 The Doctor comes back and finds Ian, whose body is no longer webbed, but his face is burning and blistered. He tells Ian the TARDIS is gone.

 Barbara is zombie walking (guess she didn’t walk into the pool) and a humanoid creature follows her – it’s more humanoid than the others, and actually looks like a man wearing a lucha libre (Mexican pro wrestling) mask. The Doctor and Ian remove their respiration assistance jackets and find some difficulty getting used to the atmosphere.

 They find signs that the TARDIS was dragged away, so I’m not sure why we heard the sound of dematerialisation when Vicki was rocking and rolling. We then see the TARDIS being slid across the surface (can’t tell if we see what’s pulling it – the video is REALLY poor quality on this recording – this was recorded off the telly.)

 The luchador looking creature physically guides Barbara to where others like it are waiting (at least two more, which would make them a trios team, very popular in lucha libre – trios tag team matches are more common than singles matches or two man tag team matches… and I bet you never thought I’d be talking wrestling in a Doctor Who blog. But enough of that.)

 They take the bracelet off Barbara, and she comes out of the trance and tries to escape, but they stop her and speak to her. They argue whether or not to help her against the Zarbi, whose power she had been under, or kill her. While they argue, she escapes.

 Ian and The Doctor are captured by the ant-like humanoids (who are accompanied by a little…. I don’t know what it is.) The Doctor theorises that they’re on the planet Vortis (which the bugs with Barbara used, so obviously they are), but when Ian asks The Doctor the planet’s history, he’s dismissive.

 They’re brought to where the TARDIS and Vicki are and the three reunite. Barbara is by the pool of “water”, though she’s managed to deduce on her own that it’s not water. Two of the ant-creatures come across her and she struggles. 

 The three bumblebee/moth/whatever people contact their forces, even though it risks drawing the attention of the Zarbi. They refer to their forces as the Menoptra Invasion Force. The Zarbi find and attack them, and bring Barbara in as well. The Zarbi attack the remaining Menoptra and Barbara cries, turning away.

 The Doctor argues with the Zarbi, though it does no good. They lower a device over his head, and a ghostly voice speaks to him. They think he and the others are part of the Menoptra scouting force. They are told they are going to see the fate that awaits their force and a gun is leveled at The Doctor, Ian and Vicki.

E3 “Escape to Danger”

 The gun was actually aimed at the TARDIS, but apparently Vicki randomly threw the right switches to restore power to it and the force field protected it against the blaster. The Doctor bargains and gets access to the TARDIS in exchange for use of an astral map.

 There’s this ever-present annoying chirping when the Zarbi are around and it’s really taking away from the enjoyment of the episode, which is not that high in the first place.

 Ian tries to escape, skulks about, scuffles with a Zarbi, but is snared in a trap. The voice threatens The Doctor, but he plays the “kill me, you lose my information”, so the voice has one of the ants threaten Vicki.

 Ian is rescued by the remaining Menoptra, and he learns that Vortis is their planet, they are trying to reclaim their own world, not invade it. The Animus, the dark power, is that which controls the Zarbi, and took control of the world from the Menoptra, who fled.

 Barbara and the other surviving Menoptra were taken to the Crater of Needles. Ian asks Restin (the Menoptra) to accompany him to the Crater to rescue their friends. Since Ian cannot fly, it will take them two hours to get there. As they start off, they are chased by Zarbi. They go into a fissure in the rocks, but the surface collapses and they find themselves in some tunnel chamber, threatened by something.

 At the Crater of Needles, Barbara is getting weak from exertion in the weak atmosphere, and she rests while her Menoptra companion keeps an eye out for Zarbi.

E4 “Crater of Needles”

 A Zarbi shows up and they return to work. They are feeding vegetation into the acid-water system, which apparently feeds the Carsinome, where the Animus lives (and where The Doctor and Vicki and the TARDIS are.)

 The Animus threatens Vicki again and The Doctor gives it some basic information – where the Menoptra are amassing, but not where they will land. The Doctor is biding his time – they’ve already discovered that the Zarbi are afraid of a spider.

 An alarm goes off and all over the Zarbi panic. Barbara is frightened and knocked down at the digging site.

 Ian and Vrestin are taken captive by the Optera, underground creatures.

 The Doctor deduces that gold has some properties on this planet that are unusual.

 Barbara and some of the Menoptra at the Cavern of Needles break out, in hopes of warning the incoming invasion force, but it’s too late and there’s a massacre.

E5 “Invasion”

 The Doctor and Vicki engineer an escape by gaining control of one of the Zarbi. (It’s really just not that interesting.)

 Barbara listens to the Menoptra ramble on, quite boringly, and uselessly. I cannot believe just how ridiculous the writing of this serial is. It’s horrible. It’s a shoved-down-your-throat treatise on living peacefully, but comes across as trite and boring.

 Apparently, the Menoptra couldn’t create electron guns capable of harming the Zarbi (thus the massacre), but also have another weapon to use against the Animus, and all hopes are pinned on that.

 Ian and Vrestin and the Optera go through the tunnels to fight the Animus. The Optera hop as they walk, which makes absolutely no sense whatsoever – like much of this serial.

 Vicki has named their enslaved Zarbi “Zombo”. She thinks Zombo is cute (remember, she had a pet on the planet she was trapped on that was a big monstery creature, the one Barbara killed. Sandy, she’d named it.), but The Doctor disagrees.

 The Doctor and Vicki reunite with Barbara and her team of Menoptra. They hatch a plan that requires The Doctor and Vicki to be recaptured and taken back to where the TARDIS is, then Barbara and her Menoptera will launch an attack to draw off the Zarbi.

 When The Doctor and Vicki are brought back, they are blasted with webbing and are stunned.

E6 “Thank God it’s over”… oh, sorry, that’s my thought, the episode is “The Centre”

 The Animus interrogates The Doctor and orders him brought to the centre, to where the Animus is. Unfortunately, Vicki hid the device they needed elsewhere. Because that is exactly what anyone intelligent would do with a weapon they needed to keep with them.

 Barbara and her force makes it to the control chamber, and she’s able to figure out how to use the Astral Map to communicate with the Invasion Force – yet just a couple episodes, she had to ask The Doctor to show her how to flip one switch to open the doors to the TARDIS. They find the isotope, where Vicki hid it, and rush to the centre.

 The Menoptera bring the isotope destructor to the Animus; only Barbara has the strength of will to use it, but she says it doesn’t work. The Animus’ mind power is almost too much for her. Ian shows up, but does nothing, and Barbara finally manages to use the isotope to kill the Animus.

 The Animus dead, the Zarbi return to simple animals. Suddenly, the acid-water has reverted to normal water.

 This was just a horrible serial on so many levels. I’m not even talking the simplistic costumes and such… but the writing and the plot devices were just horrible, stupid, unnecessary. It was painful to watch and I had to fight the urge to skim someone else’s recap.. but I persevered. I do hope that this is the worst serial there is…

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