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     Home »  The William Hartnell Era »  The Web of Questions
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    The Web of Questions Views: 950
     Friday, September 08 2006 @ 03:35 AM EDT
    In honor of the North American release of "The Web Planet", a little quiz:

    Aside from the First Doctor, who's the only other Doctor to make an appearance on the planet Vortis in a BBC-licensed story, who was his companion, and which type of Menoptra—winged or wingless—survived to the end of the tale?

    Bonus points for anyone who can explain how the hell "The Web Planet" was the highest-rated televised story from its transmission until 1975.

    "I think of myself as ambitious in casting terms, and I know that Bonnie [Langford] has the potential to make the part totally unirritating . . ." — JNT, 1986
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     Friday, September 08 2006 @ 09:59 AM EDT
    [Quote  by:  DarthSkeptical] Bonus points for anyone who can explain how the hell "The Web Planet" was the highest-rated televised story from its transmission until 1975.

    Actually, it was very low rated if one goes by the Audience Appreciation figures. Many at the time thought that the plot was too convoluted and disjointed and that the costumes were straight out of a "kiddie pantomime". Sure, it had high viewing figures, but I don't know what caused people to be tuning in to BBC 1 on Saturday evenings in February and March of 1965. The two preceding stories, The Rescue and The Romans, ranked well in viewing figures as well, on the heels of The Dalek Invasion of Earth. But there was a noticable drop after The Web Planet of an average of three million viewers. And The Crusade was a much better story.


    Daleks don't accept apologies! YOU WILL BE EXTERMINATED!
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     Friday, September 08 2006 @ 01:22 PM EDT
    Well, to me (and this may just be an American thing), "ratings" are purely concerned with how many bums are in front of the telly. AA figures, while important to the non-commercial BBC's broadcast practices, are a separate issue. Yes, "Planet" was one of the junior achievers in the AA column, but it's one of the all-time ratings behemoths. What surprises me about the ratings is that they were fairly consistent throughout all the episodes. It's almost as if people were saying to themselves, "I can't believe this is as bad as it is, so I'm going to wait until it ends to see if the story isn't redeemed in the later episodes."

    Your point about the relative success of the weeks from "Dalek Invasion" 1 to "Web Planet" 1 is an intriguing one. If we'd skipped "Planet" entirely, I wonder how much longer the very high ratings would've continued. I tend to think that the whole rest of the Hartnell era had stories that were no worse than "The Rescue", and the ones that were marginal ("The Space Museum", "The Chase" and "The Gunfighters") all had interesting "hooks" in them (either in terms of plot or villains) that would've at least given you something to hold your interest.

    But, man, "The Web Planet" is virtually unwatchable.

    "I think of myself as ambitious in casting terms, and I know that Bonnie [Langford] has the potential to make the part totally unirritating . . ." — JNT, 1986
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