Planet Of Giants: Doctor Who: Season 2








Planet Of Giants SYNOPSIS:

A Tardis malfunction causes the ship to land on contemporary Earth. Upon leaving the ship, the Tardis crew find they have all shrunk to one inch in height. Ian falls into a discarded matchbox picked by Farrow, a government scientist. Shortly after Farrow is murdered by inventor Forester after citing his D6 insecticide is too dangerous to manufacture.

The travellers find Ian and are determined to bring the murderer to justice. Ian and Barbara stow away inside the dead scientist's briefcase and are taken inside the house. The Doctor and Susan enter the house through the drains, all narrowly avoiding cats and ants. Inside Forester's Laboratory Barbara is accidentally contaminated by the insecticide and falls ill.

Forester impersonates Farrow over the phone to get his insecticide approved by the ministry. A suspicious phone operator confirms Forrester's fake call and sends her policeman husband to investigate. The Doctor realises Foreseter's insecticide is lethal to everything and they must all act to detain Forester and his assistant Smithers but must return to normal size before Barbara dies of poisoning.

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Planet Of Giants DETAILS:

Episode Broadcast Run Time Viewership (In Millions)
Episode One: Planet Of Giants 31-Oct-64 23:15 8.4
Episode Two: Dangerous Journey 7-Nov-64 23:40 8.4
Episode Three: Crisis 14-Nov-64 26:35 8.9

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Planet Of Giants CAST & CREW

The Doctor:
William Hartnell (First Doctor)

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

Guest Stars:
Alan Tilvern — Forester
Frank Crawshaw — Farrow
Reginald Barratt — Smithers
Rosemary Johnson — Hilda
Fred Ferris — Bert

Production Staff for Serial J:
Writer - Louis Marks
Directors - Mervyn Pinfield & Douglas Camfield (episode 3 only)
Script editor - David Whitaker
Producer - Verity Lambert

Return to top of page Associate producer - Mervyn Pinfield

Planet Of Giants REVIEWS


The BBC goes berserk with big props and optical effects in the Tardis crew's first ever foray back to modern day Earth - in a whole year! So this was shaved back from 4 episodes to 3 because it dragged back then hmmmm says a lot. The first and last 3 parter until they're inglorious return 23 years later. It may be interesting from the point of view you will never see William Russell ever standing in a match box again! But only know that from photo's I've seen.

But let's digress - it's 1964, a powerful force in the Entertainment media was beginning to swell and grow, and influence teenagers everywhere across the U.K. and would indeed end up with an even bigger success across the Atlantic and into America…but putting the Beatles aside for one moment also starting on BBC1 was the second season of Dr Who. Ok saw this a few weeks ago while stuck at home with a nasty fever. Think it may have made it worse in parts but also think it looked a helluva lot better - almost hallucinogenic, waking up after a fretful snooze to see black and white giant ants and giant cats (on back projection) prancing across the screen.

But lets face it, really it's one of the slowest moving bits of sci fi ever. So slow they sliced off one episode to make a 3 parter out of a 4 parter, what does that say about it? Out of the original planned first block of 52 episodes, they drop one because it's too boring for B&W telly in 1964? The premise? The Tardis door opens in flight and reduces them all to one inch in height, so they finally get back to present day Earth but can't go the loo without drowning. Hartnell swans round in a cape instead of his usual coat, the cast wander round on some nicely done GIANT sets and they foil the machinations of some bloke killing people because his new version of Mortein ain't as great as he thinks it is and people aren't buying it…grass growing was quicker than this one folks. And you can't but cheer when the end credits come up's over.

Still it's a great insomnia cure 1/10


You know what is REALLY weird about Planet Of Giants? Aside from the knowledge that Tim watched it in the nude, is the fact that the regular cast don't interact with the guest characters. Seriously. Not once. Ever. When we go from the plight of the Tardis crew about being poisoned by Mortein and cut to Farrow and Smithers etc its like we are watching a totally different program. Although since Smithers and Farrow have the personality of a cardboard box then it really comes as no surprise that their fast-as-treacle scenes would have you guessing instantaneously that we are watching a Hartnell. The other weird thing about this story is the pace. Its cut down from four episodes to three and it really shows.

There is character bits and strange narrative jumps that cut and paste all over the place. Things like Smithers who invented Mortein and has been testing it for nearly two years is suddenly surprised that it wipes everything out. Sometimes I think I'm watching Dixon of Dock Green cos suddenly its all about the telephonist and her husband who happens to be a cop who comes along for a nice and handy arresting of Smithers and Farrow. And to top it off; the real stars of the show are the props!!!! I'm following Tim's lead and giving it a 3. 1 point per episode.


There's a lot of negative things you can say about this... like the plot... was there actually a plot??? I can't actually remember how they got shrunk or how they got re-biggened... yep, as per normal, there was a lot of boring stuff in this one.

OK... I've re-read Planet Of Giants a bit and remember the whole TARDIS doors opening for no apparent reason... hmmm, look, I guess when you read the summary the plot isn't too bad, but the fact that they had to condense the last two parts down into one tells you how slow it was... and fairly unmemorable!

One thing it did have going for it though was the sets. Given the time, and the fact that shows like "Land of the Giants" hadn't been made yet, these sets were a fair achievement... especially the sink! I'm tempted to give it as much as a 4 because of the sets... but I'll go back to a 3 because it was fairly dull...

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Screen Shots:

Planet of Giants titles

Planet of Giants Barbara and the Doctor

Planet of Giants Tardis lands

Planet of Giants Ian and susan

Planet of Giants cat

Planet of Giants Doctor and susan

Planet of Giants can on fire

Planet of Giants Barbara and Ian

Planet of Giants susan finds ants eggs

Planet of Giants Forrester and smithers

Planet of Giants Ian examines giant ant

Planet of Giants Farrow and Forrester

Planet of Giants fly

Planet of Giants disposing of dead body

Planet of Giants ian in matchbox

Planet of Giants hilda and bert2

Planet of Giants forrester and smithers with policeman

Planet of Giants the Doctor