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5x5. The Web of Fear
Writer: Mervyn Haisman & Henry Lincoln
Director: Douglas Camfield
Script Editor: Derrick Sherwin
Peter Bryant

The Doctor, Jamie, and Victoria encounter the mysterious Intelligence and arrive in the subways of London, where the British Army are struggling to keep the robotic Yeti at bay.

Review: While "The Web of Fear" seems to be hailed as a classic in some quarters, I'm curious to know how much of its reputation was forged before this restoration - which I was able to view on Britbox and consists of five complete episodes and a telesnap reconstruction of episode three - became available in its present form. Certainly there is no denying its place in Doctor Who history, in that it introduced Colonel (and future Brigadier) Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart and followed upon "The War Machines" in laying the template for further serials taking place on present-day or near-future Earth with the Doctor aiding British authorities. But past that and a few nice touches of characterization - one of the soldiers, a driver, is actually a bit of a coward, the potentially duplicitous journalist is really just a man trying to do his job who got in over his head, and Lethbridge-Stewart is something of a suspicious presence at first - I found it to be mostly an average installment. As is sometimes the case with these six-parters, it takes a little too long to do not quite enough, and the Doctor's plan (unwittingly foiled by Jamie) to absorb the Great Intelligence seems like it might paint him a slightly more sinister cast than the script and the direction recognize.

Rating: **1/2 (out of four)

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