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

Synopsis:
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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