Doctor Who and the Planet of the Spiders was a novelisation based on the 1974 television serial Planet of the Spiders.
1975 and 1978 editions
`It's happening, Brigadier! It's happening!' Sarah cried out. The Brigadier watched, fascinated, as the lifeless body of his old friend and companion, Dr Who, suddenly began to glow with an eerie golden light ... The features were blurring, changing ... `Well, bless my soul.' Said the Brigadier. `WHO will he be next?'
Read the last exciting adventure of DR WHO's 3rd Incarnation!
A planet ruled by Spiders...
When Jo Grant left the Doctor he gave her the crystal that he found on the planet Metebelis III. But that crystal is vital to the giant spiders who rule the planet, and now they send an emissary to Earth to recover it. The Doctor and Sarah are sent to Metebelis 3 to lead an uprising of human slaves against these hideous monsters...
Doctor Who- Planet of the Spiders was the last story to feature Jon Pertwee in the role of the Doctor and was written by Robert Sloman. This adaptation is by Terrence Dicks, who was script editor of the series for five years.
Doctor Who - Planet of the Spiders is available as a BBC Video.
- Prologue: The Mystery of the Crystal
- The Menace at the Monastery
- The Deadly Experiment
- The Coming of the Spider
- The chase for the Crystal
- The Council of the Spiders
- Arrival on Metebelis Three
- Prisoner of the Spiders
- The Doctor Hits Back
- In the Lair of the Great One
- Return to Earth
- The Battle with the Spiders
- The Last Enemy
- Epilogue: An End and a Beginning
Deviations from televised story
- Dicks adds a prologue featuring former companion Jo Grant, who is referenced but otherwise does not appear on screen in the TV version. Jo is referred to as Josephine Jones, which is consistent with the name she uses when she returns to television in 2010 in TV: Death of the Doctor.
- The original broadcast included references to Dr. Sullivan, but in the book this becomes Dr. Sweetman.
- Lupton's fate is depicted more gruesomely in the novel.
- Instead of being the only one at the meditation centre with a car, Yates is instead said to be the only one with a sports car; Lupton has a car which he uses to travel to UNIT HQ.
- Yates lends Sarah his car to return to the Doctor.
- Aside from Barnes, none of Lupton's circle are named until late on, after Lupton has travelled to Metebelis. Cho-Je asking Moss to find Lupton is retained but Lupton giving Moss a cover story is omitted so it appears he genuinely couldn't find him.
- It is Lupton rather than Barnes who pushes Tommy over.
- The soldier is named as Corporal Hodges.
- The characters of Hopkins and his customer are split, renamed and redistributed. It is the customer, Mr Pemberthy, who tries out the hovercraft, whereas the owner of the boat yard, Bob Armitage, is watching from the shore. However, it is still the hovercraft tester, Hopkins in the television story or Pemberthy in the novelisation, who gets blasted by Lupton. And it is the man mooring the boat, unnamed in the TV version or Armitage in the novelisation who gets pushed into the water.
- Lupton's spider explains he cannot use the web to stun his pursuers because they are too many and too distant.
- There is an extra sequence of Cho-Je refusing to let Yates see K'Anpo (a similar scene was filmed for the televised version but cut). Tommy sends Yates away instead of being distracted by his medallion.
- Lupton offers to take a patrol to search for Sarah, explaining his appearance in the village.
- Much dialogue is switched. In particular, Arak takes on some of Tuar's role believing the Doctor is dead and Sabor's role in interrogating Sarah.
- The Queen Spider hits the Doctor with a web blast rather than the Guard Captain.
- There is an extra sequence of Arak's rebels testing their stone protection by attacking and killing a patrol.
- The Doctor is able to use the machine from the TARDIS to reflect the spiders' guards' blasts back at them.
- It is made clearer that the Spider Council planned the invasion of Earth without the request of either the Great One or the Queen, assuming that was why the Great One wanted the crystal.
- There is an extra sequence of Arak and Tuar freeing Sabor from the larder and getting him to safety, which is not made clear on screen.
- Neska in particular has her role greatly reduced, not being seen after she is stunned by the guard.
- The Doctor does not have a stone with him to defend against Barnes and his men.
- Land is renamed Lands.
- The boosted web blast used by Barnes and the others hits Yates, Tommy and Cho-Je.
- The Brigadier enters the laboratory in time to see the TARDIS disappear.
- The Doctor says he knows Clegg is a psychic because he can sense his vibrations.
- The rebellion appears much more successful than on screen, with the rebels killing most if not all of the guards and gaining control of the mountain and Arak and Tuar only falling under the Spiders' control because they came too close to the inner sanctum. The rebels watch the mountain explode from the distance.
- When the TARDIS returns to Metebelis, it materialises in the Spiders' Citadel rather than on the plains.
- It is not made clear that Lupton's spider is the new Queen.
- It is mentioned that Barnes and the others were hospitalised with nervous breakdowns after the Spiders died and Sarah has asked the Brigadier to help Tommy get into university.
- Barnes states Lupton was strong enough to perform the ceremony on his own, presumably to explain how he transported to Metebelis.
Writing and publishing notes
- The BBC supplied a photograph of Tom Baker when they were unhappy with the original artwork they were shown that featured the Third Doctor's regeneration into the Fourth Doctor.
- Title page includes: THE CHANGING FACE OF DOCTOR WHO. The cover illustration of this book portrays the third DOCTOR WHO whose physical appearance was altered by the Time Lords when they banished him to planet Earth in the Twentieth Century.
Additional cover images
British publication history
- W.H. Allen & Co. Ltd. UK
- 1978 Target Books with a new cover by Alun Hood priced 60p (UK)
- 1991 Virgin Publishing with a new cover by Alister Pearson priced £2.50 (UK)
Editions published outside Britain
to be added
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