|The Web of Fear|
|Novelised as:||Doctor Who and the Web of Fear|
|Main enemy:||The Great Intelligence|
|Main setting:||The London Underground|
|Writer:||Mervyn Haisman and Henry Lincoln|
|Number of episodes:||6|
|Premiere broadcast:||3 February - 9 March 1968|
|Doctor Who television stories|
|The Enemy of the World||Fury from the Deep|
|Another memorable moment|
|One more memorable moment|
The Web of Fear was the fifth story of Season 5 of Doctor Who. It saw the return of the Great Intelligence and its robotic Yeti, as well as Professor Edward Travers. Perhaps most notably, however, it featured the first appearance of Colonel — later Brigadier — Lethbridge Stewart, played by Nicholas Courtney. UNIT, however, would not be introduced until his next appearance in The Invasion.
Before 2013, all but the first episode of the serial were missing from the BBC archive. In October of that year, the remainder of the episodes (with the exception of episode three), as well as those of The Enemy of the World, were returned, having been located in Nigeria. As of October 2013[update], the near-full story is available for download on iTunes. The third episode remains missing, with only loose reconstructions and the recorded audio track in the BBC's possession.
The TARDIS narrowly avoids becoming engulfed in a cobwebby substance in space. It arrives in the London Underground railway system, the tunnels of which are being overrun by the web and by the Great Intelligence's robot Yeti.
The time travellers learn this crisis was precipitated when Professor Travers, whom they first met in the Himalayas some thirty years earlier, accidentally caused one of the Yeti to be reactivated, opening the way for the Intelligence to invade again.
The travellers work alongside army forces — led initially by Captain Knight and then by Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart — as they battle the alien menace, hampered by one of their number who has fallen under the Intelligence's influence and is a traitor in their midst.
The Intelligence's goal is to drain the Second Doctor's mind. The Doctor sabotages the device with which it intends to achieve this, so he can drain the Intelligence's mind instead, but he is rescued by his friends before he can bring his plan to fruition.
The Intelligence is repelled into space and the Doctor and his friends leave the army to clear up the mess.
The TARDIS continues in flight with the doors open, while the evil Salamander has been ejected into space and time. Jamie flings himself onto the console and activates the door control, nearly being sucked out himself.
In the home of Julius Silverstein amidst his private collection of artefacts, Anne Travers meets with her agitated father, Professor Travers, who pleads with Silverstein to let him take (or buy) back the Yeti he sold to him thirty years ago. Silverstein refuses. The Professor claims to have recently reactivated a control sphere, which has since disappeared. Anne suspects his senility is playing tricks on him. She takes her father away at Silverstein's urging. As Silverstein closes his home for the night, the contol sphere breaks through a window and reconnects with the Yeti. As it metamorphoses into a glowing-eyed monster, Silverstein is attacked; he cowers in terror.
In the TARDIS, Jamie tries to convince the Doctor that a light on the console is flashing; the Doctor dismisses it. Victoria notices the light too and when the Doctor finally sees it for himself, the machine emits landing sounds. Strangely, the scanner reveals they are suspended in space and as they watch, the scanner picture (and the TARDIS itself) is enveloped by a web-like substance.
In an underground fortress, Captain Knight is being interviewed about an apparently fallen comrade, Colonel Pemberton, by Harold Chorley of London Television. As the interview concludes, Professor Travers is ushered in. Knight is badgered by the Professor. He explains that Anne asked for him to be brought in. When Knight leaves, the Professor begins badgering Chorley and when Chorley attempts to interview him about the "scientific section" and finding "a solution to the problem," Travers opines that the whole of London might be completely wiped out.
The Doctor has rigged up a device. He plugs it into the console. As the web lessens, he throws the switch on the device, the TARDIS lurches and the Doctor announces he has landed the ship about half a mile away from where they were expected, eluding their captors for the moment. The TARDIS has landed, they soon discover, at the entrance to the London Underground station at Covent Garden.
The entrance gate to the station at the top of the stairs is closed. When Jamie attempts to rouse a sleeping man just outside, the man slumps dead, covered with web. The newsstand outside reads, "Londoners Flee! Menace Spreads!" Returning to the platform, Jamie hastily jumps onto the tracks. The Doctor quickly and thankfully ascertains that the current that would have electrocuted Jamie is off.
The three walk along the tracks into the tunnel, noticing that trains have not been running for some time. They discover a power cable and are forced to hide as three soldiers, Staff Sergeant Arnold, Corporal Blake and Craftsman Weams, appear, letting out more cable from a large spool. The Doctor asks his friends to follow the soldiers at a distance while he finds where the cables lead. As they do so, Victoria cannot stifle a scream as she walks right into some cobweb. The soldiers capture them.
The Doctor reaches the Charing Cross platform, on which several crates of explosives are connected to the cables. As he investigates, he hears a too-familiar bleeping sound. He ducks onto the tracks and hides under the platform, as a Yeti emerges.
Corporal Lane cannot raise communications with a truck at Holborn. Anne enters with a repaired blast recorder and Knight is only too pleased to give her a hand. Chorley enters, complaining of Professor Travers' obstructiveness, but is ushered out by Knight. Meanwhile, the Doctor must sit tight as a second Yeti arrives on the platform. Both Yeti cover the explosives in web, using a strange kind of gun.
As Knight continues to set his cap at Anne Travers, Arnold returns with the cables ready to connect for the demolition job. Arnold reports the two captured youngsters and Anne pushes to make sure there's no one else in the tunnel before it's blown up. Arnold questions them and Jamie makes a snap decision to deny they were with anyone else. With the Yeti gone, the Doctor closely examines the web-covered crates. The bombs are detonated: the web glows and flashes underneath as the Doctor is thrown from the platform.
Jamie and Victoria wait in their makeshift prison (the common room at the fortress) while Arnold reports to Knight about the Doctor. Arnold is dispatched to investigate as Weams reports that the blast recorder that Anne repaired isn't working: it hasn't recorded a blast. Weams suggests sabotage by the Doctor, and Knight goes to interrogate the youngsters further.
As Knight, Anne, and Chorley question Jamie and Victoria, Jamie in turn tries to get someone to tell them where they are and what's going on. Weams interrupts to report contact is reestablished with Holborn, but it sounds like they're in trouble. When Knight asks if it's Yeti and he leaves with Weams, Jamie and Victoria wonder if they heard him right.
Lane reports firing heard at Holborn, they overhear what sounds like a Yeti attack and the line goes dead. Knight collects some soldiers and goes out to investigate; Chorley elects to stay behind.
Arnold and Corporal Blake discover at Charing Cross the explosives' shattered crates covered in web. With no sign of the Doctor, they note the distinct lack of any blast damage. Back at the fortress, Travers is working on a control sphere when Anne tells him of the new arrivals who know so much about the Yeti. Jamie and Victoria suspect it must have been the Great Intelligence that attempted to capture them in space. Travers bursts in and questions them, but Victoria recognises their 40-years-older friend they met in Tibet in 1935. Travers takes Jamie to find out any news about the Doctor, while Victoria is left to explain to Anne how all this is possible.
Arnold tells Jamie and Travers what he knows, and his suspicions about the Doctor. Jamie goads Arnold into taking him out in search of the Doctor. As Victoria continues to explain, Chorley enters and picks up his typewriter, in its case, to work on a story about the Doctor. Anne regards him with contempt, calling him a "sensation-monger" working for the "gutter press." Chorley presses Victoria for more information, and tells her that Jamie has gone back into the tunnels.
On the way back from Holborn, Knight and Private Thompson construct a barricade across the tunnel from explosives recovered from the dead ammo detail. Lane and Privates O'Brien and Cocksey perform a rear-guard action but are attacked by Yeti. As they gradually retreat towards the barricade Cocksey loses his footing and is beaten to death by a Yeti. O'Brien's rifle jams and he is smothered in web, which kills him. Arnold and Jamie meet Thompson, Knight and Lane. As Knight shoots the barricade to blow up the tunnel, the blast is contained because the Yeti cocoon it in web. They are trapped by Yeti from the other end of the tunnel and are held prisoner.
Anne discusses with her father the curious fact that every time he's met the Yeti, he's met the Doctor. Before he can refute this assertion, Victoria returns (having overheard) with tea. She quickly excuses herself, after which Prof Travers convinces Anne of the Doctor's innocence. Out in the tunnels, Jamie, Knight, Arnold, Lane, and Thompson are under guard by motionless Yeti. Suddenly their guards are called away by a bleeping signal, leaving the humans puzzled, but free.
Blake and Weams, via an electronic illuminated map board in the Ops Room, see that the (web) fungus is advancing through the tunnels for the first time in three weeks. They bring Travers, Anne, and Chorley to see, and Chorley suspects Jamie and Victoria are spies for the Doctor. Blake notices that there's no sign of Victoria in the fortress. She has slipped away into the underground tunnels to find the Doctor and tell him of Anne's suspicions.
As Jamie, Arnold, Knight, and company return through the tunnels, they hear someone approaching; oddly, the man is singing in Welsh. He is Evans, the driver of the ammunition truck to Holborn. He reports seeing the web advancing, and a Yeti carrying a glass-like pyramid at King's Cross tube station moving ahead of it. Jamie excitedly tells the men that if they destroyed that, it would knock out the Intelligence, and he insists on going there and continuing the search for the Doctor. Evans volunteers to go with him as the rest of the men return to the fortress, but as Jamie thanks Evans, Evans assures him that he'll escape the first chance he gets. The fungus continues to advance along the Circle line, as Evans and Jamie arrive at Cannon Street, heading on the Circle line towards Monument.
Knight and his party arrive at the fortress and are brought up to date. Chorley is pressing for escape but Knight shuts him down. Victoria is still searching the tunnels as a figure ducks into the shadows as she passes. The Circle Line is completely inundated except for the Monument. Arriving there, Jamie and Evans see the web advancing from both directions; they are trapped.
Out of the web advances a Yeti carrying a pyramid. Jamie gets Evans to shoot the pyramid, causing it to explode and the Yeti to become immobile, but the web continues to advance. They make a dash for an archway, and escape. Meanwhile, Victoria finds the Doctor in the tunnels, accompanied by a Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart. She tells the Colonel about the fortress at Goodge Street, and at his prompting, tells the Doctor about the presence of Travers, and his apparent suspicions about the Doctor. The Colonel escorts them to the fortress.
With the Circle Line completely cut off and the fortress hemmed in, Knight is informed of the return of the Doctor and Victoria, and the arrival of the Colonel. In the common room, the Colonel presents his papers of authorisation and tells Knight that he is Colonel Pemberton's replacement. The Colonel was part of the attacked ammunition party at Holborn, and Knight mentions to him that driver Evans survived also, still not quite certain if his new C.O. is the real thing. Travers bursts in and, after a happy reunion, takes the Doctor and Victoria to the lab, where the Doctor ensures suspicions are not focused on him. As they muse about the Great Intelligence and its reasons for trapping the TARDIS, Victoria worries about Jamie.
Meanwhile, Chorley is arguing with Arnold about trying to escape, saying his reports to the outside world are important. Arnold dismisses any thought of getting through the web. In the lab, Travers tells the Doctor about reactivating a control sphere. Knight collects them all for a briefing to be given in the common room for the Colonel's benefit.
Jamie and Evans arrive at St. Paul's tube station. Evans plans to escape at Chancery Lane, hoping to find his lorry and get out of town. Jamie argues with him as they walk through the tunnels, but Evans separates from him. At the briefing, they discuss the arrival of the web in London, how anyone going inside this mist never comes out again, and its complete interference with radio and other communications. The Doctor and Travers note the new appearance of the Yeti. Anne reports that she and her father believe they could jam transmissions from the Intelligence, but need more equipment. Chorley bursts in, clearly agitated that he was not told about this briefing, and argues that an exit to the surface, mentioned by Arnold, could allow a helicopter to airlift them out. The Colonel dismisses him and his attempts to pull rank as a member of the press. Chorley leaves to question Weams in the Ops Room about tall buildings in this area, which include the Post Office Tower. Weams in turn leaves to tell the Colonel about another advance of the Web.
Jamie surprises Evans in the tunnels, and learns that Evans' plan to escape has failed, so they make their way back to the fortress. The Colonel decides to give Chorley a liaison job, coordinating things (and tucked out of the way in the common room), while the rest get to some real work. The Doctor suggests buying some time by blowing up the tunnel at Goodge Street, sealing themselves in, using explosives on a baggage trolley as it rolls down the tracks, so avoiding any Yeti attempts to cocoon it. The Doctor and Travers set to work on a detonator. Meanwhile, someone in the fortress unlocks the main door, leaving the base open and vulnerable.In the lab, Victoria recognises the model Yeti that Anne shows her (as she saw in Tibet), but as the Doctor comes in, Anne realises that one of them is missing. It is in the hands of the traitor, who places the homing device at the doorway of the explosives store; in response, a Yeti in the tunnels moves towards the fortress. Victoria points out that Jamie will be trapped outside the fortress if their plan succeeds, but it soon becomes moot: the Yeti does its job, and soon the base crew discover the explosives shrouded in web.
The Colonel decides to take a group of men to Holborn to see if any explosives are still usable; both the Doctor and the Colonel suspect this is a waste of time but they must check. The Doctor announces that someone inside the base is in league with the Yeti, citing the evidence of this latest precision attack. Victoria foolishly tells Chorley about the TARDIS and the plans to blow up the tunnel, and as the Doctor arrives, Chorley leaves surreptitiously. The Doctor soon discovers her gaffe, and also discovers they are locked in the common room. Chorley meets Jamie and Evans, safely arrived at the fortress, and they tell him the Colonel's party has gone to Holborn; he leaves the base. Jamie releases the Doctor and Victoria, and they leave in pursuit of Chorley.
As Travers and Anne work in the lab, a scream is heard. Travers soon finds Weams dead in the Ops Room, a Yeti model lying beside him, and as Travers picks it up, a Yeti roars behind him and attacks.
Anne appears, and just as she sees her father on the ground, she too is struck down. The Yeti drag away the Professor. The Doctor, Jamie, Victoria, and Evans are en route to Convent Garden, trying to intercept Chorley, who the Doctor suspects will attempt to use the TARDIS to escape from the Underground. The Colonel and Arnold meet up with Knight, who reports running into the web a mere 100 yards from Holborn. Arnold notes that it was as if the Intelligence knew what they were up to. Knight suggests attempting another route, via Piccadilly, and the Colonel leads the party there.
The Doctor and his party run into more of the web before reaching Covent Garden, but he cannot be sure if Chorley made it to the TARDIS. He collects a sample of the web in Evans' tobacco tin (casually discarding the tobacco inside, to Evans' irritation), even as the web reacts violently. Arnold and Blake are investigating a tunnel, and just after Blake's return to the main party, the Doctor and party find Arnold. Arnold then reports back to the Colonel as the rest return to the fortress.
The Doctor and company discover the main door hanging off its hinges, and soon discover web-covered furniture, equipment—and bodies. They discover Anne in the lab and rouse her from unconsciousness. She is soon hysterical as she tells of her father's fate, and Jamie and Victoria help her to the common room. The Doctor tells the Colonel and Knight upon their return about what has happened, including Chorley's activities. Evans is drafted by Arnold to help with the bodies, and on his exit greets the Colonel, whose memory is refreshed about the lorry driver to Holborn.
The Doctor and the Colonel are summoned by Blake to the Ops Room, where more stations are being overtaken by the web as it advances towards Goodge Street. The Colonel muses about the Doctor's suggestion of a traitor in their midst, and the Doctor tries to explain what exactly the Great Intelligence is, that he and his friends are time-travellers, and that their police-box-shaped craft is at Covent Garden. Jamie enters to take the Doctor to Anne, who is asking for him. Despite Knight's strong doubts, the Colonel decides to try to rescue the Doctor's craft.
Anne tells the Doctor that Travers was about to connect a controlling unit to the Sphere, and the Doctor now understands the reason why Travers was taken by the Intelligence. Anne shows the Doctor their work, saying that it won't override the Intelligence's commands, but the Doctor says they can fix that. Evans enters, giving the Doctor the model Yeti found by Weams' body, as per Arnold's instructions. The Doctor is horrified to be given it, and Evans denies any wrongdoing, as Anne realises all the other models are gone. Evans indignantly hands over his tobacco tin filled with web, as the Doctor and Anne deactivate the homing device inside the model.
The Colonel's plan gets underway: he and his party will attempt to reach Covent Garden station on the ground, while Arnold, Lane, and Evans will attempt to meet them underground via a baggage trolley, using it to carry the TARDIS back to the fortress; Knight is ordered to remain on duty at the fortress. Meanwhile, the Doctor attempts to observe the web in the tin, but the tin is empty; the Doctor's suspicion of Evans grows. He, with Anne's help, persuades Knight to accompany them to the surface to obtain vital equipment needed to upgrade the controlling unit that is to be attached to the control sphere.
Arnold's party come up against a web barrier near Covent Garden, and Lane puts himself forward, when Evans refuses to volunteer, to attempt to get through the web on the trolley with Arnold. The two men don respirator masks. Evans pays out a rope attached as they go, but the two men scream as they enter, the web pulsating with light. Evans fearfully pulls at the rope, and the trolley emerges, with Lane's web-covered body sprawled out on it. Arnold is gone; Evans runs away.
On street-level, the Colonel and his men arrive at Covent Garden, but find Yeti waiting for them. After ducking into a builder's yard the Yeti find another way in, and the men open fire to no effect. However their hand grenades prove very effective felling a great number of the robots. The Yeti also smash down the main gate and force the men across the yard, killing some soldiers as they advance. Three men trapped behind a trader's cart are pinned down and killed by web guns. The bazooka is also employed to good use and another soldier is killed before the remaining troops retreat into a warehouse.
Knight sees the Doctor to a nearby electrical shop, M. Thompson & Son Electricians, but as they collect their supplies, two Yeti appear in the doorway, felling Knight. The Doctor finds a model Yeti in Knight's pocket. In the warehouse, Corporal Blake is killed. The Colonel, the only survivor, runs back to the fortress.
The Doctor dismantles the model Yeti as he and Anne start work with their new equipment. Victoria and Jamie are discussing who the traitor might be (Jamie suspects Chorley), when the Colonel staggers in and tells them of the fate of his men. Suddenly the Doctor shushes the room when he registers a faint bleeping sound. He realises the Colonel has the last model Yeti planted on him by the traitor. Two Yeti burst into the room, accompanied by a possessed Professor Travers.
The Great Intelligence speaks through the possessed Travers, saying the trap laid for the Doctor was so that it could possess him and his unsurpassed mind. It has created a machine that will drain all past knowledge from the Doctor's mind, leaving his body unharmed and his mind wiped clean, but he must submit willingly. To ensure his submission, Travers takes Victoria hostage and leaves, giving the Doctor twenty minutes to decide. A Yeti remains outside the lab door, so Jamie cannot go after Victoria, but the Doctor persuades everyone that the Intelligence cannot harm her or Travers if it is to obtain the Doctor's cooperation. Evans asks the Colonel why they don't just give the Doctor over to the Intelligence, so they can all go home.
Travers and the Yeti take Victoria through the tunnels, Victoria drops her hippie necklace on the track. As the Doctor, the Colonel, Jamie and Anne discuss their options, Evans discovers that a Yeti is no longer guarding them. The Colonel takes Evans and Jamie to search the base, while Anne and the Doctor work again on the control sphere and box, soon having a breakthrough. Jamie convinces the Colonel to go with him after the Yeti, while Evans gratefully stays behind on guard. They find the web completely surrounding them through the door to the surface, and as it creeps in and forces the door open, the two retreat behind a fire door. Meanwhile, the Doctor has reactivated a control sphere as Jamie returns to them, telling them of their situation. The Colonel and Jamie are dubious about the merits of the Doctor and Anne's work, but are persuaded to leave them alone as they return to work on the control box.
Evans confronts the two men, claiming they must be working for the Intelligence: it did say it had another pair of hands working for it. Jamie dismisses his accusation, claiming it must have been Chorley. The Colonel and Jamie try their luck in the tunnels. At Piccadilly Circus Station, the Intelligence speaks through the air, orders Travers to release Victoria, and then releases him from possession. As Travers recovers his wits, they try to escape from the Yeti on the platform, only to run into another Yeti.
The Doctor and Anne successfully use the box to control the sphere, but only at short range; they set to work on reprogramming the sphere itself. The Colonel and Jamie, now suspicious of each other, discover Victoria's necklace on the tracks in the tunnel and continue after her. At Piccadilly, now guarded by two Yeti, Staff Sgt Arnold appears and, avoiding sight of the Yeti, tells Travers and Victoria he will try to get back to base.
Evans is startled by the appearance of a control sphere at his feet, but the Doctor stops him before he tries to shoot it; it is now under the Doctor's control. The Doctor and Anne leave for the tunnels, heading towards Warren Street to try to find a Yeti to put their control sphere in. The Colonel and Jamie meet up with a shaken Arnold and take him back to the base. At a signal, the Yeti shepherd their prisoners along the platform.
In the Ops Room Evans is hiding behind the electronic illuminated map board of the underground system, after hearing something approaching, when the Colonel, Jamie, and Arnold enter. Evans is shocked and speechless at seeing Arnold again. When Evans explains where the Doctor and Anne have gone, Arnold sees the tracking signal of the fungus is heading towards Warren Street; the Colonel and Jamie go out after the scientists. The Doctor and Anne encounter a wall of fungus, and as they examine it they discover a Yeti is behind them. The Doctor hastily gets out the control box and — at dangerously close range — the Yeti freezes. They quickly replace its control sphere with theirs, and soon the Yeti is obeying the Doctor's commands.
Evans has dressed Arnold's head-wound, but as Evans returns the medical gear to the lab, he yells out in fear to Arnold; the wall of the laboratory is bulging, and it soon gives way as the web spills into the room.
Arnold and Evans abandon the base as it is engulfed by the web. Arnold wants to warn the others, but Evans deserts him and Arnold angrily shouts after him. The Doctor and Anne, in the tunnels with their controlled Yeti, decide not to tell anyone else about their success. The Doctor orders the Yeti to wait for them to leave, then resume acting for the Intelligence until he says otherwise. The Yeti obeys, and they leave.
Jamie and the Colonel meet up with the Doctor and Anne, who are surprised to hear that Travers and Victoria are at Piccadilly, and that Arnold (who is still alive) told them so. The Doctor's Yeti reactivates after ninety seconds, and is soon joined by two more Yeti who move off together into the tunnels. Arnold is soon found by the party, and he tells his C.O. that the H.Q. has been swamped by web. No sooner are they all together than they are surrounded by the three Yeti. In another tunnel, two more Yeti find and capture Evans.
Arnold asks the Colonel to create a distraction, and he escapes from the Yeti. Travers and Victoria are led into the Booking Hall at Piccadilly Station, where they discover a large glass pyramid; inside the pyramid is a smaller upside down pyramid which forms a seat, Prof.Travers explains that this is the machine the Intelligence has created to drain the Doctor's mind. Victoria spots a figure lurking in the shadows, but it runs off before they can see who it is. As they discuss the Doctor's future, the Intelligence speaks to them through a speaker on the wall, insisting on their cooperation and non-interference. Travers wrings his hands at having brought this onto the world thanks to his curiosity.As the main party is guarded on the Piccadilly platform, the Doctor explains to Jamie about the controlled Yeti. He gives Jamie a microphone to use to call the controlled Yeti to him — hopefully it will be the right one. A frightened Harold Chorley finds Arnold and tells him his stories of the surface, the Yeti, fear... and the strange machine at Piccadilly station, including the Yeti and their two prisoners. Arnold wonders how he could possibly have survived all this time, and tells Chorley to come with him.
The Doctor tells Anne there's no point in trying to escape now; he must meet the Intelligence face to face. The Colonel asks the Doctor if he's going to give himself up, for the good of everyone, including his friends. Before he answers, Evans is brought in. Two Yeti start to move the Doctor away towards the Booking Hall, and he insists that they don't struggle or resist. As they leave, Jamie pops his head out from a large metal bin. In a passageway between, a Yeti approaches the Doctor carrying some kind of headset, and as it begins to lower it onto his head, he switches on his control box and the two Yeti become motionless. He takes the headset from the Yeti, makes some rapid adjustments to the circuits, and replaces it in the Yeti's grasp. He deactivates the control box, the Yeti return to normal, and they place the device on the Doctor's head.
Anne is reunited with her father, and Victoria asks about her friends. Back on the platform, Jamie is speaking into the microphone, attempting to bring the controlled Yeti to him. A Yeti appears, but though Jamie is unable to make it follow further commands, it does not harm him, but moves off back into the tunnels. As Jamie turns to leave, a Yeti is behind him.
Most of the group are now gathered in the Booking Hall, as the Doctor is ushered in, wearing the headset. As the Doctor again warns his friends away from interference, the Intelligence is heard thanking him for his cooperation. The Colonel yells out at the Intelligence to show itself, but it says that will happen soon enough. Chorley emerges, and as the entire assembly gasps at this, he desperately protests his innocence, exclaiming the identity of the real "traitor," Staff Sergeant Arnold. The possessed Arnold appears now wearing a metallic headset, stating that it, the Great Intelligence, has manifested itself in his lifeless body.
Jamie is brought in by a Yeti, and all the survivors are present. Arnold orders Jamie to stand by the Doctor when, suddenly, a Yeti grabs Jamie by the throat. The Doctor protests and refuses further cooperation until Jamie is released, and Arnold orders the Yeti to release him. The Doctor is instructed to submit to the Intelligence and he does so willingly and sits in the pyramid. Arnold connects a lead inside the pyramid to the Doctor's headset. As Arnold announces the beginning of the transfer, Jamie yells out for the controlled Yeti to attack. First it attacks its comrades — in the ensuing confusion the other Yeti attack each other and the Colonel who is knocked to the floor. The controlled Yeti then proceeds to throttle Arnold. As the transfer continues, the Doctor resists Jamie's attempts to rescue him. Anne and Prof. Travers assist Jamie as he pulls the Doctor, who is yelling and pleading to leave him alone out of the pyramid, and soon the Doctor is free. Jamie pulls the wiring out of the pyramid, which explodes, causing the Yeti and Arnold to collapse.
As the smoke clears and congratulations are exchanged, the Doctor is angry and despondent at Jamie and the others. He had altered the circuits so that instead of the Intelligence draining his mind, he would have drained the Intelligence. Instead of putting an end to its evil, it has simply been cut off from contact in space. They find Arnold's blackened husk of a body. Despite this, the Colonel and Anne are calling the Doctor a hero, and Chorley wants to make him a household name on his television program. That's all he needs to hear: he gathers Jamie and Victoria and, after hasty goodbyes, heads to Covent Garden and the TARDIS — hopefully before the trains start running again.
- Dr. Who - Patrick Troughton
- Jamie McCrimmon - Frazer Hines
- Victoria Waterfield - Deborah Watling
- Professor Edward Travers - Jack Watling
- Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart - Nicholas Courtney
- Anne Travers - Tina Packer
- Julius Silverstein - Frederick Schrecker
- Corporal Lane - Rod Beacham
- Corporal Blake - Richardson Morgan
- Captain Knight - Ralph Watson
- Harold Chorley - Jon Rollason
- Staff Sgt. Arnold - Jack Woolgar
- Craftsman Weams - Stephen Whittaker
- Soldier - Bernard G. High
- Yeti - John Levene, John Lord, Gordon Stothard, Colin Warman, Jeremy King, Roger Jacombs
- Soldier - Joseph O'Connell
- Driver Evans - Derek Pollitt
- Assistant Floor Manager - Roselyn Parker
- Costumes - Martin Baugh
- Designer - David Myerscough-Jones
- Fight Arranger - Derek Ware
- Film Cameraman - Alan Jonas
- Film Cameraman - Jimmy Court
- Film Editor - Philip Barnikel
- Film Editor - Colin Hobson
- Make-Up - Sylvia James
- Producer - Peter Bryant
- Production Assistant - Gareth Gwenlan
- Script Editor - Derrick Sherwin
- Special Sounds - Brian Hodgson
- Studio Lighting - Clive Leighton
- Studio Sound - Ray Angel
- Theme Arrangement - Delia Derbyshire
- Title Music - Ron Grainer
- Visual Effects - Ron Oates
- The Great Intelligence is the being controlling the Yeti.
- The Intelligence uses control spheres and model Yeti controllers.
- Temple tube station and Liverpool Street tube station are two of the locations that have fallen to the Yeti.
- When talking about underground trains, the Doctor tells Victoria they came a little after her time, he thinks.
- The Post Office Tower exists at this time.
- A poster for the film In the Heat of the Night is seen on the wall of one of the tube stations in episode six, though to avoid "product placement," the title Block-Busters was substituted.
- Evans tries a platform vending machine and discovers a bar of Camfield's Fairy Milk Chocolate in the machine's open compartment.
- This story directly follows on from TV: The Enemy of the World. The Doctor is seen to have first a plaster, then a scar on his left cheek in episode one, from a wound he sustained in that story.
- This is a sequel to TV: The Abominable Snowmen, which also featured Yeti, the Great Intelligence, and Professor Travers.
- This story marks the first appearance of Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart, played by Nicholas Courtney.
- Patrick Troughton appears only in the reprise of episode two as he was on holiday the week that it was recorded. As a result, the first meeting between the Doctor and Lethbridge-Stewart happens off-screen before episode three.
- To promote this story, a specially shot trailer featuring the Doctor in the London Underground talking about the upcoming Yeti adventure was featured at the end of episode six of The Enemy of the World. The trailer is included on the BBC Audio release of that story, and is currently known to exist only on audio.
- It is stated that this story takes place approximately 40 years after The Abominable Snowmen adventure in Tibet, which it states took place in 1935.
- Professor Travers is once again portrayed by Deborah Watling's father, Jack Watling.
- The studio sets of the London Underground were so realistic, the BBC apparently received a letter of complaint from London Transport, claiming filming had been done on their property without permission.
- The closing credits for each episode except episode six were rolled against an image of the pulsing web.
- During the interview between Harold Chorley and Captain Knight in episode one, it is mentioned that the army taskforce's commanding officer, who has been killed in an earlier Yeti attack, was Colonel Pemberton. This was an in-joke referring to former story editor Victor Pemberton, who worked with Mervyn Haisman and Henry Lincoln on The Abominable Snowmen.
- Another in-joke features in episode three (and is fortunately immortalised in John Cura's tele-snaps), when Driver Evans takes a chocolate bar from a platform vending machine. The bar's wrapper is seen to read "Camfield's Fairy Milk Chocolate" — a reference to director Douglas Camfield and to comply with the BBC's policy of not displaying brand named products on screen.
- Episode one was shown, along with The Abominable Snowmen episode two, as part of BSB's Doctor Who Weekend in September 1990, under the banner of The Yeti Rarities.
- The surviving episode one was repeated on BBC Four on 26 June 2004 as part of a night about cult television of the 1960s. Other programmes that night included a documentary about the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, and an episode of Verity Lambert's series Adam Adamant Lives.
- Episode one was also repeated on BBC Four as part of the BBC's London Underground night on 18 March 2007.
- Episodes two and four to six were revealed to have been returned to the BBC on 11 October 2013.
- PROSE: Who Killed Kennedy states that this story takes place in August 1966, one month after the events of TV: The War Machines and TV: The Faceless Ones. However, this seems to contradict much of the other evidence regarding the placement of UNIT stories.
- The Yeti appear again briefly in TV: The Five Doctors and PROSE: Downtime.
- The Great Intelligence also appears in TV: The Snowmen, which is a prequel to this story. In it, the Eleventh Doctor shows the Great Intelligence a lunchbox with a map of the London Underground in 1967, and calls the Underground "a key strategic weakness in metropolitan living." The implication is that, intentionally or unintentionally, the Doctor gave the Great Intelligence the idea to invade London via the Underground in the latter half of the 20th century.
- Episode 1 - 7.2 million viewers
- Episode 2 - 6.8 million viewers
- Episode 3 - 7.0 million viewers
- Episode 4 - 8.4 million viewers
- Episode 5 - 8.0 million viewers
- Episode 6 - 8.3 million viewers
- Old Brewer's Yard, Shelton Street, London
- Shelton Street, Covent Garden, London
- BBC Television Centre (Puppet Theatre)
- Ealing Television Film Studios, Ealing Green, Ealing
- Lime Grove Studios (Studio D), Lime Grove, London
- The credits of Episode 2 misspells script editor Derrick Sherwin's name as "Derek."
- The Doctor next sees Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart as Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart. The events of the Underground were the catalyst behind the creation of UNIT. (TV: The Invasion)
- The Seventh Doctor later tells Ace about the Yeti incursion in the London Underground. (TV: Remembrance of the Daleks)
- These events were explained by the government's cover story that there had been a major nerve gas leak. (PROSE: Who Killed Kennedy)
- The Doctor and companions go to London in search of Professor Travers, only to find that he has gone to America with daughter Anne. (TV: The Invasion)
- An alternate reality existed in which Britain was a fascist state known as the Republic of Great Britain. The Great Intelligence's takeover attempt was thwarted by Koschei, a benevolent version of the Master, who sacrificed his TARDIS to destroy the web. (PROSE: The Face of the Enemy)
- The Third Doctor would later have his own London Underground adventure with the Brigadier. (COMIC: Secret of the Tower)
- Anne Travers was a protégé of Professor Rachel Jensen at the University of Cambridge. (PROSE: The Scales of Injustice)
Home video and audio releases
- All but episode 3 were discovered in Nigeria, and were released onto the iTunes store Friday 11th October 2013 alongside the entirety of Enemy of the World following a press announcement the day before.
- The story was released on DVD in the UK on 24th February 2014 and in the US on 22nd April 2014. It featured a reconstruction of the missing episode three, which comprised tele-snaps linked up to the original soundtrack recording.
- PAL - BBC DVD BBCDVD1353
- NTSC - Warner Video E2082 (Troughton 2 disc set) / E2083 (Box set)
The surviving episode (episode one) was released alongside The Faceless Ones episodes one and three and the remaining episodes of The Reign of Terror as part of a two-cassette release entitled Doctor Who: The Reign of Terror.
- PAL - BBC Video BBCV7335
- NTSC - Warner Video E1853
- Editing of the surviving episodes for VHS and DVD release was completed by the Doctor Who Restoration Team.
- The soundtrack was released on CD, with linking narration by Frazer Hines, on 6 March 2000. It has been re-released in two box sets, first in the Yeti Attack set (with The Abominable Snowmen, released 7 July 2003), and second as part of the Doctor Who: The Lost TV Episodes - Collection Five set (released 2 August 2012).
- The Web of Fear at the BBC's official site
- The Web of Fear at BroaDWcast
- The Web of Fear at the Doctor Who Reference Guide
- The Web of Fear at Shannon Sullivan's A Brief History of Time (Travel)
- The Web of Fear at The Locations Guide