Classic Doctor Who Retro Review – “The Planet of Giants”

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The Planet of Giants

I was pleasantly surprised by this one. As a kid I don’t recall being very enamored with it, but I really enjoyed it this time around.

Planet-of-Giants-1The TARDIS crew is somehow shrunk down to the size of an inch when the TARDIS doors open while it is landing due to the “space pressure” which a load of pseudoscientific malarkey, but it makes for a fun adventure, so I’ll forgive them. The “Planet of the Giants” is actually Earth and our heroes have to contend with seemingly oversized insects, cats and corpses. The effects are actually surprisingly ok.

giants2Much of the illusion of our heroes being reduced in size is accomplished through the magic of oversized props and sets made to look like giant versions of common things like the inside of a sink. Less convincingly, sometimes the actors are made to stand in front of giant-sized photographs of things and it is painfully obvious that they are in front of a two dimensional image of something rather than the real McCcoy.

The story actually has an environmental message about the dangers of pesticides, which again, was probably very socially relevant at a time when people were just starting to wake up to the dangers of DDT here in the real world.

drwho-planet-of-giants3-19I found this to be one of them more enjoyable stories out of the lot thus far, and again NOBODY rocks a cape like William Hartnell! This is also a rare story as it is one of the few Hartnell stories set in contemprary 20th century England. All the characters have clear cut motives for behaving as they do, it’s pretty well written stuff.

 

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