Episode 9: Planet of Giants

Planet of Giants

Episode 9: Planet of Giants
First Doctor
Companions: Barbara, Ian, Susan
Written by Louis Marks
Directed by Mervyn Pinfield and Douglas Camfield
Wikipedia Entry

Installments
Planet of Giants
Dangerous Journey
Crisis
The Urge to LiveĀ  (only available as an audio extension on the DVD)

Description
During the materialization of the TARDIS, the Doctor and his companions discover that they are now barely an inch tall.

Evaluation
This was a light episode. There’s a subplot involving a conspiracy between a devious man and his wish to sell a dangerous pesticide. A murder occurs and it’s up to the Doctor to bring the criminal to justice, despite his height issue. The set designs used in this episode were amusing as everything had to be exaggerated to emphasize the size differences.

The DVD offers an extended cut of the third and fourth installments, which was previously combined into a single installment. There’s a noticeable switch when the older audio is mixed with the new audio. Unfortunately, the audio doesn’t match with the visual and the lack of some scenes are only solved by cutting towards extreme close-ups of the Doctor’s face. While the audio does expand the story, I found that I preferred the shorter cut instead of the extended version. There’s not enough footage for the extended cut and what is used was presented in a loop.

Keep in mind that there are some great lines that were cut. There’s an interaction between Barbara and Ian that adds more characterization to their ability to stand fast and strong in adversity. The line was cut in the broadcast version but in the extended cut it adds to the drama of the situation. I prefer the line over what was presented. Unfortunately, this great moment doesn’t make up for how slow the episode becomes with the extra material. While it’s fun to watch the expanded cut, I’m glad it wasn’t part of the full broadcast episode.

Historical Notes
According to Susan, the most dangerous moment happens when the TARDIS begins materialization.

During the extended cut, The Doctor relies on the Scanner in his travels with the TARDIS.

 

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