|'Planet of the Spiders'
Story Code 'ZZZ'
by Robert Sloman
Sarah visits Mike Yates, who, following the events of 'Operation Golden Age', is currently convalescing at a Buddhist meditation centre. Here a group of people, led by a man named Lupton, are misusing the meditation rituals to make contact with an alien force, which manifests itself as a giant spider. The spider is an emissary from the ruling council on the planet Metebelis III, and has been sent to Earth in order to recover a sacred blue crystal. The crystal has in fact been previously found there by the Doctor, and was given by him to Jo and her husband, professor Clifford Jones, as a wedding present. However, Jo has returned the crystal to the Doctor after it caused unrest with the native bearers on their Amazonian trek. Lupton and his followers are taken over by giant spiders, and Sarah, standing on their meditation mat, finds herself transported to the alien planet of Metebelis III. The Doctor follows her in the TARDIS, and meets a tribe descended from human colonists, who landed there centuries ago in a space ship. The ship also contained several spiders, which were mutated by radiation, and took control of the planet. The Doctor aids the humans in an attempt to overthrow these 'Eight Legs', and he and Sarah return to Earth in the TARDIS. The Doctor realises that the Abbot of the centre, K'Anpo, as really his former Time Lord mentor, and who prompts him to return to Metebelis III, where he discovers that the humans' revolt has met with failure. Meanwhile, at the meditation centre, Lupton and his followers attack K'Anpo, his assistant Cho-Je, Sarah, Yates and a young man named Tommy. The Doctor demands an audience with the Great One, a gigantic mutated spider that is worshipped by the others, which lives in a cave in a nearby mountain. He offers her the blue crystal, which she needs to complete a crystal lattice, which will increase her mental powers to infinity. But the rising power kills her, and, as the mountain explodes, the other spiders are all killed. K'Anpo is killed while protecting Yates, and is reborn as his assistant Cho-Je, who is actually a projection of his own future self. The Doctor, who is suffering from radiation poisoning, eventually returns to Earth, after having been lost in the space/time vortex. He collapses to the floor, and, watched by K'Anpo, Sarah and the Brigadier, his features begin to change...
Jon Pertwee (Doctor Who), Elisabeth Sladen (Sarah Jane Smith), Nicholas Courtney (Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart) Richard Franklin (Mike Yates), John Levene (Sergeant Benton), Cyril Shaps (Professor Clegg); John Dearth (Lupton), Christopher Burgess (Barnes), Terence Lodge (Moss), Carl Forgione (Land), Andrew Staines (Keaver), Kevin Lindsay (Cho-je), John Kane (Tommy), Chubby Oates (Policeman), Pat Gorman (Soldier), Terry Walsh (Man with Boat), Michael Pinder (Hopkins), Stuart Fell (Tramp), Ysanne Churchman, Kismet Delgado, Maureen Morris (Spider Voices); Gareth Hunt (Arak), Geoffrey Morris (Sabor), Jenny Laird (Neska), Joanna Munro (Rega); Ralph Arliss (Tuar), Walter Randall, Max Faulkner (Guard Captains); George Cormack (K'ampo)
Produced by Barry Letts
Directed by Barry Letts
Part 1 - 4th May, 1974 @ 5.45pm - 6.10pm
Part 2 - 11th May, 1974 @ 5.40pm - 6.05pm
Part 3 - 18th May, 1974 @ 5.40pm - 6.05pm
Part 4 - 25th May, 1974 @ 5.30pm - 5.55pm
Part 5 - 1st June, 1974 @ 5.35pm - 6.00pm
Part 6 - 8th June, 1974 @ 5.35pm - 6.00pm
*Featuring the Third Doctor, Sarah, the Brigadier and UNIT