The TARDIS is drawn off course by a mysterious power to the planet Vortis. Vicki hears some noises and is taken ill, so lies down. The Doctor and Ian investigate. Barbara is forced to leave the ship because of some mind control exercised over her through the gold bracelet she was given by Nero. The planet is inhabited by ant like creatures called Zarbi, who drag the TARDIS (with Vicki inside) to their Web. Barbara is rescued from stepping in an acid pool by butterfly like creatures called Menoptera, but she and Menoptera are captured by Zarbi and taken to the Crater of Needles. Ian and the Doctor are taken to the Zarbi web, where the Doctor communicates with something called the Animus, which controls the Zarbi. Ian manages to escape and meets a Menoptera and, underground, another life form called the Optera who are descended from the Menoptera. The Menoptera are planning an invasion to recapture their homeworld. However, the Doctor is forced to help the Animus (or rather, seemingly play along) to ensure his and Vicki's safety. Barbara and a couple of Menoptera manage to escape and try to warn the invasion force - but too late. The Doctor and Vicki manage to use a control collar to take over a Zarbi, christened "Zombo" by Vicki, and use it to help them escape the web. They are reunited with Barbara. The Menoptera have a cell destructor that can destroy the Web and Animus. They plan to attack in order to draw out the Zarbi, allowing Vicki and the Doctor to use the cell destructor (an isotope). Vicki hides it but the two are taken to the Animus which plans to suck them dry of knowledge. Barbara and co. manage to get into the Web and they find the isotope. The Animus is destroyed, the Zarbi are back to their normal selves and Vortis can be home again to the Optera and Menoptera.
The Web Planet was a pretty ambitious story with its creatures: the optera, menoptera, Animus, zarbi and larvae grubs. The cameras had a filter on to give a special smeared out look to the shots. The planet Vortis was craggy and desolate, the sky was black with lots of moons on show, and the web was very organic looking. Despite its obvious imagination, the story fails because it is six episodes of not much happening and is thus quite boring at times. Ian spends most of the story walking through caves and only gets back into the action right at the end, when he emerges right in the heart of the Web during the final attack. There is a painful scene when the Menoptera run about squealing "Zaaaarbiiiii!" in a *cough* fight scene. Mind you, there is a grisly scene, when one of the Optera uses her body to plug a hole seeping deadly acid, dying as a result.
It's quite funny to look at Hilio because under the butterfly costume is actor Martin Jarvis!
I can't really pan this because it was so imaginative; but it's not really brilliant.
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