Retro ‘Doctor Who’ Review: Planet of Giants

Planet of GiantsThe latest missing serial from the early seasons to surface will certainly be a thrill for fans of the series, being an exceptional serial for the first era. The debut story for the second season featuring the original Doctor and his companions sees the Doctor, his granddaughter Susan, Ian and Barbara on board a malfunctioning TARDIS. When they eventually wrest the ship under control long enough to land they set out to explore the strange landscape.

Many unusual sights greet the travellers including giant ants and what turns out to be a giant earthworm. They quickly surmise that they’ve arrived on Earth but have been shrunk to less than an inch. This anomaly is explained by the malfunctioning TARDIS, but the real mystery is why everything is dead. Meanwhile we see what’s happening in the normal-sized realm as an industrialist named Forester murders a scientist named Farrow because he was trying to block the patenting of a new insecticide. The chemical had been found to be too deadly and would cause harm to the human population.


The Doctor and Co. initially gets separated when Ian and Barbara hide in a matchbox that gets picked up by Farrow, winding up in a laboratory. While the Doctor and Susan scale the inside of a drainpipe they discover the danger of the pesticide. Before they can return to the TARDIS and escape they need to put a stop to the production of the dangerous product.

This is a highly imaginative story with a great group of sets and props. We get the usual ‘shrunken man’ clichés but they’re clichés for a reason. As the story progresses and they crew have to come up with ways to destroy the chemical without being discovered. Even though some of the stories from the time are drawn out and hokey, with special effects that have not stood the test of time this serial is still just as entertaining 49 years later. Make it a must-see.