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PLANET OF GIANTS
Well taken for it is it is not bad at all. It has this sort of aura about it that is pure sci fi fantasy and can only happen in a show like DW or Lost In Space or Space: 1999 and that ilk. It has this TWILIGHT ZONE feel to it and part of that might be that that show used props from the fantastic movie THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN, at least I think so. THIS is not as good as SHRINKING MAN for that movie had for its time brilliant special effects, fantastic realistic sets, and phenomenal musical scores as well as good plot and acting. The main cast here is pretty good, as ever, even Susan. This, though, is not as good as LAND OF THE GIANTS, which came later and had for its time brilliant effects, stirring musical pieces, and enlarge and fantastic sets. And real life real world type characters for the most part and were likable. Here as part of DOCTOR WHO, this is remains a curious piece of how the show can stretch.
I like tha tthe Doc is thinking like a time traveller and is rude to Ian and Barbara (and later he's very warm as he apologizes to Barbara). It's all very well done and acted. Hartnell IS the Doctor, no matter how many others replace him in future and he's just as intriguing and interdimension as his Ship. They seem to have come from the last adventure even though it was last season UNLESS they've had some other adventure in the late 18th century.
The dilemma in the TARDIS is nothing new but it seems fresh. Susan and/or Barbara do not seem to recall the doors opening in EDGE OF DESTRUCTION but maybe that's because the mind bending adventure made them forget!? Who knows. From the moment this ep starts, imagination takes over and we find ourselves drawn in with the foursome and their plight. The earthworm, the ant, the bee, and the labyrinth of a stone walkway are just some of the things...of course the show couldn't do alive insects so they had to be dead and it is eerie that they are. Hartnell and his band make us believe the improbably and kudos to them for that, for the sets and the effects really don't. Not that it doesn't try. Unlike what I"ve said earlier and I was totally wrong for saying that the shrunken cast never appear with the giants...for they do appear beneath the dead giant face of Fallow or whtever his name was. But unlike LAND OF THE GIANTS (which DID have some dead giants and the Earthlings interact in one frame), this doesn't have the giant people actually moving in the same frame with the smaller Earth people. Let's not forget LAND OF THE GIANTS was made a few years after this and in a country with more money to spend and in Hollywood and was the most expensive tv show ever made up to that time (then later SPACE: 1999 broke that record and possibly later BATTLESTAR GALACTICA mock one).
In any event, taken on its own level (pun?), this is highly enjoyable. The music is okay but at times it seems to be taking the piss out of it by being a bit goofy and comedy like, almost like the background musical pieces that accompany any ep of the BURNS AND ALLEN SHOW (anyone who likes comedy must see Gracie Allen in action in any ten eps of that show, it...no, she is very very funny). Will Russell does a job of shaking up in the suitcase/matchbox.
The only thing that doesn't really work in this story is the giant cat attack. It would have been nice to see it and the cast in one frame. As it is, it's not terrible but just okay. We can fill in the blanks with our imagination. I'm also glad that they nixed the original parts that had this cat also die from the insectide. I hate when animals have to die in tv shows and movies.
Speaking of the insectide, Farrow was...going on holiday, smoking, in a fishing boat all his own? And writing a report about a deadly insectide just before that? And told no one? No one was with him? Doesn't that all seem a bit...strange? ANd the killer, forgot his name too, Forrester was it? Two F names? Forrester kills him without thinking he'll get caught. Why I wonder? Isn't he the first suspect? In any event, this murder mystery doesn't fully seem right nor does it seem like a mystery but it adds to the oddness of this episode. We know why he was murdered right at the start and in LAND OF THE GIANTS, murders were part of the plot and the Earht people had to get involved as in FRAMED and SIX HOURS TO LIVE, two excellent episodes. Here, it just happens and we're not sure how the TARDIS team will interact with that plot.
Even though nature seems at risk, the Doc just wants to get back the TARDIS and who can blame him? He has to get things back to normal. Susan is breaking down again and needs hugging again. Sigh. Previous to that she seemed quite sensible and made the correct conlcusion about what happened to them, despite Ian thinking it not so. The cast is toally convincing. The base of the TARDIS seemed a bit strange to me as if something were propping it up but maybe it was just the copy I saw. The scene of it and then having the camera move upward to show the walkway was inspired and this was far from boring or slow moving. A very good start! 10/10.