Just prior to materialization, the TARDIS main doors open prematurely. Ian, Susan and Barbara struggle to close them, and the ship seems to make a smooth landing. Outside, the time travelers find the remains of an enormous earthworm and ants at least a foot in length. When Ian and Susan find a huge sign which is clearly from present-day Earth, and a gigantic matchstick almost hits the Doctor and Barbara, the conclusion is obvious – the in-flight accident has reduced the crew of the TARDIS in size. The planet on which they have landed is Earth, and everything from a normal human being’s footsteps to an ordinary housecat is a potentially lethal danger to the time travelers. Something caused the accident that shrunk them…but can they reverse the damage?
Season 2 Regular Cast: William Hartnell (The Doctor), William Russell (Ian Chesterson), Jacqueline Hill (Barbara Wright), Carole Ann Ford (Susan), Maureen O’Brien (Vicki), Peter Purves (Steven)
written by Louis Marks
directed by Mervyn Pinfield and Douglas Camfield
music by Dudley Simpson
Guest Cast: Alan Tilvern (Forester), Frank Crawshaw (Farrow), Reginald Barratt (Smithers), Rosemary Johnson (Hilda), Fred Ferris (Bert)
LogBook entry & review by Earl Green
One can see Irwin Allen’s influence on this three-parter (the first story of that length in Who history). Sadly, the emphasis is solidly on Allen-esque spectacle, so the attempt at an environmental message becomes a bit of a misfire. Still, it proves that the makers of Doctor Who had done their homework and learned something from the first year of the series – they knew who was watching, and Planet Of Giants is squarely aimed at that decidedly young audience. Silly, yes, but still a fun romp, with all of the prerequisite threats that you’d expect an Incredible Shrinking TARDIS Crew to face.
Planet Of Giants is also a major first for an unsung player in the Doctor Who legacy; it was the first story scored by Australian composer Dudley Simpson, whose influence would grow until he became the show’s de facto full-time composer throughout the 1970s.