Doctor Who (1963–1989)
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Planet of the Spiders: Part Four 

Sarah is captured by the spiders' guards while the Doctor tries to help Arak and the others strike back against the spiders.


Barry Letts


Robert Sloman




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Jon Pertwee ... Doctor Who
Elisabeth Sladen ... Sarah Jane Smith
Richard Franklin ... Mike Yates
John Dearth ... Lupton
Christopher Burgess Christopher Burgess ... Barnes
John Kane ... Tommy
Terence Lodge Terence Lodge ... Moss
Carl Forgione ... Land
Andrew Staines Andrew Staines ... Keaver
Gareth Hunt ... Arak
Geoffrey Morris Geoffrey Morris ... Sabor
Jenny Laird ... Neska
Joanna Monro Joanna Monro ... Rega
Ralph Arliss ... Tuar
Walter Randall ... Guard Captain


Sarah is captured by the spiders' guards while the Doctor tries to help Arak and the others strike back against the spiders.

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Did You Know?


This episode was watched by 8.2 million viewers on its original transmission. See more »


Sarah Jane Smith: [seeing the Doctor] Doctor! You're alive! I knew you'd come!
[he is followed by Guards]
Sarah Jane Smith: Oh, Doctor!
See more »

User Reviews

Fitting send off for Jon Pertwee's Doctor
18 November 2014 | by A_Kind_Of_CineMagicSee all my reviews

Review of all 6 episodes:

This may not be the very best of the Pertwee era but it is an excellent story and a fitting finale for the Third incarnation of The Doctor. It is exciting, beautifully scripted by Robert Sloman (+Barry Letts) and well acted with poignant final scenes for Pertwee saying a sad farewell before regenerating into Tom Baker's 4th Doctor.

The story involves Mike Yates, convalescing in a Buddhist retreat and finding some of the others there are seemingly attempting to gain dangerous mental powers. He calls Sarah Jane in to help investigate. Meanwhile The Doctor and the Brigadier are investigating a psychic whose powers are beyond his own understanding and this power combines badly with the crystal from Metebelis 3 which The Doctor shows him after it is returned to him by former companion Jo Grant. This psychic event causes a link to be made by huge, psychically powerful spiders on Metebelis 3 with the men in the Buddhist retreat. A spider joins with the leader of the group Lupton and causes him to steal the crystal.

The first episode has great dialogue and a very interesting set up. The second episode is very entertaining and continues just as strongly with lovely exchanges between Pertwee, Nicholas Courtney and John Levene plus the wonderful Lis Sladen. There is thoughtful drama and great humour. Halfway through the second episode changes pace with a huge, slightly pointless but action packed chase sequence on numerous forms of transport. This is great fun if a little gratuitous. The only real flaw for me in the opening 2 parts is that they have a striking coincidence that the different strands of the story happen to link up - Mike happening to be at the very place that people become psychically linked to Metebelis 3 seeking the Doctor's crystal. But this is a common storytelling feature and not a big criticism at all. The humour, action and drama is great.

The third and fourth episodes continue with the entertaining drama, excellence in script and great acting from the regular cast. They are only held back a little by the humans - '2 legs' - on Metebelis 3 who are a bit disappointing compared to the whole rest of the production which is superb. The spiders are not really ground breaking but are scary, pretty effective for the time and well voiced, making them great monsters.

Episode 5 builds in quality with striking scenes where Pertwee acts intense fear and dread as he confronts the 'Great One' and delightful scenes with the character Kan-Po Rimpoche, The Doctor's former mentor who is brilliantly portrayed and a fascinating addition to the series lore. Episode 6 is superb and brings a tremendous climax to the story as well as a wonderful, moving end for Pertwee's Doctor. There are numerous powerful scenes in this final part and the script is excellent.

Benton, the Brig, Sarah Jane and Mike are all on top form. Best of all, Pertwee is tremendous in his final story and especially his final couple of episodes. The character portrayal with him realising he has let his quest for knowledge cause death and danger is fabulous and more clever and subtle than the efforts to show 'the dark side' of the Doctor by Stephen Moffatt in the modern era.

A great send off for the Third Doctor and an excellent addition to the series as a whole.

My ratings: Parts 1 & 2 - 9/10, Parts 3 & 4 - 8.5/10, Part 5 - 9/10, Part 6 - 10/10. Overall 9/10.

Season 11 was a fantastic season, my second favourite Pertwee season after Season 7 and one of the top 10 seasons ever in my opinion. Terrance Dicks and Barry Letts had done a terrific job running the show throughout the Pertwee era, maintaining consistent high standards. Pertwee himself was a marvelous Doctor who still remains one of the best to many of us.

My Season 11 Average Rating - 8.9/10

My Pertwee era average rating - 8.82/10.

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Release Date:

25 May 1974 (UK) See more »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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