March is notable for several notable events: one is the official "rebirth" of the Meetup group (revived, up, and running after a prolonged hiatus, much like the classic series); another is the organizer's birthday (early in the month, and no, we won't tell you his age), and the third is the broadcast 46 years ago of The Web of Fear, one of the "lost" stories found in Nigeria and released to the public last October.
(Two of the above items are interconnected. We'll let you figure out which ones).
Directed by Douglas Camfield, The Web of Fear is notable for several things: the cornerstone of Season Five, or "the monster series"; Camfield's claustrophobic direction; the second story featuring the Great Intelligence (who returned in the 2012 Christmas special The Snowmen), and most importantly, the debut of Alastair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart (played by Nicholas Courtney), a character who would later return in The Invasion, and who would become a cornerstone during the Third Doctor's era. (John Levene, who later played Benton, plays one of the Yeti. Yes, you may make an appropriately snarky comment).
It's not a perfect story (some parts of this six parter feel padded, and just a heads-up: episode three is a picture-and-soundreconstruction), but it does show Troughton at his best as the Second Doctor. (Trust me, you'll see how much Matt Smith stole, er, I mean, "borrowed" for his own performance as the Doctor). There are some painfully embarrassing moments (such as some stereotypes, and the Yetis do not exactly come off as dangerous), but this is a pretty solid story - one which deserves to have been rediscovered.
(Now, who's up for heading to the BBC to wipe Time and the Rani?)
But please join us in March - this will be the first of two Troughton stories we'll be highlighting in 2014 (the second will come later this year), and well worth watching.