Planet of giants (1964)
About this serial
This is a three-part serial, first broadcast between 31st October - 14th November 1964. The serial was written by Louis Marks, produced by Verity Lambert and directed by Mervyn Pinfield and Douglas Camfield. The script editor was David Whitaker.
The miniaturised Tardis lands at the scene of a murder that is about to be commited.
Good things about this serial:
- The idea for this story, with our protagonists finding themselves miniaturised in a contemporary setting where a murder mystery is about to unfold, is a thing of beauty.
- For the most part, the whole thing looks fantastic. There are some weaker visuals, like the grass in the background of several scenes and the shrinking seed in the final episode, but over-all the makers succeed admirably at what they're trying to achieve.
Some mixed blessings:
- This time it's Barbara's turn to be terrified (she even faints) and to fall ill. Fortunately she also gets to be brave in this serial, and her horror at her impending fate as well as her determination to hide it from the others are beautifully portrayed.
- At times, the camera work is a bit odd. These were still the early days of television, and apparently the director was a member of a group that had very specific ideas of how stories should be visualised. One of their tenets was that characters shouldn't react to things that the audience can't see, and this makes for some awkward moments when characters seem oblivious to things that should be well within their line of sight.
The puzzling bit:
- Fun as it may be to watch the inch-high Tardis crew shouting into a telephone or to trying to draw attention by causing an explosion, neither of these actions makes sense. The logical course of action for them would have been to get back to the Tardis, return to their normal size and then alert the authorities.
The bottom line
Just enjoy the ride.