Production Code: J
Season 2, Story Number 9
Each episode is identified with date of transmission, duration, ratings in millions, and (for 1963-1974 only) archive status.
Planet of Giants
31 October 1964 | 23'15" | 8.4 | 16mm t/r
07 November 1964 | 23'40" | 8.4 | 16mm t/r
14 November 1964 | 26'35" | 8.9 | 16mm t/r *
Archive Status: All three episodes exist on 16mm telerecordings. Negative film prints of all episodes were recovered from BBC Enterprises circa 1978. Arabic prints of all three episodes are also held.
* Originally shot as four episodes, the third and fourth episodes - "Crisis" (original duration: 24'25") and "The Urge to Live" (original duration: 23'42") - were condensed into a single episode (also entitled "Crisis") at the behest of BBC Head of Serials Donald Wilson, who wanted to compact the story to make it more vibrant as the opener of the second season. It is certain the footage filmed for these two episodes has not been retained.
A malfunction of the TARDIS systems reduces the Doctor and his companions to just an inch in height. In their miniaturised state, they arrive in contemporary England and stumble across a plot by a ruthless businessman, Forester (Alan Tilvern), and his misguided scientist colleague, Smithers (Reginald Barrett), to launch a new insecticide, DN6 - a product so destructive that it would kill not only those insects harmful to agriculture but also those vital to it. Forester is even willing to commit murder to ensure the success of his business, as civil servant Arnold Farrow (Frank Crawshaw) discovers to his cost.
The criminals are eventually brought to justice when the Doctor and his friends - hampered by the fact that Barbara has herself been made ill by the insecticide - tamper with the telephone in Smithers's laboratory, thus fuelling the suspicions of the local exchange operator, Hilda Rowse (Rosemary Johnson), who sends her police constable husband, Bert (Fred Ferris), to investigate.
Synopsis from Doctor Who: The First Doctor Handbook by David J. Howe, Mark Stammers and Stephen James Walker, reprinted with permission; further reproduction is not permitted.
(Assistant Floor Manager), Val McCrimmon
(Assistant Floor Manager), Mervyn Pinfield
(Associate Producer), Daphne Dare
(Costumes), Raymond Cusick
(Designer), Dudley Simpson
(Incidental Music), Jill Summers
(Make-Up), Sonia Markham
(Make-Up), Verity Lambert
(Producer), Morman Stewart
(Production Assistant), David Whitaker
(Script Editor), Brian Hodgson
(Special Sounds), Howard King
(Studio Lighting), Alan Fogg
(Studio Sound), Delia Derbyshire
(Theme Arrangement), Ron Grainer
This story was originally developed as The Miniscules
, a story treatment for the first TARDIS journey of the series (later the second through fourth episodes of "An Unearthly Child" as filmed). Originally scripted as four episodes, filmed, then reduced to three through the combination of episodes three and four (see Archives). Filmed originally as part of the first season bloc; this story (and the subsequent story) were held over for the second series. The working title of episode two was "Death in the Afternoon". The debut of the most prolific of Doctor Who's
incidental music composers, Dudley Simpson.
For more in-depth information about the contents of this story, a complete episode-by-episode detailed breakdown can be found at the Doctor Who Reference Guide
Released as "Planet of Giants" in the UK [January 2002] and Australia/NZ [March 2002] (BBC catalog #7263), US/Canada [May 2003] (WHV catalog #E1740), episodic format, photomontage cover. Episodes were subjected to VidFIRE video motion remastering process before release.
Novelised as "Doctor Who - Planet of Giants" by Terrance Dicks (Target #145), first released in 1990, with cover art by Alister Pearson.
For more details on the various novelizations of this story, with additional background material, artwork and details of both UK and foreign releases, visit On Target
: More detailed information on technical matters concerning the VidFIRE remastering of this story can be found at the Doctor Who Restoration Team website
under the heading "VHS Releases" then by story name.
Descriptions of each story screen capture above right, top to bottom:
- The TARDIS lands in an unusual environment
- the Doctor (William Hartnell) and Susan (Carole Ann Ford) are puzzled by their surroundings
- Forester (Alan Tilvern) plots his next move with Smithers (Reginald Barratt)
- Barbara encounters a giant fly... or is it?
- Farrow (Frank Cranshaw) dies, while dwarfing the TARDIS crew