I have to admit to not being a Pertwee fan. My preference has always been for Pat Troughton or Tom Baker. However, one thing cannot be taken away from Pertwee - he certainly brought the series up to date, keeping and expanding it's audience at the same time.
The story is a culmoination of a series of shows which seemed to have begun in the penultimate season of Pertwee's third Doctor. It brings together a number of strands which had been threaded together over the Pertwee years and which were to grace this six part adventure.
Clearly the most conspicuous of these strands was the return of the blue crysatl from Jo in the Amazon. However, there was the Tibetan connection which began in the early UNIT days when Troughton was the Doctor in the early Yeti story. The Tibetan link was also strengthened by the growing drip feed of Gallifrey lore which had begun with the demise of the second Doctor and had continued throughout the Pertwee years. On a production note, the increased location work and the use of vehicles climaxed in the extended chase scene which occupied a lengthy segment of this last Pertwee story.
The story itself gave a little insight into the Doctor's travels which later manifested itself in a Tom Baker story which may be subtitled as what happens when I come back to a planet later on in time.
Overall the Planet of the Spiders was a recognition of the new audience that was following the show. The dandyish overtly heroic Doctor and the more glamorous companions together with the latest toys drew many more young adults to the show.Read more ›
We see the Doctor FINALLY reach the blue planet that he has been talking about for two seasons. Yet it is a planet with problems, specifically it is being ruled by spiders who are enslaving the humans.
The plot turns involving the meditation center, the other timelord and Mike Yates are interesting, as is the final regeneration scene, I did take exception to one bit of the plot.
It seem strange that the Doctor knowing that the Queen Spider is about to doom herself, while trying to become the most powerful creature in the world would put himself into such danger to try to talk her out of it. If he succeeds she will continue to be a menace. This seems to forshadow Tom Baker more than the quite practical Jon Pertwee. The psycological factor is played well, but I still don't buy it.
Pertwee was a long running doctor, he would give way to the longest running (and in my opinion the best) doctor, and sometimes that gives him short shift in comparison. This is unfair. Pertwee was a class act, a class actor, and a class doctor.