Friday, July 19, 2013

The Web Planet

The Optera were just one type of
creature which inhabited Vortis
Six episodes (The Web Planet, The Zarbi, Escape to Danger, Crater of Needles, Invasion, The Centre)
First broadcast Feb 13 to Mar 20 1965
Average audience for serial: 12.50m

William Hartnell (The Doctor) Jan 8 1908 to Apr 23 1975 (heart failure after a series of strokes) For a full career biography for William Hartnell, click here.

William Russell (Ian Chesterton) Born Nov 19 1924 For a full career biography for William Russell (aka Russell Enoch), click here.

Jacqueline Hill (Barbara Wright) Dec 17 1929 to Feb 18 1993 (bone cancer) For a full career biography for Jacqueline Hill, click here.

Maureen O'Brien (Vicki) Born Jun 29 1943 For a full career biography of Maureen O'Brien, click here.


Jocelyn Birdsall (Hlynia) Dec 8 1933 to Nov 10 1993
Career highlights
Other credits include The Little Round House (1955), Sapphire (1959), Emergency Ward 10 (1959), You Can't Win (1961), Richard the Lionheart (1963), Thirteen Against Fate (1966), The Power Game (1966) and The Great Inimitable Mr Dickens (1970).
Jocelyn changed her professional name from her maiden name of Britton to her married name of Birdsall in 1963 in memory of her late husband Timothy Birdsall, who died of leukaemia aged just 26 in June that year. Timothy was a satirical cartoonist for the TV programme That Was the Week That Was, on which he produced a cartoon live on air each week, as well as publications such as the Sunday Times, Punch and Private Eye.

Arthur Blake (Hrhoonda) Died 2002
Career highlights
Debuted in Quatermass 2 (1957), then Crane (1965), Hine (1971), Heil Caesar! (1973), The Professionals (1978), When the Boat Comes In (1981), Mr Palfrey of Westminster (1984), Little Dorrit (1988), Campion (1990) and No Bananas (1996).

Jolyon Booth (Prapillus) Born Aug 1 1932
Career highlights
Jolyon debuted in No Hiding Place (1964), then Crane (1965), The Baron (1966) and Georgy Girl (1966), but then gave up acting to become a maths and science teacher. After retirement he ran a walking and cycling holiday firm in Norfolk, UK, and has more recently been involved with the Reepham Society and parish council in the county.

Roslyn De Winter (Vrestin)
Doctor Who credits
Played: Vrestin in The Web Planet (1965)
Insect movement: The Web Planet (1965)
Played: Grey lady in The Chase (1965)
Career highlights
Australian mime artiste Roslyn's other work includes The Big Day (1959), Anthony and Cleopatra (1959), Day of the Drongo (1964), Interlude (1968), Champion House (1968), Homicide (1970), The Long Arm (1970), Dimboola: the Stage Play (1973), Cash and Company (1975), Mouth to Mouth (1978), Against the Wind (1978) and All the Rivers Run (1983).

Catherine Fleming (Animus voice) Feb 7 1932 to Oct 4 1978 (broncho-pneumonia)
Career highlights
In an interview with the Radio Times in 1950, Catherine - also known as Kate Fleming - said she initially wanted to pursue a career as a doctor. Prior to completing her studies in 1953, she won the John Masefield Prize for verse speaking and the inaugural BBC Drama Students' Prize, which brought her a contract to work for the BBC. In the mid-1950s she worked on various BBC radio productions, and then became a drama teacher, and a voice coach for RADA, the Royal Ballet and the National Theatre throughout the 1960s and 70s, working with actors like Ian McKellen, Laurence Olivier (teaching him how to lower his voice to play Othello) and Diana Rigg.
Between 1972-76 Catherine gave voice lessons to politician Margaret Thatcher, to "reduce her annoying shrieking". Thatcher became British Prime Minister in May 1979, seven months after Catherine died. In the 2011 film The Iron Lady, about Thatcher's life and career, the role of the voice coach is played by a man, Christopher Luscombe. The last project Catherine worked on as voice coach before she died was Roman Polanski's 1979 film Tess. In 1979, a group of actors founded The Kate Fleming Memorial Trust, which provided financial aid to students of the Rose Bruford Training College for Speech and Drama. The Trust was wound up in 2005. The Catherine Fleming Collection held by the Royal National Theatre Archive contains a call sheet for episode one of The Web Planet, and a front sheet of the script for episode two. With special thanks to Tom Lingwood.

Arne Gordon (Hrostar) Dec 26 1915 to Jun 2004
Doctor Who credits
Played: Hrostar in The Web Planet (1965)
Played: Guide in The Chase (1965)
Career highlights
After debuting in Doctor Who as a humanoid butterfly, Arne went on to appear in No Hiding Place (1966), Virgin of the Secret Service (1968), Judge Dee (1969), Van der Valk (1973), Dempsey and Makepeace (1985) and Around the World in 80 Days (1989).
In his 2013 memoir Before Mandela's Rainbow, South African director and writer Edward Joffe recalls that Arne Gordon was a close friend of stuntman Jack Sholomir and used to hang out at the Yeoville swimming baths in Johannesburg in the 1950s.

Martin Jarvis (Hilio) Born Aug 4 1941
Doctor Who credits
Played: Hilio in The Web Planet (1965)
Played: Butler in Invasion of the Dinosaurs (1974)
Played: Governor in Vengeance on Varos (1985)
Career highlights
Martin has enjoyed a long and prolific career, starting with The Indian Tales of Rudyard Kipling (1964), then Nicholas Nickleby (1968), Taste the Blood of Dracula (1970), Little Women (1970), The Moonstone (1972), The Pallisers (1974), Enemy at the Door (1980), The Black Tower (1985), Buster (1988), the narrator of children's series Huxley Pig (1989), Inspector Morse (1991), Murder Most Horrid (1991), The Scarlet and the Black (1993), Space: Above and Beyond (1996), Titanic (1997), Lorna Doone (2000), The Queen's Nose (2003), Numb3rs (2007), Stargate: Atlantis (2007), Taking the Flak (2008), Marple: The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side (2010), EastEnders (2010), The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011), Wreck-It Ralph (2012, voice), Endeavour (2013), Law and Order UK (2014) and United Passions (2014). He had regular roles as Jolyon in The Forsyte Saga (1967), Sam Harvey in Breakaway (1980) and Oliver Pryde in Rings on Their Fingers (1978-80).
Since 1974 he has been married to actress Rosalind Ayres, and was appointed an OBE in 2000. Martin's voice is familiar to many radio drama listeners, as well as those who listen to talking books. Since 2011 Martin has been providing the voice of Alfred Pennyworth in the Batman video games.
This is Your Life: Martin was the subject of BBC TV's This is Your Life on November 29th, 1999, surprised by host Michael Aspel while appearing on Gyles Brandreth's LBC radio show.

Robert Jewell (Zarbi operator) Jan 20 1920 to May 10 1998 Click here for Robert Jewell's entry on The Daleks

Barbara Joss (Nemini)
Career highlights
Barbara's other work includes A Girl Called Jo (1956), Harpers West One (1961), Contrabandits (1968), Skippy (1968) and Riptide (1969).
In 1999 she wrote (with Libby Harkness) the autobiographical My Left Breast - How Breast Cancer Transformed My Life, a combination of her life story (including her showbiz career and three clinical depressions) and the experience of having a mastectomy (in 1998 she made a TV advertisement addressing mastectomies).

Hugh Lund (Zarbi operator) Born c.1925
Doctor Who credits
Played: Zarbi in The Web Planet (1965). Note: Despite being credited as operating a Zarbi, Hugh revealed in a 2008 interview that he actually operated the larvae gun, and never a Zarbi at all.
Played: Matthews in The Android Invasion (1975)
Career highlights
Hugh's other work includes A for Andromeda (1961), Suspense (1963) and The Borgias (1981).

Kevin Manser (Zarbi operator) Feb 16 1929 to Dec 21 2001 (bowel cancer) Click here for Kevin Manser's entry on The Daleks

John Scott Martin (Zarbi operator) Apr 1 1926 to Jan 6 2009 (Parkinson's Disease)
Doctor Who credits
Played: Zarbi in The Web Planet (1965)
Played: Daleks in The Chase (1965), Mission to the Unknown (1965), The Daleks' Master Plan (1965-66), The Power of the Daleks (1966), The Evil of the Daleks (1967), Day of the Daleks (1972), Frontier in Space (1973), Planet of the Daleks (1973), Death to the Daleks (1974), Genesis of the Daleks (1975), The Five Doctors (1983), Resurrection of the Daleks (1984), Revelation of the Daleks (1985), Remembrance of the Daleks (1988)
Played: Mechanoid in The Chase (1965)
Played: IMC robot in Colony in Space (1971)
Played: Charlie in The Daemons (1971, uncredited)
Played: Mutt in The Mutants (1972)
Played: Gell Guard in The Three Doctors (1972-73, uncredited)
Played: Hughes in The Green Death (1973)
Played: Guard in Robot (1974-75, uncredited)
Played: Kriz in The Brain of Morbius (1975)
Played: Nucleus of the Swarm in The Invisible Enemy (1977)
Career highlights
John's long career began in 1958's The Frog, and he went on to play usually bit-part roles in TV and films, such as Quatermass and the Pit (1959), A for Andromeda (1961), Ghost Squad (1963), Our Man at St Mark's (1965), The Likely Lads (1965-66, as the barman), Adam Adamant Lives! (1967), The Blood Beast Terror (1968), Out of the Unknown (1969), Take Three Girls (1971), The Morecambe and Wise Show (1971), Upstairs, Downstairs (1972), Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em (1973), No Sex Please: We're British (1973), Beryl's Lot (1975), The Good Life (1975), I, Claudius (1976), The Duchess of Duke Street (1977), Pink Floyd: The Wall (1982), The Tripods (1984), Young Sherlock Holmes (1985), Erik the Viking (1989), Bullseye! (1990), London's Burning (1991), Ali G Indahouse (2002) and Mine All Mine (2004).
John also appeared in Catatonia's video for Dead from the Waist Down (1999). In later years he was a church warden and school governor in Essex.

Jack Pitt (Zarbi operator) Jul 15 1940 to May 26 2003 (bronchial pneumonia)
Doctor Who credits
Played: Zarbi in The Web Planet (1965)
Played: Mire beast in The Chase (1965)
Played: Cabin steward in The Chase (1965)
Played: Mechanoid in The Chase (1965)
Played: Dalek in The Daleks' Master Plan (1965-66)
Played: Gearon in The Daleks' Master Plan (1965-66, uncredited)
Career highlights
Jack's only other credited work was playing Horatio in Nelson: A Study in Miniature (1966).

Gerald Taylor (Zarbi operator) Oct 11 1940 to Dec 4 1994 Click here for Gerald Taylor's entry on The Daleks

Ian Thompson (Hetra) Born Aug 11 1939
Doctor Who credits
Played: Hetra in The Web Planet (1965)
Played: Malsan in The Chase (1965)
Career highlights
Ian's prolific career began with 1956's David Copperfield, followed by roles in The Old Curiosity Shop (1962), The Persuaders (1972), Crown Court (1974), Sam (1975), Couples (1975), Little Lord Fauntleroy (1976), Blake's 7 (1978), Freud (1984), Inside Story (1986), Andy Capp (1988), Moon and Son (1992), Our Friends in the North (1996), Midsomer Murders (1999), Wire in the Blood (2005) and The All Together (2007). He had the regular role of John Porter in A Family at War (1970-72).


Bill Strutton (writer) Feb 23 1918 to Nov 23 2003
Career highlights
Australian Bill wrote for television and film, including Ivanhoe (1958), The Avengers (1961), Rendezvous (1960-61), The Saint (1963), The Protectors (1964), Undermind (1965), Emergency Ward 10 (1966-67), No Hiding Place (1959-67), The Pathfinders (1973) and Crown Court (1973). He also wrote for and script edited Adventures of the Seaspray (1965-67) and Strange Report (1969).
During World War Two Bill was captured by the Germans and sent to Stalag VII. After the war he took up writing and journalism (writing several books, including A Jury of Angels (1957) and The Island of Terrible Friends (1961)), but retired in 1978 (aged 60) following a heart attack. He died on Doctor Who's 40th anniversary.

Richard Martin (director) Born Jan 3 1935 Click here for Richard Martin's entry on The Daleks

Verity Lambert (producer) Nov 27 1935 to Nov 22 2007 (cancer) Click here for Verity Lambert's entry on An Unearthly Child

Dennis Spooner (story editor) Dec 1 1932 to Sep 20 1986 (heart attack) Click here for Dennis Spooner's entry on The Reign of Terror

Click to enlarge
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1 comment:

  1. JACK PITT was uncredited as a Dalek in The Daleks' Master Plan.


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