013 The Web Planet by Bill Struttun

Illustrated by Tippy Singleton / souffles-against-thedaleks

"Drawn in mechanical Pencil for 50yearsofwhovians."

The TARDIS is being dragged down to a mysterious planet against its will… there is an invisible force trapping them. When they finally land, they discover that the TARDIS is broken and all its energy has been drained.

They emerge on the planet Vortis, home to a large number of hostile, insect-like lifeforms. A war is about to start between the butterfly-like Menoptera and the ant-like Zarbi. 

A Great Old force has found its home on Vortis and to save their lives, the time travellers are going to have to save the planet…


  • It features the First Doctor and Barbara Wright, Ian Chesterton and Vicki Pallister as the companions.
  • This is the only televised story to feature no humanoid characters other than the time travellers.
  • The creatures of Vortis were yet another attempt to make a set of monsters as popular as the Daleks. Despite The Web Planet having the highest average viewers of any Hartnell story, it wasn’t to be.
  • This is the first Doctor Who story to ever have a trailer.
  • At the time, it was considered the most ambitious episode yet due to the sheer amount of different creatures and locations.
  • The entire of this story was lost until the late 1970s. The copies were recovered from Algeria, meaning that the “Next Time” caption at the end is for The Space Museum, rather than The Crusade, as the Crusade story was not sold to Muslim countries. 
  • Alternate titles for this story are The Zarbi and The Centre of Terror.