Planet of Giants was the ninth serial and the first of the second season of Doctor Who. It was originally broadcast in three episodes between October and November 1964. The story stars William Hartnell as the Doctor, Carole Ann Ford as Susan, William Russell as Ian, and Jacqueline Hill as Barbara.
It features the Tardis crew being shrunk to an inch in height after a malfunction during landing causes the doors to open mid-flight. While travelling through a land of gigantic matchboxes and enormous insects, the crew come under threat from a dangerous new insecticide, DN6, which is fatal to all life.
The interesting thing about this story is that it was originally going to be a four part serial (made up of Planet of Giants, Dangerous Journey, Crisis and The Urge to Live). However, it was felt by Donald Wilson (the then BBC Head of Serials) and Sydney Newman (then Head of Drama), that the episode lacked the punch required for the opening of season two. They would have preferred to have started the season with Terry Nation’s “Dalek Invasion of Earth” but because this serial featured the departure of series regular Carole Ann Ford, it could not be broadcast before Planet of Giants. Eventually the decision came to edit the material from the final two episodes into a single part, so that Nation's story could be broadcast as soon as possible. This left a single episode gap in the season, which would later be filled with the Doctor-Lite story “Mission to the Unknown". The “missing” episode has since been recreated on the 2012 DVD release of this story.
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