“Have you got a match, Ian?” – “Not since Errol Flynn died.”
(With “Planet of Giants”, we reach Part 9 of our Name Dropping journey through the First Doctor’s character arc as represented by his changing ways of addressing Ian: in which the BBC kills a cat and Barbara spends most of the story auditioning for Lady Macbeth.)
I’d never got around to watching “Planet of Giants” before and, now that I’ve seen it, I don’t think that I was missing that much. I can see how in 1964 it would have been impractical on Doctor Who’s budget to attempt to show the TARDIS crew and the squabbling full-size inhabitants of the farmhouse in the same shot. It may even have been technically impossible. Nevertheless, as a result it comes across as two separate stories, connected only by the thinnest of plot strands.
Having had more to do than usual in the last story (“The Sensorites”), Susan’s role continues to expand with perhaps her meatiest story yet where she gets to scream “Grandfather!” on multiple occasions.
The realisation of the miniaturisation is quite well achieved, to the extent that pulling out the sink plug while the Doctor and Susan were in the pipe below was genuinely scary. Otherwise miniaturistaion is such a familiar trope (even in 1964) that there’s little to excite here.
Except of course the crucial issue of the Doctor’s means of addressing Ian during this story. He calls him: my dear boy x 10, dear boy x 5, my boy x 5, Chesterton x 5 and even Sir x 1.
(select NAME DROPPING from the list of Categories in the left hand menu to catch the rest of this series)