From the days of no budget, extremely wobbly sets, and that weird not-a-real-wall in the TARDIS, choosing favorite scenery is actually an incredibly joyful task. I can hear the New Who fans laughing again, but I’m totally serious. There were some absolutely incredible sets in the old days. And three in particular* stand out in my mind as being particularly amazing, but there’s one clear winner among them.
Believe it or not, this particular set was so good that legend has it the BBC was accused of breaking into a location they’d been told they weren’t allowed to use.
I am of, course, talking about the London Underground set from 1968’s “The Web of Fear”.
No really. The story supposedly is that the BBC were told they couldn’t film in the real thing. But because they needed the location for the story, they built the set. And the set was so incredibly good that the London Underground actually believed it was the real thing. And you can plainly see why. So choosing this set over the rest is sort of a no-brainer, I think.
And it’s perfect for this story. Long, winding tunnels. A place that’s usually bustling with people but is now dark and deserted because London has been evacuated in the wake of an attack. A perfect location for a mystery, don’t you think?
In fact it was so good, that the Doctor sort of encouraged it. Retroactively, of course.
It’s recently come to my attention that there are New Who fans who have no idea that 2012’s “The Snowmen” and the subsequent Great Intelligence arc connects all the way back with the Second Doctor era. And that’s sort of an important thing, I think.
And if you’re one of those people who, like me, go absolutely bananas for continuity, check this out. Seriously, “The Web of Fear” is just the best. But if you don’t take my word for it, here’s some proof that I’m not alone.
And I realize that maybe you’re thinking, “Well, if it’s so great, why didn’t you save it for the ‘Favorite Episode’ day?” And that is an excellent point. Actually, you’re probably not thinking about that at all. You’re probably thinking about what to have for lunch or making a shopping list or knitting socks or something. But the point is that it was a toss up between this and another story for “favorite” and since I needed to talk about amazing scenery today, this was the clear choice for that particular category. So there.
What’s your favorite Classic era set? Are you a fan of “The Web of Fear”? Let us know in the comments!
* In case you were wondering (which I’m sure you weren’t) the other two I think are the best are the “Tomb of the Cybermen” set and the planet I’m going to talk about on Day 26. Stay tuned.