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Home > Doctor Who > 31 Classic Doctor Who Monsters #5: The Zarbi

31 Classic Doctor Who Monsters #5: The Zarbi

October 5th, 2012

For a low-budget British kids’ TV series in the mid-’60s, the Doctor Who serial The Web Planet was an insanely ambitious production. An alien world entirely unlike Earth with five different insect species vying for dominance, the planet Vortis was an enormous challenge for the BBC’s set builders and costumers, and–

–they didn’t quite pull it off.

Still, C+ for effort, I suppose.

Anyhow, this brings us to the second failed attempt at crafting a menace on the level of the Daleks…

The Zarbi!

The Web Planet (1965)

Portrayed by human actors hunched within immobile ant bodies, the Zarbi weren’t exactly convincing, even within the higher suspension of disbelief typically accorded to early Who.

Not helping them in the monster popularity poll was their mindlessness. They weren’t villains, they were beasts. No personalities, no catch phrases, not even comprehensible dialogue.

As with the Voord, the Zarbi made it into some of the show’s early spin-off media, but they never reappeared on the series.

For me, what was most memorable about them was the time the Zarbi actor plowed straight into the camera.

Tomorrow: another day, another classic monster!

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