Doctor Who: The Invasion



*spoilers ahead*

So for my birthday I got a copy of the recently released restored version of the Patrick Troughton era Doctor Who serial The Invasion.

And on the whole, it is one fantastic DVD.

What's not to like here!

The 2nd Doctor! Jamie! Zoe! Zoe's catsuit! Miniskirts! A retarded Cyberman wandering the sewers! The Brigadier!

You literally cannot get better than that!


The Invasion is an 8-part story from 1968 that surprisingly doesn't involve the Cyberman all that much, even though they are the invading force of the title.

The story centers around major league asshole Tobias Vaughn and his International Electromatics company. (He's such an asshole that this secret moving wall in his office takes forever to open, letting him appear all grandstandy and even more assholey!)

Vaughn is your typical major snarky 1960s Doctor Who bad guy who makes a deal with a CyberThing (my term) to assist the Cybermen invading the Earth. His whole plan all along, and more or less how the Doctor gets involved, is having a human scientist create an emotion generating device that he'll use to personally defeat the Cyberman.

Basically it comes down: 1. Assist the Cybermen invasion of Earth. 2. After Earth fall to Cybermen, attack and defeat Cybermen with device, then 3. Profit Be ultimate Earth ruler!

2007_04_03_brigadier_zoe.jpgLittle does he know that UNIT, the United Nations Intelligence Taskforce is on to him.

And if UNIT is involved, then you've got suave and dapper and cool as shit Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart on the scene.

The Invasion is the first appearance of UNIT which would be the major source of stories for the earth-bound Third Doctor as well as have significant appearances throughout other Doctors eras, most recently in The Christmas Invasion.

The Doctor, Jamie, and Zoe, end up back on Earth after the events of The Mind Robber (My all-time favorite story!) and are immediately thrown into bad crazy shenanigans involving mega-asshole Tobias Vaughn.

2007_04_03_cyberman.jpgThe Invasion is also the debut of what basically has to be the 4th redesign of the Cybermen. And this design would essentially remain the same with only minor modification until the parallel-Earth Cybermen of the 10th Doctor's 2nd series in 2006.

Speaking of the Cybermen, like I said before they don't really do much in this series. They arise out of the sewers of London to take over the city but they really don't do too much at all.

Now there is one awesome moment that happens when asshole Tobias Vaughn has the emotion-generating device used on a freshly dethawed Cyberman and it goes all insane and bathsit retarded and starts wandering the sewers under London attacking everything it finds.

I kinda think that the retarded Cyberman should still be wandering around the underground sewers of London in 2007. He could even be reused in a future story. Picture him still running around London (or Cardiff) all retarded-like! Oh the possibilities!!! The Doctor'd be all "Oh! I remember that retarded Cyberman from like 40 years ago! Just let him be! He's retarded!"

Now the most awesome thing about this restored DVD is the fact that as you may know, episodes 1 and 4 of The Invasion, like most of the First Doctor and Second Doctor serials, was erased back in the 70s. However, audio soundtracks still existed.

The BBC has gone back and using these soundtracks as well as the other episodes, recreated episodes 1 and 4 via animation. In fact, it looks a lot like they used Macromedia Flash or something very much like it.

There's a slickness to the design that works very well and for the most part, you feel as if you are getting the whole story. It is even animated in grayscale to preserve the "black and white" tv feel of these old episodes.

All in all, The Invasion was really good and I'm glad we own it. It'll get watched again.

Oh. And in my reading up on trivia about this serial, I found out that International Electromatics was actually reused last year as a front company for the Cybus Corporation on the parallel-Earth where the current Cybermen arose. Coolness!

And just because... Here's a picture of Zoe getting terrorized by some Cybermen from her first appearance in The Wheel In Space, a serial that unfortunately had 4 out of the 6 episodes wiped out of existence. She's not in her casuit but hey, I take Zoe where I can find her!



Grrrr... I do like a little bit of Zoe on my screen! She's one of my all-time favourite Dr Who totty... Jo Grant being another...


It just hasn't been the same since the final episode of "The War Games".

My favourite Doctor Who babes, er ... "female companions": Romana 1 & 2, Peri, & Nyssa!!

I don't mind either Romana but Peri just drives me crazy. Add Mel to that and I can barely make it through the 6th or 7th Doctors.

For some reason, Ace doesn't bother me as much.

Aw, that's easy - it's cause Ace is awesome. :)

"Hi. I'm Rose Tyler. I can judiciously terminate Daleks, albeit through the misappropriation of the all-powerful time vortex energies."

"Hi, I'm Ace.

...I have a bat." :)

JOP -- Ace had the bat, and the explosives shaped like spray paint cans, which she was not supposed to use.


Ah, the wonderful rose-tinted spectacles of nostalgia - everything from McCoy I will remember fondly as genius, including Silver Nemesis. :)

Might I also recommend "Happiness Patrol", the "Greatest Show in the Galaxy", and "Curse of Fenric"?

Happiness Patrol is (I think) the first episode my friend MaxPower ever saw. Needs more absurdity, to be sure.

Actually, most of Doc #7's were tending toward the absurd, but not executed well enough to suit my tastes. Like Paradise Towers, for instance. Cannibalistic grannies? Awesome.

Paradise Towers. Ugh.

The only thing of merit from Paradise Towers is the trash monster's "Hungreeeeee!" exclamation.

That has not been fully incorporated into the Nalalexicon and often used in Hoontspeak.

Hey, I'm starting to have a new appreciation for the absurdity in them all.

Squirrel people vs. bat people vs. The Rani. Cheetah people. Cannibal grannies. An architect who eats guests in his resort. Pink life-size Barbies with machine-guns. A talking deadly psychotic candy robot.

But, having said that, Ghost Light remains my least favourite episode EVER. Curse of Fenric was up there, too, I think. But, you know, viking-cursed zombie vampire teenagers sounds kinda cool.

Happiness Patrols gets an award for (a) a murderous version of Bertie Basset and (b) being a thinly-disguised allegory for the battle between Margaret Thatcher and the British unions.

Ghost Light was far from the best of stories, but there was something incredibly disturbing about the entirely dispassionate manner in which that house maid got dissected that will stick in the mind of a young viewer.

As for Curse of Fenric... I loved it. But I also think the strength of McCoy was the manipulative nature of his Doctor; and that's not something easy to appreciate out of context of the other arcs.

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This page contains a single entry by Nala published on April 3, 2007 1:46 PM.

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