The Invasion (Doctor Who)
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The Invasion is the partly missing third serial of the sixth season of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast in eight weekly parts from 2 November to 21 December 1968. It marks the first appearance of UNIT and, notably, Corporal Benton, later to become a Sergeant. It is the first now-incomplete Doctor Who serial to be released with full-length animated reconstructions of its two missing episodes.
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The TARDIS evades a missile fired by a spaceship on the Moon, landing the Doctor, Jamie and Zoe in late twentieth-century England. The visual stabiliser is damaged and renders the TARDIS invisible, so they try to find Professor Edward Travers (of The Abominable Snowmen and The Web of Fear) to seek his assistance. They hitch a lift to London, and the lorry driver talks of International Electromatics, or I.E., the world's largest electronics manufacturer; but, after leaving them, the driver is promptly murdered by two guards from I.E. who have followed him by motorbike.
The Doctor discovers that Professor Travers has left for America with his daughter, leaving his London home in the care of Isobel Watkins and her scientist uncle, Professor Watkins, who has mysteriously disappeared while working for the same company, International Electromatics. The Doctor and Jamie go to IE's head office in London, to investigate. When the electronic receptionist refuses them entry, they seek out a back entrance, but are arrested and taken before IE's Managing Director, the sinister Tobias Vaughn, who gives them a cock-and-bull story of Professor Watkins being at a delicate stage of his work and refusing to see anyone. The Doctor is immediately suspicious, noticing that the inhuman Vaughn never blinks once during their meeting.
Vaughn persuades the Doctor to leave the damaged circuits from the TARDIS for testing. After they depart, Vaughn reveals an alien machine hidden behind a panel in his office wall, and learns from it that the Doctor has been recognised from Planet 14 (see Planet 14 Notes, below), and is a threat to their plans who must be destroyed.
The Doctor and Jamie are abducted by two strangers, and taken to a military transport aircraft housing a complete operations room, where they are reunited with Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart from The Web of Fear, now promoted to Brigadier, who is in charge of a military taskforce known as UNIT. He explains that he is investigating IE, because whenever people visit the IE offices they are strangely different afterwards. He also reveals that the lorry driver they met is a UNIT operative, and that he has disappeared.
Zoe and Isobel go to the IE building in search of the overdue Doctor and Jamie. They, too, encounter the computerised receptionist, but Zoe refuses to be fobbed-off by it, and she sabotages the machine. The alarm, which this triggers, results in their capture; Isobel is to be used as a hostage to force her uncle, who is being held captive, to co-operate with Vaughn.
Vaughn's chief scientist, Gregory, studies the TARDIS circuits and realises they are the product of an extraterrestrial civilisation. Vaughn thus realises the Doctor may have the knowledge which Professor Watkins lacks.
The Doctor and Jamie discover that Zoe and Isobel have fallen into Vaughn's hands. They return to IE, finding Zoe's feather boa among a consignment of packing cases being loaded onto a train, but are captured by the security chief, Packer. Vaughn denies kidnapping Zoe and Isobel, and suggests they meet the train on its arrival at the company's country compound. There they meet Professor Watkins, who shows the Doctor his invention, the cerebratron mentor, a teaching device capable of inducing emotional changes. Vaughn eavesdrops on their conversation, hoping to learn more about the TARDIS and the Doctor.
The Doctor notices a deep space communications antenna in the compound. He and Jamie then quickly escape; and whilst hiding from the guards, Jamie sees a cocoon that appears to be breathing. Meanwhile, Vaughn confides in Packer that he intends to use the cerebratron to control their (as yet unnamed) allies, once the latter have invaded Earth. He also intends to use the TARDIS to get away, if the invasion fails.
Overhearing Packer ordering the guards to take Zoe and Isobel to the tenth floor, the Doctor and Jamie rescue them. The Doctor uses a radio transceiver given him by the Brigadier to obtain assistance from UNIT, who send a helicopter to airlift all four of them to freedom. Realising how dangerous UNIT are to his plans, Vaughn exercises hypnotic control over Major General Rutlidge, and orders him to cease UNIT's investigation.
The Doctor examines photographs of UFOs over the IE factory, and reasons that these are bringing the mysterious cocoons to Earth. He, along with Jamie, take a canoe and sneak up the canal into IE's London warehouse, where they witness a cocoon being brought to life by Gregory, and see a Cyberman emerge. They warn the Brigadier that a Cyber army lies hidden somewhere on Earth. But they are too late; Rutlidge has already shut down the UNIT investigation.
The Doctor suspects that the Cybermen are hidden in the sewers beneath the city. Vaughn tests Watkins' cerebratron machine on an awakened Cyberman, driving the alien insane: it escapes into the sewers. Vaughn is satisfied. He now has a weapon he can use against the Cybermen, to maintain his control over them after the invasion. He arranges the invasion for dawn, when he will activate a mind-control weapon hidden inside every item of IE's consumer electronics all over the world.
The Doctor is desperately working on a device to block the cyber control signal. Isobel, Zoe and Jamie venture into the sewers to obtain proof of the Cybermen's presence on Earth, but stumble upon two Cybermen on guard. A UNIT squad attempting to reach them are killed. They become trapped between the two Cybermen and the insane one, until the latter, being irrational, attacks the other Cybermen: fresh UNIT troops wipe out the surviving Cybermen with hand grenades. But Isobel's photos of the Cybermen in the sewers are worthless, as the photographs look too much like fakes.
Watkins attempts to kill Vaughn, but learns to his horror that Vaughn has already been partially subjected to cyber-conversion, although he still has a human brain, and cannot now die from a mere bullet. UNIT frees Watkins from IE, while the Doctor perfects his depolariser, which protects the wearer against the Cyber control signal. The spaceship on the Moon (which fired the missile at the TARDIS) will send the hypnotic signal, and the Cyber invasion fleet will home in on the transmitter at the IE factory.
The Brigadier orders all his troops to be fitted with a depolariser on the back of the neck. At dawn, the signal is broadcast, causing the collapse of the human race, and hundreds of Cybermen emerge from the sewers of London.
UNIT intend to deploy a Russian missile to destroy the source of the signal, while using UK anti-missile-missiles to destroy the incoming Cyberfleet. Captain Turner is sent to Russia to organise this, while the Brigadier goes to the RAF's Henlow Downs missile base. There aren't enough missiles to hit all the ships, and the base computer is too slow to calculate a workable solution; but Zoe exercises her talents as a mathematical genius, calculating a pattern, which can cause a chain reaction of explosions.
The Doctor tries to dissuade Vaughn. The missiles are successful, thanks to Zoe's calculations, and the entire cyber-fleet is obliterated. The Cybermen blame Vaughn for this setback, and announce they will use a Cyber megatron bomb to destroy all life on the Earth. The Doctor persuades Vaughn to aid humanity, and they take a helicopter to the IE factory to shut off the radio beam so it cannot guide the incoming bomb.
As they make their way towards the transmitter, Vaughn meets his end when his former allies gun him down, but the homing signal is successfully shut off with the help of some UNIT soldiers. The megatron bomb is destroyed by an anti-missile-missile, while the Russian rocket destroys the Cybership broadcasting the hypnotic control signal, which had been forced to come in close to the Earth before launching the bomb, as it no longer had the signal of Vaughn's transmitter to aim at.
Soon after that, after saying goodbye to UNIT, the Doctor, Jamie and Zoe go back to where the TARDIS was left, chaperoned by Isobel and Captain Turner. The three leave in the TARDIS while Isobel and Turner watch in astonishment as it vanishes.
Corporal (later Sergeant) Benton of UNIT is introduced in this serial. John Levene, who had previously played a Cyberman in The Moonbase and a Yeti in The Web of Fear, would reprise the role of Benton fifteen more times in the series, as well as in the spin-off video Wartime, produced by Reeltime Pictures in 1987.
The character of Tobias Vaughn reappears in the Virgin New Adventures spin-off novel Original Sin by Andy Lane, in which he meets the Seventh Doctor. Vaughn is the Chairman of a powerful company called "Interstellar Nanotomic", which is an anagram of "International Electromatics". He says that instead of dying at the conclusion of "The Invasion", his consciousness was transmitted via a satellite into one of fourteen identical robot copies of himself that he uses to influence the people of Earth from behind the scenes.
The Cybermen mention having encountered the Doctor previously on "Planet 14". The identity of "Planet 14" is uncertain, and has been the subject of much fan discussion and speculation. In an essay in About Time, a critical analysis of classic Doctor Who, Lawrence Miles and Tat Wood suggest that Planet 14 may be Telos, placing that planet as the fourteenth in our own solar system, after Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mondas, Mars, the time-looped planet mentioned in Image of the Fendahl, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, "Cassius" (mentioned in The Sun Makers as a planet beyond Pluto) and "Xena" (a name popularly used for the dwarf planet Eris prior to its official naming; in the essay, Miles and Wood confuse it with Sedna, another trans-Neptunian object discovered by the same team of astronomers).
In the Grant Morrison scripted Doctor Who Magazine comic strip story The World Shapers (DWM #127-#129, sometime in late 80s early 90s), it was revealed that the Doctor who met the Cybermen on Planet 14 was the Sixth Doctor along with Jamie and Peri, and that Planet 14 was Marinus. Jamie states that he was taught a trick by the Doctor to retain his memories against the mind-wipe performed on him by the timelords in "The War Games" That story, taking place prior to The Tenth Planet in Cyber-history, also stated that the Voord evolved into the Cybermen and that Marinus eventually became Mondas, the Cyberman homeworld. As with all Doctor Who tie-in media, the relationship of the comic strips to the ongoing story of the TV series is open to interpretation.
Dialogue places The Invasion four years after The Web of Fear, which further dialogue places forty years after The Abominable Snowmen (which still further dialogue places in 1935). The Invasion is set in the 1970s, and no earlier than Spring 1969. Indeed, the story was intended to have a "near future" setting, nevertheless, dating has never been consistently applied. When Episode 1 was originally broadcast, the on-air BBC continuity announcer stated immediately before the episode began that it was set in the year 1975. In the real 1975, when the serial Pyramids of Mars was broadcast, the character Sarah Jane Smith had a line of dialogue in episode 2 where she told Lawrence Scarman that she came from 1980. The episodes were thus generally thought of as being set 5 or more years in the future.
Originally The Invasion was going to be a six-part story called Return of the Cybermen. The character of Professor Travers (who appeared in the two earlier Yeti stories) was to have appeared for a third time, but the decision was made to replace him with Professor Watkins as the character would not have featured prominently enough although Travers is still referenced by name several times. The sequence where Gregory describes UNIT's attack on an IE car and then is subsequently killed by a Cyberman was written into the script after time pressures prevented the production team from filming the car attack on location. (Ian Marter, however, did reinstate the lost car attack scene in his novelisation.)
Wendy Padbury does not appear in episode three, as she was on holiday. Frazer Hines was on holiday during the last episode but did appear in a pre-recorded film insert at the conclusion.
According to Frazer Hines in an interview on the audio CD of The Invasion, Sally Faulkner's skirt kept getting blown up around her neck whilst climbing up the rope ladder to the helicopter. To avoid the same thing happening to his kilt, he remembered reading somewhere that The Queen had lead weights sewn into the hem of her skirt to stop this from happening to her. It so happened that Frazer's dresser was a keen fisherman, who sewed some lead weights into his kilt.
Kevin Stoney previously played Mavic Chen in The Daleks' Master Plan and would later play Tyrum in Revenge of the Cybermen. Peter Halliday, who plays Packer, also supplied the voice of the Cyber-Director in the first seven episodes of the serial. In addition, Halliday went on to do several other roles (both voice and acting) in several later serials in the series. Edward Burnham also portrays Professor Kettlewell in the Tom Baker serial, Robot. Clifford Earl previously played the station sergeant in The Daleks' Master Plan. Sheila Dunn previously played Blossom Lefavre in The Daleks' Master Plan and would later play Petra Williams in Inferno. Sally Faulkner later played Miss Tremayne in the audio play Winter for the Adept.
Broadcast and reception
|Episode||Broadcast date||Run time||Viewers
|"Episode One"||2 November 1968||24:32||7.3||Only stills and/or fragments exist|
|"Episode Two"||9 November 1968||24:26||7.1||16mm t/r|
|"Episode Three"||16 November 1968||23:44||7.1||16mm t/r|
|"Episode Four"||23 November 1968||24:18||6.4||Only stills and/or fragments exist|
|"Episode Five"||30 November 1968||23:25||6.7||16mm t/r|
|"Episode Six"||7 December 1968||23:20||6.5||16mm t/r|
|"Episode Seven"||14 December 1968||24:46||7.2||16mm t/r|
|"Episode Eight"||21 December 1968||25:03||7.0||16mm t/r|
Paul Cornell, Martin Day, and Keith Topping in The Discontinuity Guide (1995) that the serial "shows the advantages of recognisable Earth settings" and described it as "an all action romp". In The Television Companion (1998), David J. Howe and Stephen James Walker wrote that The Invasion was "one of the very best stories to feature the Cybermen", with praise to Stoney's Tobias Vaughn. In 2009, Patrick Mulkern of Radio Times wrote that the story was plotted with "scarcely a dull moment", with the first four episodes "grippingly plotted" to lead up to the cliffhanger of the Cybermen. Mulkern also praised the dynamic and characters of the Doctor, Jamie, and Zoe, as well as Tobias Vaughn. The A.V. Club reviewer Christopher Bahn said that the story's length allowed for "an awful lot of contrivance, drawn-out scenes, and running back and forth between locations with one group of characters just missing the other group", but it still remained enjoyable, especially because of Stoney's performance. He also noted that "there's a tendency in this story to cut corners, sometimes forgivably and sometimes not". Ultimately, Bahn felt that the story was more about Vaughn than the Cybermen and, like Mulkern, highlighted Zoe's character. DVD Talk's Stuart Galbraith gave The Invasion a rating of three and a half stars out of five, noting that it borrowed from other science fiction tales and could have been shorter, but ultimately was entertaining and delivered an "atmospheric tale full of dread and high-tension suspense". In 2013, Ben Lawrence of The Daily Telegraph named The Invasion as one of the top ten Doctor Who stories set in the contemporary time.
|Doctor Who book|
|Cover artist||Andrew Skilleter|
|Release date||10 October 1985|
A novelisation of this serial, written by Ian Marter, was published by Target Books in May 1985. The novelisation restores material cut from the original shooting scripts including the UNIT raid to rescue Professor Watkins and Vaughn convincing Routledge to shoot himself. In this novel the Russian Air Base is named as Nikortny, a punning tribute to actor Nicholas Courtney.
As with many serials from the Troughton era, a complete version of The Invasion does not exist in the BBC's archives, as Episodes 1 and 4 were lost. However, their soundtracks survive, recorded off-air by fans at home. The soundtracks for The Invasion and The Tenth Planet along with a bonus disc, The Origins of the Cybermen, an audio essay by David Banks, were released in a collector's tin called Doctor Who: Cybermen. The story was released on BBC Video in 1993, with the missing Episodes One and Four summarised on-screen by Nicholas Courtney.
In June 2006, the BBC announced that the animation studio Cosgrove Hall, who previously created the webcast Scream of the Shalka, had produced full-length animated versions of the two missing episodes. These episodes, along with newly remastered copies of the rest of the serial, were released on DVD on 6 November 2006.
- Miles, Lawrence; Wood, Tat (November 2006). "Whatever Happened to Planet 14?". About Time 2: The Unauthorized Guide to Doctor Who (Seasons 4 to 6). Illinois: Mad Norwegian Press. pp. 221–225. ISBN 978-0-9759446-1-5.
- Cornell, Paul; Day, Martin; Topping, Keith (1995). "Dating the UNIT Stories". Doctor Who: The Discontinuity Guide. London: Doctor Who Books. p. 96. ISBN 0-426-20442-5.
- Howe & Walker 1998, The Web of Fear: Plot p. 142. Retrieved 9 September 2010
- Howe & Walker 1998, The Abominable Snowmen: Plot p. 133. Retrieved 9 September 2010
- Howe & Walker 1998, The Invasion: Plot p. 159. Retrieved 9 September 2010
- Doctor Who - The Invasion (DVD). 2 Entertain Video. 2006.
- Shaun Lyon et al. (2007-03-31). "The Invasion". Outpost Gallifrey. Archived from the original on 2008-06-18. Retrieved 2008-08-30.
- "The Invasion". Doctor Who Reference Guide. Retrieved 2008-08-30.
- Sullivan, Shannon (2007-08-07). "The Invasion". A Brief History of Time Travel. Retrieved 2008-08-30.
- Cornell, Paul; Day, Martin; Topping, Keith (1995). "The Invasion". The Discontinuity Guide. London: Virgin Books. ISBN 0-426-20442-5.
- Howe, David J & Walker, Stephen James (1998). Doctor Who: The Television Companion (1st ed. ed.). London: BBC Books. ISBN 978-0-563-40588-7.
- Mulkern, Patrick (14 August 2009). "Doctor Who: The Invasion". Radio Times. Retrieved 6 April 2013.
- Bahn, Christopher (2 October 2011). "The Invasion (Episodes 1-4)". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 6 April 2013.
- Bahn, Christopher (9 October 2011). "The Invasion (Episodes 5-8)". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 6 April 2013.
- Galbraith, Stuart (14 June 2007). "Doctor Who - The Invasion". DVD Talk. Retrieved 6 April 2013.
- Lawrence, Ben (30 March 2013). "Doctor Who: the 10 best contemporary tales". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 21 April 2013.
- "Doctor Who ReAnimated!". BBC.com. 2006-06-20. Archived from the original on 20 July 2006. Retrieved 2007-12-05.
- Howe, David J.; Walker, Stephen James (1998). Doctor Who: The Television Companion. London: BBC Worldwide. ISBN 0-563-40588-0.
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Second Doctor|
- The Invasion at BBC Online
- The Invasion at Doctor Who: A Brief History Of Time (Travel)
- The Invasion at the Doctor Who Reference Guide
- Doctor Who ReAnimated! - news article on the DVD release with a link to a teaser clip of the animation.
- Doctor Who Locations - The Invasion
- The Invasion (novelisation) reviews at Outpost Gallifrey
- The Invasion (novelisation) reviews at The Doctor Who Ratings Guide
- On Target — The Invasion