Newest Review: ... who did Danger Mouse!) The animated sequences are amazing, with each actors likeness captured perfectly. Whilst there isn't much dynamic... more
The Invasion of the Cybermen...(when they finally appear)
Doctor Who - The Invasion (2 DVDs)
Member Name: SpiderJamb
Doctor Who - The Invasion (2 DVDs)
Advantages: Varied plot structure to other classic-era stories, Excellent animated interludes
Disadvantages: Slight anti-climax towards the end
**FILM ONLY REVIEW**
As part of my mission to rewatch all the Doctor Who serials starting from the very first episode in 1963 and concluding with whatever episode is out when I finish, I have discovered many hidden gems, both from the official DVD releases by the BBC and the youtube reconstructions that I've been able to find for some of the lost episodes, missing from the BBC vaults.
The Invasion is one of the few BBC releases featuring the 2nd Doctor, Patrick Troughton, as most of his serials were sadly wiped from their tapes, with only audio versions remaining. Every year new episodes are being discovered in private VHS collections, but there are over 100 half hour episodes that remain missing. The Invasion is an 8-part serial, with two episodes missing and reconstructed using animation from Cosgrove Hall (the guys who did Danger Mouse!)
The animated sequences are amazing, with each actors likeness captured perfectly. Whilst there isn't much dynamic movement and the heads wobble too much, it manages to work well with the existing audio and paints a perfect picture of what the episode would have been like. I wish the BBC would fund Cosgrove Hall to animate the remaining lost episodes in exactly the same manner, allowing us to have a complete collection of DVDs, albeit it some fully-animated.
The plot of the serial involves the Doctor and his companions, Jamie and Zoe, who arrive in present-day London, after a near fatal attack by a mysterious spacecraft near the moon. Once the TARDIS lands on Earth, it becomes clear that there are issues with the circuits, rendering the machine invisible. The Doctor remembers his old friend, Professor Travers and sets forth to find him in order to repair the circuits, however he ends up becoming embroiled in a plot by the Cybermen to take over Earth with the co-operation of the sinister, Tobias Vaughn, played to perfection by veteran Who-actor, Kevin Stoney.
Stoney returns to Doctor Who, playing Tobias Vaughn, after his previous turn as Mavic Chen in The Dalek's Master Plan. He plays a similar role to his earlier appearance with an over-confident human turncoat, who enables the alien threat to get a foothold to take over Earth, only to get betrayed at the last minute. Stoney plays Vaughn as more restrained than Chen, with a smattering of charm, but he is still very watchable and remains the strongest human villain to date.
Troughton continues to portray his incarnation of the Doctor with the same earnest glee and mischievousness that populated his entire run - His chemistry with companions, Jamie & Zoe, works really well, equalling the current generation's chemistry with Doc 11, Amy Pond & Rory Williams. Seeing these classic episodes with the hindsight that a vague awareness of the future series gives makes for an interesting perspective on how writers built upon the legend of the Doctor and his TARDIS to reach our current, almost fairytale treatment of the last Time Lord.
Whilst the serial was eight parts long, it never seemed to drag at any part. In fact, it felt more like two separate four part storylines, with the first half concentrating on Vaughn and his sinister company, without revealing the Cybermen behind his plans. Then the second half brings the Cybermen to the fore and becomes a more action-packed storyline. I really enjoyed the two halves to the story and it made what could have been an over-long serial into a nicely paced and epic feeling tale. This is not the best Cybermen storyline, but is a nice parallel to The Dalek Invasion of Earth.
Summary: Really strong serial that acted as a precursor to the 3rd Doctor's earth-bound adventures
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