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The Invasion

Rating Votes
10
31%
30
9
40%
39
8
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18
7
7%
7
6
3%
3
5
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4
1%
1
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Average Rating
8.8
Votes
98
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Latest Community Reviews

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User Rating:
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Reviewed By: MercuryReview Date: 11/26/18 10:59 am
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

This is a truly classic story of the Cybermen invading Earth with the help of megalomaniac businessman Tobias Vaughn (played brilliantly by Kevin Stoney). The villainous Vaughn is a superb character, performed to perfection and is actually the main adversary for The Doctor with the Cybermen very much in the background. This is not a bad thing as the Cybermen when they do appear have more impact and do their job as a 'monster' perfectly - especially in iconic scenes rising from the sewers to be seen starting to position themselves at locations such as St. Paul's Cathedral. Menacing, exciting and entertaining. Meanwhile Vaughn does his job perfectly, intellectually and verbally jousting with The Doctor better than any Cyberman really could.

To keep such quality up over 8 episodes is very impressive and it does so with cleverness and style. This is an all time classic, one of the greatest. It is a wonderful blend of great acting by regular cast and guest cast, characterisation, dialogue and direction (by Douglas Camfield). It has a good helping of action, tension, an intelligent script and is top notch storytelling from writers Sherwin and Pedler. Great stuff! All 8 episodes 10/10.
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User Rating:
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Reviewed By: BrainofMorbius23Review Date: 7/22/18 6:37 am
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

What a cracker this is. I feel as though this story is almost a test run for the next era.
It probably was or at least sparked the ideas. As we know the brigadier is a hit and unit will become a huge part of the show.

The story is a slow building cybermen story as a tech company owned by a notably wellacted villain Tobias ushers then in. Power hungry Tobias seeks to benefit from helping the cybermen but let’s face it ... it would barely be a spoiler to say that the cybermen are using him until they have no need.

Side cast are all excellent, Zoe gets a neat friends and unit and all are cool as.
The new new cybermen ( constantly change) are great though I’ll always like the earlier Troughton era model most.

Very little negative comments about this one. Maybe a tiny bit padded but for me at least , I can watch 10 hours straight of Troughton!

9/10
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Reviewed By: thefatdoctorfanReview Date: 8/9/17 9:03 am
1 out of 2 found this review helpful.

It's just a wee bit long to watch in a single viewing. As good as it is, I would only watch if doing a marathon or wanted to fill 3-4 hours.
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Reviewed By: DalekbusterScreen5ReviewsReview Date: 4/8/17 1:48 pm
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Spearhead From Space may have been the start of the UNIT era of the show but The Invasion was a story the production team designed to foreshadow it. It was basically to Spearhead From Space what Silence In The Library/Forest of the Dead is to The Eleventh Hour: introducing audiences to the type of stories that will be told in the upcoming new era. In Silence In The Library/Forest of the Dead we're introduced to the notion of time travel playing with the way the Doctor meets people. Then in The Eleventh Hour, we see time travel utilised so the Doctor meets his new companion Amy Pond as a child first, before meeting her as a grown-up companion. In The Invasion, meanwhile, audiences are made familiar with the concept of the Doctor working alongside UNIT to stop alien invasions.

The Invasion sees the Doctor (Patrick Troughton), Zoe (Wendy Padbury) and Jamie (Frazer Hines) arrive in London looking for Travers after being fired at in space by an unknown entity. They arrive at Watkins' house to find model Isobel Watkins (Sally Faulkner), who tells them Travers has moved to America and her father Professor Watkins is staying there instead. It's not long before the TARDIS crew are drawn into a mystery concerning Watkins' mysterious disappearance (he has been missing for weeks). They learn that he works for International Electromatics and the Doctor and Jamie decide to investigate the company. After being gassed by two men watching via a video link, Tobias Vaughn (Kevin Stoney) orders security chief Packer (Peter Halliday) to take them to his office. Before long, the Doctor and Jamie cross paths with UNIT (who are investigating International Electromatics) who they find is led by their friend Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart (Nicholas Courtney) from The Web of Fear, who is now a Brigadier.

It's a very bold and successful story for the show as despite the fact that it takes four out of eight episodes for the story's monsters to turn up (the Cybermen) it never drags or feels particularly slow. The entire story is immersive and well-paced, especially compared to something like The Hungry Earth/Cold Blood from the new series (which feels slow and drawn-out). I actually would have liked to have seen more second Doctor stories like this as he works extremely well with UNIT. Patrick Troughton and Nicholas Courtney have so much chemistry together and it's a shame Nicholas Courtney didn't appear in more Patrick Troughton serials.

The most noticeable thing about this serial is that it feels as though it's among the higher-budgeted of the classic series serials. Like The Enemy of the World, it has a helicopter but there are also many different locations such as the Watkins' house, Tobias Vaughn's office, UNIT's mobile HQ and the sewers. The serial was also filmed in London, which no doubt would have cost a lot at the time. I'd say most of season six's budget was probably spent on this serial. If so, it definitely shows and it makes it a good serial for any Whovians who have currently only watched the new series but want to give the classic series a go. They won't be as distracted by the shoestring budget as with other serials such as The Invisible Enemy or The Krotons.

The one thing that might put off Whovians who have only seen the new series is something I've already mentioned: the fact it takes four episodes before the Cybermen show up. Personally I would argue this is one of the serial's strong points. The slow build-up invasion is very effective for this serial as it allows the focus to be more on the sinister Tobias Vaughn than if the Cybermen had been in the story from the start and subsequently overshadowed him. Once they do return, it's more than worth the wait. You get some truly iconic shots, such as the Cybermen marching down the steps of St Paul's Cathedral or the Cybermen in the sewers. These are shots that have been a huge inspiration for the new series, with the Cybermen St Paul's Cathedral shot rehashed in Dark Water/Death In Heaven.

It's a shame Sally Faulkener's Isobel Watkins didn't become a companion after this serial as she is brilliant. I would have loved to have seen Isobel travelling in the TARDIS alongside Jamie and Zoe; it would have offered a nice dynamic. Perhaps the second Doctor getting could have got frustrated each time she spends too long deliberating over what to wear before leaving the TARDIS? Whatever they'd have done, Sally Faukener clearly has a lot of chemistry with Wendy Padbury in particular and it is always nice to see a young strong female character (Isobel bravely takes pictures of the Cybermen in the sewers) comparable to a modern day contemporary character than one from the 60s. The classic series did have a good track record for strong female characters - Barbara Wright, for example - and Isobel continued the show's trend at the time to be ahead of its time. Of course, the show's main cast are all on top form in this serial as usual - especially Patrick Troughton when he expresses his annoyance at the answering machine at International Electromatics - and Nicholas Courtney is brilliant but Sally Faulkener steals the show as Isobel Watkins.

Overall, The Invasion is one of the show's best serials to feature the Cybermen. It is expertly paced and features one of Doctor Who's all-time greatest one-off characters in Isobel Watkins. It is a shame that she never became a companion as she is a brilliant character and Sally Faulkener displays a lot of chemistry alongside the show's cast in the story. I looked to see if Big Finish have ever used the character but unfortunately they haven't. Hopefully one day they will as she deserves to return in some form.