Thursday 7 July 2011

227 The Invasion: Episode Eight

EPISODE: The Invasion: Episode Eight
TRANSMITTED: 21 December 1968
WRITER: Derrick Sherwin & Kit Pedler
DIRECTOR: Douglas Camfield
SCRIPT EDITOR: Terrance Dicks
PRODUCER: Peter Bryant
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who: The Invasion

At missile control the crew celebrate Zoe destroying the Cyberfleet. The Brigadier is contacted by Benton who tells them that they overheard on the Doctor's radio that the Cybermen will send their Megatron bomb to Earth. Vaughan destroys cyber machine with the Cerebration Mentor . The Doctor says Vaughan must turn of the radio beam that the cyber ships was using as guidance to stop the Cybermen delivering their bomb. Packer is killed by a Cyberman which is in turn killed by the Doctor with Cerebration Mentor. The Doctor calls UNIT in to attack the transmitter at the IE compound and have the Cyber ship attacked by missile. The Brigadier sends a helicopter for them. Captain Turner reports the Russians are ready to launch their rocket with a warhead attached. The rocket is launched. The Doctor and Vaughan are taken by helicopter to the IE compound where they attack Cybermen with the Cerebration Mentor. They find their destination is guarded by Cybermen. UNIT arrives and battle Cybermen on the ground. Rocket launchers and grenades prove successful. The Doctor & Vaughan reach the transmitter control but Vaughan is slain by Cybermen and the Doctor chased away. However he meets UNIT who destroy the Cybermen and the transmitter. The Cybermen spaceship approaches earth to avoid the Russian rocket and deliver the megatron bomb. The Russian Rocket is diverted. The Cyber Megatron Bomb is launched, but Henlow Downs fires it's missiles destroying the bomb and the Russian Rocket destroys the Cyber ship. Later Captain Turner drives Isobel along with The Doctor, Zoe & Jamie to the field in which they left the invisible Tardis. The Doctor makes it visible and they dematerialise to the astonishment of Isobel & Captain Turner.

I'm sorry, but apart from the location filmed battle sequences this episode is struggling a bit. UNIT troops vs the Cybermen looks good, but there's large amounts of stock footage used, two from the previous episode, one of which I could swear is used twice in this episode but flipped, and a new section of the rocket launching. A lot of the important action, mainly the destroying of the transmission control, happens off screen presumably another casualty of the locations problems that cost us Watkins' rescue previously. Sergeant Walters disappears this episode, replaced by Benton. John Levene's elevation to speaking role in this story is sometimes reported as he replaced another actor who was continually late but it maybe this story just applies to this episode. The Cybership design in this episode returned to our screens recently in "A Good Man Goes To War"

Making it's Doctor Who debut in this story is the TCC Condensers round the corner from "The Acton Hilton", the BBC's famed rehersal rooms. It'll be back twice in Pertwee's first year!

This is Patrick Troughton's last meeting with the Cybermen, and in fact the last Cybermen story until Revenge of the Cybermen in April 75 by which point Tom Baker will be the Doctor. Jon Pertwee, barring cameos, never encounters the Cybermen during the five years he was in the title role. Having waited six plus years for their next major appearance the Cybermen then wait seven more till March 1982 when they return in Earthshock.

The Invasion is the longest Second Doctor story so far, beating the seven part Evil of the Daleks. But as things turn out it won't even be the longest story this season!

The Invasion was adapted for book form by Ian Marter and published in October 1985. The cover is one of my favourites of the entire range and the only book to have an Invasion style Cyberman on the cover to actually feature them - they also appear on the covers of The Cybermen (Moonbase) and Tomb of the Cybermen. The Invasion was released as a double pack video during the 30th anniversary year 1993 with links recorded by Nicholas Courtney replacing the missing episodes 1 & 4. The Soundtrack to all eight episodes was released on CD in a box with The Tenth Planet as Doctor Who: Cybermen in 2004 and a solo release followed in early 2006. A DVD of the six surviving episodes and animated reconstructions of episodes 1 & 4 was released in 2006.

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