Thursday 12 January 2012

416 The Android Invasion Part Three

EPISODE: The Android Invasion Part Three
TRANSMITTED: 06 December 1975
WRITER: Terry Nation
DIRECTOR: Barry Letts
SCRIPT EDITOR: Robert Holmes
PRODUCER: Philip Hinchcliffe
FORMAT: DVD: UNIT Files: Invasion of the Dinosaurs & The Android Invasion

Stygron announces to Chedaki that he has finished using the village as a training ground and is preparing to destroy it. He as kept Sarah alive to test his virus on which he will use to kill the populace of Earth. The villagers are fetched by the truck and taken away. Sarah escapes from the Kraal base. The Doctor is captured by Stygron and the white androids then tied to the stone memorial in the middle of the village with a bomb. Sarah frees him and they make it to the Kraal base just before the explosion consumes the simulated village revealing the barren surface of the Kraal home planet. Crayford captures and imprisons them. He is ordered to kill them but objects. The Doctor tells Sarah that everyone & everything they'd seen were fake copies. Crayford visits them in their cell and reveals the Kraal plan to invade Earth using the androids which will be fired to Earth in the pods. They are delivered food an water by "Harry" which has been tainted with the virus Stygron plans to kill the humans with. The Doctor is taken to be copied. Sarah escapes to rescue the Doctor. Stygron attaches the Doctor to his machine to copy his body & brain patterns and leaves, with the machine left running which will kill the Doctor. Sarah rescues him and they race to Crayford's ship before it leaves for Earth. They try to hide in the androids pods but are unable to close them and are crushed by the g-force on blast off.

So everything we've seen so far is a fake and a testing ground for the robots prior to their Invasion? Ok... It seems quite a great length to go to especially when they blow it to bits halfway through the episode. You do think if they can build that how come they aren't able to make the surface of their planet habitable again. But Stygron's visit to the surface is only brief so I think you can assume the environment is still hostile if you're exposed to it for a longer period of time. Applause please for an old friend back with us again: the spacesuit Crayford wears was first seen in the Ambassadors of Death and returned in Colony in Space & Planet of the Daleks. Meanwhile the unnamed Kraal is played by a familiar name: it's Stuart Fell who was Alpha Centauri in The Curse of Peladon and The Monster of Peladon, a tramp in Planet of the Spiders, a Wirrn in The Ark in Space, the Morbius Monster in The Brain of Morbius, an entertainer in The Masque of Mandragora, a Sontaran in The Invasion of Time and Roga in State of Decay.

There's two Terry Nation staples in this episode. Big Bombs have been a part of his stories since the Daleks with Invasion of Earth, Planet of the Daleks & Death to the Daleks also featuring them. However for the fourth Terry Nation story on the bounce, after Planet of the Daleks, Death to the Daleks & Genesis of the Daleks, he works a virus into the plot somehow. It was his mid seventies obsession which earlier in the year had reached it's fulfilment in Survivors (first broadcast 16 April 1975) where the vast majority of the population is wiped out by an artificially engineered virus and looks at the struggle of those left behind to survive. So a post apocalyptic version of The Good Life then, which incidentally started airing the same month on 4 April 1975.

The series was produced by Terence Dudley, the former producer of Gerry Davis & Kit Pedler's series Doomwatch, later to direct & write for Doctor Who. Past & present Who directors worked on the show including Pennant Roberts, Gerald Blake, Tristan DeVere Cole & George Spenton-Foster. Neither of the female leads - Carolyn Seymour (later to be a Romulan in Star Trek: The Next Generation) and Lucy Fleming (currently controlling Ian Fleming Publications, the firm which manages her late uncle's literary works) have appeared in Doctor Who but we'll see Ian McCulloch in Warriors of the Deep and Dennis Lill will shortly be along as Professor Fendelman in the Image of the Fendahl and then as Sir George Hutchinson in The Awakening. Other Who acting luminaries involved include Patrick Troughton, Peter Jeffrey, Brian Blessed, George Baker, Philip Madoc, Iain Cuthbertson, June Brown, David Troughton, William Dysart, John Abineri, Chris Tranchell and Roger Lloyd-Pack.

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