Please feel free to comment on my review.
Tobias Vaughn and the Cybermen vs. the Doctor, Jamie, Zoe and U.N.I.T.
‘The Invasion’ is one of my favourite Cybermen stories from ‘Doctor Who’.
It was also the first time I encountered Patrick Troughton’s Doctor with Jamie and Zoe. I purchased this DVD in November 2006, as I was into ‘Doctor Who’ from watching the new series. The Cybermen are one of my favourite monsters, and I certainly wanted to see them again in this exciting 60s story.
This is an eight-part story by Derrick Sherwin, from a story by Kit Pedler. It’s a 2-disc DVD set, with the first four episodes on Disc 1 and the last four episodes on Disc 2 with special features on each disc.
I’ve had the DVD cover of ‘The Invasion’ signed by Frazer Hines and Wendy Padbury at the ‘Regenerations 2011’ convention in Swansea, September 2011. I’ve also had the DVD cover signed by Mark Ayres, responsible for restoring the soundtrack of this story, at Tunbridge Wells, March 2013.
Up until this DVD’s release, I had no idea that there were two episodes of this engaging eight-part story missing from the BBC. Of course I was aware of missing episodes from various TV shows made in the 60s such as ‘Dad’s Army’, but I didn’t imagine that some ‘Doctor Who’ stories are incomplete.
But in 2006, 2Entertain have released this lavish DVD edition of ‘The Invasion’ that is now complete with the two lost episodes now replaced by animation episodes. This DVD contains ‘Episode One’ and ‘Episode Four’ now animated to fill in the gaps of the missing episodes and they are so amazing!
The animation for these episodes was done by Crosgrove Hall. The animation is wonderfully well done as it blends in remarkably well with the live-action episodes. The character designs and the backgrounds/scenery for the episodes are spectacular and the soundtrack is wonderfully restored.
I was so into watching these animated episodes of ‘The Invasion’ that I was so sad there were no more animated episode once I finished seeing them. It was a delightfully scrumptious DVD experience. I was looking forward to more ‘Doctor Who’ stories with lost episodes being animated.
I enjoyed watching ‘The Invasion’, as I liked the thrilling 60-styled adventure with the Doctor and his friends fighting against the Cybermen and Tobias Vaughn. It’s a wonderful action-packed adventure and it’s brilliantly directed by the late Douglas Camfield, who knew how to direct good ‘Doctor Who’.
This was the first time that I saw Patrick Troughton as the Doctor. He immediately got me captivated when I first saw him. He certainly isn’t like his predecessor William Hartnell and I enjoyed the humour and mischief that he brought to his Doctor as well as some of the serious and darker sides.
Patrick’s Doctor is reassuring and I like it when he delivers so much and shows concern for his companions, Jamie and Zoe. I enjoyed it when he’s confronts Vaughn, when he mocks or challenges his ideals when he’s working with the Cybermen. I liked it when he goes “Oh how kind!” to Vaughn.
I also enjoyed seeing Frazer Hines as Jamie, making him so believable when he confronts unfamiliar, futuristic situations. Jamie gets on well with his Doctor and is a strong; fearless character when he protects the Doctor and rescues the girls. I enjoyed the comedy gags between the Doctor and Jamie.
I’ve chatted to Frazer about this story and the animation episodes. He was impressed with the animation episodes and I suggested that ‘The Highlanders’ (his first story) should be animated. He was chuffed about that. I enjoyed hearing the DVD commentaries that Frazer does with his co-stars.
I also enjoyed seeing Wendy Padbury as Zoe. She’s lovely and I remember chatting to her about this story when I first met her. She told me she didn’t have fond memories of it before, which surprised me. But she’s had a change of heart recently, and Zoe is truly well-served as a character in this story.
Zoe gets to use her computer expertise such as blowing up a computer and destroying the Cyber space fleet that’s approaching Earth. Zoe meets and becomes friends with Isobel, and gets to enjoy posing for her as a model. I liked seeing Zoe wear that ‘brightly-coloured feather bower’ in the story.
Nicholas Courtney returns as former Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart (now promoted to Brigadier), who was last seen in ‘The Web of Fear’ with the Yeti. The Brigadier is now in charge of U.N.I.T. (the United Nations Intelligence Taskforce) which investigates unknown and strange activity happening on Earth.
It was a joy to see the Brigadier in this story and it was the first time I saw him as he appears in later ‘Doctor Who’ stories. You can rely on the Brigadier whenever trouble’s afoot and is a great ally to the Doctor. It must have been blessing for Nick Courtney to play the Brigadier as a memorable character.
The Doctor and his friends are joined by Sally Faulkner as Isobel, who is a sixties babe. I liked Isobel, as she’s a glamour model and a photographer. She gets on well with Zoe and flirts with Robert Sidaway as Captain Turner. Isobel oozes the sex appeal, especially with the mini-skirts of 60s fashion.
The late Kevin Stoney guest stars as Tobias Vaughn, the main villain. Vaughn is the managing director of ‘International Electromatics’ and is in an alliance with the Cybermen. I enjoyed Kevin’s performance as he’s great playing a villain. Vaughn is my dad’s favourite thing about ‘The Invasion’.
Vaughn is so cool; cunning and charming; as Kevin clearly relishes playing him. He has his own agenda and ambitions and doesn’t hesitate when threatening people. He shows off his power and authority and is so obsessed with getting more power and believes he’ll get it from the Cybermen.
Peter Halliday guest stars as Packer, Vaughn’s security chief. Vaugh puts his trust in Packer and shares his visions of power with him. I liked it when Vaughn restrains Packer’s lust of violence in a deranged telling-off way. When Vaughn is angry with Packer, his face looks awful when he’s berserk.
Packer is wonderfully performed by the late Peter Halliday. Halliday would go on to play more characters in ‘Doctor Who’ later on in the series. For me, I’ll remember Peter Halliday as Packer, who is this thick and rather incompetent security chief for Tobias Vaughn at ‘International Electromatics’.
It’s disturbing when Packer wants his share of violence on victims and amusing when he doesn’t get it. Packer’s about to threaten the Doctor and Jamie and they trick him, leaving him completely dejected. The scenes with Packer getting the Doctor and Jamie in the lift in ‘Episode Three’ were fun.
The Cybermen are really good. They don’t appear until the end of ‘Episode Four’. I do like their head gear; the costumes they wear and the way they did their robotic walk in the story. They seem to be in line with the new series Cybermen which is what I wanted and the voices are good and believable.
I enjoyed it when one Cyberman got revived and was injected with the raw emotion of fear from the ‘cerebratron’ machine. The Cyberman goes on a rampage and escapes into the sewers. I enjoyed it when other Cybermen got attacked when emotions ‘hit’ them and they collapse or fall off a building.
One of the highlights for me is when the invasion happens and there’s that memorable cliff-hanger to ‘Episode Six’ with the Cybermen marching down the steps of St Paul’s Cathedral. It is a truly memorable cliff-hanger scene and is one that sticks in the minds of the audiences even to this day.
The Cyber-Director in Vaughn’s office was amazing. I thought that there was a human brain inside that thing. This is Vaughn’s point of contact with the Cybermen and the voice was amazing. I liked those moments when the Cyber Director went into a mechanical whizz and seemed to get agitated.
So the Cybermen worked for me in ‘The Invasion’. With their voices, their headgear and mechanical walk, they are what the Cybermen should be. They certainly did well with what they had in the 60s.
I really liked hearing Don Harper’s incidental music for this story. It’s feels jazzy; thrilling and exciting to listen to. It’s catchy when you’re listening to the music on its own or with the Cybermen marching.
The DVD special features are as follows. On Disc 1, there’s a documentary called ‘Flash Frames’ focusing on the making of the animated episodes; ‘Love Off Air’ focusing on the recording of ‘Doctor Who’ episodes on cassette tape; ‘trailers’ for the animated episodes and a ‘character design’ gallery.
On Disc 2, there’s the ‘Evolution of the Invasion’ making-of documentary with behind-the-scenes cast and crew interviews. There are also VHS links for ‘The Invasion’, presented by Nicholas Courtney for 1993; and also a photo gallery of the story with Don Harper’s incidental music to accompany it.
On both discs, there’s an info-text commentary option to enjoy and a commentary with Frazer Hines, Wendy Padbury, Nicholas Courtney and production assistant Chris D’Oyly John. There’s also a commentary on ‘Episode One’ with Steve Maher and James Goss, moderated by Mark Ayres.
‘The Invasion’ is one of my favourite Cybermen TV stories from ‘Doctor Who’. I don’t mind it being long as it’s captivating and thrilling throughout. It’s a joy to watch Patrick Troughton’s Doctor for the first time with Jamie, Zoe, the Brigadier and U.N.I.T. as they fight against Vaughn and the Cybermen.
‘The Invasion’ rating – 10/10
|The previous story
For the Second Doctor was
For Jamie was
For Zoe was
For the Brigadier was
|The next story
For the Second Doctor is
For Jamie is
For Zoe is
For the Brigadier is
For Benton is
|Return to Doctor Who Reviews|