‘The Invisible Enemy’ (TV)


Please feel free to comment on my review.

Welcome K-9

K-9 has arrived in the TARDIS!

The ‘K-9 Tales’ DVD box set is a collection of two stories featuring the loveable robot pet dog of the Doctor’s. I love K-9 and was looking forward to seeing his first appearance in ‘Doctor Who’ and how he met the Doctor. The set includes ‘The Invisible Enemy’ and ‘K-9 & Company: A Girl’s Best Friend’.

Sadly the ‘K-9 Tales’ DVD box set isn’t the greatest collection of adventures from the world of ‘Doctor Who’. But I enjoyed how the cute robot dog met his master, the Doctor in ‘The Invisible Enemy’ and I especially enjoyed seeing how K-9 met Sarah Jane Smith in ‘K-9 & Company’ later on.

‘The Invisible Enemy’ is a four-part story by Bob Baker and Dave Martin, the creators of K-9. I enjoyed this adventure, although some parts of it were very weird and surreal in the Doctor’s head.

The story is set in the year 5000 and features Tom Baker as the Doctor and Louise Jameson as Leela. The TARDIS responds to a distress call, but this turns out to be a trap as the deadly Swarm is waiting.

The Doctor gets infected and taken over by the parasitic Nucleus of the Swarm. Unable to control himself, Leela soon helps the Doctor to get to a medical satellite where he can be treated and cured.

There they meet Professor Marius with his pet robot dog K-9. Very soon, the Doctor and Leela get cloned. The clone Doctor and Leela go inside the real Doctor’s head in order to stop the evil Nucleus.

K-9 was originally meant to be a one-off character in this story. But due to K-9’s popularity with the production team, he was made to stay on as fully-fledged companion. And thank goodness for that!

I love K-9 a lot when I see him in ‘Doctor Who’. He’s a highly advanced computer in the shape of a dog. He can be pretty clever and a bit of a know-it-all, but he is really loyal and helps the Doctor out.

I first saw K-9 in the new series episode ‘School Reunion’. It was fun to see him in his first appearance of ‘Doctor Who’ in this story, even though it’s not the greatest of stories in my opinion.

K-9 is voiced by John Leeson, who is a great character actor. But as well as doing the voice of K-9, John also got on all fours and play K-9 as a stand-in to  interact with Tom Baker and Louise Jameson.

Tom Baker is great as the Doctor in this adventure. It was strange to see him being taken over by an evil alien parasite and he’s doing all he can to fight the Nucleus’ influence when it’s taking over him.

Louise Jameson is equally good as Leela in this adventure. I enjoyed that first scene where Leela and K-9 first meet and Leela gradually warms to the dog. Leela holds the key with saving the Doctor’s life.

Frederick Jaeger guest stars as Professor Marius, the owner and creator of K-9 in this story. There’s also Michael Sheard as Lowe, a space station manager who gets infected by the Swarm in this story.

It was pretty strange to see clone copies of the Doctor and Leela as they go inside the real Doctor’s head. This TV story predates ‘Into the Dalek’, as we get to go inside the Doctor’s head for a change.

The special effects for when the clone Doctor and Leela are inside the real Doctor’s head are pretty impressive and unique. It must have been quite a challenge to achieve those special effects in 1977.

Sadly, this is ruined by the appearance of the Nucleus of the Swarm, also voiced by John Leeson, which eventually ended up looking like a giant prawn. I’m sorry, I cannot take the Nucleus seriously.

The DVD special features are as follows. There’s the making-of documentary ‘Dreams and Fantasy’; ‘Studio Sweepings’, a ‘Visual Effect’, a ‘Blue Peter’ item with K-9 and a CGI effects option to enjoy.

There’s also a commentary with Louise Jameson, John Leeson, co-writer Bob Baker and visual effects designer Mat Irvine. There’s an info-text commentary option to enjoy and trailers and continuity.

There’s also a photo gallery of the story and a ‘Radio Times Listings’ PDF of the story. There’s an Easter Egg to look out for on this DVD that has K-9 appearing on ‘Larry Grayson’s Generation Game’.

There’s also a ‘coming soon’ trailer for ‘The Brain of Morbius’ with Tom Baker and Elisabeth Sladen.

‘The Invisible Enemy’ has been an enjoyable ‘Doctor Who’ adventure featuring K-9’s first appearance in the series. It’s not the greatest, but I liked it when Leela begged the Doctor to take K-9 with them.

‘The Invisible Enemy’ rating – 6/10

The previous story

For the Fourth Doctor was

  • ‘The Changeling Years’ (YB)

For Leela was

  • ‘The Changeling Years’ (YB)
The next story

For the Fourth Doctor is

  • ‘The Exxilons’ (Audio)

For Leela is

  • ‘The Exxilons’ (Audio)

For K-9 MkI is

  • ‘The Exxilons’ (Audio)
Return to The Fourth Doctor’s Timeline
Return to Leela’s Timeline
Return to The Timelines of K-9
Return to The Doctors’ Timelines Index
Return to The Companions’ Timelines Index
Return to Doctor Who Timelines
Return to Doctor Who
Return to Sci-Fi

2 thoughts on “‘The Invisible Enemy’ (TV)

  1. Timelord 007

    Excellent review Tim, i was loving this story until the Nucleus reveal & upon seeing that the story lost all credability for me as it looked horrendous.

    Tom & Louise are great together in this & it’s K-9 debut so it’s not all bad, 6/10 is a fair rating mate.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Tim Bradley Post author

    Hi Simon.

    Glad you enjoyed my review on ‘The Invisible Enemy’. Yes, the appearance of the Nucleus ruins the story and it seems pretty daft-looking watching it on the DVD. I wonder what the Big Finish audio story ‘Revenge of the Swarm’ is like and whether it’s an improvement for the Nucleus?

    Glad you agree with my rating for this story. I enjoyed Tom and Louise in this story and it was nice to see how K-9 makes his debut in ‘Doctor Who’.

    Tim. 🙂



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