The Android Invasion: Doctor Who: Season 13
The Android Invasion SYNOPSIS:
Android replicas of People are turning up on Earth, even of the Doctor and Sarah's friends. But is it Earth? Things are not what they seem.
The Doctor and Sarah arrive in the village of Devsham to find it deserted and radiation levels high. Villagers are brought in on a truck. A UNIT soldier plunges to his death over a cliff and the Tardis team are pursued by android mechanics. Even Harry, Benton and other UNIT personnel are hostile toward them and are led by Guy Crayford,a thought dead astronaut.
Sarah is captured by the Kraals and an android replica of her is made to capture the Doctor. He deduces the Sarah he meets is a replica and the "Earth" is fake also. Kraal scientist Styggron reveals to the Doctor the Earth village and woods were a training ground for their androids. The replicas will infiltrate Earth and open the way for the Kraal & android invasion force assisted by their brainwashed Earth agent, astronaut Guy Crayford.
Sarah helps the Doctor escape bombing and mental torture and the pair head to Earth to warn UNIT of the impending android invasion while authorities are distracted by the return of Crayford's ship. However they are too late, android replicas of UNIT personnel have infiltrated and Styggron plans to kill the Earth's population with a virus rather than share it.
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The Android Invasion SERIAL DETAILS:
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The Android Invasion CAST & CREW
Tom Baker (Fourth Doctor)
Elisabeth Sladen (Sarah Jane Smith)
Ian Marter - Harry Sullivan
John Levene — RSM Benton
Milton Johns — Guy Crayford
Martin Friend — Styggron
Roy Skelton — Chedaki
Stuart Fell — Kraal
Peter Welch — Morgan
Max Faulkner — Corporal Adams
Dave Carter — Grierson
Patrick Newell — Colonel Faraday
Hugh Lund — Matthews
Heather Emmanuel — Tessa
Writer - Terry Nation
Director - Barry Letts
Script editor - Robert Holmes
Producer - Philip Hinchcliffe
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The Android Invasion REVIEWS
The Android Invasion a non dalek Terry Nation tale Funny thing when Terry Nation decides not to write for his famous creations, all the remaining characters come to life! Then again the production team can do no wrong, even if Terry has presented a story that has a lot of Swiss cheese holes in it. But despite it's let downs the plot has some nice touches with it really being a nice allegory for the villages they used to train spies in with allusions to the zombie genre.
The atmosphere is there from the beginning, there's something definitely wrong in down town Devsham and the Doctor and Sarah team play it for all it's worth. Grob's right they nail this story and make it good to watch. They really seem to have a best friends partnership, always knowing what the other is doing and enjoying a healthy camaraderie. Funny but don't think they've nailed this type of Dr. & companion relationship yet in the new series - women companions only seem to want to jump the Dr.'s bones. Is this because it's something RTD wants to do? Anyway back to the past and Tom's incarnation. is overshadowing Pertwee's here as an action Dr. He's jumping off roof's, diving through plate glass windows, hurtling into river's and having full on fist fights with his own android replica. While Sarah is proving resourceful blowing up androids using jugs of water, investigating stuff, ok so she sprains her ankle but thankfully it's the first and only time she does it but STILL doesn't act helpless.
Anyway they find his ain't Earth and is really an alien testing ground for Androids and all their UNIT friends have turned against them and are hunting them down are replicas. It's not a bad idea. The forest locations are brilliant and well filmed and there's plenty of action set pieces. Nice to see the return of Benton and Harry although they don't do much apart from be nasty copies of themselves. Would have been good to see them more heavily involved in the action on the real Earth at the end, maybe even ending with a 'heroic' sacrifice from Harry. Stygrron and the Kraals (theirs a good band name) are almost convincing, but still look nasty. Liked the disorientation centre scenes too.
But yeah never really bought Crayford actually believing that shite about his eye, what dummy doesn't check? Unless they were trying to say his brainwashing made him think it wasn't there? And what ever happened to the invasion fleet was never explained which was ridiculous.But the set up loaded with mystery and atmosphere and those killer android mechanics were all great. All up 8/10 from me. (amended to 8.5)
For the second time in his Who career Terry ditches the daleks for something completely different called The Android Invasion. But will it match up to the dizzy heights of The Keys of Marinius? Remembering that that particular story averaged a bloody 4 because Tim decided to come to work that day with his head up his arse and gave it a 7 which seriously screwed with Goldby's 3 and my justifyable 2. Good one Tim.
The Android Invasion is tops on location and atmosphere and Doctor/Sarah interaction and fuck all on plot and logic. The first couple of episodes which sets up the whole premise shows a lot of promise, particularly with the opening of episode one that features the UNIT soldier who goes all twitchy and falls over a cliff much to the horror of the Doctor and Sarah. Then we get the village with the zombie people, the little android guards that shoot bullets out their fingers and coins that all come from the same year. But its the Doctor and Sarah that really steal the show here. Their respect and friendship for each other is genuine and despite the Doctor being the aloof and knowledgeable alien he is, Sarah is never afraid to playfully take the mick.
However, being a Terry Nation story, a nice set up does not a good story make and things blow apart faster than a Muslim with a backpack. Why - exactly - do the Kraals need to take over Earth when they can build perfectly functioning villages on their own planet? Where exactly is their planet - Oseidon - located? Since you can travel from Oseidon to Earth fairly quickly by rocket that places the planet WHERE in our solar system? Why did they blow up their replica village when they finished with it? If the virus can wipe out all life on Earth why does it only effect Styggron when it's let loose? What happened to the rest of the invasion fleet?
And then there is Crayford. What a knob jockey this guy is. How did this guy not realise he had not lost his eye? Even allowing for the stupidity that he never removed his eye patch to find out, he still would have SEEN the eye patch itself with his covered eye! Why did the Kraals tell him he had lost the eye in the first place? How did the Doctor know that there was nothing wrong with his eye anyway? And finally, once Crayford beamed back to earth on the video screen, how come no one there remarked on his newly-acquired eye patch in the first place?So in summing up; great atmosphere and the regulars are just freaking brilliant. But logic once again went out the window - most likely with Terry Nation's brain and his paycheck. 7.5/10
I've always thought the Android Invasion was a bit under-rated... I find it full of all the other series 13 goodness. It's well made, very well acted, scary "iconic" moments, and a solid plot. I'll never forget the image of Sarah's face falling off at the end of Part 2. It's brilliant. I know now it looks a little hokey, but still, I think it's brilliant.
As we've said, the set up of this story is better than it's finale - the seemingly familiar surroundings that all of a sudden look very alien is a scenario that always works well... in fact it worked just as well a couple of days ago in Terror of the Zygons! The mood is captured equally as well here - with the whole strangeness of (what we are yet to learn is) the experiment, is creepy, scary and everything that Dr Who should be... as is the way that the Doctor and Sarah go about investigating.
For mine the Android invasion plot works well. The Kraal planet is about to blow up - hence the high radiation readings at the start of the story. They've captured the one eyed bloke and brainwashed him nicely to be able to use him as a pawn in their game to capture Earth. OK, the eye patch may feel a bit far-fetched, but I think it's definitely in there to a) show the strength of the brainwashing he's been under (he believes something that is so obviously not true), and b) giving him the ability to believe he's been brainwashed in the end.
It does get a bit complicated in the end though. The idea of the pods works well - but in the end there are so many doppelgangers that it does get confusing and a bit far-fetched... But Tom does get to play his own double, making Jon still the only Doctor who doesn't get to do that party trick! Complicated finish, but great stuff with well realised everythings! 9/10
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