The Invasion Of Time: Doctor Who: Season 15
The Invasion Of Time SYNOPSIS:
The Doctor returns to Gallifrey to claim the vacant Time Lord high council presidency and has his former teacher Borusa inaugurate rate him immediately. His first act is to expel his companion Leela from the citadel and his behavior has become erratic and secretive.
Using the Matrix & K9 he divulges how to disable the transduction barriers which protect Gallifrey from outside invasion and has his presidential quarters lined with lead. The Doctor reveals he is allied with the Vardans and allows them to invade and take over. By his order any opposition to the new regime will be expelled from the Capitol.
Leela and Time lady Rodan have already escaped the citadel and she is organizing a revolt to capture the Capitol with the tribe of Gallifreyan outsiders. Using the presidential artifacts the Doctor manages to trap the powerful telepathic Vardans in a time loop revealing he is not their ally after all.
Unfortunately the Vardans had allies they were working for and with Gallifrey's defenses down the Sontarans now land and take over. They want the great key so they can begin an invasion of time and conquer the universe.
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The Invasion Of Time SERIAL DETAILS:
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The Invasion Of Time CAST & CREW
Tom Baker (Fourth Doctor)
Louise Jameson (Leela)
John Leeson (K-9 Mk. I)
John Arnatt — Chancellor Borusa
Milton Johns — Castellan Kelner
Chris Tranchell — Commander Andred
Charles Morgan — Gold Usher
Hilary Ryan — Rodan
Dennis Edwards — Lord Gomer
Reginald Jessup — Lord Savar
Michael Harley — Bodyguard
Eric Danot — Castellan Guard
Christopher Christou — Guard
Max Faulkner — Nesbin
Ray Callaghan — Ablif
Michael Mundell — Jasko
Gai Smith — Presta
Stan McGowan, Tom Kelly — Vardans
Derek Deadman — Stor
Stuart Fell — Sontaran
Production Staff for Serial 4Z:
Writer - "David Agnew" (Graham Williams and Anthony Read)
Director - Director Gerald Blake
Script editor - Anthony Read
Producer - Graham Williams
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The Invasion Of Time REVIEWS
Invasion Of Time
Now we're swept back to Gallifrey for the conclusion of another season. A season which has half the stories starting with 'I"; "Invasion", "Image", "Invisible" - Three "I's" in one season? Rather makes it sound an egotistical old series? As Grob's favourite actor would say. Two visits inside a year? Gallifrey is becoming quite the whore house in terms of another planet besides Earth to visit. Anyway reckon Invasion of Time is rather good. First of all because for the first 3 episodes you're convinced the Dr. has gone mad! First he's seen signing a document for some seated aliens, then he's rude and virtually ignores Leela and this time it's actually the Dr, doing it not Tom just being nasty to Louise.
Then he lands on Gallifrey and demands the presidency of the Timelords. The fact that he's ultra moody, goes from screaming and yelling at his old mentor Borusa to being nice and flippant with his fawning Castellan, who he then turns around and looks like he's going to kill later on. It's magnificent Tom and brave of them to tackle this kind of story, the Doctor supposedly betraying his home planet and all his friends to alien invaders, who are apparently made out of shimmering cooking foil. Leela is banished by the Dr. to the outer wastes of Gallifrey where she makes some savage warrior friends, thus a return to sand pit filming is necessary. Louise gives Leela a good final spin,confused by her mentor's behavior but fiercely loyal, convinced he's not a traitor. The Vardans aren't bad, but when they finally materialize they are men dressed like something out of Thunderbirds, which is sort of a let down from a species with the ultimate in telepathic, telekinetic abilities.
Once some of his friends and the audience have been let on that the Doctor is really being a devious double agent, luring the unfashionable Vardans into a trap then we can begin to relax. As everything is neatly wrapped up by part 4 of Invasion of time we get the "what the?" moment as everyone turns round to see a bunch of Sontarans have arrived on Gallifrey, an unexpected bonus and a great cliffhanger ending - one of the best of this era. Not even Tom was expecting them. However the last two episodes resort to running around corridors and the great controversy of the last episode being set in the Tardis which has become a rambling brick building. Actually this idea isn't bad and it's nice to see the actual interior of the Tardis aside from the console room (the subdued shadowy lighting of this set makes a nice change)
The Sontarans aren't the devious, sadistic creatures of before even though they were orchestrating the invasion, but are rambling foot soldiers for the most part who want the Key of Rassilon but what for? Plus the D-mat gun - what is this? Why not go off to a Wholesale dis-integrator gun place? They needed motivation to be more convincing. In the end Tom steals the show, his eccentricity is in full swing and he even breaks the fourth wall BUT gets away with it. Then there's Leela's leaving scene, how did they botch this? First of all they set it up in the story that she meets a warrior tribe with whom she totally relates to - wouldn't it make sense she joined them and perhaps became a "mentor" of sorts to new Time Lords who decide to live outside the citadel? Instead they fob her off with a stupid love plot in the last two minutes to Andred!! Who would be attracted to that cock-hole? He's painfully unconvincing as the leader of the Time Lord guard. The parting of ways didn't have the punch of Sarah leaving plus K-9 gets the arse…well mark 1 does, hmmmm rambled on enough Invasion of time is marked down as 8/10
An Invasion Of Time m'dearsMy overriding memory of the latter half of Graham Williams first season is a lot of grey with patches of brown. And a hell of a lot of wandering around some very cheap sets. And a lot of really dull characters. There was nothing visually appealing about The Sunmakers, ditto for the dire Underpants - sorry; UnderWORLD - and now we get to the final story of season 15, The Invasion Of Time. Is it the same as its two previous counterparts? Yes. And no.
Strangely, its the wandering about stuff in the latter part of the story that actually works. The rest of Invasion Of Time is just like the two previous ones, dull, drawn out and contains a lot of really boring characters and dull grey and brown sets. The Doctor is all mean and moody (probably tired of being upstaged by Leela's lovely squeezable breasts and long slender thighs that would take an entire 40 gallon drum of saliva to lick every inch of. Ummm....are we serious about putting these reviews on the net guys?) and he lures three aliens made out of tinfoil to Gallifrey.
By now, Gallifrey has gone from somewhere that is genuinely interesting and the-place-to-be to now having all the appeal of standing in a queue at the local ANZ. Its just old farts in robes. Where are the YOUNG Time Lords? Oh hang on; there's Andred (wow, he's wetter than a drowned fish). Where are the FEMALE Time Lords? Oh hang on; there's Rodan (wow, she's wetter than a drowned fish too!) No wonder the Doctor was so keen to clear off - its full of geezers, screamers and wetties.
So the Doctor becomes President (Hillary and Barack watch out) and pisses himself laughing when the Vardans are finally revealed - as does all of us at home. Then he orders Leela out of the building to live in a Southern England quarry so Leela takes the lesbian Rodan along for - erm - company. Leela cracks the squirts at this and leads the rebellion - and Gai Waterhouse - for a charge to the Capitol. The Vardans get killed or something and then the Sontarans turn up. And not the nasty vicious ones as before - but KEYSTONE COP SONTARANS! These guys just blunder and fall over everything. Just take a look at when the Sontaran does a leap over the corner of the swimming pool in the Tardis and crashes into a deckchair! Hilarious! "Every planet has a north!" according to the ninth Doctor, so it stands to reason that every planet has an East cos these Sontarans are COCKNEY!!! I'm just waiting for Dirty Den and that old slag that runs the pub to pop up any minute. Actually they do; in Resurrection of the Daleks and Army of Ghosts retrospectively.
So now we go for a run through the Tardis and for me this is the real highlight of the story. Fans all over the world were whinging about this complaining about the brickwork and the curtains in the sick bay but this to my perverted little brain is EXACTLY what is SUPPOSED to be in the Tardis. The further you go, the older it becomes. Whereas in Sunbakers and Underpants all the running about was tedious and boring, in Invasion Of Time its a welcome relief cos it actually ads something to one of the central elements of Doctor Who - the Tardis!
Finally we get to the end of the story now and in what can only be described as one of the series bigger WTF moments before Colin Baker showed up and completely fucked the series up, Leela falls in love with Andred the Wettie and decides to marry him! WTF???? How????? WHY????? They never showed any interest before! Not even a soulful glance across a steaming deceased Sontaran corpse. If there was one character screaming to be killed off (other than Adric - sorry Tim, I know your views on spoilers) then it was Leela. She should have gone out in a blaze of glory and death which is what her character deserved. It would have given not just her - but the series as a whole at this point - some added weight and depth. From me Invasion Of Time gets a 5.5/10
See ya Leela, your bosoms and thighs are bonza.
Invasion Of Time is a tough one to rate. It's essentially two stories - one quite good, one not so good - and the not so good one leaves us with a bad payoff for the good one. Given that this was a hastily written replacement for a story that was too expensive to produce, maybe we can forgive its, well, lack of coherence! But the fact that they tried to do something so big, is probably reason enough not to forgive it. It took Holmes and Hinchcliffe a long while to get confident enough to have a crack at Gallifrey… doing it as a hastily written piece is extremely dangerous.
The start of Invasion of Time though, works well. The Vardans, even if they are 3 parts alfoil, 2 parts cellophane, still kind of work. The fact that they have their super telepathic powers, and the fact that they scare the Doctor so much that he changes his personality completely adds to their initial believability. And while we're on the personality change - how good is Tom here… possibly at his best I'd say! And this will surprise Grob I'm sure, but Tom does what Colin couldn't do, and that is make "Bad Doctor" something you really want to watch. That could be because we know how good the "Good (Tom) Doctor" is, and seeing him turn like this is compelling.
Luckily he has K9, and his conversation with him explaining what he's doing is able to leave us all liking him again by episode 2. As does the convenient lead wallpaper. So anyway, the Vardans (why they're invading isn't really that important I guess… cos it's not for any reason that I can remember) have caused a fair bit of civil unrest in old Gallifrey, with another leader, Kelner, becoming all corrupted… they're a corruptible lot the Time Lords! But Tom's excellent performance, and his ability to find a key, sees everything wrapped up very nicely in 4 parts.
Then the Sontarans come. Yep, the cliffhanger is fantastic - even Tom looks totally taken aback by their presence… maybe he hadn't read the script… could have been a good idea! like the Sontarans. They look awesome. But why is it that they can't quite make the step up to become a really good villain? Is it because they're fighters and not thinkers? "And now that we're here… um… something…. Quick….. Lets run around a lot"
The chase scenes in the TARDIS are stupid… so much so that they convinced Williams and Read that this was not the way introduce comedy in Dr Who. It is the way to introduce comedy into Benny Hill, but not Dr Who. And the ending… since when did the Doctor need to build a big fuck off shooting thing to defeat something? Especially a Sontaran… just block the wind hole thing - everyone knows that! Anyway, I wasn't going to give this one a pass cos I though the Vardans were only 2 parts, and the Sontarans 4… cos it's the other way around, I'll pass it… just 5.2/10 for Invasion of Time.
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