The Invasion – 1968 – S6 – E3/7

invasion-doctor-who-1Number : Season 6, episode 3 of 7.

Which One : Cybermen at St. Paul’s.

Cast : The Doctor : Patrick Troughton
Jamie : Frazer Hines
Zoey : Wendy Padbury
Brigadier : Nicholas Courtney
Professor Watkins : Edward Burnham
Isobel Watkins : Sally Faulkner
Tobias Vaughn : Kevin Stoney
Packer : Peter Halliday
Tracey : Geoffrey Cheshire
Gregory : Ian Fairbairn
Major General Rutlidge : Edward Dentith
Major Branwell : Clifford Earl
Captain Turner : Robert Sidaway
Sergeant Peters : Norman Hartley
Sergeant Walters : James Thornhill
Corporal Benton : John Levene
Private Perkins : Stacy Davies
Phone Operator : Sheila Dunn
Lorry Driver : Murray Evans
Patrolman : Walter Randall
Workman : Peter Thompson
Policeman : Dominic Allan

Written By : Derek Sherwin & Kit Pedler.

Produced By : Peter Bryant

First UK Broadcast : 2 November – 21 December 1968.

Length : 8 x 25 minute parts.

Plot : The Doctor travels to Earth, where he learns of a plot by business magnate Tobias Vaughan, to help the Cybermen in an invasion attempt. The Doctor reacquaints with Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart, (now Brigadier of the newly formed UNIT taskforce) and joins forces, to stop them.

Whats good : Another epic invasion of London. Iconic locations. First proper UNIT adventure. Tobias Vaughan. The Brigadier. The Cybermen. Rogue emotionall Cyberman loose in London sewers.

Whats bad : Shame that Professor Travers actor Jack Watling was unavailable. Maybe a tad long overall. Doesn’t really get going until part 3.

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Review With Spoilers : The Invasion is the 3rd episode of season 6 and features the first appearance of UNIT taskforce and the reappearing Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart – now promoted to Brigadier.

The Doctor, Jamie and Zoey land the Tardis in a field and hitch a ride to London. Where they discover a plot by business magnate; Tobias Vaughan – to help the Cybermen invade Earth.

The Doctor bumps into Lethbridge-Stewart, who is now the Brigadier of a new military taskforce – called UNIT and helps them fight Vaughan’s mercenaries and the Cyber-invasion.

The Invasion can best be described, as a healthy cross between The Web Of Fear, The Dalek Invasion Of Earth and The War Machines; With some famous London backdrops to frame the Cybermen invasion.

The Cybermen are helped by the dastardly business magnate Tobias Vaughan, who is brilliant played by Kevin Stoney. As an eccentric and egotistical counterpoint antagonist. Stoney also brilliantly played Mavic Chen in The Dalek’s Master Plan.

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“CONNECT IT! Fear! Let’s see how the Cybermen will react to fear!” Vaughan

Vaughan’s one man-army of control he exerts over the Cybermen (and the Cyber-controller) is fascinating to watch. As he bullies and cajoles the Cybermen into accepting his demands. Vaughan even oversees experiments to incapacitate Cybermen, by turning their emotions back on and sending them into a frenzy.

Also back, is Lethbridge-Stewart from The Web Of Fear, this time having been promoted to Brigadier and in charge of UNIT Taskforce. If The Invasion made one main contribution to Who-lore. Then it set-up the introduction of UNIT, who would become a mainstay of the show – for the next 8 years. Corporal Benton also makes a small appearance here.

The Invasion creates the now iconic image of the Cybermen, walking down the steps from St. Paul’s Cathedral as they begin their invasion attempt. Doctor Who was always at it’s best, when showcasing London -during an invasion. The city itself, is as iconic – as the monsters that attempt to invade it.

The end battle between UNIT and the Cyberforce – is, for a Who action scene. An exciting and action packed setup and betrays no hint of the usual small budget constraints – which plague other episodes.

The Invasion is the Cybermen equivilant of the Dalek Invasion Of Earth and is – in every sense, an equal in impact, locations, performance and memorability.

It was this episode, more than any other; that finally cements the Cybermen’s appeal – as Who villain no. 2. After the previous season’s, Cyberman finale; the misfiring – The Wheel In Space.
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (5/5)

Old Doctor Who