a real world point of view
|Novelised as:||The Invasion|
Corporal Benton Isobel Watkins
|Main enemy:||Tobias Vaughn, Cybermen|
|Main setting:||London, 1979|
|Number of episodes:||8|
|Premiere broadcast:||2 November - 21 December 1968|
|Doctor Who television stories|
|The Mind Robber||The Krotons|
The Invasion also featured the second appearance of Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart and formally introduced the organisation known as UNIT, as well as the character of Corporal (later Sergeant) John Benton. Behind the scenes, it was the start of Terrance Dicks' record-setting tenure as script editor. Furthermore, it would be the final major appearance of the Cybermen until Revenge of the Cybermen in 1975.
Escaping from the Land of Fiction, the Second Doctor, Jamie, and Zoe find themselves on 20th century Earth, where they assist Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart and UNIT in their investigations of the suspicious operations of industrial leader Tobias Vaughn. They soon learn that Vaughn is working with an old enemy of the Doctor's in their plan to invade and conquer Earth. After being betrayed by the Cybermen, Vaughn helps the Doctor to destroy them but is killed in the process.
Episode One Edit
The TARDIS materialises in space over the dark side of Earth's Moon, and is promptly fired upon by a missile from an unknown spaceship. The Doctor rushes to effect an emergency relocation out of the missile's path. After rematerialising, the Doctor, Jamie and Zoe find they have arrived in the late 20th century just outside London. The TARDIS's visual stabiliser circuit has become damaged, rendering the ship invisible.
In order to have the circuit repaired, the friends set out to find Professor Travers and ask for his assistance. Along the way, they see a truck coming towards them. The driver is rather rude, but offers them a lift to London. As the truck continues on its way, the driver looks in his rear view mirror and sees a security guard on a motorbike in the distance. He gets out of the truck and opens the back to alert the travellers of the danger. They get clear of the area and hide in some bushes. The driver tells them that "company security" were on his trail. He asks the Doctor and his companions how they got inside the compound. He explains that passes are required to get in and out. He himself got in alright, but getting out might just be a bit more difficult. He tells them of the company International Electromatics. People can hardly buy a piece of equipment that isn't theirs. They all get down as two motorcycles drive past. Once the coast is clear, the driver tells them that IE have set up factories and houses. All of the local people have been bought out. Most of them join the company, while others have vanished. The driver tells them that his "people" haven't been able to trace them. It is now safe to move on, and so they return to the truck.
At the guard post, two security guards note the truck driving towards the entrance. In the back of the vehicle, Jamie sees the truck is slowing down and that they are in a new destination. Zoe is not pleased. Having done nothing wrong, she wonders why they are hiding. The Doctor tells them to keep calm for now. The truck stops at the post and the driver shows the guard his pass. The guard looks at him and then hands it back to the driver. The truck continues, but once it is a couple of yards away, the driver soon realises there is another problem. A motorbike stops at the guard post entrance. In the distance, the driver stops the truck, opens the back and the Doctor, Jamie and Zoe get out of it.
The security guards arrive on the scene. One of them asks to see the driver's pass. Examining it, he tells the driver that he will have to come back with them for questioning. The driver protests that his pass is in order, but the guard is gruff and tells him not to argue. He asks the driver to follow him and the other guard, but the driver refuses to return to the compound with them, telling them there is nothing they can do to make him. The second guard steps forward. The first guard tells the driver he will come back with them. The driver is now annoyed, insisting that they aren't on IE property now, and therefore they have no authority. The guards give him their authority - they pull out their guns. The driver has had enough and tells them to "get on to the police" if they wish to hold him, and prepares to leave. There is a sudden gunshot, then a second one. The driver collapses. Once the third shot has been fired, there is a silence - the driver is dead.
Meanwhile, the Doctor and his companions get another lift from a car driver. When they arrive at the professor's home, they find that he has left for America, leaving his home in the care of Isobel Watkins and her uncle, Professor Watkins. She explains that the professor has disappeared, after he worked on an invention for International Electromatics. The Doctor and Jamie go to IE's head office in London to investigate. When the computerised receptionist won't let them past, they seek out another point of entry. They fall unconscious after being gassed, and are taken by security chief Packer to see IE's Managing Director, Tobias Vaughn. Vaughn apologises for the rough treatment they have endured. He explains that Professor Watkins was engrossed in a delicate stage of his work, and agreed to remain on site. The Doctor's suspicions are piqued. After they leave, Vaughn opens a hidden panel in the wall of his office, revealing an alien machine.
Episode Two Edit
The Doctor and Jamie are abducted by two men, later revealed to be Corporal Benton and Tracy, and taken to an EC-130H Hercules transporter plane, housing a complete operations room, where they are met by the Brigadier. He explains about UNIT, and the taskforce's investigation of IE.
Concerned about their failure to return, Zoe and Isobel leave for IE in search for them. They also encounter the receptionist, but, instead of seeking another method of entry like Jamie and the Doctor, Zoe destroys the computer by assigning it an insoluble equation in ALGOL, causing its circuits to overload. Vaughn is watching, and once again opens the hidden panel. A decidedly inhuman voice speaking through the machine tells him that the Doctor and Jamie have been recognised from Planet 14, and are a threat to their plans. Vaughn orders Zoe and Isobel brought to him. Isobel is used to make her uncle, who is being held captive, co-operate.
The Doctor and Jamie return to Travers' house, to find a note from Zoe and Isobel, explaining their going to search for them. They return to IE, and find several packing cases being loaded onto a train. Part of a feather boa Isobel gave to Zoe is hanging out of one of the boxes, alerting the Doctor and Jamie to the fact that their friend is inside. But before they can rescue Zoe and Isobel, the Doctor and Jamie are again captured by Packer.
Episode Three Edit
The Doctor and Jamie are taken to Vaughn, where the Doctor accuses him of kidnapping Zoe and Isobel, a claim Vaughn flatly denies. Vaughn invites the two companions to come to the company's country compound, where the train will be arriving; it is here where they meet Professor Watkins, who has been warned to not mention Zoe and Isobel's whereabouts. He shows the Doctor his cerebration mentor, a teaching device that is capable of inducing emotional changes.
The Doctor queries Vaughn of the deep space communicator he noticed when he came into the compound; in return, Vaughn demands that the Doctor explain about the failed circuit, even threatening to hand Zoe to Packer if he doesn't co-operate.
The Doctor and Jamie escape onto a railway siding. Whilst in the crates, Jamie has a near encounter with an automated cocoon.
Episode Four Edit
The Doctor and Jamie emerge from the crates, and overhear guards being ordered to take Zoe and Isobel to the tenth floor.
Vaughn confides in Packer that he intends to use the cerebration mentor to control the Cybermen once they have invaded Earth; he also intends to use the TARDIS as a "getaway car", should he fail.
Vaughn broadcasts over the intercom system to the Doctor that he has ten minutes to surrender or Zoe will be harmed. Using a communicator given him by the Brigadier, the Doctor calls for assistance from UNIT, who assist in rescuing Zoe and Isobel from the room in which they are locked. Realising how dangerous UNIT are to his plans, Vaughn exercises hypnotic control over Major General Rutlidge, and orders him to cease UNIT's investigations.
The Doctor examines photographs of UFOs over the IE factory, and reasons that those ships are bringing cocoons to Earth. He, along with Jamie, sneak into the London IE warehouse, where they witness the emergence of a Cyberman from its cocoon.
Episode Five Edit
After witnessing the reactivation of the Cyberman, the Doctor and Jamie sneak back out of the IE warehouse. They return to UNIT HQ and warn the Brigadier that a Cyberman army is invading Earth, and that they are hidden somewhere in London. However, Rutlidge has ordered the Brigadier to cease all investigations against IE. Lethbridge-Stewart intends to gain authority from Geneva, but requires proof to back his reasoning. Isobel offers her expertise as a photographer, but the Brigadier refuses.
Vaughn tests Watkins' device on an awakened Cyberman; however, the alien is driven mad by the machine and escapes into the sewers. Vaughn reveals that in an hour's time the Earth will come under the control of the Cybermen through a micromonolithic circuit built into every IE device; the Doctor discovers this same circuit when he opens up an IE radio, and sets about making a device to block the telepathic signal.
Meanwhile, Isobel, Zoe and Jamie have ventured into the sewers to obtain proof of the Cybermen's presence on Earth. There they find the body of a policeman, who had followed them into the sewers and was subsequently killed by the Cybermen. They then encounter the insane Cyberman, who begins menacingly approaching the intrepid trio.
Episode Six Edit
Isobel, Zoe, and Jamie narrowly escape from the sewers, but not before Isobel has managed to snap some photos of the Cyberman. The photos, however, prove to be worthless as they look too much like fakes.
Watkins perfects his machine and delivers it to Vaughn, but discovers that the Managing Director has been partially cyber-converted. UNIT manage to free Watkins from IE, during which time the Doctor creates a neurister, which neutralises the Cybermens' hypnotic signals. The Brigadier orders the troops to have one of these taped to the back of their necks.
At dawn, the signal is broadcast, causing people around the world to collapse unconscious, leaving the Cybermen able to take over London.
Episode Seven Edit
UNIT plan to use a Russian rocket to destroy the source of Vaughn's signal, while using UK missiles to destroy the incoming Cyberfleet. Captain Turner is sent to Russia to organise the rocket, while the Brigadier goes to the Henlow Downs missile site.
The Doctor stays behind to try to persuade Vaughn one last time to help his people. The missiles are successfully launched, with help from Zoe, and the Cybermen blame Vaughn for the setback in their plans, announcing that they will use a megatron bomb to destroy life on Earth.
Episode Eight Edit
A furious Vaughn uses the cerebration mentor to destroy the machine in his office. The Doctor persuades Vaughn to now aid humanity instead of trying to defeat it, and they take a helicopter to the factory, where they use Watkins' machine to battle the massed army of Cybermen; UNIT forces arrive later to assist. Vaughn is killed in the skirmish, but the homing signal is successfully shut down.
The megatron bomb is destroyed by a missile, while the rocket destroys the last Cyberman ship, consequently stopping the hypnotic signal. With the crisis now over, and the visual stabiliser circuits now repaired, the Doctor, Zoe and Jamie depart in the TARDIS.
- The Doctor - Patrick Troughton
- Jamie McCrimmon - Frazer Hines
- Zoe Heriot - Wendy Padbury
- Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart - Nicholas Courtney
- Tobias Vaughn - Kevin Stoney
- Isobel Watkins - Sally Faulkner
- Corporal Benton - John Levene
- Captain Jimmy Turner - Robert Sidaway
- Packer - Peter Halliday
- Professor Watkins - Edward Burnham
- Lorry Driver - Murray Evans
- Tracy - Geoffrey Cheshire
- Patrolman - Walter Randall
- Gregory - Ian Fairbairn
- Sergeant Walters - James Thornhill
- Phone Operator - Sheila Dunn
- Major General Rutlidge - Edward Dentith
- Workman - Peter Thompson
- Policeman - Dominic Allan
- Private Perkins - Stacy Davies
- Major Branwell - Clifford Earl
- Sergeant Peters - Norman Hartley
- Cybermen - Pat Gorman, Ralph Carrigan, Charles Finch, John Spradbury, Derek Chaffer, Terence Denville, Peter Thornton, Richard King
- Assistant Floor Manager - Sue Willis
- Costumes - Bobi Bartlett
- Designer - Richard Hunt
- Film Cameraman - Alan Jonas
- Film Editor - Martyn Day
- Incidental Music - Don Harper
- Make-Up - Sylvia James
- Producer - Peter Bryant
- Production Assistant - Chris D'Oyly John
- Script Editor - Terrance Dicks
- Special Sounds - Brian Hodgson
- Studio Lighting - Robbie Robinson
- Studio Sound - Alan Edmonds, Bryan Forgham
- Theme Arrangement - Delia Derbyshire
- Title Music - Ron Grainer
- Visual Effects - Bill King, Trading Post
Cast Notes Edit
- Nicholas Courtney reprises his role as Lethbridge-Stewart from The Web of Fear.
- John Levene (Benton) previously appeared as a Cyberman in The Moonbase and as a Yeti in The Web of Fear. He was initially contracted to play a Cyberman in The Invasion, but landed the role of Benton after the actor originally cast – who shall remain nameless – was fired by Douglas Camfield for continually turning up late for filming, causing the planned shooting schedules to be changed.
- John Levene (Benton) was uncredited on-screen for Episode Five, but was credited in Radio Times.
- Peter Halliday also provided, uncredited, the voices of the Cybermen in Episodes Six to Eight and of the Cyber Director – hidden in a concealed compartment in Vaughn's office – in Episodes Two and Five to Eight.
- Norman Hartley (Sergeant Peters) was credited as 'Sergeant' in Radio Times for Episode Eight.
- Zoe does not appear in Episode Three.
Cultural references from the real world Edit
- "Kilroy Was Here" can be seen written in the lift shaft.
- Isobel plays "Teddy Bears' Picnic" on her gramophone.
- Cavendish Lab
- Henlow Downs
- New York City
- United States of America
- ALGOL is a language understood by computers.
- Cerebration Mentor
- Hypersonic jet
- Micromonolithic circuit
- The visual stabiliser circuit controls the TARDIS' outward appearance; removing it renders it invisible.
Astronomical objects Edit
- The Cybermen have a spaceship hidden behind the dark side of the Moon.
- The Cybermen mention encountering the Doctor on Planet 14.
Story notes Edit
- This story had a working title of Return of the Cybermen. It was originally conceived as a four part story and got expanded to eight when the next story, The Dreamspinner, fell through.
- This story marked the debut of Terrance Dicks as Script Editor and his first credited contribution to the series. Dicks would go on to write or co-write a number of episodes, and become best known for his work of writing novelisations for Target Books and eventually contributing to most lines of original fiction based upon the series on into 2008.
- Together with The Web of Fear, this story was a sort of "test run" for a format switch. For the next two or three seasons, most stories would feature the Doctor working with UNIT to protect humanity on more-or-less modern-day Earth.
- While the Cybermen would continue to change their appearance on the series, as they had done since their introduction, this story set the basic design for them, first developed for this story by Bobi Bartlett, through the 1980s. Cybermen emerging from cocoons was also used in Earthshock. They also operate in the London sewers in Attack of the Cybermen. A mass invasion of London by Cybermen also features in the Series 2 stories, Rise of the Cybermen, The Age of Steel, Army of Ghosts and Doomsday, and in the Doctor Who Magazine comic The Flood.
- Cybermats were to have appeared in this story.
- It was during filming of this story that Frazer Hines announced his intention to leave the series.
- Zoe makes no appearance in Episode Three of the story as Wendy Padbury was on holiday during the week when it was recorded. Similarly, Jamie appears only in a pre-filmed insert in Episode Eight as Frazer Hines was due for a break.
- The influence of the various spy thriller films and television shows which were popular at this time are very clear. Tobias Vaughn is similar to the supervillains featured in the James Bond films and The Avengers. The Doctor acting as advisor to a military group dealing with an otherworldly menace is highly reminiscent of the Quatermass serials. Specifically, the plot of The Invasion has some similarity to Quatermass 2, though not as much as some other Doctor Who stories, such as Spearhead from Space.
- UNIT has some similarity to SHADO, the secret organisation dedicated to defending Earth against alien invasion in UFO. However, UFO did not premiere until 1970, two years after The Invasion aired.
- In the DVD's animated version of Episode 1, "Bad Wolf" (the story arc of the 2005 series) is written on Isobel's wall as an in-joke.
- Also in the animated Episode 1, the car that the Doctor, Jamie and Zoe hitch a ride with after the lorry driver is shot has the licence plate H 23 63, which is a reference to the date of the original broadcast of TV: An Unearthly Child, the first episode of Doctor Who, on 23 November 1963.
- Additionally the animators got Zoe's costume wrong; for the beginning part of the missing Episode 1, Zoe would've worn her catsuit from The Mind Robber and she would have changed when Isabel got her fixed up with "some gear".
- Kevin Stoney (Tobias Vaughn) would later appear in the next Cyberman story, TV: Revenge of the Cybermen, in the role of the Vogan leader Tyrum.
- The episode was intended to prove that Earth-based stories could be produced cheaply and effectively. Ironically, it was the most expensive Doctor Who episode ever produced when made, and remained so for several years.
- Originally, Professor Travers and his daughter Anne were to appear, but were replaced by Isobel and her uncle when Mervyn Haisman and Henry Lincoln refused to grant the rights. The DVD's production subtitles claim they were granted rights to the characters, but as the characters became less involved in the story, they thought it was not worth including them. The characters are mentioned however: Isobel lives in Travers' former house in London, and Professor Watkins mentions that Travers was getting "past it," so he persuaded him to live in America with Anne.
- Rise of the Cybermen has some similarities to the opening episodes of this story.
- Episode 1 - 7.3 million viewers
- Episode 2 - 7.1 million viewers
- Episode 3 - 7.1 million viewers
- Episode 4 - 6.4 million viewers
- Episode 5 - 6.7 million viewers
- Episode 6 - 6.5 million viewers
- Episode 7 - 7.2 million viewers
- Episode 8 - 7.0 million viewers
Filming locations Edit
- The cow pasture in which the TARDIS materialises was located at Williamstrip Farm at Coln St Aldwyns. Professor Watkins' house was located at St James' Gardens in Kensington.
- Kingston Minerals in Kempsford served as the IE compound, while the compound's roof was actually that of the Associated British Malsters' Guinness factory in Wallingford, Oxfordshire.
- Additional scenes at IE were filmed at the Guinness Factory in London.
- The canoe sequence was filmed at Lisson Grove and the helicopter sequence at Denham Aerodrome in Buckinghamshire.
- Other scenes were filmed at various locations in Gloucestershire.
- Ealing Television Film Studios, Ealing Green, Ealing
- Lime Grove Studios (Studio D), Lime Grove, London
Production errors Edit
- In episode five, the panel concealing the Cyber Director struggles to close.
- The Cyberman falling from the roof of an IE building in episode eight is clearly an empty costume.
- In episode 8, the strings that make the Cyber Director's 'head' twist are clearly visible.
- In episode 4, the Doctor and his companions claim to have seen a ship on the moon - when they didn't. (In the DVD's animated episode 1, a ship was added to cover this up.)
- The costumes at the start of the animated version of episode 1 are the costumes from later in the serial and do not match the ones from the end of The Mind Robber as they should.
- The Cybermen wear silver painted tennis shoes.
- In Episode 8, Wendy Padbury fluffs her line regarding the distance to the Cyber Ship, quickly correcting "30—" to say "50,000 miles."
- Throughout, Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart's moustache changes size and shape.
- The story first introduces United Nations Intelligence Taskforce, otherwise known as UNIT. It also introduces John Benton. Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart from The Web of Fear returns. He is now a Brigadier.
- Dialogue places this story four years after the events of The Web of Fear. This story is also placed "some months" before Spearhead from Space, according to dialogue in that story.
- In Dalek, Henry van Statten's collection of alien artefacts in the Vault includes the head of a Cyberman, possibly from this story; although its physical appearance matches that of a post Cyber-Wars Cyberman, as seen in Revenge of the Cybermen. Attack of the Cybermen heavily implies that a few of the Cybermen from this story survived and set up a base in the London sewers.
- The prologue of PROSE: Iceberg opens during the Cybermen invasion in this story. The Cybermen in that novel are said to be from Planet 14, which was first mentioned in The Invasion by the Cyber-Planner. COMIC: The World Shapers also picks up on the Planet 14 reference, though it explains it away in a very different way. Since The Invasion takes place in either in the late 1960s or 1970s (see UNIT dating controversy) and no other televised Cybermen story had taken place prior to 1986 (the date of The Tenth Planet), the Doctor must have met the Cybermen before in an un-televised story. The Cybermen did have access to time travel technology, so that conclusion is not an absolute certainty. In 1986, the Cybermen on Mondas appeared to be of a less sophisticated design and did not give any indication of having a fleet of ships. The Cybermen in the 1970s seem to be more advanced and do have a fleet of ships.
- Tobias Vaughn returns in PROSE: Original Sin, in which it is revealed that not only did he survive by transferring his mind into a cybernetic body, but funded the development of BOSS, Operation Golden Age, and Professor J.P. Kettlewell's robot, and influenced the expansion and policies of the Earth Empire.
- Cybermen at this point know of the TARDIS ("he has a machine"), but make no reference to its nature or that he is a Time Lord.
- The humorous touch of the TARDIS materialising in a cow pasture was used again in Image of the Fendahl.
- It was Air Commodore Ian Gilmore, the former commander of the now defunct Intrusion Countermeasures Group, who suggested then Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart for the commander of the British division of UNIT. During his seventh incarnation, the Doctor and his companion Ace would meet a younger version of Gilmore, then a Group Captain, during the Shoreditch Incident in November 1963. (TV: Remembrance of the Daleks)
Home video and audio releases Edit
DVD releases Edit
Released as Doctor Who: The Invasion, the DVD makes use of animated versions of the missing episodes 1 and 4 that were made by Cosgrove Hall, which had previously made Scream of the Shalka for the now-defunct BBCi website.
Release dates Edit
- Commentary on Episode 1 by James Goss (bbc.co.uk), Steve Maher (Cosgrove Hall films) and Mark Ayres (audio cleanup).
- Commentary on Episodes 2-8 by Frazer Hines, Wendy Padbury, Nicholas Courtney and Chris D'Oyly John.
- Flash Frames - A featurette about the creation of the animated Episodes 1 and 4, including interviews with the animation team at Cosgrove Hall.
- Love Off-Air - An affectionate tribute to the people dedicated enough to capture the soundtracks of Doctor Who in the 1960s, enabling the recreated episodes on this DVD.
- Trailers - Two animated trailers.
- Character Design - Showcasing Steve Maher's character design drawings and animation tests.
- Evolution of the Invasion - Cast and crew recall the making of The Invasion, featuring contributions from Padbury, Hines, Courtney and D'Oyly John, plus Kevin Stoney (Vaughn), Sally Faulkner (Isobel), Peter Halliday (Packer), Edward Burnham (Watkins), Ian Fairbairn (Gregory) and Terrance Dicks (Script Editor).
- VHS Links - Nicholas Courtney's links from the 1993 video release of The Invasion
- Photo Gallery
- Production Subtitles
The animated Episode 1 on the DVD release makes some changes to the episode, as noted on the commentary:
- After the TARDIS is attacked, a ship goes across screen (put in by the animators to cover a plot hole).
- The sequence after the Doctor leaves the van that takes them out the compound is shortened.
- The words "Bad Wolf" are put on the wall where Isobel Watkins leaves notes, making reference to the Bad Wolf meme.
- Editing for the DVD release was completed by the Doctor Who Restoration Team.
VHS release Edit
This story was released as Doctor Who: The Invasion in a two cassette set, with and introduction and linking material covering the missing episodes 1 and 4 by Nicholas Courtney.
Release dates Edit
- PAL - BBC Video BBCV4974
Audio releases Edit
This story was released as Doctor Who: The Invasion as part of the BBC Radio Collection. It includes the original soundtrack of the serial with linking narration by Frazer Hines. It also includes a bonus interview with Hines.
It was first released on 1 November 2004 in the Cybermen box set (ISBN 0-563-52508-8), a special 3-CD tin which also contained the soundtrack of The Tenth Planet and a bonus disc. It was subsequently released individually on 9 January 2006 (ISBN 978-0-563-52327-7). It is scheduled to be re-released as part of Doctor Who: The Lost TV Episodes - Collection Five on 2 August 2012 (ISBN 978-1-4084-6755-8).
Unofficial releases Edit
Loose Cannon Productions have made a reconstruction of the missing Episodes One and Four, using audio recordings, authentic pictures, composite pictures, pictures from other stories and specially created material. (Note: The surviving episodes are not included on the recon.)
Although Loose Cannon Productions and Cosgrove Hall were working from the same scripts and audio recordings, their visual interpretations of the episodes are very different and it is interesting to compare the two.
- Celebrity Introduction by Kevin Stoney (Tobias Vaughn)
- Production Featurette
- An Interview with Kevin Stoney (also includes clips from many of his television and film appearances)
- A re-enactment of the scene of Cybermen descending the steps of St Paul's Cathedral, using Earthshock-style Cybermen, and comparing the re-enactment with the original.
- The Invasion at the BBC's official site
- The Invasion at BroaDWcast
- Detailed synopsis of The Invasion at the Doctor Who Reference Guide
- The Invasion at Shannon Sullivan's A Brief History of Time (Travel)
- The Invasion at The Locations Guide
- The Invasion episode transcript
- Loose Cannon Productions The Invasion page
- The Invasion DVD on the Doctor Who Collectors Wiki
- The Invasion VHS on the Doctor Who Collectors Wiki