Picture: Sally Faulkner (left) and Wendy Padbury
Episodes 1 and 4 of this eight part story are lost. They have been brought back to life, though, with some excellent flash animation by Cosgrove Hall. If only all the missing episodes could be brought to life like that!
This is pretty much a test run of a new format for the show. Troughton was going to leave by this time, and Padbury and Hines decided to bow out along with him. The story is on Earth, with an alien menace and the Doctor assisted by Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, Benton and UNIT. All that is missing from the story is the Master; with him, it would be a Jon Pertwee story! This story also marks the beginning of Terrance Dicks's association with the show, as a script editor.
The TARDIS reassembled, has materialised close to the Moon. A missile is fired at the ship. They land in a field and laugh at the sight of a cow on the scanner. Leaving, they notice the TARDIS is invisible because of the emergency. They get a lift as they intend to visit Professor Travers in London. They stop and hide with their driver; they are on the grounds of a company, International Electromatics (IE), compound. The driver smuggles the travellers out; he is stopped by some guards and he is shot. The Doctor and co. get another lift. In London, they are surprised to see the Travis house occupied by photographer Isobel Watkins Sally Faulkner). There they learn her uncle works for International Electromatics and that he has disappeared. The Doctor and Jamie investigate, whilst Zoe models for Isobel. Benton and another man are keeping an eye on the IE building. The Doctor and Jamie are taken to see the chief of IE, Tobias Vaughn, by his security officer Packer. The Doctor hands Vaughn the circuits he wanted fixing. Jamie is presented with a transitor as a gift. The Doctor is suspicious of Vaughn, who - back in his office - has opened a panel to reveal an alien device.
Jamie and the Doctor are picked up by Benton and his men. Vaughn wants the TARDIS circuits studied and orders pictures developed of the Doctor and Jamie. Zoe and Isobel go to IE to find the travellers. The Doctor and Jamie meet up with Lethbridge-Stewart. He explains that they have created a new organisation called UNIT following the Yeti business and that IE is under their investigation. Vaughn communicates with the machine; an electronic voice says the images are recognised and Jamie and the Doctor are dangerous and must be destroyed. Zoe destroys the IE computer by feeding it an Algol command. Packer takes them to Vaughn. The Brigadier explains that a number of people have gone into the IE and they have changed upon coming out. IE controls the electronics industry worldwide. Back at the house, Jamie and the Doctor tuck into sandwiches (another Pertwee element!) as the Doctor examines the electronics in the transistor radio; they look at the wall to find a message from Zoe. They rush off to IE after Zoe and Isobel, who are taken captive at IE. Vaughn communicates again with his unknown allies; they say once more that the Doctor must be destroyed. Inside IE, they see a man carry a massive box with ease, but they have been alerted. Vaughn orders the Doctor caught. The travellers hear Zoe and Isobel's screams and running to help are caught by Packer and his guards.
Vaughn sends off capsules, one containing Zoe and Isobel. He moves off with the doctor and Jamie, followed by UNIT, to his countryside base. Packer threatens harm to Isobel in order to blackmail Watkins to continue working on a machine. The Doctor and Jamie are led to Watkins who remembers being told of them by Anne Travers; meanwhile Vaughn is observing their discussion via surveillance. Realising this, the Doctor jams the signal but not before Vaughn hears about the TARDIS and is intrigued. Vaughn wants to know about the ship and threatens to harm Zoe. They escape from Packer and climb up a lift shaft; he starts the lift whilst Jamie and the Doctor are still in the shaft. They make it to the roof and escape down the fire escape. They hide in a train wagon which contains more capsules. Climbing into one capsule, Jamie sees a covered figure begin to move.
The Doctor and Jamie set off to rescue the girls. Vaughn and Packer discuss the Invasion; the former believes the emotional pulses from Watkins's machine can threaten his allies, and that when they invade he can then dispose of them. If all else fails, the TARDIS can help as an escape to prevent being converted into an invader. The Doctor is told to turn himself over in ten minutes or Zoe will be harmed. The girls spot him and signal for help. The Doctor radios the Brigadier, asking for assistance fromCapt. Turner and the UNIT helicopter. They escape using a rope ladder and get into the helicopter. Vaughn is forced to bring the invasion forward - it will begin in a day. The Doctor, back at UNIT, speculates about the object they saw on the Moon and the missile attack, the deep space raion transmitter at IE and reported sightings of UFOs. Vaughn, Watkins and co. go back to London with the machine. The Doctor wants to go to the IE premises because he must find out what is in the capsules that have been transported by IE train to London. They sneak onto the premises, where they observe a machine that lets out a pulsating noise. The machine awakens a cacooned figure - a Cyberman!
The Doctor returns to UNIT and tells them of the Cybermen. Lethbridge-Stewart tries to get his superior, Rutlidge, at the MOD to investigate, but the Major is under Vaughn's control and thus orders no action be taken. The Brigadier says he will get authority from UNIT in Geneva. Rutlidge reports that UNIT are moving against IE to Vaughn. More Cybermen are brought to life where they are to guard the London sewers, where the Cyberman invasion force is being hidden. The Doctor suspects that there might be something in electronic gadgets that will help the invasion. Vaughn uses an emotional impulse(fear) on another revived Cyberman; it walks off down the sewers screaming in torment. Isobel, Zoe and Jamie head off to get pictures of Cybermen in order to get the proof UNIT need to take action. Vaughn confers with the Cybermen: he gets them to accept that he will not be converted into a Cyberman and that he will remain leader of the Earth, in return he will supply minerals to the Cybermen. Down in the sewers, Zoe and co. are advanced upon and trapped by Cybermen.
The insane Cyberman walks past the girls and Jamie. Capt. Turner and UNIT men have followed them into the sewers; they kill two Cybermen with grenades and all but one soldier escape. The Brigadier doesn't think Isobel's photos will be sufficient proof. Watkins has completed his machine. He says he will kill Vaughn, who takes Packer's gone and gives it to Watkins. He shoots Vaughn but the bullets have no effect. Benton and his UNIT fellows rescue Watkins who are taking Watkins. The Doctor talks to Watkins and realises what the machine is for and why the circuits in electronic gadgets has been placed there. They will replicate the Cyber mind control. The Doctor sets to work on making patches that protect the use from Cyber control, much like those in the Wheel in Space. A signal is sent and people suddenly collapse all over London. Cybermen begin bursting out of the sewers and walking the streets of London. (One of my favourite "Who moments".)
Picture: the Cybermen invade! St.Paul's Cathedral is in the background.
UNIT men have collapsed but some, thanks to the Doctor, are OK. Packer is ordered to capture Watkins; however, he is forced to report UNIT are not under full Cyber control. UNIT plan to use a rocket to blow up the Cyber control signal from the Moon. The Doctor goes to Vaughn in order to buy time as well as leave his radio on so UNIT can hear his discussion. The Cybermen begin to send in their invasion fleet but part of it is destroyed by the missile. The Cybermen no longer need Vaughn and plan to use a Cyber bomb to kill all life on Earth.
Vaughn realises the Cybermen are to be destroyed and goes against them. Packer is killed by a Cyberman who in turn is destroyed by Watkin's machine. UNIT prepare their forces to attack whilst the Russians launch another missile. Vaughn and the Doctor and the UNIT forces converge on an old IE building, which contains the control signal for the bomb. UNIT and Cybermen engage in a firefight. Vaughn is killed by a Cyberman. The Cybership moves towards Earth and everyone must wait a painful 12 minutes before the Russian missile can change course. The Cyberbomb is released and missiles are fired to destroy it. The Cyber ship is destroyed by the Russian missile. Isobel and Capt. Turnerdrop off the Doctor and companions back at the field where the TARDIS landed. They stare in disbelief as the now visible ship dematerialises
The Invasion is quite simpply fantastic stuff! Kevin Stoney (Mavic Chen in the Daleks' Masterplan) is great as Vaughn as is Nicholas Courtney as the Brig. Sally Faulkner is spirited and babealicious as Isobel - her argument with the Brig is the first time a definite school of political thought (feminism) was mentioned in the show. The Cybermen hardly show in this story but when they do they are far better than their outing in the Wheel in Space; also, they have another design overhaul which looks impressive and is also more like the Cybermen in future stories than the previous designs. (The scenes in the sewers were really creepy, and the cybersuits worked well as they reflected the lighting.)
There is a lovely running bit of incidental music that wouldn't have been out of place in an episode of the Avengers. Indeed, the eight episodes are crammed full of action; the story hardly goes flat at all, like in some of the other long stories from this era of the show.
Success for Women's Lib
Brigadier: This is hardly a job for you...You're a young woman. This is a job for my men.
Isobel: Well, of all the bigoted, anti-feminist, cretinous remarks!
Brigadier: This is no job for a girl like you and that's final.
Isobel: Oh you...you man!
Solving an absurdly complex maths problem in 30 seconds.
Running about with Isobel in mini-skirts (with numerous shots of both ladies' knickers).
A true classic in the show. The shots of the Cybermen walking around in London are as excellent as when the Daleks were filmed, back in the Dalek In vasion of Earth.
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