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Doctor Who: The Android Invasion

Tom Baker , Elisabeth Sladen , Barry Letts    Unrated   DVD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 30.98
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Doctor Who: Android Invasion.

Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "This is no time for niceties!" May 10 2001
Format:VHS Tape
This Tom Baker story is the odd one out in a season widely regarded as one of Doctor Who's best. The middle of Philip Hinchcliffe's reign as producer, the 13th season is filled with memorable sci-fi tales with healthy doses of suspense and horror. In contrast, "The Android Invasion" is the most straightforward adventure, without any real finesse, making it stand out like the proverbial sore thumb. It is certainly not a bad story - but on the other hand, it is not spectacular. It is a standard alien invasion of Earth story, with a plot that doesn't challenge or enthrall. It is basically a rip-off of "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" (although the rest of the season's stories were similar rip-offs of classic tales, but more stylishly done) and is very predictable, with a few gaping plotholes. However, while all I have written so far indicates that I loathe the story, in actual fact I have a soft spot for it. It was one of the first stories I saw, 21 years ago (my, how time flies) and some scenes rest vividly in my mind. The androids shooting bullets out of their fingers; Sarah Jane's face falling off to reveal the android; the deserted village; the incredibly ugly (but well designed) Kraals. These aspects always made repeat viewings welcome. There are other positive elements to the story: the location work, especially in and around the village, is excellent and the direction (by former producer Barry Letts) is very good. UNIT allies Harry Sullivan and RSM Benton make their swansong Doctor Who appearances, while Martin Friend's Styggron is also well portrayed. Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars We are the vilage green preservation society. June 30 2002
Format:VHS Tape
As others have pointed out this is rather a standard android invasion type story with worked in rehashed pulp science fiction props and plots.
Having said that it is more of a comic horror type of story with Tom Baker literally hamming it up throughout. From the early moaning and groaning from Sarah Jane (are we there yet, are we there yet Type of complaining about getting back home) to the Marie celeste type village - could be in Epcot - through to the twisted Sontaran type aliens there is a lot of tongue in cheek humour. This also is a bit of a prototype of the later, not as good, Peter Davison story 'Four to Doomsady' which has a number of similarities but not as good sets or location.
This story is quite droll and if it was to be taken too seriously then I must admit it would not be such a good tale. I have not seen such a Doctor Who where Tom Baker is in such good comic form. It reminds me of a later UK tv show where he played a house doctor and obviously had a lot of fun doing it.
Do not judge this story too harshly. Given the context of the other stories of the season and the Tom Baker series it would not be terribly logical to broadcast a dummy.
Watch it in lightheart and you will get much enjoyment from it.
Originally broadcast 22 November to 13 December 1975.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I just love this episode... Jan. 5 2002
Format:VHS Tape
I truly enjoy the earlier Tom Baker (Sarah Jane) episodes. "The Android Invasion" is a wonderful example (when he actually wore the hat) and a great performance by Liz Sladen as they arrive and explore a seemingly deserted English village. When I sit down to watch a Dr Who, I often find myself reaching for this tape. The story has a special charm that is difficult to explain. I would recommend that all Dr Who fans add "The Android Invasion" to their library. It is one of my very favorite episodes!
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Format:VHS Tape
When Sarah Jane asks the Doctor if they are on Earth, the Doctor answers "possibly." Part of this has to do with the high radiation reading he gets from an instrument.
However, they see a UNIT corporal commit suicide over a cliff, and upon closer examination discover he has all newly minted coins and bills in his wallet. Upon closer examination of the village of Devesham, which Sarah recognizes, they discover it deserted. When people do appear, they do so in a robotic, clockwork fashion. Among those in the pub is none other than the corporal, alive and well! Sarah gets off a parting shot at his expense: "I don't you think you should be drinking so soon after breaking your neck."
Both decide to explore the Space Defense Station a mile from the pub, where to their bewilderment, they find their friends, Mr. Benton and Harry Sullivan, under orders to hunt them down. To add to the mystery, they are being led by Guy Crayford, an astronaut testing a new space freighter XK-5 who vanished, presumably killed by a colliding asteroid. "All our friends led by a dead man," the Doctor observes wryly. But Crayford is under the thrall of Styggron, a strange alien resembling a cross between a rhino and a boar.
The military vs scientists motif is explored as Styggron puts the emphasis on science as the thing that will help his fellow Kraals, while Marshall Chedaki insists on military might. All I can say is that if Chedaki were in charge of the operation, the Earth wouldn't stand a chance, as Styggron makes mistake after mistake. Chedaki's analysis of the Doctor as someone who has a history of supporting libertarian causes is half-accurate--I'd include a "left" in front of "libertarian.
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