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Doctor Who: The Invisible Enemy

 Unrated   VHS Tape
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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In "The Invisible Enemy", the first adventure of Doctor Who's 15th season, the enemy is all too visible and looks like a giant shrimp. The Doctor (Tom Baker) and Leela (Louise Jameson) receive a Mayday signal, but before they can go to the rescue the Time Lord is infected by the same intelligent virus which has already taken over the crew of a base on Titan. Leela gets the Doctor to a nearby medical station and--while the satellite comes under attack by agents of the Nucleus--miniaturized clones of the Doctor and Leela venture into the Time Lord's brain. The plot thereby combines the classic science fiction tension-builder of a tiny group of humans battling a superior alien foe with the premise of the 1966 film Fantastic Voyage. Inevitably the virus escapes into the full-sized world in a desperate bid to bring about "The Swarming."

This saga boasts copious but variable special effects and laughable makeup; it also marks the debut of irritating robot dog K-9. The Doctor had already been miniaturized in "Planet of the Giants" (1964) and "Carnival of Monsters" (1972). While this 1977 story gets progressively more outlandish and silly, somehow it remains surprisingly gripping to the end. --Gary S. Dalkin


Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Fun is one word that springs to mind! April 12 2004
By A Customer
You know someone once said that Resurrection of the Daleks cheapened Dr.Who because it was a shoot-em-up that was trying to be like a Rambo film! Well, that story at least had quality production and a scene where the Doctor agonized over having to use guns and ultimately, a down beat ending where he pondered his violent life style and thought he needed to consider "changing his ways".
This Tom Baker yarn features a total of ten characters falling under the control of an alien intelligence, at one point or another, (including the Doctor and K-9)endless shoot-em-ups, and a body count of around fifteen different characters, (including clones of the Doctor and Leela)and features the Doctor and K-9 both trying to shoot Leela while under alien control, leela stabbing one man in the neck and knifing another in the back, people being shot, eaten by anti-bodies, dissolved, the stabbing of Leela's clone by the clone of Lowe (Michael Sheard) and the total destruction of an alien species in the explosion of a planet which the Doctor uses a gun to set off after he tries to use a blaster to shoot the nuclear on their first encounter. One guy even gets shot in the bakc by K-9 and the Doctor grabs him and shoves him into the alien incubation chamber where the monsters are hatching! And as genocide is committed the Doctor laughs and makes jokes and tells Professor Marius what a pleasure it's been! Huh?
Well, frankly, I find the cavalier and frivolous attitude of the script writers to the trigger-happy blood bath of this story far more disturbing than anything in the later years! This story has brightly lit sets and a pantomimish monster (like a massive Yabby or Lobster!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Contact has been made! Oct. 26 2003
It's the year 5000, the year of the Great Breakout. The Doctor is fighting for his mind in this story. After answering a mayday from Titan Base, inbetween Jupiter and Saturn, the Doctor comes across some personnel who are infected with a virus. One can tell due to the fuzzy gray and white around their eyes and forehead, and the mechanical voice they speak. Whenever someone is infected, that person utters, "Contact has been made!" The Doctor too is infected... but not Leela. Why not me, she wonders? Is it due to her being all instinct and intuition? Indeed, her sensing something evil in the beginning of the story is true to her hunting instincts. That's nothing compared to the fact that due to the Doctor's intelligence, his mind is ideal serving as the host of the Nucleus of the virus.
The Doctor and Leela go to the Center for Alien Biomorphology on Asteroid K067, where the former undergoes treatment by the station head, Professor Marius, who happens to have a robot dog named K9, a personal database as well as a good friend.
The highlight of this story is where miniaturized clones of the Doctor and Leela are injected into the Doctor's brain, which is a very colourful impressive set. "I've never been in anybody's head before," says Leela 2. They encounter phagocytes, passing thoughts, and electrochemical signals. However, as many viewers have pointed out, the clones should've been naked instead of being reproduced with clothes.
This is the debut story of K9 Mark I, the robot dog that accompanies the Doctor up to The Invasion Of Time, before his twin K9 Mark II, picks up for another two seasons. His offensive nose photon gun is put to good effect.
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5.0 out of 5 stars "Contact has been made..." Aug. 19 2003
This is an excellent episode from the Fourth Doctor's middle period.
It is the first episode to feature K-9, the Doctor's robotic canine computer.
A microscopic swarm of organisms has discovered a way to take over the bodies of humans they inhabit, and now the Nucleus of the Swarm is determined to control both the microcosm and the macrocosm.
Those who liked Underworld, Invasion of Time, Sontaran Experiment, and the Mutants will enjoy Invisible Enemy.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fun is one word that springs to mind! April 12 2004
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
You know someone once said that Resurrection of the Daleks cheapened Dr.Who because it was a shoot-em-up that was trying to be like a Rambo film! Well, that story at least had quality production and a scene where the Doctor agonized over having to use guns and ultimately, a down beat ending where he pondered his violent life style and thought he needed to consider "changing his ways".
This Tom Baker yarn features a total of ten characters falling under the control of an alien intelligence, at one point or another, (including the Doctor and K-9)endless shoot-em-ups, and a body count of around fifteen different characters, (including clones of the Doctor and Leela)and features the Doctor and K-9 both trying to shoot Leela while under alien control, leela stabbing one man in the neck and knifing another in the back, people being shot, eaten by anti-bodies, dissolved, the stabbing of Leela's clone by the clone of Lowe (Michael Sheard) and the total destruction of an alien species in the explosion of a planet which the Doctor uses a gun to set off after he tries to use a blaster to shoot the nuclear on their first encounter. One guy even gets shot in the bakc by K-9 and the Doctor grabs him and shoves him into the alien incubation chamber where the monsters are hatching! And as genocide is committed the Doctor laughs and makes jokes and tells Professor Marius what a pleasure it's been! Huh?
Well, frankly, I find the cavalier and frivolous attitude of the script writers to the trigger-happy blood bath of this story far more disturbing than anything in the later years! This story has brightly lit sets and a pantomimish monster (like a massive Yabby or Lobster!) which is worse than the production values than Davison's Warrior's of the Deep, but even that story had the common deacency to end with a horrified and sickened Doctor decaring, "there should have been another way." Leela doesn't walk out saying "it's stopped being fun" either, she seems to think it's great fun, slaughtering people like cattle!
Still, the whole thing is so badly acted and unconvincingly done and has the look of a cut price pantomime, so it's almost impossible to take any of it seriously. How can you get upset by a story where the violence is totally unbelievable. Leela stabs a man in the jugular at one point and there's not even a spot of blood to wipe off the blade! Best just to let Tom Baker laugh it all off and we can take it as Dr.Who's answer to Star Wars. But one thing puzzles me: if Dr.Who really wanted to do a Star Wars type story with space stations and ray gun battles, surely they should aim to lift their game? This is Who that's been phoned in by people who could hardly be bothered. The acting feels so unrehearsed and the direction is so careless I felt it hard to believe they took more than a single lazy afternoon to cobble this thing together. Anyway, I guess the way to look at this, is to forget the content and not take it even remotely seriously. As a silly, camp bit of space adventure, it's a fun but forgettable Tom Baker story. And only Baker can walk into the side of door and go "clunk" and casually look round and say, "that's odd", like it was nothing! Silly, but entertaining! In a way, typical late seventies Dr.Who!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Contact has been made! Oct. 26 2003
By Daniel J. Hamlow - Published on Amazon.com
It's the year 5000, the year of the Great Breakout. The Doctor is fighting for his mind in this story. After answering a mayday from Titan Base, inbetween Jupiter and Saturn, the Doctor comes across some personnel who are infected with a virus. One can tell due to the fuzzy gray and white around their eyes and forehead, and the mechanical voice they speak. Whenever someone is infected, that person utters, "Contact has been made!" The Doctor too is infected... but not Leela. Why not me, she wonders? Is it due to her being all instinct and intuition? Indeed, her sensing something evil in the beginning of the story is true to her hunting instincts. That's nothing compared to the fact that due to the Doctor's intelligence, his mind is ideal serving as the host of the Nucleus of the virus.
The Doctor and Leela go to the Center for Alien Biomorphology on Asteroid K067, where the former undergoes treatment by the station head, Professor Marius, who happens to have a robot dog named K9, a personal database as well as a good friend.
The highlight of this story is where miniaturized clones of the Doctor and Leela are injected into the Doctor's brain, which is a very colourful impressive set. "I've never been in anybody's head before," says Leela 2. They encounter phagocytes, passing thoughts, and electrochemical signals. However, as many viewers have pointed out, the clones should've been naked instead of being reproduced with clothes.
This is the debut story of K9 Mark I, the robot dog that accompanies the Doctor up to The Invasion Of Time, before his twin K9 Mark II, picks up for another two seasons. His offensive nose photon gun is put to good effect. However, in the scene where he shoots a part of a wall as a defensive barrier, one can clearly see the pieces has been precut. And the old white control room is seen once again for the first time since Pyramids Of Mars (1975).
An interesting piece of Earth history has been developed in the Who mythos. The Great Breakout is where humans are colonizing asteroids. "The asteroid belts are teeming with them. New frontiersmen, pioneers, waiting to spread across the galaxy like a tidal wave, or a disease." When Leela protests, he kindly explains that he likes humans, "but when they get together, other lifeforms sometimes suffer." The theme is later pursued when the Nucleus tells the Doctor of its purpose and justification for its existence: "the rught to survive, multiply, perpetuate. We are all predators, Doctor. We kill, we devour, to live... survival is all, you agree?"
One interesting observation is the English used on the Bi-Al Foundation. It's clearly a phonetic kind, e.g. Isolayshun Ward, Shutle Entry, Egsit... Oh dear, how the human race has fallen!
Michael Sheard (Lowe) not only appeared in four other Who's--The Mind Of Evil (1971), Pyramids Of Mars (1975), Castrovalva (1982), and Remembrance Of The Daleks (1988), but is best known as Admiral Ozzel in The Empire Strikes Back. And Kenneth Waller (Hedges), briefly seen, is best known as Old Mr. Grace in the 1981 season of Are You Being Served?
The second story of Season 14 is a good one overall, with some great spaceship models and the base on the Titan moon, and of course the asteroid.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Contact has been made..." Aug. 19 2003
By Cole Kekelis - Published on Amazon.com
This is an excellent episode from the Fourth Doctor's middle period.
It is the first episode to feature K-9, the Doctor's robotic canine computer.
A microscopic swarm of organisms has discovered a way to take over the bodies of humans they inhabit, and now the Nucleus of the Swarm is determined to control both the microcosm and the macrocosm.
Those who liked Underworld, Invasion of Time, Sontaran Experiment, and the Mutants will enjoy Invisible Enemy.
4.0 out of 5 stars Tom Baker is the Best Aug. 9 2013
By Helen Travis - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
For my husband and I, both age 50, Tom Baker is THE Doctor Who. Others need not apply. Although "The Invisible Enemy" is not as good as the best Tom Baker episodes, such as "City of Death" or "The Sun Makers," it is still great fun and well worth watching. Younger viewers hooked on the improved special effects of the 21st Century Doctor Who may be dissapointed by this 20th Century offering. But any true Doctor Who fan has to love Baker's interpritation of the role. In this episode, the Doctor and his companion, Leela, face an intelligent virus that threatens everyone in the gallexy. This is the episode in which K9, the computerized dog, first appears.
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