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A lost classic made complete
The Invasion is one of the best Cybermen serials ever and definitely one of the highlights of Second Doctor Patrick Troughton's tenure in the Tardis! This story has the Second Doctor, Zoe and Jaime arrive in near-future London(actually 1975, even though this story aired in 1968. Ah, the fun of time travel!) where they face Tobias Vaughn, head of International Electromatics; who has allied himself with the fearsome Cybermen in their plot to conquer the Earth. Aiding the Doctor and his young companions is stiff-upper-lip Brit soldier Aleistair Lethbridge-Stewart(last seen as a Colonel in the episode The Web Of Fear), now a Brigadier General in the recently-formed UNIT---United Nations Intelligence Taskforce---dedicated to fighting alien menaces. This serial had footage that was lost by the BBC archivists who thoughtlessly destroyed or recorded over the videotape for many of the earliest b&w episodes featuring First and Second Doctors William Hartnell and Patrick Troughton. Footage from some of these stories still survive, others are lost forever. The audio tracks for all these "lost stories" are available on CD from Big Finish Audio. Luckily, The Invasion is available(sort of) complete on DVD thanks to the good folks at the now-defunct British animation studio Cosgrove Hall(they brought us such wonderful cartoons as Danger Mouse and Count Duckula) who recreated missing episodes 1 and 4 in flash animation! These scenes are well-done for flash animation and have a noirish feel that fits in the spooky black-and-white photography of the live-action episodes. Unfortunately the two animated episodes are the ones that don't feature the Cybermen(Episode 4 only features the Cybermen at the closing cliffhanger). Getting back to the story itself, it's well-plotted; if a bit overlong, with some good action and the Cybermen are used to menacing effect. And the actors are all outstanding, especially Troughton, Wendy Padbury as Zoe and Nicholas Courtney as the Brigadier. The fact that so few of Troughton's stories remain intact make any of the 2nd Doctor serials worth a look. The Invasion DVD was intended to be the first of a series of Doctor Who DVD filling in the gaps of the "lost episodes", but sales for this one weren't enough for the BBC/2entertain to justify spending the money for such an undertaking. Still, if you love classic WHO and old b&w science fiction, this one belongs in your collection!
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Posted February 5, 2011
Classic Doctor Who
It is wonderful to see one of the "lost" stories released with the missing episodes "recreated" with animation. The animation is good quality and fits well with the rest of the story.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Hopefully the BBC will continue to release classic Doctor Who stories that have surviving live action by adding animation to the missing pieces.
Posted May 5, 2010
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