The Gallifreyan Embassy
Home of the Doctor Who podcast DOCTOR WHO: PODSHOCK
Advertising | Donate | Feedback | New Website | Podshock | Shop | Forum | Media Gallery | Web Resources | Polls
 Gallifreyan Embassy 3.0  
  • How do you rate Doctor Who: Face the Raven? (5=Fantastic)
  • Doctor Who: Podshock Live Show 'Face the Raven' Review Scheduled
  • How do you rate Doctor Who: Sleep No More? (5=Fantastic)
  • Doctor Who: Podshock Live Show 2015 Mid-Series Review Scheduled
  • How do you rate Doctor Who: The Zygon Inversion? (5=Fantastic)
  • How do you rate Doctor Who: The Zygon Invasion? (5=Fantastic)
  • How do you rate Doctor Who: The Woman Who Lived? (5=Fantastic)
  • How do you rate Doctor Who: The Girl Who Died? (5=Fantastic)
  • Doctor Who: Podshock 330 - The Magician's Apprentice and Witch's Familiar Reviewed
  • How do you rate Doctor Who: Before the Flood? (5=Fantastic)

  •  Topics  
    Doctor Who News (188/0)
    DW: Podshock (201/0)
    DW Reviews (33/0)
    Torchwood (15/0)
    Sarah Jane Adven... (13/0)
    General News (29/0)
    Embassy News (19/0)
    Editorials (5/0)
    Alien Tech (2/0)

     Extra! Extra!  

    Become a Podshock Supporting Subscriber

    Mark Strickson in Sydney
    Mark Strickson in Sydney
    Browse Album

     User Functions  


    Lost your password?

     Support Podshock  

    This site and our podcast are free to use and listen to respectively. Though there are costs involved in maintaining and producing both. If you like, please make a donation to help offset these costs and to help ensure that we can continue to bring you both. Thank you so much.

    You can make a one time donation of any amount you like using the above "Donate" button. If you rather make an annual recurring donation of $25 (that is less than 50 cents a week), use the "Subscribe" button below.

    There are no upcoming events


     Ads by Google  

     Older Stories  
    Wednesday 06-May
  • In Russell/Moffat We Trust Shirts and More (1)

  • Tuesday 05-May
  • Join Us for Our Second Second Life Meet Up (3)

  • Friday 01-May
  • Doctor Who: Podshock - Episode 147 (0)

  • Wednesday 29-Apr
  • Sonic Newsdriver for the Week of the 27th of April 2009 (0)

  • Saturday 25-Apr
  • Who Party 14 Toronto Doctor Who Convention (0)
  • Doctor Who: Podshock - Episode 146 (1)

  • Thursday 23-Apr
  • Sonic Newsdriver and Hoo on Who for the Week of the 20 April 2009 (0)
  • Doctor Who: Podshock - Episode 145 (4)

  • Wednesday 15-Apr
  • Three New Producers Announced (0)

  • Saturday 11-Apr
  • Planet Of The Dead Canadian air date confirmed (0)

  • Tuesday 07-Apr
  • Doctor Who: Podshock Recognized as Best Podcast (1)
  • Sonic Newsdriver for the Week of the 5th of April 2009 (0)

  • Wednesday 01-Apr
  • Doctor Who: Podshock - Episode 144 (5)

  • Friday 20-Mar
  • Doctor Who: Podshock - Episode 143 (3)
  • Hitchhiker's Guide to British Sci-Fi - Episode 3 (1)

  •  Notice  

    Doctor Who and the TARDIS are owned and trademarked by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). The Gallifreyan Embassy and the Doctor Who: Podshock podcast are not connected to the BBC in any way. No infringement is intended.


     Home »  The Tom Baker Era »  Android Invasion 1-2 OGG! oh Good God!
    Prev Topic Next Next Topic Printable Version
    Android Invasion 1-2 OGG! oh Good God! Views: 1017
     Thursday, March 12 2009 @ 05:42 PM EDT

    Nothing is right about this story from start to finish. No matter how you look at it, it’s one of the worst if not the worst Tom Baker stories of all. Even Tom seems to be sleepwalking through this story. Not that aren’t some fun moments or lines or seconds… “Is that finger loaded” being among them and “I drop in, I do that from time to time” and a few more but…

    The opening doesn’t keep it a secret that the man walking is an android thus there’s no suspense or mystery. The Doctor exits the TARDIS and doesn’t even feel he’s on another planet? I guess he hasn’t the Chris Ecceleson talent of knowing he’s on Earth, falling or whatever that nonsense was but whatever. The Doctor feels the pulse of the dead android in ep1 and doesn’t know it is an android. He leaves Sarah alone in the pub hiding, telling her to investigate, when they already have and have found strangeness and have already been shot at. A Kraal is watching Sarah help the Doctor escape from a hole in the wall AND lets her get away (was this the one who was making it a test?) Why test them at all? Sarah’s captured and we don’t see it. Her body is taken into a cell or lab with her face covered up as if she’s dead. I guess that could make one panic that she really was dead. Sarah puts the key in the TARDIS lock, walks away, and then watches as if the Doctor is leaving her behind. WTF? Then she asks a man in an opening pod if she can help him…by getting up close to her…and he, for some reason starts to choke her? Sarah sees an android that has its face plate up? Why is it up? And there’s more. The Doctor tells Sarah that something came down from the sky and is affecting people for miles around…and then returns to the pub and talks to one of the “affected” for some time. What is the Brig doing with an office at a Space Research Center which is also called a Defense Center…or a Space Defense this a UNIT run thing? Or is this UNIT HQ? The Doctor is shot at several times…once at least at close range while the Doc throws a desk at Crayford…and the desk doesn’t block the gun in a badly orchestrated action sequence. Benton’s not himself…what a poor story to go out on. Then the Kraals argue or something. One wants to make the first android that’s hostile. I guess it meant hostile to Kraal life. At ep2’s end, one Kraal wants to make an android to kill a Kraal, then tells the other Kraal, presumably the one he wants to kill with it, all about it.

    What a mess. And there’s more and more and several guide books on Doctor Who, ABOUT TIME being one of them, can tell you about more. How this mess got past anyone is beyond me. It is not entertaining in the least. The one thing that looks good is the outside location stuff and the first ep has some atmosphere but then one realizes it’s a rip off, a bad one, of INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS, mixed with THE BIONIC WOMAN and THE SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN’s fembots-robot enemies, with a small dose of ANDROMEDA STRAIN and all the bad parts of all of those. The cliffhangers are lame and shallow and WRONG…Sarah lost her scarf so she shouldn’t have one on and the Doc figures out…oh never mind.

    For my taste, I’d take almost any other Tom Baker (except maybe INVISIBLE ENEMY) over this one. Yeah but I like all of seasons 16, 17, and all but two stories in 18 and 19.

    Also anyone who calls this season a classic should watch this mess and realize that they are not all good. And I ADORE Tom Baker. And like Lis but…please. Poor stuff but it still beats TRIAL, TIME AND THE RANI, DRAGONFIRE, and PARADISE TOWERS IMO.

      Profile    PM    Email   
     Thursday, March 12 2009 @ 05:45 PM EDT
    oh yeah, almost forgot: the music in part one especilly sounds like the stuff they used to play on phonograph records or play on pianos to accompany silent movies!

      Profile    PM    Email   
     Thursday, March 12 2009 @ 11:21 PM EDT
    I'd factually rebut your assertion this is a rip-off of Kill Oscar, the three-part BW/SMDM Fembot crossover. In fact Android aired some 11 months prior to Jaime and Steve's most memorable outing. More to the point, I think its late 1975 release comes close to pre-dating the entire British run of BW/SMDM — the date of the first British comic adaptation of SMDM wasn't but June 1975, for instance — so I doubt Terry Nation could plausibly have stolen from the Bionicverse. Of course, that doesn't necessarily help the individual viewer who saw the Fembots before the Kraals, anymore than it helps the viewer who saw the Borg before the Cybermen.

    Now, I'll grant that robots replacing humans is a fairly standard science-fiction trope, with roots in the 1950s, but it's not explicitly derivative of anything going in the 1970s. Hell, you could go all the way back to Charlie Chaplin's Modern Times if you really wanted to find a general antecedent of the idea of fear comes from man being replaced by machines. But that's rather silly. I think its more likely antecedent is really 1960's Village of the Damned, which seems a likely enough "pastiche target" for Hinchcliffe and Holmes.

    In truth though, my criticism with the story would be that, as a general concept, it's just the Cybermen (and, really, the Daleks) all over again. Another season, another new android. As was pointed out on the Destiny of the Daleks, DVD, the idea of an android throwing himself over a cliff in episode 1 is really just the same as the Roboman walking into the water at the top of Dalek Invasion of Earth. Nation steals more from himself than anybody else.

    Still, I'll take this over much of Doctor Who's back catalogue. Episode 1, despite the recycling of Nation's earlier script, has a lovely, creepy, Twilight Zone feel about it that Doctor Who rarely managed in the old days, but has been rather more adept at delivering from Cardff. You have to dig deep for other episodes brimming with an equally memorable "what the *censored*" quality. The first episode of "An Unearthly Child", "The Space Museum", "The Mind Robber", "The Daemons", and "Carnival of Monsters" are some of the few stories that deliver equally mysterious openings.

    We've become rather more accustomed to being strangers in a strange land in the modern series, thanks mostly to Steven Moffat. Problem is, of course, that Nation is no Moffat; he can't live up to the promise of episode 1. So, yeah, I'll allow it's near the hind-end of the Hinchcliffe era. But that's not a bad thing, surely. And you can clearly see that "The Daleks" wasn't a fluke; Nation does understand a thing or two about writing a good hook.

    Other things I love about this story:

      Sarah's back on the beat. "Android" is one of the rare examples of the Pertwee-era SJS rediscovering her reporter's nose. Like "Zygons" before it, this is somewhat a natural consequence of her simply being back in her home era. But it's interesting nonetheless to find a SJS this "vintage" coming from the pen of Terry Nation. It is after all the only script he ever delivered to the programme which had a single companion (notwithstanding the UNIT androids). It makes me hunger for another such Nation script, just to see if Nation, the man forever remembered for Daleks, could've given us some more great character dialogue.

      "I know you're a bad driver, Doctor, but this is getting ridiculous." In a similar vein, I love that this story begins and ends with the concept of SJS sorta/kinda believing that the Doctor is still vaguely trying to get her home. This ties in nicely with "Invasion of the Dinosaurs", in which SJS begins her traveling life with the Doctor under the belief that it'll be quick, return tickets for her. Many people somewhat mistakenly believe that Sarah was the ultimate "I'd rather be traveling" companion, but she wasn't really. She never really moaned that much about the Doctor not getting her back to UNIT HQ, but the number of stories whose initial (or ending) motivation is to get her home is at least equal to the number that don't. It's great that this story remembers that key point about her character.

      The not-we. The use of not-Benton and not-Harry is far superior to that of not-Adric in "Time-Flight" and not-Martha in "The Poison Sky". Not much of a complement, you say? Well, I think it's an awfully clever way to allow actors to return, which ramps up the "creepy" factor. Nothing quite like thinking you're going to get your old friends back only to find out that they're actually your enemies.

      Location, location, location. English village where things aren't quite what they seem? Yes, please. Devesham's the best English village between Devil's End and the comic Fifth/Eighth/Tenth Doctor's Stockbridge. Where are the creepy English villages in NewWho, hmmm? The best we've had is one that existed on a hard drive in "Forest of the Dead". And even that was more suburbia than genuine market town.

      Barry Letts rocks. Come on, ya gotta give some props to Barry Letts' last directoral effort for the series. Come to think of it, mabye the presence of SJS's creator is one of the reasons SJS is so delicious in this episode. In fact, his presence on this story is one of the reasons that it feels, not just in plot but in the visuals, like a Third Doctor story featuring the Fourth — right down to the comic inability of anyone in this story to shoot a gun properly.

    Is it great Doctor Who? Clearly not. One would've wished for Robert Holmes to do one more polish on the script to work out the logical inconsistencies. And one might also have some rather serious complaints with the script supervisor and property department for allowing some whopping great (but easily avoidable) continuity errors to creep in. And one wonders if the story would've been markedly better had the entirety of episode 4 actually been shot, rather than been a victim of time overruns. But it's one of those less-often-discussed stories that deserves a great deal more attention than it is generally given. Surely, to overly criticize "classic" Doctor Who for weak conclusions is roughly akin to complaining about the "unreality" of a police box that's bigger inside than out. Most Doctor Who fails in the final episode. The question is, does the story draw you in and do the characters keep you watching? For the most part, The Android Invasion does just that. If only just that.

    "I think of myself as ambitious in casting terms, and I know that Bonnie [Langford] has the potential to make the part totally unirritating . . ." — JNT, 1986
      Profile    PM    Email    Website 
     Saturday, March 14 2009 @ 10:10 PM EDT
    Nah, I think the robots on Six Million Dollar Man always lost their faces this way (as part of ABC Suspense Theatre in 1973) and that show and robots losing their faces like that was around since 1973. In Feb of 1974, Day of the Robot has Steve’s best friend be a robot who loses his face. The Android Invasion can also be a rip off of QUESTAR, a poor pilot from Gene Roddenberry.

    Yeah I guess to each his own. I don’t really count Benton and Harry as “old friends” really as, while the rapport between the actors was good, Harry was just around for one season (and made a great impact but was really pretty much forgotten by now) and Benton and THIS Doctor really didn’t seem friends if Benton and the Doctor ever really were friends. They were just kind of thrown together. Certainly the Doc and other males were closer.

    The fact that they were androids really didn’t have the same impact as say Becky in INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS as a lover. That said, even if Android Invasion was done well, which to me it isn’t, it is still taking from a source that’s better by far.

    Sarah’s reporter qualities don’t shine through for me: she doesn’t think anything odd about drinking water after hearing about a virus experiment that will be used on humans, she thinks this plot makes sense (!), and her background comments are just kind of there for there to be a strangeness about it that really is there in ALL the Doc and Sarah’s first steps out of the TARDIS in any first episode. In other words, it has to be something that one of them had seen that had a more normalness about it before the strangeness they are now encountering.

    I like the oddness of ep1 too and agree that it has that Twilight Zone quality, however, when it falls apart, it makes that Zone quality just silly and illogical. Twilight Zone was creepy because it made sense most of the time internally in each episode; this doesn’t. It just says OHHHH we’re walking around an empty town and that’s scary…but it’s not scary in hindsight because it makes no sense, not to mention we know the regulars are going to be okay. Far better LAND OF THE GIANTS episode where the travelers are walking around an empty town…in GHOST TOWN because it is a toy town. Also ala TWILIGHT ZONE. For me, anyway, it is much more scary if like ANDROMEDA STRAIN we know why the town is empty later on and it makes sense. This doesn’t.

    Creepy villages are great but tell a creepy story, not a plot that makes little sense.

    Sorry, for me, Barry Letts doesn’t rock at least on this story. From start to finish, I can’t help but wonder why I’m watching this instead of something better (Dameons, Image of the Fendahl and all the others you mentioned are far better than this).

    The story doesn’t really draw me in as it is a patchwork of far better sources, the characters are bland and boring military types, Sarah Jane a cut out Lois Lane and really quite annoying and silly in this, even the Doctor duller than usual.

    The proving ground for me is what is on screen and …would you show this to a new viewer to get him to like DW? My answer is no. I don’t find Benton very likable in this, I don’t find the Colonel interesting, Harry is just there to say goodbye I guess and doesn’t really get to do that, even as a goodbye to UNIT this fails.


    Anyway I dn’t mean to offend you but I just disagree.

      Profile    PM    Email   

    Topic Legend:
    Normal Topic Normal Topic
    Locked Topic Locked Topic
    Sticky Topic Sticky Topic
    New Post New Post
    Sticky Topic W/ New Post Sticky Topic W/ New Post
    Locked Topic W/ New Post Locked Topic W/ New Post
    Subscribe to this topic Subscribe to this topic
    You may not post messages
    Full HTML is allowed
    Words are censored