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Doctor Who: The Android Invasion (Story 83)


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Editorial Reviews

Doctor Who: The Android Invasion

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Product Details

  • Actors: Tom Baker, Elisabeth Sladen, Ian Marter, John Levene
  • Directors: Barry Letts
  • Writers: Terry Nation
  • Producers: Philip Hinchcliffe
  • Format: NTSC, Color
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: BBC Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: January 10, 2012
  • Run Time: 98 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005KQVE2C
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,592 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Doctor Who: The Android Invasion (Story 83)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

I have not seen such a Doctor Who where Tom Baker is in such good comic form.
Junglies
That's not to say the other supporting cast are anything to boast about, either...in fact, they seem to just be walking through the lines.
Sarah Hadley
Really good production value, crisp and clear images and a very crisp sound track.
Jim Phillips

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 29 people found the following review helpful By "adalek" on January 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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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 28, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
I loved it when I first saw it in 1984 and it remains one of my favorites today. And the reason is simple: it remains one of the best companion episodes of all time. Baker and Sladen have the best interaction (second only to the Seeds of Doom). It highlights why Sarah Jane Smith remains one of the Doctor's best companions to this day. The aliens were slightly hokey, but the plot was interesting (I refuse to give out plots) and the execution was superb. Watch it, you'll like it or, at least, appreciate the interaction between the Doctor and Sarah Jane.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Anthony J. Sanborn on October 28, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
The Android Invasion is a very fun Tom Baker story. The village setting was an excellent location for this creepy story. The outside location shots give parts of this story a cinematic feel. The return of the UNIT makes this story even more interesting. A definitive Tom Baker era story.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Ressel on October 10, 2011
Format: DVD
Slagged as the worst of the season, it's actually a very good action-thriller. It starts off with a very creepy first episode, then an extremely hostile second episode, a devious third episode, and the fourth is the resolve. What's so bad about it? Almost nothing, aside from some small questions let go at the end of the last episode leaving the viewer to assume how everything was tidied up.

One of the greatest strengths of this episode is that it moves. Most Doctor Who stories dwell and retrace in order to save money on sets and costumes. Android Invasion cleverly revisits familiar areas in the final episode, but they are now actual locations instead of imitations. There's always a chase or some gun play or confrontation through the entire story, which is Terry Nation's strength as a writer. All the elements are bizarre, the entire world twisted to be completely hostile toward the Doctor and Sarah. It makes this story highly entertaining.

The DVD will most likely not have the best possible commentary they ever could have had on a Doctor Who DVD: Hinchcliffe, Letts, Baker and Sladen. Sadly, Sladen and Letts passed away in the last year.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By buckbooks on March 11, 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
"The Android Invasion" is an easily overlooked gem from midway through Tom Baker and producer Philip Hinchcliffe's second season. Hinchcliffe and script editor Robert Holmes were phasing out the classic villains and UNIT-centered adventures that had dominated the Jon Pertwee years and started bringing in gothic horror- and steampunk-inflected stories that would so transform the series in the next two years.

The Doctor and Sarah land in a wood outside the village of Devesham, located near an important space defense station, which may be leaking radiation. Strange men in white spacesuits take pot shots at them with guns that fire from their fingertips. A soldier from UNIT runs headlong off a cliff. His wallet contains new, uncirculated coins all minted in the same year. Similar coins are found at the pub in the village, which appears completely deserted. Expressionless villagers are later trucked in like mannequins by the white spacemen, and the dead UNIT soldier comes back to life. Meanwhile, the TARDIS mysteriously takes off without the Doctor or Sarah inside. Somebody's obviously up to no good--but who and what?

The above-average script by Terry Nation combines elements of "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" with the best of The Avengers, a series for which Nation contributed scripts and was script editor its final season. Tom Baker and Elisabeth Sladen turn in chilling performances as copies of themselves in a story that relies heavily on mystery and psychological menace rather than sophisticated special effects to convey action and suspense.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 18, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
The Doctor and Sarah land on what appears to be Earth, in the town of Devesham. But not all is right, a soldier falls off a cliff, only to return to a pub minutes after his death. All this and more in Terry Nation's second non-Dalek script. The story, at times, can be very irritating, and tedious. There are too many flaws(Crayford never taking his eye-patch off, ect). But on the other hand, there are some enjoyably scenes. The location footage REALLY helps this one, a semi return of UNIT(sans Lethbridge-Stewart), and some great humor(which also really helps). With a few more helpful and clever explanations, this could have been a lot better.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By S Maslin on October 3, 2010
Ah, Season Thirteen. No robot dogs, no Mary Whitehouse's Revenge, no Star Wars on the horizon. Bliss. Just think...

The Scottish one, with the wonderful whispering aliens.
The claustraphobic one with Frederick Jaeger.
That really good Egyptian one filmed in Mick Jagger's house.
Philip Madoc and the thing made from bits of different aliens.
And the really scary one with the killer vegetables.
Sigh.

Hang on. That's only five stories. There should be six. Wait a minute. Zygons, Evil, Pyramids... Oh yes. 'The Android Invasion'. The runt of the Season Thirteen litter. The single shrug in a season of enthusiastic waving.

What makes it the ghost at the wedding? One answer and one answer only: the title. Fair enough, as a story it makes no sense but (notoriously) the plot of 'Pyramids of Mars' doesn't either, which didn't stop it being an undisputed classic. Okay, the principal enemy sound like (indeed are) the cast of 70s children's show `Rainbow' but the most scary thing about 'Terror of the Zygons' turns out to be a glove puppet. Yes, Faraday is no worthy replacement for Lethbridge-Stewart but nor is Beresford in 'The Seeds of Doom'. Fine, there was the absence of any really challenging alien presence but the same could be said of 'Planet of Evil'. And, what's more, the Sisterhood of Karn in 'The Brain of Morbius' are far more tedious than anything the supporting cast of 'The Android Invasion' can boast.

So it's not that bad then? No, I don't think it is. It's entire problem is just that you know what's going on before anything even happens. There it is in big letters: 'The Android Invasion' by Terry Nation.

So it is that wonderfully bizarre events are rendered predictable from the very start.
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Doctor Who: The Android Invasion (Story 83)
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