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Doctor Who: The Android Invasion (Story 83)

4.3 out of 5 stars 48 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Doctor Who: The Android Invasion

The Doctor and Sarah Jane feel they are nearly home when the Tardis brings them to a sleepy English village, but soon even the local ale arouses suspicion.

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Special Features

None.

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.)
  • 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: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005KQVE2C
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #30,070 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Doctor Who: The Android Invasion (Story 83)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer 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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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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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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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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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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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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Format: DVD
To be honest, I'm quite biased to this story for several reasons. Tom Baker, Ian Marter, John Levene, Philip Hinchcliffe, Barry Letts, Terry Nation, and the biggest smile goes to Elisabeth Sladen. Yes, it's properly spelled with an "S". The "S" is for star. Quoted from her autobiography. But in all fairness, all of them will always be, in front of, as well as behind the camera.

I feel no need to discuss the story line, since anyone who's reading this more than likely knows the story, although I will mention a silly plot point at end of this review, just for laughs. Rather I prefer to focus on why one should purchase this other than for the sake of merely watching the show on a format that's better than the VHS version.

To me, it's all about the extras. Mind you, there aren't many. 2|entertain is probably holding off on several of these for a re-release on a later DVD or Blu-Ray. It seems to be their style lately. But there is the standard audio commentary, and while it is not exactly gripping, it is indeed informative. My only regret is that Tom and Lis are not a part of this commentary. Not knowing when this was recorded, I can only guess that she was still alive at the time of the recording because she was repeatedly referred to in the present tense. The text commentary also provides an additional layer of information that true fans of the show can appreciate. "The Village that Came to Life", and "Life After Who Philip Hinchcliffe", are two very informative and interesting extras for which I am grateful for their inclusion to this DVD. In my humble opinion, both are a "Must Watch."

Now, not to spoil this release, but here's the silly plot point I refereed to.
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