Hello everyone, the Historian here with another full house to watch this penultimate episode of “The Invasion!” And, just in case our sparkling repartee isn’t enough to keep you reading, stay tuned to the end of this post to see an announcement that will rock the TARDIS Project to it’s very core!! Now, let’s get to the episode!
Episode first aired on 14 December, 1968.
H = Historian
K = Ketina
R = Ronelyn
Sp = Spoo
MS = MiniSpoo
EG = Elfgrrl
P = Photobug
A = Altair
E = Ezio
EG: So they <the Cybermen> think that he <Vaughn> was behind the missles?
R: They don’t care. They think either way, the Cybermen are done with Vaughn. “Sound the Cyber alarm. The Cybermen are Cybervading!”
Sp: “Lt. deploy the stock footage.” “Stock footage deployed sir!”
H: “Now deploy the stock footage again!”
Several people: Wrrrrrrrrrrr
Sp: No, that’s the door.
P: So at the very beginning, they show the Cybermen army coming out of the sewers, and then approaching a set of stairs.
H: Yeah. With Saint Paul’s Cathedral in the background.
P: At that moment, I thought “ah ha! We are not the Daleks. We can take the stairs.” I realize that’s an overplayed joke, but there you go. And is it me, or did Jamie get shot.
H: Yep. They mentioned it. The Doctor asked how Jamie was doing, and they said that the army doctor wouldn’t let him get up.
A: Did we see Jamie’s face at all? It seemed like he had his back to the camera in the few scenes he was in.
H: We did see it briefly at the beginning. But we didn’t see Jamie, Isobel, or the Professor at all after the first scene.
R: Speaking of that scene, worst pistol ever.
R: I was expecting him to throw it and then take off his shoe and throw that.
P: I found the escape plan of go pick up the party with the helicopter unlikely, given that there’s definitely more than 5 people in the group.
K: It all took place off camera. It might have been a huge helicopter.
P: But every time we’ve seen a helicopter in this story it’s been tiny.
R: They used the helicopter to carry the jeep.
Sp: They used the helicopter to carry the jeep to carry the strike team.
MS: I don’t get any of you.
E: I don’t get us either.
MS: That’s what makes us Doctor Who fans. We’re weird.
E: We’re the best.
<MS & E continue this back and forth babble for a bit>
P: Did anyone else notice that when Vaughn was yelling at his underling <Packer> “just obey orders” his hair and his posture… it was all very Hitler-like to me. The way his was pounding his fist and his hair.
R: I thought it was very Kruschev-esque to me.
K: It was definitely evil dictator-ish in any case.
Sp: I’m just glad that they acknowledged quickly, in plot, that Vaughn messed up. They wasted no story time pointing out that he screwed up the means of producing his main way of controlling the Cybermen.
Sp: And the Zoe calculation scene was priceless.
H: I loved that scene.
Sp: “Sir? Sir? I’m trying to do army stuff over here. But… um… boobies.”
R: Hey, there was a female tech doing the missiles.
H: And that, and getting to Russia in 2 hours, is how we know it’s in the future. Unless it’s not.
P: You may have noticed that their anti-missile missiles were too small to make it up into space.
Sp: The missiles could be that small to get out into space, because that’s how you know they’re in the future.
R: BECAUSE SHUT UP!
P: I found the theory that the Cybermen are not in the sewers to be great at first. But there’s nothing preventing them from leaving a Cyberman behind. So the Doctor could have been going into danger.
R: I was halfway expecting the Cyberman who was on the bad trip to be down there still going “eeeehhhhhh”
MS: I thought by now he would be calmed down.
EG: Is he still out there?
H: We don’t know.
MS: If they destroy every Cyberman then there’s still that crazed Cyberman out there.
K: Who they will discover later in “Attack of the Cybermen” or any of the other future Cybermen stories with random Cybermen wandering about London in the future.
Sp: I like that Vaughn saw right through what the Doctor was doing, to a certain extent. Didn’t even get about 4-6 lines into the banter before Vaughn commented “oh, he’s stalling for time.” And then was too incompetent to stop the Doctor anyway.
R: Villains do like to monologue.
Sp: And they continued the grand tradition of discussing plans right in front of the bad guy.
K: The door was open?
Sp: The door was open.
P: Also, the plan was for the Doctor to transmit by radio the conversation. He started that conversation in the sewer, using a radio underground.
H: It’s the future.. chur chur…
R: BECAUSE SHUT UP!
P: There you go. Also, I liked the coin flip for his decision making, upon which he immediately overwrote it. “I go left… I go right.”
K: No the last time we’ll see that from the Doctor. Or even Patrick Troughton, I think.
R: Yeah. We had some very nice Doctor-ing in this episode.
R: “Don’t mind me, I’ll show myself up”
H: “I believe I know the way.”
P: Packer was acting a little immature.
K: And how was that different from Packer previously?
H: I love Packer.
P: At one point… no one else is coming up with stuff…
R: I’ve been interjecting.
P: At one point Vaughn says “I provided them with the means to come to Earth.”
R: He let them crash on his couch.
R: He married one of them so they could get a Green Card. Could have been anything, really.
Sp: The means being the radio guide beam thingy.
H: The really intriguing thing is the Vaughn said that he contacted them first in deep space. How the heck did he do that, and how did he know to do that? Was he just sending out a signal that happened to be responded to?
Sp: He did it with science?
A: Because… shut up?
<laughter and applause>
P: When everyone went to sleep, where are the planes falling out of the sky, the cars slamming into trees, and the people starving over time.
H: Off screen.
R: Kid’s show, dude.
Sp: Ahha! No. Vaughn’s efforts to this point were the massive amount of co-ordination and careful planning to make sure that when the Cybercontrollers became active, it would be act the exact moment that every plane on Earth, and every car on Earth, was not in motion.
H: Because… shut up! Dun dun dun!
R: Budget cuts.
Sp: Rocket sounds!
E: And then every meme returned.
P: We have a meme off.
R: The meme-vasion.
H & Sp: <Hartnell voice> Hehehehe… yes yes yes yes… Chesterfield.
<and they continue… for several more. I’m stopping now. Just read our past discussions. They pretty much sum up 5 years of random crap for the next several minutes.>
Sp: So… final thoughts?
R: So, was it just me…
E: <crumbled on floor> I can’t handle any of you!
R: Or. When the British army marches off to go fight off the invasion, does the music sound like it’s off to a jolly picnic in the country.
R: “That’s the day when the Cybermen have their pic-nic!” Only the British would do this. Even the A-Team music sounds martial when they’re going to like “oh, we’re going to make the snow plow and make it a giant sign for Hooters” or something.
H: That is the most American sentence on this entire blog.
K: Even more than “Baseball, You Guys, Apple Pie, Rocket Sounds?”
K: I do agree though, the music was very inappropriate.
R: “We’ll fight off the Cybermen to lashings of ginger beer.”
Sp: Actually, it was the lack of music that jumped out at me.
K: Which made that scene all the more disruptive when it actually happened.
Sp: It occurred to me, during the Zoe calculation scene, because I think in “New Who” or actually, pretty much any modern drama, we would have been treated to the trilling…
R: Calculation montage music?
Sp: Math theme!
H: It’s not just modern dramas though, if you go back to watch original episodes of Star Trek, it is wall to wall with music.
Sp: Yes. <starts singing Star Trek background music.>
H: “Thank you Spock. I couldn’t have paid those HR & Block taxes again.”
<Discussion of taxes in Star Trek. I’m just going to leave that there.>
H: Okay. Please let us get to final thoughts.
K: Alright. Ezio. Go.
E: When I say this, I mean it with the utmost sincerity and absolute seriousness. It was AWESOME!
H: Is that all you got.
E: Pretty much. Anything else I would have said has already been said.
A: It was awesome.
K: Seriously? We’re doing one of these again?
MS: You stole my line. Now I’m going to have to think of something else to say. Now I have to think!
P: Alright… I get to carry the episode. Jeeze you guys, thanks a lot. Okay “Destroying life on Earth completely. Is this what you wanted? To rule a dead planet?”
R: “Bu… maybe it is. I haven’t decided.”
P: I was a little confused at first, because I didn’t know there was going to be antimissile missiles in England and a space craft launch in Russia. I was a little confused by how the episode laid that out. At first I thought they were in Russia and every was speaking perfect English, and suddenly it went from one space craft into whole legions of spacecraft.
H: Before that scene they did mention the antimissile missiles. But it was a quick mention.
P: I heard it, but I was a little confused for a bit.
R: At least the special effects for the space battle were pretty good. There was one glitch, but it was amusing enough that I could easily forgive it.
H: As has been usual in the Project, the model work was pretty surprisingly good.
H: You wouldn’t expect it, but they really knew what they were doing.
R: Yeah, the spaceship models were nicely designed. They had a decent mass to them, and they just generally looked credible. I still snickered a bit when one of the anti-missile missiles went “poing!” and then cartwheeled off.
H: That’s what you get for using fireworks.
R: But the rest of it actually worked really well in most cases.
H: Any more Photobug?
P: When referencing this episode, it definitely leaves it open for the next one to end this arc. We’re not complaining about no movement of plot this time, that’s for sure.
K: I actually liked that Jamie and random people were in it so little, because it gave the Doctor and plot more screen time. I still missed Jamie, though. It would have been nice to see him go with the Doctor to see Vaughn.
H: Did anyone catch the little joke at the beginning when the Doctor was talking to the Brigadier and the Brig asked for Jimmy and the Doctor says “Jamie? Or Jimmy, here you go.”
EG: I… I think that it was very interesting that the Doctor took a very serious risk of going, and that Vaughn thought that he was going to win when he was totally wrong. And he kind of deserved it.
Sp: Well done.
EG: This was really interesting. Until next time. <sings Doctor Who theme song>
K: I think it’s so cool that the kids are into the old Who and not just the “New Who.”
EG: I like the special effects. The effects in new who are better, but if the newer effects are scary – it can go to my mind. Where the older effects just look like someone in a suit. But I like that.
H: Mini-Spoo? It’s time to stop thinking.
MS: Invasion… Cybermen… Rocket Sounds!
EG: You sound like a Cyberman.
MS: I did not.
P: Speaking of rocket sounds… the stock footage they had was really cool. I’d never seen it before.
H: Well, you’ve seen it twice now.
P: That’s true.
MS: Aren’t we still doing final thoughts?
H: We are. Do you have anything more to say?
MS: <shakes head no>
H: Then moving on to… Spoooooo.
Sp: <thinks> <thinks some more> <and some more>
Sp: <ponders> Yeah, it was awesome.
MS: You can’t also say that.
E: He just did. What are you going to do about that?
P: It’s dance off time.
<kids being kids happens for a bit>
H: Do you have anything more Spoo?
Sp: No. We honestly covered it.
H: In that case, Ronelyn?
R: “Brigadier, how are the other units?” “You mean the other UNIT units?” “Yes. Do they have their units?”
R: “No, only this unit has its units. The rest of UNIT has no units.” Need I go on?
E: No, that’s quite sufficient.
K: Oh dear. Why do I always have to follow her?
Sp: Because Shut up!
K: <eye roll> This was a good episode, as I already said. No real filler. A little bit of humor. And lot Vaughn because awesomely crazy evil. And some good Doctor moments. And plot.
Sp: Everything unraveled for the bad guy in a very…
R: Organic fashion.
Sp: Seventh part of an eight-parter way.
R: As if the writers cried out “yeah! We don’t have to stall for time anymore!”
K: So I liked it. This episode was good, and is good for the overall story. I have only a tiny idea as to how they are going to get out of this one, which is always cool when you can’t guess what’s going to happen. But I do hope that the solution it not just going to be a deux-ex-missile on the moon and that solves it all without more from the Doctor.
EG: Out of Who today, you have said more than all of we have.
K: Yes. I actually had a final thoughts.
EG: A big thought! Dun dun dun dun!
Sp: Take us home, Historian.
H: I don’t know how many more ways I can say I love this story. I’m just going to highlight Kevin Stoney here for just absolutely fantastic portrayal of a supremely confident man who’s world is unraveling around him, reminiscent of his Mavic Chen towards the end of Master Plan. But even better there. For one thing, he’s not in yellow face. Everything about this episode worked, and it’s certainly setting up an exciting conclusion that I’m looking forward to see what you guys feel about.
P: I think we’re all going to die. The world ends in 1968.
H: Or is it?
EG: Dun dun dun!
Yes, well, we got a little silly there, but what else is new? And now, for that earth-shattering announcement…next week, the Project will be watching the final episode of “The Invasion”…but without me. Yes, for the first time in the TARDIS Project’s history, there will be an episode discussion without the Historian! I’ve officially left Ketina in charge (including the story wrap-up), so…um…let’s see how they all do. Have no fear, though, I’ll be back in late September for the first episode of “The Krotons.” Until then, I remain
NEXT WEEK: THE INVASION EPISODE EIGHT…and hopefully not total disaster!
<K: The Historian doesn’t trust us much, does he.>