Doctor Who Reactions: "The Invasion of Time" (SPOILERS)

1)And so we come to Leela's swansong...This story is credited to "David Agnew" - this time "David Agnew" stands for "Graham Williams and Anthony Read." While it has some good points, there are some things I've never liked about this story - one is Leela's departure, which I'll come to, and the other is that I've never quite understood why the Doctor helps the Vardans invade Gallifrey in the first place. It is mentioned that they can read minds. so that they will know if he tries to betray them. Perhaps they are also controlling him somehow? Maybe I'm slow, but it would have been nice if they'd spelled that out a little bit.  I also thought it was kind of funny that they forced him to sign something - like that would make a huge difference. "It's OK that we overran their planet, they signed this rental agreement!"

 

2)One of the things that struck me the most when I first watched this story was the Doctor's behavior.  Even watching it last night, I was still struck by how jarring it is to see the Doctor yelliong at people and generally being so "un-Doctorish".  Of course, in the middle of this great crisis, he takes time to play hopscotch donw the corridors of the citadel.

 

3)"I claim the presidency of the council of Time Lords."  Weird government they have on Gallifrey, isn't it? Goth died, and the Doctor ran off, and no one else put their name in?

 

4)I liked John Arnatt as Borusa in this - very aristocratic. The whole teacher/pupil thing with the Doctor was amusing, too This is my favorite of the Borusas that we see over the years.  "So undignified. I haven't run like this for centuries."

 

5)"K-9, sulking is also an emotional thing."  K-9 actually got a fair amount to do in this, his evident joy at interfacing with new technology was amusing.

 

6)Milton Johns was quite good as Kelner. Sort of like a low-rent Desaad, always toadying to whoever's in charge, while dumping on anyone who is subject to his authority.

 

7)Chris Tranchell did OK as Andred, he did his best, but I just didn't buy the relationship between him and Leela, not his fault, really. I gather the production team was hoping to the last to persuade James to stay, and thus  didn't properly work her departure into the story, and had to shoehorn it in at the last minute. If you watch closely, he and James do try to work in the odd moment of affection.

 

8)The whole mythology of the Great Key is somewhat different here than it was in "The Deadly Assassin".  Sloppy continuity, but I'm sure they didn't expect people to be picking it apart forty years later.

 

9)As always when I watch these later Gallifrey-based stories, I think "No wonder the Daleks kicked these people's arses."

 

10)Hilary Ryan did a good job as Rodan (!) - sort of a rough draft for Romana, the clever young person who didn't have much experience of the outside world.

 

11)Max Faulkner is good as Nesbin. I like the idea of Gallifreyan drop-outs.

 

12)Derek Deadman is quite good as Stor (or as I like to think of him, the only Sontaran to ever refuse promotion to General).  On one of the extras for one of the other Sontaran stories, someone jokes that Deadman could've played a Sontaran without the make-up!  Apparently, his accent gave the director fits, but it doesn't bother me. If Gallifrey can have a North, then Sontar can have Cockneys.  In many way, Stor is my favorite of all the Sontarans we've seen over the years.

 

13)We see more of the interior of the TARDIS than we have in just about any other story. Funny that so much of it looks like a disused mental hospital.  It's also interesting to note that the Doctor keeps a giant carnivorous plant in his garden! I'm surprised he didn't encourage Adric to hang around back there and let nature take its course. The business with a Sontaran tripping over a chair in the bathroom was unplanned, but they kept it in for fun. The subsequent pratfall at poolside was planned.

 

14)Some fun quotes:

  • "Would you like a ball bearing?"
  • "If you could avoid killing anyone, it would help."  "I will try."
  • "Even the sonic screwdriver won't get me out of this one."
  • "There's nothing more useless than a lock with a voiceprint."
  • "The guards and the Time Lords. All the boring people." Interesting. Rodan speaks of the Time Lords as though she's not one of them, the closest I recall to an indication that not all Gallifreyans are Time Lords.
  • "Discussion is for the wise or the helpless, and I am neither."
  • "The Castellan will have me shot, sir."  "Well, that's alright, I'll have him shot."
  • "Disappointing, aren't they?"  You know, if your aliens are lame, maybe you shouldn't point that out. 
  • "What does 'proficient' mean?"
  • "The glorious Sontaran Army reckons its numbers in the hundreds of millions."
  • "Shall I kill him now?"
  • "Rassilon was a wily old bird."
  • "But who guards the guards?"  I suddenly have an image of Rorschach on Gallifrey.
  • "If you could just open the door..."
  • "You can't give the Great Key to an alien!" "I just have."
  • "This machine is a load of obsolete rubbish."
  • "I want him captured intact, but unharmed." Wait, what?
  • "Stalemate."  Sontarans play chess?
  • "We will do battle on your own ground, Doctor."
  • "It's the ultimate weapon - the demat gun."  Didn't the Brigadier already have one of those?  It's weird seeing the Doctor with a huger gun.
  • "This grenade will give me alot of pleasure."   Then you're not using it right.
  • "I'm staying."  Andred looks positively stricken.
  • "I will miss you." "I'll miss you too, savage."

 

 

15)Cliffhangers:

  • Part One: the Matrix gives the Doctor a headache!
  • Part Two: Gallifrey is being invaded by sheets of tinfoil!  (Yes, the Vardans are lame.)  There is an option to watch the DVd with enhanced CGI effects - the Vardans look somewhat better ont hat.
  • Part Three:  Andred declares his intention to shoot the Doctor!
  • Part Four: It's the Sontarans!  This was a real "Holy Crap" moment for me, back in the day.
  • Part Five: Kelner destabliizes the TARDIS!
  • Part Six: The Doctor breaks out a new K-9!

 

Overall:

A good, if occasionally confusing, story.  The thing that bugs me the most about it is Leela's exit.  As above, I have no beef with Chris Tranchell, but to me he just wasn't a believable match for Leela.  If they had to marry her off, why not to Nesbin or one of his people?  It would have been somewhat more believable.  For that matter, why not just have her so excited to have found kindred spirits on Gallifrey that she opts to stay?  Or kill Nesbin off, and have Leela stay to run the now leaderless drop-outs. You could've tied it into the end of "The Face of Evil", have her decide she's now ready to assume the kind of responsibility that she ran away from back then. I would have found that alot more palatable.

 

[Part of list of Doctor Who episodes here.]

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As far as I know the only companion ever to wear a bikini. :)

Henry R. Kujawa said:

Mark S. Ogilvie:

"You could never have shown too much of Leela :)"

 

It's a funny thing about Leela... While I've gotten to like her more and more every time I watch her stories, I don't think of her as being "sexy" because of her outfits.

 

That would be Peri...!  : )

 



Mark S. Ogilvie said:

I liked the voice overs by Henry DeSilva. Being completely new to the Dr. at the time I found them very helpful.

 

 

I always liked Da Silva's voice, but he did tned to give away the result of the cliffhanger.  I remember when I first saw 1776 - my first reaction was "Ben Franklin is the Doctor Who voice-over guy!"

There was a period in the late 70's-early 80's when they assumed people (and especially kids) were TOO DUMB to figure anything out for themselves, and had to have it all explained to them.

By comparison, when the Jon Pertwee stories debuted here (about 5 years earlier), there was NO explanantion for anything. On top of that, every episode was CUT for commercial time, and worse, the Philly station SKIPPED Pertwee's entire 1st story (the one that SET UP the entire premise of his run!!!).

For weeks, I kept wondering what the HELL connection there was between Pertwee's "Doctor" and the guy in the 2 Peter Cushing movies...

: )

Back then, the ONLY voice-over on a Saturday morning cartoon I could ever tolerate was the intro to THUNDARR THE BARBARIAN.  Even so, it would have been nice if after the first season they'd have dropped it and gone with a purely-instrumental opening sequence.

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