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Tom Baker
The Android Invasion
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Synopsis


Styggron
Styggron
 When the TARDIS materialises just outside a sleepy English village, it appears The Doctor and Sarah Jane are nearly "home" at last.

 But all is not as it seems in rural paradise. White-suited, gun-wielding guards stalk the countryside, while the village itself is eerily deserted. As The Doctor and Sarah look on, a UNIT member leaps over a cliff to his death and, as the clock strikes twelve, the local pub is suddenly filled with strange robotic villagers. The UNIT member is amongst them, very much alive. What exactly is happening here?

 The Doctor is mystified, setting off for UNIT HQ in search of answers. There, with the Brigadier away, Senior Defence Astronaut Guy Crayford holds court. But just who is his shadowy master, the Thraal, Styggron? Indeed, who are the Thraals and what have they got in store for the Earth? Why has the TARDIS dematerialised seemingly of its own accord?

 The Doctor must move quickly to find the truth, for the very future of mankind hangs in the balance...

Source: BBC VHS Video


General Information

Season: Thirteen
Production Code: 4J
Story Number: 83
Episode Numbers:414 - 417
Number of Episodes: 4
Percentage of Episodes Held:100%
Working Titles:"The Enemy Within", "Return to Sukannan", "The Kraals" and "The Kraal Invasion".
Production Dates: July – August 1975
Broadcast Started: 22 November 1975
Broadcast Finished: 13 December 1975
Colour Status: Colour
Studio: BBC Television Centre (TC3 and TC8)
Location: Oxfordshire: National Radiological Protection Board (Harwell), Tubney Wood (Tubney), Worsham Quarry (Witney), East Hagbourne.
Writer:Terry Nation
Director:Barry Letts
Producer:Philip Hinchcliffe
Script Editor:Robert Holmes
Editor:Mike Stoffer
Production Assistant:Marion McDougall
Production Unit Manager:Janet Radenkovic
Assistant Floor Manager:Felicity Trew
Designer:Philip Lindley
Costume Designer:Barbara Lane
Make-Up Designer:Sylvia Thornton
Cameraman:Ken Newson
Incidental Music:Dudley Simpson
Special Sounds (SFX Editor):Dick Mills
Studio Sounds:Alan Machin
Lighting:Duncan Brown
Visual Effects:Len Hutton
Fights Arranged By:Terry Walsh
Title Sequence:Bernard Lodge
Title Music:Ron Grainer and the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Arranged by Delia Derbyshire
Number of Doctors: 1
The Doctor: Tom Baker (The Fourth Doctor)
Number of Companions: 3The Companions: John Levene (Sergeant Benton) (Departs), Elisabeth Sladen (Sarah Jane Smith) and Ian Marter (Harry Sullivan) (Departs) Additional Cast: Martin Friend (Styggron), Max Faulkner (Corporal Adams), Milton Johns (Guy Crayford), Peter Welch (Morgan), Dave Carter (Grierson), Roy Skelton (Chedaki), Stuart Fell (Kraal), Patrick Newell (Colonel Faraday), Hugh Lund (Matthews), Heather Emmanuel (Tessa)Setting: Planet Oseidon and Earth (1980's) Villain: Kraals

The Episodes

No. Episodes Broadcast
(UK)
Duration Viewers
(Millions)
In Archive
414Part 122 November 197524'21"11.9PAL 2" colour videotape
415Part 229 November 197524'30"11.3PAL 2" colour videotape
416Part 306 December 197524'50"12.1PAL 2" colour videotape
417Part 413 December 197524'30"11.4PAL 2" colour videotape

Total Duration 1 Hour 38 Minutes


Audience Appreciation

Average Viewers (Millions) 11.7
Doctor Who Magazine Poll (1998)67.03%  (Position = 88 out of 159)
Doctor Who Magazine Poll (2009)66.75% Lower (Position = 123 out of 200)
Doctor Who Magazine Poll (2014)68.28% Higher (Position = 146 out of 241)


Archives


 All four episodes exist as PAL 2" colour videotapes.



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Notes


The Android Invasion was penned by Terry Nation, the first non-Dalek story he had written for the show since the 1964 First Doctor story "The Keys of Marinus" during the Season One. This would be his last script for the show for four years until his final contribution, the 1979 story "Destiny of the Daleks".

As with the all the stories from this season this story contains elements that are attributed to classic horror and science fiction films. This particular story was influenced by the films Invasion of the Body Snatchers and The Stepford Wives.

After leaving the show, as Producer, in 1974 Barry Letts was assigned to direct this story. He had been commissioned to write a storyline for Doctor Who entitled "The Prisoner of Time", but nothing came of this. Finally, he secured permission to serve out the remainder of his BBC contract in a directorial capacity, and took the reins of "The Android Invasion".

Nicholas Courtney was originally due appear as The Brigadier, but was not available, so his character was re-written as Colonel Faraday.

Patrick Newell, who plays the part of Colonel Faraday, was better known as ‘Mother’ in the espionage thriller series The Avengers.

This story marks the last appearances of John Levene (as Sergeant Benton) and Ian Marter (as Harry Sullivan) in the show. Both companions last appeared in "Terror of the Zygons". As well as playing themselves, in "The Android Invasion", John Levene and Ian Marter also played their android doubles.

Benton's final appearance on-screen shows him being attacked, then left on the floor as he is replaced by his android double; his fate is not made clear at the end of this story. However, in the 1983 Fifth Doctor story "Mawdryn Undead", it is revealed that Benton eventually left the Army to become a used car salesman. For John Levene, "The Android Invasion" marked the last of a long series of regular appearances as Benton dating back to 1968. John Levene later reprised the role of Benton, in a cameo role in the 1983 Twentieth Anniversary Special "The Five Doctors". He also appeared in the Reeltime Pictures video production "Wartime" - in an adventure that takes place prior to his departure from UNIT.

Harry Sullivan was also mentioned in the 1983 Fifth Doctor story "Mawdryn Undead". It was revealed that he is went to work with NATO to do something ‘hush-hush at Porton Down’. Harry also figured in montage sequences in the 1981 story "Logopolis" and the 1984 Fifth Doctor story "Resurrection of the Daleks". This companion was also mentioned in The Sarah Jane Adventures story "Invasion of the Bane" which also featuring a photograph of Harry.

Ian Marter would continue his acting career. He returned to the show; to write several Doctor Who novelisations for the Target Books range, an original novel featuring Harry and the script for the aborted film "Doctor Who Meets Scratchman", prior to his death in 1986.

UNIT would play a role in one more story, "The Seeds of Doom", and thereafter vanish until the 1989 Seventh Doctor story "Battlefield".

Location filming for the Kraal-replicated village of Devesham took place in East Hagbourne, Oxfordshire, a few miles from Didcot.

Tom Baker was injured during the production as he swallowed too much water during the scene in which The Doctor was submerged in a river to escape from his pursuers; consequently his voice is much huskier than usual during these scenes.

During the recording of this story Director Barry Letts ran out of time to complete certain shots. This included the loss of a key scene from late in the final episode which would have explained how The Doctor reactivated his android duplicate, as well as accounting for the Kraal invasion armada.

Only three Kraals are seen throughout the story. Styggron was played by Martin Friend. Marshal Chedaki, was played by Roy Skelton (more famous for voicing the Daleks). Amusingly, Roy Skelton speaks in the same voice he used for his character in the children's series Rainbow. The silent Kraal underling that appears in one scene was played by the show's long time stuntman Stuart Fell.

This story marks the first appearance of The Doctor's seldom-seen light grey coat, with its black elbow patches. This version of his costume would alternate with others for the next couple of seasons.

Like the Skystriker in the previous season's "Revenge of the Cybermen", Guy Crayford's rocket taking off in part three was actually stock footage from NASA of a Saturn V rocket blasting off.

It is revealed that the planet Oseidon has the highest natural radiation level in the galaxy, but an Earth type atmosphere, gravity etc.

It is revealed that The Doctor likes tea and muffins. He also likes and drinks ginger beer, though Sarah Jane Smith does not.

The Doctor’s Sonic Screwdriver has different settings, usable in different situations. When tied up The Doctor is heard to instruct Sarah to set it to ‘Theta Omega’ to break the material he's bound by.

A novelisation of this story, written by Terrance Dicks, was published by Target Books in November 1978. This novelisation features an excised scene of Guy Crayford and Grierson detecting the TARDIS arriving at the beginning. The final scene in the woods is missing. The novelisation was later designated number 2 when Target opted to number the first seventy-three novelisations alphabetically. However, no edition using the number was ever released.



First and Last

The Firsts:

 The first non-Dalek story to be written by Terry Nation since the 1964 First Doctor story "The Keys of Marinus".

 The first appearance of The Doctor's seldom-seen light grey coat, with its black elbow patches.


The Lasts (Subject to Future Stories):

 Ian Marter's last story as companion Harry Sullivan.

 John Levene's last story as semi-regular character Sergeant Benton.


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The Plot

WARNING: May Contain SpoilersHide Text
The Doctor and Sarah Arrive
The Doctor and Sarah Arrive

The TARDIS materialises in a wood, on what The Doctor and his travelling companion Sarah Jane Smith assume to be Earth. The Doctor uses a device to check and detects an odd reading of energy or radiation nearby. They set off through the wood to explore so as to identify exactly were they are. They have not got very far when The Doctor suspects they are being watched. His suspicions are confirmed correct when a group of white-suited men, wearing opaque helmets, suddenly appear. The Doctor realises that they are androids when they start shooting at them both with guns in their index fingers.

After escaping from the androids The Doctor and Sarah arrive at the top of a cliff overlooking a disused quarry. After rescuing Sarah, who nearly falls down the cliff, they are shocked to witness a man dressed as a soldier, seemingly in a trance, stumble straight towards the cliff. Despite their shouted warnings the soldier walks straight over the cliff edge and plummets to his death at the bottom. On reaching the dead man The Doctor and Sarah are puzzled to discover that he is a member of UNIT and in his pockets he has nothing but newly minted coins – all with the same date. Nearby is a casket-shaped pod, which The Doctor finds familiar. Before he can examine it further, The Doctor and Sarah are shot at by the androids who have arrived at the top of the cliff.

After leaving the disused quarry, and running through the countryside to shaking off their pursuers, they arrive in what Sarah recognises is the English village of Devesham which lies about a mile from a Space Defence Station – the possible cause of the odd reading The Doctor detected when they first arrived - Curiously the village seems deserted. Even in the local pub there is no sign of any villagers. Sarah then spots the androids coming down the street accompanied by the soldier they earlier witnessed killing himself at the quarry. A lorry then arrives, carrying what seem to be villagers, all who seem to be in a trance-like state. They are helped off the vehicle by the androids, and distribute themselves around the village. While The Doctor and Sarah hide in a store room they watch the villagers silently take their seats in the pub, waiting motionless. Then, when a clock chimes, they all suddenly come to life and start to behave normally.

The Doctor
The Doctor

While The Doctor goes to the Space Defence Station, to contact UNIT, Sarah is discovered in the store room by the ‘dead’ soldier who questions her. Sarah manages to escape from the pub and while hiding behind the lorry she observes one of the androids who turns around to face her. Sarah though is shocked to discover that behind the opaque visor is nothing but a slab of plastic and electronics.

Sarah returns to the TARDIS in the woods, as instructed by The Doctor, but the time machine dematerialises of its own accord after Sarah inserts the key in the lock. Nearby is another pod. When Sarah goes to examine it she is startled when it opens and she discovers a man, apparently asleep, lying inside. However, when she gets closer, he suddenly comes to life and grabs her around the throat. She manages to break free and runs into the woods - heading for the Space Defence Station and The Doctor.

The Androids
The Androids

At the Defence Station, The Doctor meets Senior Defence Astronaut Guy Crayford who realises that The Doctor is an intruder. After being held at gunpoint, managing to escape and then being recaptured The Doctor is finally rescued by Sarah when she arrives at the Space Defence Station. As they explore further The Doctor and Sarah are pleased when they discover their friend Sergeant Benton is there. But their delight is short lived when they discover that he too is an android. They even discover that there is an android double of Harry Sullivan.

The Doctor realises that they have not arrived on Earth. They have in fact arrived on the planet Oseidon, home of the Kraals, who have created an exact replica of Devesham and its nearby Space Defence Station in order to carry out a rehearsal so as to test their android villagers prior to a planned full invasion of Earth.

The Kraals are being helped by Guy Crayford who is resentful at his fellow humans who he believes abandoned him in space. The Kraals have convinced Guy Crayford that they rescued him and re-built him after a crash, and he discovers too late that this is a lie to gain his trust. Styggron, the Kraal leader, intends to infect the humans on Earth with a virulent virus and to replace prominent figures with his androids causing as much disruption as possible and thus weakening resistance to the planned invasion.

The Villagers
The Villagers

After being captured, questioned, tied up, left to die, and on learning of the TARDIS’ sudden departure without them, The Doctor, along with Sarah, is forced to travel in Guy Crayford's rocket, the XK5 space freighter, when the dummy village is destroyed by the Kraals. However, inside the rocket they discover pods containing androids and realise that the rocket is being used to carry the spearhead of the Kraal invasion.

Arriving on Earth, The Doctor and Sarah try to persuade UNIT troops at the Space Defence Station that there is an invasion imminent, but they discover that The Brigadier is away in Geneva, Guy Crayford is being hailed as a hero and that there are also android duplicates of themselves. With the humans being replaced by android doubles The Doctor uses the Station's transmitters to jam the frequency control the android duplicates.

The Doctor then reprograms his android double and uses it to prevent Styggron from releasing the virus. Styggron however, accidentally infects himself during the fight with the android Doctor and is killed - but not before Styggron shoots the android Doctor. Sarah though is unaware at first that the android Doctor is not the real Doctor.

With the Kraals’ invasion plans foiled The Doctor and Sarah slip quietly back to the TARDIS leaving UNIT to clear up and to deal with the explanations.

 
Sarah in the Pub
Sarah in the Pub
Sarah or an Android?
Sarah or an Android?
Guy Crayford
Guy Crayford
The Doctor is Tied Up
The Doctor is Tied Up
 
Styggron
Styggron
Harry Sullivan and Benton
Harry Sullivan and Benton
The Doctor Confronts Styggron
The Doctor Confronts Styggron
The Kraals
The Kraals




Quote of the Story


 'You know, the resemblance is astonishing! For a moment, I thought I was seeing double!'

The Doctor



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Release Information

FormatTitleRelease Date (UK)Code NumberCover ArtRemarks
Audio
LP
Science-Fiction Sound Effects No. 191978REC 316Sound Effects
Audio
Tape
Science-Fiction Sound Effects No. 191978Sound Effects
Video
VHS
The Android InvasionMarch 1995BBCV 5526Colin Howard
Video
VHS
The Tom Baker YearsSeptember 1992BBCV 4839PhotoClip only Introduced and commented on by Tom Baker Double cassette release
Video
DVD
The Android InvasionJanuary 2012BBCDVD 3376Photo-montagePart of the "UNIT Files" box set released along with "Invasion of the Dinosaurs"
Audio
CD
The 50th Anniversary CollectionDecember 2013Photo-montageOriginal Television Soundtracks


In Print

FormatTitleRelease Date (UK)PublisherAuthorCover ArtRemarks
Novel
Novel
Doctor Who and the Android InvasionNovember 1978Target No. 2Terrance DicksRoy KnipeISBN: 0-426-20037-3
Doctor Who CMS Magazine (In Vision)Issue 10 (Released: November 1988)
Doctor Who Magazine - ArchiveIssue 193 (Released: November 1882)
Doctor Who Magazine - Time TeamIssue 349 (Released: November 2004)
Doctor Who DVD FilesVolume 126 (Released: October 2013)

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Photo Gallery


The Doctor and Companions

 
Tom Baker
The Fourth Doctor

   

John Levene
Sergeant Benton
Elisabeth Sladen
Sarah Jane Smith
Ian Marter
Harry Sullivan
   




On Release

Audio LP - Sound Effects No. 19
Audio LP - Sound Effects No. 19

BBC
AUDIO
VHS Video Cover
VHS Video Cover

BBC
VIDEO
Tom Baker Years VHS Video Cover
Tom Baker Years VHS Video Cover

BBC
VIDEO
DVD Box Set
DVD Box Set

BBC
VIDEO
   
The 50th Anniversary Collection Cover
The 50th Anniversary Collection Cover

BBC
AUDIO



In Print

 
Target Book Cover
Target Book Cover

Target
NOVEL
 
   


Magazines

Doctor Who CMS Magazine (In Vision): Issue 10
Doctor Who CMS Magazine (In Vision): Issue 10

CMS
Doctor Who Magazine - Archive: Issue 193
Doctor Who Magazine - Archive: Issue 193

Marvel Comics
Doctor Who Magazine - Time Team: Issue 349
Doctor Who Magazine - Time Team: Issue 349

Marvel Comics
Doctor Who DVD Files: Volume 126
Doctor Who DVD Files: Volume 126

GE Fabbri
   


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