Thursday, 13 December 2012

The Invasion

1 comment:

  1. I am so shipping Zoe and Imogen. Oh yes.

    Love the UNIT plane that is set up as their base of operations here. It seems a terrible shame to me that it never recurred.

    And, speaking of recurring, it seems that Jimmy is set up as the Brigadier's number two man; but he never comes back again. Actor availability, or some other reason, I wonder?

    It's also cute that the fact that the villain's offices are absolutely identical has a character-defining lantern hung on it in opposition to its money-saving real reason, with just a different photo backdrop through the window to show the difference.

    And what a villain Tobias Vaughn truly is. Silky and polite and yet with the threat of violence from henchman Packer always lurking in the background.

    I imagine his to-do list looks something like this:

    * Diss Cybermen
    * Take Over the World
    * Piss with Packer for Funsies

    Sadly, the Cybermen themselves have lost part of their joy in the redesigns. The skeletal-thin versions from The Moonbase on are bang on the money for me. They always put me in mind of the undead - and given that part of the Cyber-schtick is their use of human bodies, the new fathead designs seem so much less scary. Although it must be said that the actual build quality of these new cyber-suits is much better, I prefer the previous designs. They also seem to have returned to chest-mounted weaponry again, for some reason.

    And, of course, the classic moment in this story - Cybermen on the steps of St Pauls.

    The Cyberman - emotionless warrior - screaming in fear when that emotion is induced is a particular winner.

    Much like The War Machines, this story really does feel like a step-change in the way Doctor Who works - although it feels different from the latter UNIT stories it prefigures them in the way UNIT are involved.

    The story's well-constructed too, even giving Zoe something to do with her Super Space Brain in episode seven. It's also notable that the person on the phone at the missile base is a woman.

    The Doctor, at the end, is forced to team up with his enemy to save the day, I think for the first time. And the writing in this last episode is a cracker too, as Tobias Vaughn reveals his reasons for turning upon his erstwhile allies the Cybermen - because he hates them. Not because the Doctor has appealed to his better nature at all, but because he didn't get to be the ruler of the world, and needs to take it out on someone.

    The direction, too, seems tauter in the last episodes, and there's a lovely off-screen end to Packer as he's called for and a Cyberman moves into view where Packer has always appeared before.

    I can't help but think it a shame that we didn't get Professor Travers and his daughter here rather than Watkins and Isobel though.