The Invasion of Time part 4

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    Craig @craig

    Sorry for the slightly late posting again. I wasn’t being held at gunpoint – my parents were visiting and only left this afternoon. There’s an Invasion of Time joke in there somewhere.

    Andred’s attempt to kill the Doctor fails and the other guards have the Doctor’s back, imprisoning Andred in the TARDIS. The Doctor tells him the Matrix has been invaded and he plans to force the invaders to materialise by dismantling the forcefield around Gallifrey.

    Meanwhile Kelner is busy sucking up to the invaders. Leela helps prepare the outsiders to attack the Citadel and wants Rodan along as a guide.

    For the best viewing experience this story is available to buy with lots of extras. You can get it from Amazon for less than 8 of our British pounds – other retailers are also available (except the BBC, which has sadly closed its online store). It may also be on your Netflix, Prime or Hulu, or whatever else you subscribe to.

    Remember, we’re discussing this story one episode per week, as it was originally broadcast. If you’ve seen it before, for the convenience of anyone approaching this for the first time, NO SPOILERS for subsequent episodes please.

    janetteB @janetteb

    I watched the episode this morning in anticipation. Andred is easily convinced by the Doctor turning from would be assassin to ally in the “bat of an eye”. the Doctor really lays on the eccentricity in this episode. As noted before T.B. is in his element in this story, really enjoying himself which does detract a little from the impact of the situation. He does not take the “villains’ seriously and so it is difficult for us to do so, especially given that they are not especially convincving anyway, and that is while they are still shimmering bacofoil, competing for the “least convincing Who baddies ever award then they materialise and ‘they win!!. they are not even intelligent. they have just invaded the most secure, advanced plant in the universe, (despite the deplorable decor and bad dress sense) and they are distinctly below par as far as Who enemies go. One gets the sense that the scrip writers had given up on the story at this stage. (and on the subject of decor the Time Lords clearly nip across the galaxy to Earth to stock up on office furniture occasionally.)

    Andred gets to parade around in his sexy shirt sleeves, nod sagely, then look as bemused as ever and K.9 saves the day. Leela and her new tribe prove pointless. But… the real invaders arrive, Things Get Serious.. and there is a possibility that this story might finally make some sense.

    In the meantime it is jolly good fun…though perhaps better watched while eating one’s way through a very large bag of jelly babies..



    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @janetteb Yes, this episode has a strong air of ‘quick, find some more filler!’

    Andred seems to be suffering from a certain reluctance to kill his Head of State. Not to mention suffering from an episode where he’s largely acting as an excuse to explain the plot or have the plot explained to him. I’d imagine the long process of teaching him to trust the Doctor happened in the cut away to the Vardans.

    Personally, I would have thought it easier to read a robot like K9 than a living brain, but let’s presume that K9’s programming is firewalled. 🙂

    Interesting that the people in the Citadel (in this era) appear convinced that the Outsiders don’t exist and that being exiled is a death sentence. Rodan talked about rumours, though. Again, in this episode the Outsiders get a perfectly good sub-plot, but that perfectly good sub-plot ends up being entirely useless and just acts as scene-filler. Perhaps if the writers had more time to write the script, they’d have found a way of tying up the ‘rescue the Doctor’ sub-plot so that the Doctor genuinely needed rescuing.

    I agree that Andred gets to parade in a sexy shirt, but the point is, I think, that he’s taken off as much of his uniform as is decent. He’s in rebellion; he’s no longer a Citadel Guard and doesn’t feel comfortable still wearing that uniform.

    Yes. You’re right JanetteB. I wouldn’t have believed it possible to be a less convincing Who villain than shimmering bacofoil, but the materialised Vardans manage it. It doesn’t help that the three voice actors’ stock army uniforms make them look distinctly tubby when shot from the side, that the Vardan on stage left looks about fourteen years old and their commander in the middle is a bit on the short side. Tough soldiers invading an enemy planet they aren’t.

    Meanwhile, the Outsiders struggle endlessly across a giant sandpit. Eventually they get inside the Citadel, where they prove to be dangerous. Pity the script writers couldn’t think of something better for them to do.

    Yes, Baker is playing it too confident, but this is Episode 4. The audience knows the problem won’t be solved in Episode 4 of a 6 part story, so his over-confidence is a signal that something’s going to go badly wrong. Probably at the cliff-hanger.

    Castellan Kelner is still turning his over-large cloak according to the winds of the moment. Any bets on how long before he pledges loyalty to his new Sontaran overlords?

    Five seconds? Ten?

    janetteB @janetteb

    @bluesqueakpip A split second I think. Unfortunately the creaky structure of this story is too evident, especially on repeated viewings. I always get the impression that they had a script for a four part story and then realised that they needed a six part script so did a quick patch job on it. (which is essentially what happened) I think it remarkable that the story is as enjoyable as it is given the circumstances.

    “re Andred throwing off the uniform, I guess that spirit of resistance is what made this story so appealing to me when I was a teenager. Gallifrey reminds me of the town I grew up in, controlled by stuffy old men (of whom my father was one) All the interesting people lived “outside”, like some of our teachers who were toying with self sufficiency, this being the time of “Good Life”.

    So two episodes to go and a real enemy to deal with. Looking forward to the next episode…



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