THE INVASION OF TIME

Part One

Sue: Is there anything I should know?
Me: No, it’s just a regular four-parter.

May I rot in hell.

Sue: This had better be good. We’re due a good one. Who’s David Agnew?
Me: He doesn’t exist.
Sue: Is it because they were embarrassed with the script, or were they getting around the BBC’s rules and regulations again?
Me: It’s co-written by the producer and the script editor.
Sue: Right, so this story should sum them up nicely, then.

The Doctor is negotiating with three aliens on a spaceship.

The Invasion of TimeSue: They look like giant slugs. If slugs could stand upright, that is.
Me: They’re chairs.
Sue: The aliens this week are talking chairs?

While Leela anxiously waits for the Doctor to return to his TARDIS, she takes her frustrations out on K9. Again.

Sue: A dog isn’t just for Christmas, Leela.

The Doctor signs a contract with these mysterious aliens.

Sue: That was a quick signature. I bet he signed it ‘Who’.

The Doctor returns to his TARDIS and tells K9 to shut Leela up. And he isn’t joking, either.

Sue: Ooh, it looks like some serious shit is going down this week.

Meanwhile, on the planet Gallifrey, a guard named Andred is alerted to an unidentified time capsule approaching the planet’s airspace.

The Invasion of TimeSue: He’s wearing gold Wellington boots. That’s nice.
Me: Do you know where we are?
Sue: Yes, it’s Gallifrey. I know it’s Gallifrey because this guard looks like a Beefeater.

The aliens monitor the Doctor’s progress.

Sue: They look like giant bullets.
Me: They’re chairs!

When the TARDIS materialises in the Panopticon, half-a-dozen guards arrive to intercept it.

Sue: The direction is pretty good, the sets look better than they did the last time we were here, and they’ve spent a small fortune on those guards. You can see where all the money went this year. Still, it is Gallifrey. You have to pull out all the stops for Gallifrey.

The Doctor tells Cardinal Borusa he’s returned home to claim the Presidency of the Council of Time Lords.

Sue: Ooh… that is interesting.

The Doctor refuses to take no for an answer, and at one point he even screams at Borusa.

Sue: Scary stuff. The script is excellent and I’m definitely intrigued.

The Invasion of TimeThe Doctor wants to access the Matrix, which we last saw in The Deadly Assassin.

Sue: Does this mean we’ll get another episode in lots of surreal locations?
Me: Oh yes, we’ll definitely get one of those.

The aliens monitor the Doctor.

Sue: They look like giant runner beans.
Me: They’re chairs, woman! CHAIRS!
Sue: And why is Dudley Simpson playing the theme tune to Zelda?

As Sue parps away on her imaginary trumpet, the Doctor enters the Panopticon for his induction ceremony.

Sue: The set is definitely better this time. It’s cleaner. The hall isn’t exactly packed, but I bet the ceremony was a rush job and they didn’t send the invites out on time. These things happen.

At least Leela was invited.

Sue: Hang on, why is Leela here? Sarah Jane wasn’t allowed to go to Gallifrey, so what makes Leela so special? Sarah Jane will be furious if she ever finds out. She’ll scratch Leela’s eyes out.

The Invasion of TimeThe Doctor is handed the Sash of Rassilon, the Rod of Rassilon and the Great Key of Rassilon.

Sue: Are they resting on the pink pillows of Rassilon?

The Doctor is crowned with a circlet, but as he accesses the Matrix, he falls to his knees in agony.

Sue: Jesus.
Me: It’s not that bad.
Sue: No, he looks like Jesus. Jesus crossed with Noddy Holder. Those ginger sideburns are a bad idea. Anyway, that was a good start. I definitely want to find out what happens next.

 

Part Two

The Invasion of TimeThe Doctor isn’t very happy when Leela threatens to fillet a guard.

Sue: Here’s an idea, Doctor – take the ****ing knife away from her!

Sue wrestles with the Doctor’s increasingly erratic behaviour.

Sue: So, is the Doctor evil? Or is he just pretending to be evil? Or is someone, or something, forcing him to be evil? Which is it?
Me: Wait and see.
Sue: He must be bluffing. He has to be.

The Doctor tries to gain access to a secret passageway in Borusa’s office, and when his sonic screwdriver doesn’t work, he turns to the audience and complains about it.

Sue: Dock his pay. It’s the only way he’ll ever learn.

When the Doctor isn’t talking to himself (and us), he’s talking to an empty chair.

Sue: So the aliens are talking chairs? They can look like any chair in the universe?

She’s joking. I think. Anyway, the Doctor hopscotches down a corridor.

Sue: Tom Baker almost took the camera out with his elbow. Has he completely lost the plot?

The Castellan (who Sue recognises as the man with the eyepatch from The Android Invasion and not much else) monitors the Doctor’s movements with technology that’s clearly based on tiny balls.

The Invasion of TimeSue: Not only is he talking to a gobstopper, he’s sucking one, too.

Sue is great when it comes to noticing incidental details like these. Oh, and this…

Sue: Andred’s pants are very tight. He’s got the male version of camel toe.

The Doctor locks himself in his TARDIS, and when Leela begs to be let in, he put his hands over his ears and blocks her out.

Sue: It’s all gone a bit dark. And I don’t just mean the lighting.

And then Sue asks a question that’s so complicated, I have to pause the DVD.

Sue: Is everyone on Gallifrey a Time Lord?
Me: Er…
Sue: Are all the guards Time Lords?
Me: Er…
Sue: Can the guards regenerate?
Me: Erm…
Sue: So how do you become a Time Lord? Do you have to take an exam? Are you born into it? Is it like the House of Lords? How does it work? It isn’t fair if only a select few can become Time Lords and the rest of them are nothing more than glorified slaves. And that’s the impression I’m getting.
Me: Well…
Sue: Yes?
Me: Wait and see.

Back on Gallifrey, the Doctor discusses his plans with K9.

Sue: Could you rewind that, please? I’m a bit lost.

I play the scene again.

Sue: Thanks. But I’m none the wiser. I know they want to blow something up, I just don’t know what or why. The Doctor is very militaristic in this story. That thing he’s wearing around his neck…
Me: The Sash of Rassilon.
Sue: It makes him look like Chewbacca.

The Invasion of TimeLeela ducks into a corridor to avoid a patrol.

Sue: She’s walked into a Sure Start Centre. The children have painted these murals on the wall. Do Time Lords have babies?
Me: Er…

Leela encounters a woman named Rodan.

Sue: Big radiators.
Me: What?
Sue: Gallifrey’s radiators are very big. Why haven’t they worked out how to hide their plumbing yet? It seems a bit daft when they can travel in time. Anyway, is this woman a Time Lord or what?

Rodan explains to Leela that she’s basically a glorified air traffic controller.

Sue: Look at the state of her desk! Has somebody vomited all over it? Has it ever been cleaned? I wouldn’t touch that with yours, Neil.

The Invasion of TimeMeanwhile, back in the Panopticon, the Doctor offers a jelly baby to Andred. Sue leans in as the Doctor removes his hand from the bag.

Sue: It’s a real jelly baby! Finally! They’re really pulling out all the stops for this one.

The Doctor locks the TARDIS door behind him, but a guard arrives with some spare keys.

Sue: He’s been down to the stores. I bet it took him ages to find the right box. And I bet he had a tea break while he was down there.

The guard tries several keys with no success.

Sue: I could watch this all night.

The Invasion of TimeThe Doctor gives Borusa a ruddy good bollocking, which is amazing. But if you’re Sue, the episode’s most exciting moment occurs when K9 navigates his way through a very narrow pathway in Gallifrey’s basement. She was on the edge of her seat when he got stuck. And then the episode concludes with the Doctor introducing us to Gallifrey’s new masters.

Sue: They must be having a laugh. BacoFoil? BACOFOIL?

The Doctor laughs his head off.

Sue: Yeah, I don’t blame you for laughing. Jesus! As in – Jesus Christ, this is pathetic!

 

Part Three

Sue: Is this the big one?
Me: The big one?
Sue: Is this the one where the Doctor kills all the Time Lords? I’ve been dying to see this.

I’ve given up trying to tell her the Time War takes place off-screen.

Me: Wait and see.

The Vardans…

Sue: Sorry, the what?
Me: The Vardans.
Sue: Never heard of them. They’re just CSO that’s gone wrong. They look like something you’d put in as a placeholder if you didn’t have the real effect ready.

The Doctor examines his new lead-lined quarters.

Sue: It’s an interesting set.
Me: I’d love a study like that.
Sue: Don’t tempt me. You know I like a challenge. It wouldn’t be real lead, though, but this isn’t either.

The Doctor confides in Borusa.

Sue: I knew he wasn’t the bad guy. I knew he wouldn’t let me down.

The Doctor insists Leela be banished from the Capitol.

Sue: The Doctor wants to protect her. He doesn’t want her in the city when he blows it up and kills all the Time Lords. He could have dropped her at a nice beach resort before any of this started, of course, but there you go. He was probably worried the TARDIS wouldn’t find her again, and she’d end up killing half the tourists.

Leela and Rodan leave the Capitol.

Sue: I was hoping it would look more like Dune and less like Rhyl. Gallifrey is one disappointment after another.

The Invasion of TimeThey immediately run into Gallifrey’s Outsiders.

Sue: They’re very posh for a bunch of savages. I bet the only clubs this lot are familiar with are book clubs.

The Vardans start throwing their weight around on Gallifrey.

Sue: It’s a shame, this. It would have been okay if the monsters were up to scratch. It should have been the Daleks. Or the Cybermen. I mean, just look at them! Just scrunch ’em up and chuck ’em in the bin. They’ll scream, “Foiled again!” Geddit? Foiled. Foil. Tin foil. No?

The Castellan reminds Sue of somebody (besides Leonard Rossiter, that is).

Sue: He’s Gallifrey’s Nick Clegg. He’s dressed in yellow, he’s obsequious, and he’ll do anything for a whiff of power. Oh, and I want to punch him in the face.

The Vardans expect the Doctor to dismantle the quantum force field that protects Gallifrey.

The Invasion of TimeSue: Even their voices are rubbish. They sound like continuity announcers. No offence, Glen.

The Doctor asks his allies to trust him and materialise.

Sue: They can’t do that because they’re still in the oven… Because they look like tin foil, and you use tin foil for cooking…
Me: Yes, Sue, we get it.
Sue: Hang on, if they haven’t materialised yet, they may look okay in a minute. There’s still hope.

The Castellan loves nothing more than rooting out potential troublemakers from the Time Lords’ ranks.

Sue: This one could be William Hartnell’s brother. Hey, maybe it is the Doctor’s brother.

When this particular Time Lord is escorted outside, he asks the guards to slow down because he’s in his 10th regeneration.

Sue: David Tennant seemed to manage okay. Just saying.

The episode concludes with Andred barging his way into the TARDIS.

Sue: The cliffhangers have been pretty good in this story. If only the monsters were better.

 

Part Four

The Invasion of TimeSue: The Vardans have changed. Is this what they really look like?
Me: No, these are new CGI effects. I thought you could do with a break.
Sue: They are marginally better, I suppose. Marginally.

The Doctor mocks Andred’s failure to stage a palace coup.

Sue: Maybe the Time Lords start out as guards or air traffic controllers? Or maybe’s there’s a prequel series to be made where a young Doctor is a Time Lord cop.

The Doctor tells Andred that Rassilon’s mind lives on in the APC Net, and he may be able to help them.

Sue: What is Tom staring at? Why can’t he look at the person he’s talking to? I’m sorry, but Tom Baker is beginning to get on my tits.

Leela rustles up a (very) small army.

Sue: What a motley crew. I wouldn’t bet on this lot taking over a small shop, let alone a city.

The Doctor returns to Gallifrey’s basement to mess with its transduction barriers.

Sue: Gallifreyan technology isn’t all that impressive. I thought it’d be made of crystals and stuff like that. It’s… ordinary.

When Gallifrey’s barriers are deactivated, the Vardans finally reveal themselves.

The Invasion of TimeSue: WHAT WAS THE POINT?

Even the Doctor is disappointed.

Sue: Disappointing? DISAPPOINTING? Understatement of the ****ing century. All that for that? How shit must Gallifrey be if it can be threatened by these losers?

Leela and her rag-tag army advance on the citadel.

Sue: So, can this lot regenerate or not? I doubt they’d want to, but you never know.

It finally dawns on the Vardans that the Doctor has betrayed them.

Sue: They act like henchmen. I can’t believe they’re supposed to be all-powerful alien conquerors. They look like extras from another story who have wandered into this one by mistake. I mean, Gallifrey has basically been invaded by chartered accountants. This is so embarrassing.

K9 works out where the Vardans hail from (“They’re so shit-hot, no one has ever heard of them”), and the Doctor promptly places them in a time loop.

Sue: What an anti-climax. That was dreadful.

The Doctor has triumphed once again.

Me: So what mark are you going to give that?

Sue sighs.

Sue: The ending was rushed, the villains were rubbish, and the subplot with Leela and that tribe went nowhere. It started out well – the script was pretty good – but they didn’t do it justice.

4/10

And then…

The Invasion of TimeSue: **** me, it’s the Sontarans!
Me: I know!
Sue: So this hasn’t finished yet? You lied to me?
Me: Yes, but it was worth it, wasn’t it? Isn’t this an amazing cliffhanger? It knocked my socks off when I was eight years old. It was the most shocking thing I’d ever seen on television.
Sue: Okay, it’s a pretty good cliffhanger. Big round of applause. But it also means the last three episodes were a complete waste of time. How many episodes are left?
Me: Two.
Sue: Sod that, let’s put Dallas on.

 

Part Five

Sue: Cor blimey, guv’nor… Apples and pears… Stone the crows… Is that Sontaran actually a Cockney?
Me: Well, he’s definitely more Cockney than you are. That sounded Welsh.

Borusa returns to his office and squeezes a tiny ball.

Sue: Gallifreyan air freshener. The Doctor must have reeked.

The Invasion of TimeBorusa pipes the sound of bells into the Panopticon, and everyone legs it when the Sontarans are temporarily disabled. Everyone except the Castellan, who stays behind to help his new overlords.

Sue: Why isn’t Nick Clegg running in the opposite direction? And why is he wearing welding gloves?

Leela slaughters a Sontaran with a knife to the probic vent.

Sue: It’s a bullseye!

The Doctor and his friends make it back to Borusa’s office and lock themselves in. The Sontarans start to batter the door down.

Me: (As a Sontaran) Open the door, you slag. You’re nicked!

Our heroes escape through a secret passageway. But before they leave, the Doctor unlocks the door for the Sontarans.

Sue: Why did he do that? He could have stalled them for ages. Seriously, why did he do that?

The Invasion of TimeAnother Sontaran is killed.

Sue: Why don’t they cover up that hole of theirs with a flap? Why do they walk around with it unprotected like that? Oooh, K9 can go backwards!

The Doctor asks Borusa for the Great Key of Rassilon, and after a lot of persuading, the Cardinal finally hands over an ordinary looking key to his former pupil. The Doctor throws it away.

Sue: I didn’t think so. I was expecting a big gold key with diamonds encrusted in the…

Borusa hands over the real key.

Sue: Oh.

The Sontarans bring their weapons to bear on the Doctor and Borusa, but thankfully our heroes are protected by the Cardinal’s personal force field.

The Invasion of TimeSue: The Sontarans aren’t coming out of this well. I like the relationship between the Doctor and his old teacher, though. I knew he’d come good in the end. It’s quite sweet, really.

Unfortunately, Borusa’s batteries are about to run out.

Sue: Take them out and give them a little rub. Trust me, it works every time.

Upon reaching the safety of his TARDIS, the Doctor sends Leela, Borusa, K9 and Andred to the VIP suite. Then he teams up with Rodan to repair Gallifrey’s transduction barriers.

Sue: These two work well together. She’s a lot more capable now she’s back in the studio. She’d be an interesting companion, actually. But Leela has settled in nicely now, so you can’t get rid of her. And if the Doctor travelled with two women at the same time, it would look a bit suspect.

The Castellan reverses the TARDIS’ stabiliser banks and the Doctor declares they’ll be thrown into a black star.

Sue: Dock his pay!

 

Part Six

The Invasion of TimeSue: It’s as if a bunch of fans got together to make an episode of Doctor Who at ICI Wilton.

The Doctor, Leela and Rodan head deeper into the TARDIS.

Sue: Where are we now?
Me: The TARDIS.
Sue: This is the TARDIS?
Me: Yes.
Sue: The TARDIS?
Me: Yes. Have you gone deaf, love?
Sue: No, but this DVD seems to be on a loop.

These corridors really do look the same.

Sue: I don’t know what I expected the rooms inside the TARDIS to look like, but it definitely wasn’t like this.

The Sontarans enter the console room.

The Invasion of TimeSue: It doesn’t feel right seeing this lot in the TARDIS. It feels like she’s being violated, somehow.

Our heroes are still traipsing through the TARDIS’ interior.

Sue: Why would the Doctor programme his TARDIS to look like a disused hospital? Why is that even an option?

Andred and K9 decide to kill some time in the TARDIS workshop.

Sue: And why does the TARDIS have windows? And why black them out with bin bags? This is so cheap, they must be taking the piss. I just don’t buy it.

Commander Stor is confident that he will defeat the Doctor.

Sue: He can’t even put his helmet on straight. How will he see a thing out of that? Do you want to try that again? No? That will do? Are you sure? Oh, all right then.

As the Sontarans pursue our heroes through a swimming pool area, one of them is incapacitated by a sun lounger.

Sue: Attacked by an alien that looks like a chair. I can’t believe he didn’t fall into the water. Cheap!

And then it’s wall-to-wall questions.

Sue: Why is there a small secondary school in the TARDIS? And why does the TARDIS have stairs? Don’t the lifts work? And why does the place look like it smells of urine?

The Invasion of TimeI stop jotting these questions down after a while. And then it’s the scene that breaks the camel’s back, as Stor’s peripheral vision lets him down BUT he still manages to shoot Andred in the arm.

Sue: Can I give this a negative score?

Leela and Borusa end up going round in circles.

Sue: Déjà poo.

The Doctor manages to entice a Sontaran into the maw of a giant plant with nothing more than a birdsong impression. Yes, you did read that right.

Sue: They could afford to make a giant plant that’s on-screen for less than 30 seconds, but they couldn’t make a corridor with some circles on it? And who waters these plants, anyway? Does the Doctor have to come down here every night before he goes to bed?

The Doctor puts the finishing touches to his demat gun.

Sue: Nice cupboards. I’d love to give them a coat of Farrow & Ball.

The Doctor tests the demat gun on an advancing Sontaran, who promptly vanishes.

Sue: The Doctor shouldn’t be allowed to carry a gun, let alone use one. This is terrible.

Commander Stor threatens to destroy the galaxy in a fit of pique.

Sue: With a hand grenade? Piss off!

So the Doctor kills him.

Sue: Unbelievable.

The Doctor is knocked unconscious, and all that remains of the demat gun is the Great Key.

Sue: It’s a shit gun if you can only fire it twice.

Rassilon has wiped the Doctor’s memory.

Sue: I wish he could wipe mine so I didn’t have to remember this.

The Doctor returns to his TARDIS with the sound of jubilant Gallifreyans ringing in his ears.

Sue: And now the Daleks turn up…

The Invasion of TimeThe Doctor opens the TARDIS door and he ushers his companion inside. But Leela wants to stay on Gallifrey.

Sue: What? WHY?

Leela reaches for Andred’s hand.

Sue: **** OFF!

Even K9 wants to stay behind.

Sue: WHAT?

Sue is gobsmacked. And furious.

Sue: I know Andred’s pants are tight, but this is ridiculous! Leela would never do that. Never in a million years.

The Doctor finds a box with ‘K-9 MII’ stencilled on its side.

Sue: Where did he get that from? Is there a shop that sells K9s?

The Doctor turns to the audience at home and smiles.

Sue: DOCK HIS ****ING PAY!

 

The Score

Sue: Oh dear. When the Sontarans turned up, I thought to myself, ‘They can still pull this out of the bag’. But then it got worse.

0/10

Me: But what about the first episode?
Sue: If it wasn’t for the first episode, I’d probably give it minus-two.
Me: I’ll lock the doors.

 

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Comments

  1. Thomas Bush  July 7, 2012

    0/10? That’s a tad harsh. Nevertheless, it is a poor last story for Leela. Such a great companion and she gets such a half-arsed departure. The Sontarans were rubbish too. Grrrr…

  2. Wholahoop  July 7, 2012

    So my tweet about a negative score wasn’t too far off the mark so to speak?

  3. Jason Miller  July 7, 2012

    No, no, no, this won’t do at all. No way does “Invasion of Time” merit a worse score than “Underworld”. Take a mulligan on this one and have her try it again at a later date (maybe in between Seasons 16 and 17). Or at least have her read the novelization and critique that. “Invasion of Time” deserves way better than a 0! For the architecture alone!

    • Mag  July 7, 2012

      Maybe a 1, tied with Underworld then.

      Sue’s right. The BBC should have not broadcasted episodes 5 and 6 and just left it as a rather unsatisfying 4-parter.

      Graham Williams was given the option by the BBC not to produce this story and let the money roll over into next season. The biggest problems happen in the final 2 episodes. Williams could have made the 4-parter and whatever was left in the budget for the last 2 stories be carried over to season 16. If Williams needed to get rid of Leela for his Key to Time series to work, then he should have had her stay with the Outsiders because she felt at home, or some such, at the end of episode 4.

  4. Roderick T. Long  July 7, 2012

    When are you going to do “A Girl’s Best Friend”? At the point when it aired, or earlier?

    • Lewis Christian  July 7, 2012

      It’d be quite nice to see that between Logopolis and Castrovalva.

      My main question is when they’ll do Shada, because Neil’s said it won’t be in the “proper” place.

      • PolarityReversed  July 7, 2012

        I thought the proper place for Shada was in the bin…

        Don’t remember this one being all that bad – Doctor as double agent, the real villain reveal. Could have done without the cockney Sontaran taking a break from the war with the old Vladimir Putins and invading the planet of the Norfolk Broads though… ‘Ave a Romana…

      • Cracked Polystyrene Man  July 10, 2012

        Once you get to the end of LOGOPOLIS you don’t want to stop and watch something else before hitting CASTROVALVA. It actually fits better between TIME-FLIGHT and ARC OF INFINITY.

        • Cracked Polystyrene Man  July 10, 2012

          That’s K9 AND COMPANY I’m talking about – not SHADA.

  5. grufaine  July 7, 2012

    Youch! I thought it might at least get some points for being funny. It really is a horrible (criminally bad?) departure for Leela, and it’s definitely cheap and full of camp, so I can’t really argue much for it except to say that I find cheapness and campiness fun to watch sometimes. I knew this would get a low score, but a zero, wow. I’m sure the next one will be a big breath of fresh air though after this!

  6. Roderick T. Long  July 7, 2012

    Disappointing, aren’t they?

    Yuh, RTD did the same thing better with the cybermen.

  7. Catseye  July 7, 2012

    Stick to your guns Sue. This is one of those where I read the novelisation and LOVED it. So exciting! Finally exploring deep into the TARDIS! Gallifrey at war! Watching the dvd many years later was a bit of a shock… Nowadays it’s like an old friend that you feel you should want to see again and then when you do, you remember all the reasons you’ve not called him for 2 years..

    Oh and I love this blog, you guys are wonderful, never let the haters get you down!

    • Richard L  July 7, 2012

      Agree entirely! Makes you wonder just how much of a fanbase Doctor Who would have were it not for the Target novels. I’m sure even the Underworld novelisation was pretty good.

  8. John S. Hall  July 7, 2012

    The male equivalent of “camel toe” is called “moose knuckle”. Just sayin’… 🙂

  9. John S. Hall  July 7, 2012

    I can’t help wishing that the production team were bold enough back then to have Leela stay with Rodan, rather than Andred. At least Leela had *chemistry* with Rodan!

    • Frankymole  July 7, 2012

      Talking of Rodan, I can’t see why they recruited Romana when they already had a perfectly good female Time Lord (they’re not called Time Ladies, for Rassilon’s sake!) who knew the Doctor and (presumably) the new President – thus giving the White Guardian some reason to impersonate him which never really made sense with Romana. If “Princess Astra” could come back in her next story, why couldn’t Rodan?

      • Richard Lyth  July 7, 2012

        I’ve always wondered that too, especially as Rodan and Romana have almost the exact same name and background. Did they offer the actress the part but she turned them down? Or would they have had to pay the writers of this story if they used Rodan again? Or did they just want to make a fresh start and avoid reminding everyone that this story ever happened? We may never know…

        • Frankymole  July 9, 2012

          Tony Read and Graham Williams were both on staff so presumably they wouldn’t have been paid again for Rodan as she was a BBC in-house character. I wonder if Bob Holmes got paid every time Romana appeared – probably not as companions are usually production team creations.

  10. Paul Gibbs  July 7, 2012

    It really is like trying to make Star Wars on 50p for this story. And, like most people who’ve ever watched it, I find Leela’s departure appalling.

  11. Mag  July 7, 2012

    I agree with Sue that this story was pants, too many negatives at the end. I still think the story could have been salvaged though. I wonder if it would have been a better story if the 4th Doctor died/regenerated when the Demat Gun was fired? Even having Leela stay with the Outsiders, rather than Andred, would have been a better fit for her character. This was the story, in which, I really began hating the Sontarans in the classic series. They’re such a second rate monster. I can see why the Rutans want to get rid of them.

    • Andrew Bowman  July 7, 2012

      I’ve always thought that Tom B stayed in the role too long, and this would have been the perfect regeneration story. No companion to connect the two incarnations (Leela’s abrupt departure aside), a big explosion after a battle with an old enemy, who’s appearance was foreshadowed (well, they were mentioned in Fang Rock) at the beginning of the series, and it took place on the Doctor’s home turf. Imagine the Doctor, scarred and battered, running to the TARDIS, locking Leela out without a second thought, setting the TARDIS in motion and then collapsing. Only question is: who would play the Doctor at that point?

      • Leo  July 7, 2012

        Graham Williams is apparently on record as having said, at a convention, that had he needed to recast the Doctor, his preferred choice would have been Geoffrey Bayldon.

      • Matthew Kilburn  July 8, 2012

        One theory is that the first (produced) story of the second and third Williams seasons features the actor who would have been asked to step into the role of the Doctor had Tom not turned up to work; and where in 1979 that was Geoffrey Bayldon, in 1978 that was Iain Cuthbertson.

  12. Thomas  July 7, 2012

    Concerning Leela’s departure, the reason it’s so rushed is that they were desperately trying to change Louise Jameson’s mind about leaving the show and didn’t write a departure because of it (they thought she would end up choosing to stay). Of course, when the time came to shoot the episode and Jameson still hadn’t decided to stay, they had to hurriedly write in a departure scene at the very end, with no build up or connection to the rest of the story (the actors had to make do with the one scene they had in the first couple episodes, which almost works, but not quite). Had they written the departure beforehand (which, yes, they probably should have), it likely would’ve been much more fitting to Leela’s character and much more involved than this.

    As for the story itself, yeah, this is one that comes off a lot better as written then as executed. That being said, I do like it quite a bit- the first couple episodes are brilliant, and any scene with John Arnatt is just wonderful (seriously, I think it’s worth a couple more point just for he and Baker’s scenes together). It’s a deeply, deeply flawed story, but one that’s a bit of fun as well.

    • Ythri  July 7, 2012

      That’s not much of an excuse. At some point, Williams should have accepted Jameson’s wishes and done the character justice. Companions come and go, that’s just how the show works. If the thought there was a chance she might be convinced, he should have written the departure in such a way that she could be brought back quickly. It’s funny how he obsessed about silly minutia like explaining Leela’s eye color, or writing in a replacement for K9 (as if people wouldn’t just accept that a robot might be modified to look slightly different), but for an important moment like a companion leaving, he just dumps her off with the first convenient male body.

      • John G  July 7, 2012

        I remember reading Williams was so upset by Jameson’s decision to leave, he deliberately gave her a feeble exit. If true it was unbelievably unprofessional and petty, to say the least…

        • Thomas  July 7, 2012

          That latter suggestion is definitely not true, according to all the stuff out there.

          And yeah, it was a bad decision on his part as a producer to think he could convince Jameson to stay and not write her a decent exit. It forgives a couple aspects of the scene, but it is an unfortunate decision.

    • chris-too-old-to-watch  July 9, 2012

      Let’s face it, the best way Leela could have left is by giving her life saving the Doctor, but no-one would have been brave enough in a show that was necoming more-and-more a children’s show.

  13. Simon Harries  July 7, 2012

    On ‘The Tom Baker Years’ VHS, his recollection of John Arnatt’s thoughts about playing Borusa are priceless. “I like playing boring parts. The more boring they are, the more I love playing them!” I’m still just a teeny bit too young to have clear memories of original tx, and while I didn’t mind the Target book I disliked the The Invasion of Time when I finally got to see it on video. I watched that VHS once. I haven’t watched the DVD at all. I prefer to forget that it exists, so a zero score from Sue sits well with me.

  14. Smith  July 7, 2012

    I had the same reaction when I first saw this story. Now I look upon it as more of a so-Bad-it’s-Good classic. (You’ll have to try and do that a lot more as we go on :L).

    Loved the article; keep it up!

    • RATBAG  July 8, 2012

      Must agree there, it’s kinda Who’s equivalent of Plan 9 From Outer Space. It certainly has its plus points – Mad Tom being PROPERLY mad for the first couple of episodes, the decidedly dark tone the story takes early on, Milton Johns and John Arnatt – but it just pisses away all its potential. The Vardans are, amazingly enough, even more pathetic when they are revealed than when they’re just wobbly bits of tinfoil, Derek Deadman’s performance as Stor is pretty dreadful (though the mask is good), the overall thing just looks cheap. Shame, could have been good.

      And no, Leela’s exit didn’t convince me at all. Didn’t see any connection or spark between her and Andred at all. Now, Leela and Rodan, I could have understood…

  15. Gavin Noble  July 7, 2012

    Despite all the flaws with this story I actually don’t have that much of an issue with the way the TARDIS interior looks – why does it all have to be roundels on the walls? It’s a massive place so why not have a bit of variety in the architecture? Okay the Vardans and Sontatarans are a bit rubbish in this story but I still think it’s fun to watch for a script that was a last minute replacement for one that the budget would never have stretched to. I do understand why Sue rated it so low and I think if she’s annoyed with Tom at this point she’ll be tearing her hair out in season 17 (which I love by the way).

    • Andrew Bowman  July 7, 2012

      I agree that the lack of roundels and other TARDIS-like decor in the basement scenes are neither here nor there, and actually I thought it was quite cool that we were seeing more and more of the TARDIS (something that didn’t really happen to that extent until JNT took over, I believe).

      As for Season 17, Sue is going to struggle, mainly because Tom is playing the fool more, and even in something like City of Death, Sue will spot Tom’s glances to camera a mile off, be annoyed by Kerensky’s death and will probably have an issue with John Cleese’s pointless cameo. But equally, I think she’ll laugh in all the right places. As for the rest of the season, well I don’t really know, but I can’t imagine her forgive the Tythonian Ambassador anything!

  16. sunnyhaze  July 7, 2012

    What total baloney…really 0/10….come off it!!! Compare this story to the rest of the season for gow’d sakes! it deserves a fairly decent 5 or 6 outta 10. The ‘chase’ in the tardis/hosp corridors is indeed very very poor…but that aside..it stands up alright and heck…oh boy! if you thought this was bad!!!! bring on the next few seasons…utter tripe to come Im afraid overrated Douglas Adams gooble-d-gook nonesense and poorly told to boot.

    I whiff a lot of -2’s and 3 in the immediate future.

    • Unreya Erminda  July 7, 2012

      The score is Sue’s own opinion, she can give what she wants.

      Though I personally think this story is kinda fun, it’s definitely a low point. There are some corkers to come.

  17. sunnyhaze  July 7, 2012

    I don’ think that you should tell your missus its a 4-parter and then reveal the horror its actually 6 parts! On top of that opting to show her the ‘new’ effects…really mate your ruining this ‘experiment’. You need to come to this fresh – no messing about with it. Sue ended up giving this a 0/10 which i believe was due in part to the ‘depressing’ notion that she had another hour to endure. Had she known this from the start I really think that the score would of improved slightly. Play fair old chap play fair.

  18. Person  July 7, 2012

    See, I love episodes 1-4. If you can look past the Vardans, I think they’re great. Then 5 and 6…oh dear. Still, Invasion Of Time now ties with the ones ‘that don’t count’! Ahaha! I can’t stop laughing, this entry is very, very funny.

  19. Jazza1971  July 7, 2012

    Classic line – “He’s Gallifrey’s Nick Clegg. He’s dressed in yellow, he’s obsequious, and he’ll do anything for a whiff of power. Oh, and I want to punch him in the face.”

    When I watched this as a young ‘un I loved the TARDIS interior. We are told it is bigger on the inside and this just made me marvel at just how big it was. I didn’t mind the look of it either, it was just so exciting. For that reason I have always had a bit of a soft spot for this story, despite it’s many flaws.

    Having witnessed how much Sue had enjoyed the character of Leela I knew that this story was always going to score low, her departure was always going to knock of at least a couple of whatever points it had managed to gather in Sue’s mind.

  20. Paul Greaves  July 7, 2012

    It’s tricky this. I don’t believe it deserves a 0/10 but it’s definitely struggling to get higher than a 1. We’re in a period of Who that tries so hard to be creative with a budget that wouldn’t pay for the loo roll for the current series. Having said that, whilst everyone else tries their damnedest to sell it to the audience (talent permitting), Tom is undermining them at every turn. The excuses of eccentricity/alienness etc just don’t cut it, I’m afraid. It’s clear that he thinks he knows best and that no-one is prepared to tell him to stop dicking about and do the job properly. And it’s only going to get worse.

    This story tries hard but they should have saved the money for the next series. And poor Lou Jameson was done over by this exit. The excuse that they were hoping she would stay is feeble. If you’re not sure then you write two endings well in advance. It’s called preparation.

    • Lewis Christian  July 7, 2012

      Wasn’t this a rush-job replacement story? In that, I can at least forgive them some faults. And, oddly, I think episodes 5 and 6 are the best, even though they’re the worst-produced.

    • DPC  July 7, 2012

      Agreed.

      Louise got a raw deal, and she does work to make the best of it… as did the actor who played Andred… but when the script offers so little, no amount of ad-libbing could help.

  21. AST  July 7, 2012

    I must confess that the slug-chair-monsters bamboozled me even when I re-watched this a few months ago. I never realised they were chairs until this very edition of WiS.

  22. Lewis Christian  July 7, 2012

    This is one of my guilty pleasures. A 8/10 from me.

    Forgive me because I don’t normally do this type of comment:

    >> “The aliens this week are talking chairs?”

    Would’ve been better than tinfoil!

    >> “The Doctor is handed the Sash of Rassilon, the Rod of Rassilon, and the Great Key of Rassilon…”

    Just you wait, Sue. It’ll become a great drinking game.

    >> “How do you become a Time Lord? Do you have to take an exam? Are you born into it?”

    Well, one of those will be answered very soon!

    >> “WHAT WAS THE POINT?”

    Agreed. Outer Space Janitors. Terrible pay-off. That said, wait until the next season finale…

    >> “4/10”

    I have to take your first answer 😉

    That cliffhanger is seriously the best cliffhanger – well, in Baker’s time at least. The music is so brilliant too.

    >> “I don’t know what I expected the inside of the TARDIS to look like, but it definitely wasn’t this.”

    80s Who does at least have one saving grace… I can’t wait for when they get to do it properly.

    >> “And why would the TARDIS have windows? And why would you black them out with bin bags? This is so cheap, it’s taking the piss now. I just don’t buy it.”

    Maybe the TARDIS was on the rubbish desktop theme.

    >> “He’s being attacked by an alien that looks like a chair. I can’t believe he didn’t fall into the water. Cheap!”

    …good old, ironically-named, Stuart Fell!

    >> “Can I give a negative score?”

    Negative, Mistress. And Leela leaving is utterly poorly handled. At the very least they should’ve had her join the Outsiders on Gallifrey – at least it’d be a tribe for her to follow.

  23. Richard Parker  July 7, 2012

    Always been one of my favourite sunday afternoon stories this; though god knows why. It’s truly awful. But I just love it!

    • Lewis Christian  July 7, 2012

      It’s bad but it’s fun! 🙂

    • Nick Hollands  July 7, 2012

      Agreed. I *loved* the novelisation (to the extent that I had two copies – one out from the school library, and one from the local county library. They ended up going back to the wrong places, and I got a snotty letter from county after about a year). Yes, there’s a crap bunch of realisations here – The Vardans are tinfoil and Gallifrey looks like a windy day on the downs and so on, and so on… But I loves it. There’s a nice bit of closure on the events of Assassin, and I really like the runaround in the TARDIS. There’s better… but there’s a *lot* worse.

  24. AST  July 7, 2012

    “Sue: What is Tom staring at? Why can’t he look at the person he’s talking to? I’m sorry but Tom Baker is starting to get on my tits.”

    I’ve come to a strong suspicion that he’s reading from cue cards. It’s especially noticeable in his big ‘do I have the right?’ speech from Genesis of the Daleks. Watch his eyes – he’s reading it!

    • Dan  July 7, 2012

      You’ve got to suspect he’s falling into line with some policy with this. Doesn’t anyone know what happened?

    • Thomas  July 7, 2012

      Aw, come on, now- Baker might be getting drunk with power now, but he’s no Marlon Brando!

  25. Penny Carter  July 7, 2012

    This is my favourite story of season 15. I’m so glad she gave it a high score.

  26. Leelas lost balls  July 7, 2012

    “Sue: He’s Gallifrey’s Nick Clegg. He’s dressed in yellow, he’s obsequious, and he’ll do anything for a whiff of power. Oh, and I want to punch him in the face. Yeah, that pretty much sums it up.”

    If only the Vardans were wearing yellow as well, it would of suited them.

    poor Leela pushed onto some random bloke and probably no longer a warrior, but squeezing out sprogs and making tea.

    Oh and lib dems will never get my vote again, i’d rather vote for a Sontaran/Dalek hybrid with a penis head 🙂 (well tbh i’ll probably never bother voting again, they’re all a bunch of c£$””£ afaic)

  27. Harry  July 7, 2012

    I am shocked that this story, in which things actually HAPPEN, and time passes, rates LOWER than Underworld! I thought watching ANY story straight after Underworld would make it seem better than it was. Ah well, fair enough.
    I actually have this as a guilty pleasure, though even I wouldn’t rate it any higher than a 5/10. If there was a LITTLE more of a budget for special effects, better acting for the Sontarans and Vardans, a more convincing exit for Leela and Tom was better behaved, I think this one would be remembered a lot more fondly.
    Oh, and with regard to “At the very least they should’ve had her join the Outsiders on Gallifrey – at least it’d be a tribe for her to follow”
    FOLLOW? Leela, having been questioning from her introduction (even before she met the Doctor), and having seen and learned so much, should have LED the Outsiders, maybe have their existing leader die at the hands of the Sontarans and Leela is elected their new leader due to her obvious skills.

    • DPC  July 7, 2012

      If there was a little more money, and the proceedings not put out with so much hokey hokum, it would have been better. Some of the attempts at humor in the story truly grate… 🙁

      And Tom Baker in part 1… like another actor that will follow in three years’ time, I have to wonder why Tom didn’t do more work as a baddie. His doppelgangers and other evil moments have always been fantastic in WHO…

      • Thomas  July 7, 2012

        Probably because after doing Doctor Who, everyone wanted him to play a role like the Doctor.

  28. John G  July 7, 2012

    “Maybe all the Time Lords start out as guards or air traffic controllers?”

    Or maybe passport checkers, as the last time we saw Andred he was doing that at Gatwick…

    0 is a bit harsh, given that Milton Johns and John Arnatt both give fun performances, but this is a pretty rubbish story in nearly every other way. Sue’s criticisms of Tom are spot on – I think this is his most flippant and irritating performance, worse than anything he got up to in the next two seasons. Leela’s exit is of course utterly awful, and a shameful way to write out one of the great companions, while Derek Deadman is absolutely no match in the Sontaran stakes for Kevin Lindsay (or Christopher Ryan, for that matter). They even manage to mess up the exploration of the TARDIS interior – it should have been the big treat of the story, but the location scenes make it impossible to believe that you really are seeing different parts of the ship, as it’s just too obvious that they are on location.

    Still, the next couple of stories are much better, and here’s hoping that Sue will feel the same about them! Her comments about Rodan being a suitable companion for the Doctor are also encouraging, given the nature of the new assistant…

    PS the t-shirt prize should definitely go to: “They could put Phil Mitchell under that helmet. Then they wouldn’t have to bother with any make-up.”

  29. Rob  July 7, 2012

    Tell her the idea that the Black Guardian had control over Leela’s mind during that last scene because he knows Leela would kick his arse in.

  30. Adam Birch  July 7, 2012

    Invasion of Time has always been a mixed bag for me. When I was a kid, the Sontarans returning was a “Wow!” moment, but just about everything else about the story felt wrong in ways I couldn’t quantify. Surely, this was a shadow of the series that engrossed me with Talons of Weng-Chiang a year before.

    I still hated K9. Heck, I still do.

    There’s always something of a mixed bag in most Who seasons, even in some stories, but this was one I found I preferred Terrance Dicks’ adaptation, since it was over sooner than re-watching the story.

  31. Bryan Simcott  July 7, 2012

    The Wife in Space..and the experiment is a success. Sue said

    “I Knew he wouldnt let me down” when she found out the Doctor was bluffing. She said ME wouldnt let ME!!!! down. Hoooray shes finaly joined the club . She believes in the Doctor.

    I love Invasion of time as its so trashy and really is a Kids SHow which is what it was /is meant to be and from a kids point of view it works a treat. Sontarans at episode 4 just left me open mouthed and so excited for the week to come. its only Adutls that think it looks shabby becasue they want to see it all make sense , and look nice.

    leela leaving was a huge shock, it was like losing a sister I was heartbroken.

  32. Nathan  July 7, 2012

    Isn’t it true that Williams got a bollocking over this for not being of broadcast standard, so looks like Sue was right.

    • John G  July 7, 2012

      Not sure about this one, but he certainly got hauled over the coals for production deficiencies in Power of Kroll.

  33. DPC  July 7, 2012

    Sue’s right – a followup where Sarah Jane gets to know about Leela and then puts on the ol’ set of “Lee Press-on Nails”… oh, wait, “Leela’s Press-In Nails” :), would have been most entertaining…

    Another awesome review, thanks y’all!

  34. Longtime Listener  July 7, 2012

    Surprised nobody has mentioned the time-travelling that seems to have been going on Chez Perryman. The lead-lined study conversation doesn’t happen until Part Three, but Sue’s already alluding to it during Part Two. Uncanny.

    Anyway, heartliy agree with the mark and general assessment (ground my teeth at the Clegg stuff, but this isn’t the time or the place). In a way you could say that a negative mark would be justified, in the sense that the story not only lacks any merit in itself but actively damages the show as a whole. Finishing what The Deadly Assassin had started, it made the Time Lords so utterly risible as to undermine the Doctor’s own mystique. It’s the reason why I’ve always felt that killing them off at the outset was RTD’s single best decision when rebooting the series. (Unlike many, though, I actually enjoyed their curtain call in The End of Time Part Two, including Dalton’s moustache-twirling Rassilon, despite the fact that Part One was probably New Who’s worst episode to date.)

    • Frankymole  July 7, 2012

      Two LibDem supporters on one blog… ! Just wait until the Yellow Kangs….

    • Neil Perryman  July 7, 2012

      That’s very true. Sue made quite a few references to the chairs which I edited into one reference for brevity’s sake, but you are quite right. She actually offered to buy some chairs for my study much later (episode 4 according to my notebook). Sorry. Blame the Vardans. Anyway, I’ve taken it out to stop the confusion in our minds.

  35. Marty  July 7, 2012

    “So the aliens are definitely talking chairs this week? They can take the form of any chair in the known universe?”
    I’m sure that’s just waiting in the Moff’s bucket of ideas to terrorise us with. Don’t hide behind the sofa girls and boys…the sofa is the alien an it’s going to shape shift and eat you.

    “Tom Baker almost took the camera out with his elbow, there. Has he completely lost the plot?” Well…someone’s lost the plot Sue, though it’s probably the writer of this story, they also lost mostly everything else.

    So Leela falls for Commander Tightpants and K9 runs away with them.

    I wonder if there is a shop that sells K9s, maybe the Doctor picked up a job lot of them, that would explain where the one for Sarah Jane and then the second one for Sarah Jane came from. Maybe he’s just got a pallet of K9s in boxes waiting.

    I loved this story, for all the stuff inside the TARDIS in the novelisation my imagination made it seem brilliant. But in reality it’s a little less glorious.
    I think this story would have benefited from being just a 4 or a 5 parter, with the Sontaran reveal coming at the part 2 or 3 point.
    But then there’s stuff that doesn’t really make sense; is it Rassilon who is in the Doctor’s mind while he’s gone a bit mad, is it the Doctor. Why build the de-mat gun at all, any other bit of techno-wizardry could have saved Gallifrey, he needn’t have let them in.
    The ideas are okay and they probably started somewhere good, but it just devolved into something that isn’t so good.

    • Nathan  July 7, 2012

      Douglas Adams already did the deadly alien chairs… or was it John Lloyd?

      • PolarityReversed  July 8, 2012

        Bob Holmes – Autons – long time ago.

        • Raymond  July 9, 2012

          HHGTTG radio version had shape shifting(*) aliens, which they first met as the captain’s chair (the chair being the captain sleeping) (**)

          (*) Not really shape shifters, as that implies some control: these had unstable dna, and spontaneously changed shape.

          (**) or I could be mismembering.

          The Autons deadly chair fits better

  36. Tim Cook  July 7, 2012

    This story was indeed a last-minute replacement for another (wasn’t it that infamous ‘Killer Cats’ script?) and I’m sure Gerald Blake was chosen as director simply because he had a reputation for managing ‘crisis’ productions. But 0/10, very harsh I think, though my opinion is clouded by the original tx – at the end of episode 4, I remember leaping off my nan and granddad’s sofa shouting “SONTARANS! SONTARANS!” I was so pleased to finally, FINALLY, see one of the show’s ‘big’ monsters. I was 5-and-a-half and had been watching the show for a good 18 months…

    • James C  July 9, 2012

      Brilliant. That’s what this show is supposed to do.

  37. Unreya Erminda  July 7, 2012

    I’ve only seen this once, not long ago, and really enjoyed 5 & 6, but only because they are indeed nothing but random old nonsense. They have a giddy “what on earth are they doing?!” feel.

    Surprised we didn’t get the blog’s regular “he was in Survivors” moment, considering Paul was one of the longest-running characters in that show. And actually, I reckon Tom Baker and Chris Tranchell have a nice chemistry – Chris goes along with Tom’s larking, rather than looking bamboozled by it. But then Tom did used to sleep in Chris’s spare room, so I’m sure he knew *exactly* what Tom was like

  38. Dave Sanders  July 8, 2012

    “They are very posh for a bunch of wild savages. By the sound of them, the only clubs this lot are familiar with are book clubs.”

    Yes, it is more like Nescafe than Nesbin…

    “I wouldn’t bet on this lot taking over a small shop.”

    Ah, but the Doctor likes a little shop.

    • Leo  July 8, 2012

      To be fair, they are supposed to be dropouts or people expelled from the Capitol, so would have had the same background and upbringing, making it theoretically quite feasible that they could have similar accents and speech patterns to the other Time Lords or Gallifreyans.

      • Thomas  July 8, 2012

        Plus, you know, there’s the fact they’re all British.

        • James C  July 9, 2012

          Except for the one who is Australian, and is now one of our leading racehorse trainers.

  39. Jimbotfu  July 8, 2012

    I’m often surprised by the comments on this blog…and not for the reason that you might think.

    There seems such a fear and hostility towards any negative comments…even though I hardly see any. Of course personal jibes and insults are completely inappropriate….but here we have someone honesltly and bluntly critiquing something that a lot of people love.

    The right to disagree / suggest that Sue is talking nonsense is just as valid and vital as Sue’s right to detest Terry Nation.

    Thereby we can have a nice lively debate, showing that there’s passionate views on both sides. As long as we stop short of violence or sexual swearwords.

    • PolarityReversed  July 8, 2012

      Not quite sure what you’re getting at there. Are you implying that this all seems like a clubby Sue-along? Doesn’t seem the case to me at all. Strikes me that most here regard the wifely musings and verdict as a catalyst for a good old chin-wag.

      Many do disagree with She Who Must Be Footrubbed, that bloke who did a comedy show and others who have carved out a position in the pseudo-academic discipline of Whoology. And each other, often.

      Thankfully, we seem to have moved on from the “ur gay” excesses circa Revenge of the Cybergits.

    • DPC  July 8, 2012

      +1

  40. Siobhan Gallichan  July 8, 2012

    That has to be the new mug – Piccy of Tom with ‘Dock his pay – it’s the only way he’ll learn!’.

  41. jsd  July 8, 2012

    Zero is awfully harsh. As others have said, it’s worth more than that for Borusa and the Castellan alone. Yes it’s cheap and doesn’t make a lick of sense but when I was a kid it was a lot of fun. I have a hard time watching it with a detached adult eye now because of that. 8/10

  42. encyclops  July 8, 2012

    I think this one deserves a few points for some of its better scenes, most of which people have already noted, but as much as I like Sontarans and the TARDIS interior in theory, ugghhhh. I’ve also always thought that it was a little strange to see the almighty Time Lords so easily attacked by clearly less potent species; on the one hand I’d rather have them a bit more like everybody else than a planet of gods (one of many reasons why the deification of the Doctor starting in the late 80s and continuing into the new series didn’t sit well with me), on the other it hardly seems likely to me that a bunch of pepperpots like the Daleks could have brought about Gallifrey’s downfall. Barbarians at the gates, I suppose.

    And of course slap a big pointless “me too” on the talk about Leela’s exit — it’s even worse when you think about how few companions have left this way. I have to think of it as being standard mating practice among the Sevateem: the women see a pretty (ish) man they think might make a good gene donor and they grab him by the hair as soon as they get the chance and drag him back to the hut. If you’re going to make a mini-Leela you might as well make her half Time Lord, right? Luckily as my second-favorite companion departs, my very favorite steps in.

    I never loved K9 more than I do seeing him through Sue and Nicol’s eyes.

  43. Steve White  July 8, 2012

    II do enjoy watching Invasion of Time, but if I’m honest, it really is an embarrassing story. The production standards terrible, although with the benefit of hindsight, I can understand why. But its stories like this that gave the show its cheap and cheerful reputation and ultimately made it the target for Grade when he cancelled it 7 years or so later.

    Tom Bakers performance really is un-nerving in the opening few episodes, the reasoning behind why the Doctor behaves the way he does is very well thought out, and in Episode 4 we have one of the best cliffhangers in the shows history. but all of this gets over shadowed, in my opinion, by the general shoddiness of the production.

    And Derek Deadmans Sontaran mask really is awful.

    I probably would have been a little more generous than Sue, but then I’m a fan 😉

    To this day I still don’t understand why they tacked on the K9 leaving scene either, what was the point in that anyway???

    • Dave Sanders  July 10, 2012

      Micheal Grade in 1985: “This show… is a load… of obsolete… RUBBISH!”

  44. DPC  July 8, 2012

    “Sue: When did they fall in love? I know his pants are tight, but this is ridiculous.”

    Wouldn’t that be enough for anyone? 🙂 HEYYYOOOOH!

    Sorry, couldn’t resist… 😀

  45. Sammy J  July 9, 2012

    YES! Seeing the worst excesses of the Tom Baker era (well, not that we’re there yet…) has really brought out the best in Sue. This was hilarity from start to finish.

    (I never understand the haters. Even if I would give a story a few more points than Sue does, well isn’t that the whole delight of being a Who fan? That opinions never match up? Look at the AV Club – my favourite website – who can’t stand any of the darker Saward stories because they’re “not fun”! What a crazy world that has such fandom in it…)

  46. P.Sanders  July 9, 2012

    Ach I think there are parts to enjoy in this but it does fall to pieces. I can see why this season may have worn Sue down, with Leela’s rubbish departure being the last straw. But Sue, I promise there is still plenty to enjoy in the future – don’t let people put you off continuing the experiment!

  47. Wholahoop  July 9, 2012

    Did anyone on the internet ever explain why in Episode 1 The Doctor was wearing his scarf when he was signing the agreement with the chairs but was not wearing the scarf when he walked back into the Tardis (scarf was hanging on coat/hat stand)?

    Gizza job

  48. chris-too-old-to-watch  July 9, 2012

    Been cogitating on this: lots of ideas good in principle – e.g. adventure on Gallifrey, “traitor” Doctor, flight in TARDIS. But nothing was done properly. All the way through this and subsequent 2 seasons I always get the impression of “We know the effects/acting/story are rubbish, but it’s only for kids and geeks so it’ll do”
    Should Baker have gone at this point? Difficult to think of a replacement at the time, and if they had replaced him, them we’d have missed him for JNT’s premiere season. Geoffrey Bayldon would have been good, but do Time Lords actually regenerate into older-looking individuals? (Bit of a waste if you ask me…..)

    • Andrew Bowman  July 10, 2012

      Borusa did, constantly! It was almost perverse. 😉 In fact, Colin Baker was a good, what, 8 years older than Peter Davison when he left, so I say that yes, just so long as the Doctor isn’t an ‘old man’. Don’t forget, Geoffrey Bayldon was one of those actors, like Clive Dunn, who played way beyond his years. It would have been interesting if he’d played him as a kind of darker Crowman or something.

  49. Glen Allen  July 9, 2012

    They sound like continuity announcers. No offence, Glen

    Bugger off
    *shakes fist* PERRYMAAAN!!!!!!!!

  50. Paul Mudie  July 10, 2012

    It is a rather shoddy tale, but I quite like the fact that the bowels of the Tardis look like a disused mental hospital. Maybe there’s an interior chameleon circuit, and that’s broken too?

  51. DamonD  July 10, 2012

    Can’t disagree much. Another cracker of a review following the Underworld one, even after all these reviews they’re still funny and interesting. Sue leaning forward for the jelly baby bit was great.

    There really are some good bits in Invasion of Time, but the bad bits just utterly stomp them to dust and make them worthless. The Sontarans showing up seems a genuine game changer but then that ends up completely wasted again.

  52. icthar  July 16, 2012

    Here’s something mildly interesting, which wasn’t mentioned on the dvd or any guide book I’ve read. Gai Smith, who played Presta, is very well known in Australia, as horse racing legend Gai Waterhouse. Well, I did say it was only mildly interesting.

    • Matthew Kilburn  July 16, 2012

      No, I think that’s a great identification!