This is my favourite Cyberman story ever and as a result of that I was really looking forward to seeing the animated episodes. How did they do? Well as a fan of archive television I have always got a thrill in watching material that had been lost and then recovered and yet here is something that is technically still missing and yet at the same time isn't.
This is not missing material returned but missing material reconstructed, there have been many attempts over the years to showcase missing Doctor Who material on video but this by far the best, we actually have moving footage to focus our attention on rather than looking at static images or a Doctor Who actor filling in the blanks.
I almost got the feeling of watching two missing episodes and I'm quite sure that was the whole point.
The only downside of the animated episodes is that the six surviving episodes of The Invasion will probably be overlooked in viewers reviews and suchlike, which is a pity as it is, as stated above not only the best Cyberman story but also the best Troughton.
The story acts as a template for the direction that the series took during the Pertwee era, in essence a pilot episode. It was one of the few to be set in the modern day at the time of transmission (1968) and feels very fresh and different from the majority of the sixties episodes, all the regulars are on brilliant form and even though the adventure is eight episodes long there is no real sense of padding, the storyline moves along at a cracking pace.
One of the highlights of the entire story is the performance of Kevin Stoney as the main villain, Tobias Vaughn, he is quite simply outstanding, mixing charm and menace with great panache and is a worthy adversary for Patrick Troughton's excellent Doctor.
The picture and sound quality have been dramatically improved by the Doctor Who Restoration Team, and the batch of special features are generally good, focusing on the original recordings and the animation process, all this is capped off by two super commentaries and production subtitles.
The use of animation provides a golden opportunity for fans to finally see a version of lost Doctor Who episodes that would otherwise never be seen again.
All in all this a very worthwhile project and will hopefully lead to more incomplete stories being animated. Buy this DVD release now.