Doctor Who - The Invasion (2 Disc Set) [DVD] 
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Investigating the disappearance of an eminent scientist, the Doctor and his companions follow his trail to the London headquarters of International Electromatics, a global supplier of electronic equipment run by the formidable Tobias Vaughan. Teaming up with the newly-formed United Nations Intelligence Taskforce--UNIT--under the command of Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, it soon becomes apparent that Vaughan is working to his own sinister agenda. As Cybermen invade in cities all over the world, can the Doctor convince Vaughan to help him defeat their plan for global domination?
This story was originally broadcast on BBC1 between 2nd November and 21st December 1968, produced by Peter Bryant and directed by Douglas Camfield.
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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.
Anyway you look at it, the Invasion is Doctor Who at its best, and I certainly think that the story deserves its mantle as an absolute classic and one of the all time greats. Douglas Camfield was the perfect director for Doctor Who, he never created a dull story, or even a dull scene, his fantastic eye for action was what made the Invasion great for me, every detail is made obvious and casting great actors like Kevin Stoney and Peter Halliday as the villains was a masterstroke. Another great choice of Camfield's was to employ the talents of composer Don Harper, the incidental music in the Invasion is probably the best in the series history. Although not as great as Dudley Simpson's talents, Don Harper was highly skilled in his scoring of the Invasion and it stands as a massive compliment to the story to have such vivid and exciting music for the backing. Another great choice of Camfield's was to cast Nicholas Courtney's Brigadier in this serial, The Brig is one of the most fondly remembered characters from the 48 year old programme, and still today, is regarded as one of the all time greats of Doctor Who.
Now, on to the BBC's reimagining of missing episodes 1 & 4, well, having heard of the animation of these episodes long before I actually saw them, I can tell you I was dubious to say the least. 1960's Patrick Troughton episodes being animated, surely not? Well after actually sitting down and viewing the whole story in one fell swoop, its fantastic, you really don't notice that much that you are watching animation, alright, maybe some people can but what we must remember is that this is the ONLY way in which any of us is going to be able to see these lost episodes. I for one am pleased with the results and am glad to hear that plans have been set in motion to animate more missing episodes for release on to DVD. Having watched every single missing episode in telesnap, audio etc etc form, it is a breath of fresh air to see some movement, the distictive motion of the B&W animation is unique. So here's to more BBC funding going towards animating other lost TV episodes of Doctor Who for release on DVD in the near future. Hurahh.
As well as the utterly brilliant animated episodes, this BBC DVD boasts many other little beauties. All remaining 6 episodes look like they were shot yesterday in high definition due to the painstaking work the Restoration Team has put into them, the picture and sound quality is truly amazing. I am unfortunate enough to have owned the BBC Video release of the Invasion from 1993, good god, I couldn't see or hear a thing. Thankfully, the days of the BBC just throwing these episodes out on to video are long since dead, and thusly we have these beautifully remastered BBC DVD's to enjoy in full digital quality. As well as all this you get a 50 minute long documentary narrated by Frazer Hines about the making of the Invasion, some documentaries concerning the animating of the Invasion and the usual other 5 minute or less tit-bits accompanying every release. Worthy of note however is the photo gallery, of which has a 6 minute uninterupted segment of all of Don Harpers pieces of incidental music used on this adventure. Great listen.
All in all the Invasion is a true classic, at 8 episodes long you would think that it is too long but if anything it could do with another 2 episodes, like the War Games. Kevin Stoney's Tobius Vaughn will remain in my eyes the greatest ever human Doctor Who villain, and the animated episodes are a huge welcome to BBC DVD's range of Doctor Who adventures.
Highly highly recommended 10/10
Many thanks for your time,
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