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on 18 April 2009
The Android Invasion - a Fourth Doctor and Sarah-Jane Smith adventure from 1975 - would probably not make most Doctor Who fans' top 10 TV stories but it is possibly my favourite ever made.
The story opens with the time travellers arriving in a beautiful leafy English Wood, but The Doctor senses that something is out of place. When the pair witness a UNIT soldier walking to his death over a cliff they decide to investigate, and uncover an alien conspiracy to gradually replace the Earth with android replicas of humans and infiltrate before taking over.
The aliens in question are the fantastically realised Kraals and they are accompanied by faceless automatons in space suits who fire deadly projectiles from their wrists.

The thing that makes this story so memorable for me is its setting in an archetypal English village; little moments like The Doctor ordering Ginger pop in the local pub and the truck arriving in the village square to unload a host of android locals, who wait immobile until a signal is given, then begin to act as if they were the humans they have replaced. It is both eerie and strangely evocative of an England that never was, and despite later flaws it remains a hugely enjoyable and cosily thrilling story that I can watch over and over again. Milton Johns si particularly good, and puts in a typically twitchy and shifty performance as duped astronaut Guy Crayford.

It's criminal that this story still hasn't been released on DVD, as it's an atmospheric and memorable gem of a serial. Hopefully 2Entertain will remedy this soon.
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on 13 September 2003
Between 1975-1977, Producer Philip Hinchcliffe and Script Editor Robert Holmes, gave us a collection of some the most memorable stories in the shows history. The Android Invasion,(apart from the title being a dead giveaway), is one of those stories. Devesham, where the story is set, is supposed to be a beautiful English village. But all is not as it appears... An android training ground, an alien race called Kraals, an evil Doctor and Sarah, the final appearances of Sgt Benton and Harry Sullivan and ginger beer are just some of the stories exceedingly tasty ingredients. Unfortunately, the Brigadier is absent here. Overall, I find very little to fault this 4th story from Season 13 and I would strongly recommend this to anybody wanting to build upon their video collection. A 5-Star classic.
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on 14 June 2009
The traditional English country village has been a popular element
of many a TV/film outing through the years.From the classic Diana Rigg
episodes of "The Avengers" in the 60s to the present day with the massive
body count of "Midsomer Murders".
So its apt that the setting is equally put to good use in another
successful British institution "Doctor Who" in this story from season
13 albeit with a twist!
This story always seems to be forgotten about,nestling amongst other
fan faves such as "Pyramids Of Mars" and "The Seeds Of Doom".I dont
know why because its a little gem of a story.Admittedly,as has already
been pointed out,various plot strands are far too similar to "Terror
Of The Zygons" which had been broadcast just a couple of months
previously,but you still have the iconic pairing of Tom Baker and
Elisabeth Sladen as the fourth doctor and Sarah-Jane respectively.
Yes i know a better title could have been used to obscure the main
thread of the story but it is still consistently entertaining.
We also have a new race of aliens the Kraals(not Thraals as stated
on the video sleeve notes)in another retread of the all too familiar
aliens conquering earth scenarios,but come on thats the essence of
"Doctor Who" isnt it.There is also a swansong of sorts for another
mainstay of Who-UNIT,with the final appearence of Sgt Benton and no
brigadier(away in Geneva...again),Patrick Newell does an admirable
job with his Colonel Faraday substitute but its not the same.
So despite all that this is still(in my opinion)quintessential and
classic "Doctor Who".This story deserves a re-appraisal and a DVD
release so the masses can view it and see for themselves.Highly
recommended,especially for fans of the new TV series.
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on 22 March 2001
The problem with 'The Android Invasion' is that it is too similar to 'Terror of the Zygons' (also available on Amazon) only not quite as good. The Kraals, for example, are not as good as the Zygons had been, neither visually nor vocally. However, there is still plenty to recommend this video. I enjoyed the Tom Baker stories that were set on Earth (or in this case what appeared to be Earth) because his Doctor's unearthliness made an interesting contrast from Pertwee and suited stories that were set on Earth (as so many Pertwee stories had been). Sadly there's no Brigadier to be found in this adventure, with Patrick (The Avengers) Newell not really much of a replacement as Colonel Faraday. Still, Milton Johns is excellent as the slimy Crayford and the villagers with the West Country accents are a joy to behold.
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on 4 May 2000
This is one of my favourite Doctor Who episodes of all time, Featuring Tom Baker as the Doctor and Elizabeth Sladen as Sarah Jane Smith and a Re-appearance of the character Harry Sullivan. Classic bodysnatchers type story where inhabitants of a country village are replaced by robots - BRILLIANT.
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on 15 May 2009
This story falls into the shadow of the many Tom Baker greats, but it has some really good elements to it. While it falls flat in some places, there's enough eerie atmosphere of "something's not quite right" to keep the story going for the majority of the time.
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on 24 July 2000
All is not well in the cosy village of Devesham - the whole place is eerily deserted, bar an oddly mechanical bunch of villagers and a disturbed astronaut, Guy Crayford, and the Doc + Sarah find themselves targeted by robotic assassins clad in white radiation suits. As he has missed the opening credits, the Doctor is at loss to explain the sinister goings-on in the desolate village, and decides to investigate. Just as well, because he finds that the androids are merely the first part in a cunning scheme to defeat humanity.......
The laughable thing with this story is that the title alone ruins most of it. Most of the first two episodes are about the mystery surrounding the villagers themselves, but all of that is lost with the giveaway title. Terry Nation's bland scripting is a far cry from his excellent work on Genesis Of The Daleks a year earlier - there's a truly remarkable amount of plot-holes, and the whole story is badly structured, with the first three episodes generally focusing on the Doc and Sarah mucking on in the village, so that the climax in the final episode is rushed and not very exciting. On the plus side, Barry Letts's direction is excellent, and he creates many memorable images. The aliens, when we meet them, are not bad, and the music is wonderful. Overall, Android Invasion is an entertaining adventure in it's own right, but a disappointment compared to the rest of the season.
James
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on 18 December 2000
dr who and the android invasion is one of the best science fiction stories ever made. It keeps you on your toes and you try to figure out who is the real doctor and real Sarah is and when you find out their androids you get a shock.It is just the best story out there in my opinion, even with its slowness in the middle it is still one of my favourite movies of all time and is my favoutite dr who of all time.
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on 25 July 2013
This is one of my favourite Dr who episodes A true gem to have on dvd! Tom baker is the only doctor i really watched as a kid on the ABC here in australia. A nice clear dvd and very entertaining story along with the best known episodes featuring the daleks Well done for another great service amazon
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on 18 May 2004
This is a better than usual Tom Baker story, with fun and atmosphere early on and passable androids and aliens. The rocket is a bad jok, same stock footage as Genesis of the Daleks/revenge of the Cybermen again! Considering it hails from the overrated Gothic horror period, which had as many totally boring stories as cool exciting ones, this then is not bad at all. The ending falls rather flat and looks awful (that freeze frame is yuck!) but I have a soft spot for this one. I liked UNIT, sadly this is its last breath. Criminal! And fat comedy guy who stands in for the Brigadier is an insult to the show's past! But, for the eerie village scenes, this is worth a look!
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