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VINE VOICEon 21 August 2007
Although I have not seen many of Patrick Troughton's appearances as Doctor Who, I have always had a soft-spot for his portrayal of the character. I was not disappointed on viewing this story. Seeing this for the first time, I was surprised at how accomplished the whole thing was. The cast from this period fit together perfectly, we see the Brigadier firmly established with UNIT in place, and Troughton's performance has so much character it is impossible not to love him in this role. (This makes it all the more regrettable that so many of Troughton's episodes are missing from the vaults). The story itself is typical Who, and sets the template for much of what was to follow in the Pertwee era. The fact that it is in black-and-white somehow makes it creepier, and the scenes of the Cybermen invading London are one of the most iconic of the series. And what a Brilliant idea it was to recreate the 2 missing episodes by animating the original soundtrack !!This enables many of us to see what would otherwise have remained another of the lost stories. I enjoyed this DVD immensely, and it is presented in the usual high-quality we have come to expect from these BBC releases.Good commentaries too, from Fraser Hines, Wendy Padbury and Nicholas Courtney, who all express delight at seeing themselves in animated form for the first time!. Watch this and remember that this comes from a much different TV era from today...which makes it all the more remarkable in it's scope and ambition. An essential purchase for any classic Who fan, and worth buying for anyone with a passing interest in the show, or in TV sci-fi generally..
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VINE VOICEon 26 January 2007
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.
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on 20 June 2007
Ok fans of the new Doctor Who series, you're going to watch the first five minutes and say 'Boring!' But no. You have to get to at least the second disc before the main action happens, and it seems that Russel T D and all the other new writers don't seem to get that the quiet, slow begins are much more creepy and chilling than the first seen being the Doctor rushing round the TARDIS in a storm. That's my first warning. Watch all of it before you judge.

The second obvious one is the cartoon episodes. They work really well and you would think they would appear funny at first, but it really helps understand the story rather than still images, and the Doctors' cartoon looks so real.

The cybermen here have so blank, evil faces it's untrue, and the music is so sixties yet so scary. I think with this story I don't tend to watch it through more than once, but pick out some of my favourite little scenes to watch - The Doctor and Vaugn tracking down the cybermen, the first cyberman awakening, the cyberman invasion, all the usual. There is something seriously magical about this story, and I advise anyone to give it a go.
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on 28 January 2012
The Invasion is a masterpiece of British television in general, let alone one of Doctor Who's best serials. This is the fourth and final Cybermen serial in Doctor Who during the 1960's, having previously appeared in "The Moonbase" 1967, "The Tomb of the Cybermen" 1967, "The Wheel in Space" 1968 and "The Invasion" 1968. I feel sure that the production team felt that the Cybermen were being under-used, so this is why they elected to burn 22 episodes of Cyber action in to our brains in just 2 short years. The reason I love the Invasion therefore, is because the Cybermen are distinctly absent from events, their first appearance being in episode 4, half way through this mammoth 8 episode 190 minute story. For me though, the Cybermen are just a backdrop for the serials main villian, Tobius Vaughn, the greatest human villian that the series ever created. The Invasion is not a cybermen serial, after all, Vaughn has more onscreen time than any villain in Doctor Who, I would'nt be surprised is he was on screen longer than the Doctor himself.

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,

M.B.
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VINE VOICEon 4 November 2006
So do the 2 animated episodes work? Absolutely! Full marks on this score. The team behind the releases of the original DR WHO stories on DVD have found a new and unique way of restoring lost episodes so we can enjoy all 8 episodes of THE INVASION visually. It's moody, slick, imaginative and tells the story in a filmic and economic manner. Director Douglas Camfield would have been proud. How about MARCO POLO or FURY FROM THE DEEP next?

As a whole THE INVASION is still entertaining and looks even better with its vidFIREd and cleaned up print. The main reason for you to buy this is the great direction and unforgettable set pieces like the Cybermen marching down the steps in front of St.Pauls Cathedral. The script is probably 2 episodes too long and there is some rather embarrassing sexism in the way that Zoe and Isabel are treated. Having said this, there's a lot of exciting moments, great characters and you can see every actor in the production giving it 110% in terms of their performances. Special mention has to go to Patrick Troughton, Kevin Stoney and Nicholas Courtney. Stoney especially is wondrous in a now charming, now villainous piece of acting that would look good in a Bond movie. Don Harper's distinctive music is reminiscent of THE IPCRESS FILE and adds to the somewhat cinematic feel to the story.

The extras are (as usual) excellent. I would say if you were thinking of buying just one WHO story from the 1960's it would be a close run thing between this one and the superb THE BEGINNING boxset from earlier this year. A treat.
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on 18 November 2007
How many Doctor Who stories can 'every day' people born in the 60s or earlier actually recall ? I would hazard a guess that 'The Invasion' will be remembered as the one with the Cybermen coming out of the sewers. Indeed, for my part three cliffhangers stick in the mind; the end of episode One where the Cyber Planner is revealed in Vaughns office, the crazed cyberman in the sewers at the end of episode five and of course the invasion itself at the end of episode six.

Make no mistake, this story is two episodes too long. There is far too much repetitive dialogue in Vaughns office and the stock footage of missiles is shown three times - each time is identical ! In contrast the death of one supporting character is extremely rushed. But the overall look and feel of the story with its contemporary feel (untypical at the time of broadcast) is very atmospheric accompanied by a very moody instrumental score. For that alone, the story is essential viewing for nostalgic 40 somethings (and above) and should be viewed by younger fans as an example of the late 60s production team getting everything right.

Now to the animation of the two missing episodes 1 & 4. A superb effort to marry up fans off-air audio recordings with some excellent black and white animation. Using a lot of source material from the surviving episodes and a certain degree of artistic licence (Isobels ascent up the rope ladder to the helicopter is certainly that !) the team have produced a seamless bridge to complete the story. The original video release in 1993 used Brigadier actor Nicholas Courtney giving a very hurried summary of the missing episodes (this is included here as an extra) but this treatment is vastly superior and infinitely more satisfying.

There are some excellent extras on the two discs also. A 50 minute documentary recalling the making of the story with many (surviving)participants providing recollections, a short documentary showing the making of the animation, a tribute to the fans who recorded off-air audios on cassette tapes (check out the groovy Boots C90 displayed !) and of course the obligatory commentaries that can be switched on if desired.

Excellent value release that justifies a full five stars. Now bring on a completed 'The Ice Warriors' with animated episodes 2 & 3 or maybe someone has those missing episodes tucked away in their cupboard ?!!
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on 9 November 2007
Some people would say that the Invasion is far too long, and that the cybermen just arent in it enough. But if the story is good enough without having to rely on aliens all the time, then this obviously shows the story to be a great one. And the Invasion is a great story, full to the brim with classic doctor who moments. The classic Cybermen coming out of the sewers has to be THE classic Doctor Who moment of all time.

But what is really great about this dvd release is the new animated episodes. These are so wicked and wonderfully done is brilliant detail. The bbc certainly know their stuff! It is great to watch a whole story, even if it is in two different formats, this doesnt bother me at all. Finally im just glad that i get to watch the whole of the Invasion for the first time!

Patrick Troughton is my favourite doctor and he is excellent in this story. I think the last episode of this story, especially the cybermen fighting unit, are some of the best moments in Doctor Who history. A really well directed story with brilliant acting from everyone, especially Kevin Stoney who is brilliant as Vaughn. I really like the voices of the cybermen in this story too. They are my favourite voices of any of the cybermen.

So, altogether this is a story well worth watching. Very well worth watching.
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on 25 November 2006
Exceeded all expectations! Finally, "Invasion" can be viewed as a whole again. The previous VHS release with Nicholas Courtney's brief links was a nice try but there were gaping holes left in the story.

Let's have some more missing / incomplete Doctor Whos given the animation treatment, PLEASE!
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on 19 July 2007
you could be mistaken with the invasion to think its just another cyberman story...but you'd be very wrong this story is absolutely superbe and basically could sum up the whole idea of doctor who

the doctor and his companions (jamie and zoe) are just recovering from an incident from the previouse story when a missle comes out of nowhere and nearly hits them from there on the doctor must discover the mystery behind international electromatics

sadly two episodes of this were wiped by the bbc during the 60s/70s however the two episodes in question have been wonderfully animated by cosgrove hall which makes the story stand out

this is probably one of the best troughton storys avalible on dvd and i would wholeheartedly recommend to any doctor who fans
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on 4 November 2006
It is indeed quite tragic that many of the early Doctor Who episodes have been 'lost'. In this case, episodes 1 and 4 no longer exist. However, Cosgrove Hall have done a sterling job of recreating them in an animated form (with the original soundtrack).

This is a truly excellent dvd presentation. I have always loved The Invasion and the extras on the dvd (commentary and documentary etc) really enhance it.

The story is very much a product of the 60's and has a wonderful nostalgia feel to it whilst somehow managing to not appear at all dated - its very fresh and quite exciting. The cybermen are truly chilling, Kevin Stoney is menacing as Vaughn and, as usual, Troughton is a joy to watch. I strongly recommend this dvd.
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