Thursday, October 10, 2013

Doctor Who - The Invasion (1969)

SPOILER WARNING!!! This Post spoils Doctor Who episode The Invasion (1969).

I chose this story to introduce Cybermen for several reasons. In this story we meet UNIT first time. This is one of those stories that have missing episodes and this is story from second Doctor. I considered doing alternative universe Cybermen origin story, but I already have two stories from tenth Doctor waiting. So it will be this one.

I always felt Cybermen were analogy of communism and Soviet Union. When I tried to confirm this, I could not find anything. I found Cybermen are based on question, how much cybernetic implants you can have, before you turn out to be something else than human. Cybermen are race of cyborgs. They were humanoids earlier. They started to use more and more cybernetic implants, until they were more machines than humanoids. They don't have emotions. Emotions are their weakness. They lose their minds and malfunction when they are exposed to emotions. All regular Cybermen look like each other. There are few special units, which look different and have different functions. Cybermen convert compatible humans into Cybermen.

This is first story including United Nations Intelligence Taskforce UNIT. They are led by The Brigadier. Brigadier and UNIT were reoccurring characters during classic Doctors' era. They were the officials Doctor dealt with while he was on current day earth.

Doctor and companions come to earth to fix circuits. They find International Electromatics has become most important electronic circuit manufacturer. Leader of IE, Vaughn has made deal with Cybermen. He help Cybermen to invade the Earth and after that Vaughn will lead Earth, Vaughn have other plans. Because he doesn't trust Cybermen, he tries to build weapon against Cybermen. He wants to destroy Cybermen after they have invaded earth and rule all by himself.

IE has added their electronic devices circuit that amplifies Cyber control signal. The signal makes people pass out. When the signal is transmitted, Cybermen rise from sewers. Doctor has managed to make protection devices for UNIT members and they can fight back. They can event stop first attack. Cybermen think Vaughn have betrayed them. They decide to kill all life on earth with Cyber megatron bomb. Yes. It is called that.

Doctor persuades Vaughn to help him to destroy Cyber transmitter. These names sound like 60's Batman. Doctor manages to destroy transmitter with help of UNIT, but Vaughn dies in process. Without Cyber transmitter, Cybermen has to come so close to earth, that UNIT can destroy them.

I mentioned missing episodes. BBC has lost several Doctor Who episodes due poor archiving policies. Wikipedia says that currently there are 106 episodes missing. From time to time some episodes are told to be found, but those are often just rumors. BBC has soundtracks for all episodes and some stills. The Invasion is eight episode long story with episodes one and four missing. For dvd release those episodes are animated using original soundtrack. This has been done for some other stories that miss some episodes. There are also other restoration methods used to bring those episodes back. Some use original soundtrack and still shots. Most missing episodes are from first two Doctors' era. Third Doctor also have couple missing episodes.

Next thursday it is time to obey your Master, when we meet third of top 3 Doctor Who villains.

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