83) THE ANDROID INVASION

22 November - 13 December 1975

Average Viewing Figure: 11.7M

Plot

Believing to have landed in the village of Devesham, The Doctor discovers, The Kraals are planning to invade the Earth

Cast

Tom Baker (The Doctor), Elisabeth Sladen (Sarah Jane Smith), Harry Sullivan (Ian Marter), Milton Johns (Guy Crayford)

Patrick Newell (Colonel Faraday), Peter Welch (Morgan), Martin Friend (Styggron), Roy Skelton (Chedaki), John Levene (RSM Benton)

Max Faulkner (Corporal Adams), Dave Carter (Grierson), Hugh Lund (Matthews), Heather Emmanuel (Tessa), Stuart Fell (Kraal)

Uncredited Cast

Roy Pearce, Derek Hunt, Alan Jennings, Henry Lindsay (Mechanics), Clinton Morris (Mechanic Driver), Walter Goodman (Farmer)

Simon Christie (Young Farmhand), Margaret McKechnie (Barmaid), Freddie White (Tweedy Doctor), Martine Holland (Female Student)

Mark Holmes (Male Student), Betsy White, Ian Elliott, Lewis Alexander, George Ballantine, Sue Ann Manners (Villagers on Lorry)

Henry Livings, Alan Jennings (Dog Handlers), Alan Clements, Derek Hunt, Alf Coster, Christopher Woods, Mark Allington

Patrick Milner, Terry Sartain (UNIT Soldiers), Keith Ashley (Man in Cannister), Barbara Bermel (Receptionist), Cy Town (Villager)

Keith Ashley (Man at Space Defence Station), Richard King (Technician)

76) THE ARK IN SPACE

Crew

Terry Nation (Writer), Terry Walsh (Fight Arranger), Janet Radenkovic (Production Unt Manager), Marion McDougall (Production Assistant)

Ron Grainer (Title Music), Bernard Lodge (Title Sequence), Dudley Simpson (Incidental Music), Dick Mills (Special Sound)

Barbara Lane (Costume Designer), Sylvia Thorton (Make-Up), Len Hutton (Visual Effects Designer), Duncan Brown (Studio Lighting)

Alan Machin (Studio Sound), Ken Newson (Film Cameraman), Doug Mawson (Film Sound), Mike Stoffer (Film Editor)

Robert Holmes (Script Editor), Philip Lindley (Designer), Philip Hinchcliffe (Producer), Barry Letts (Producer)

Uncredited Crew

Steven Fuller, Peter Sofroniou (Floor Assistant), Gerry Burrows, Gordon Phillipson (Grams Operat0r)

Sandra Burcham, Jocelyn Cox (Make-Up Assistants), Colin Mapson, Laurie Warburton (Visual Effects Assistants)

Dickie Ashman, Alan Arbuthnott (Studio Lighting Assistants), Paul Godfrey (Film Cameraman's Assistant), Howard Gartska (Film Sound Assistant)

Joy Sinclair (Director's Assistant), Felicity Trew (Assistant Floor Manager), Roy Monks (Grips)

Richard Broadhurst, Mitch Mitchell (Inlay Operators), Ian Brindle (Film Ops Manager), Moria Fitzgerald, George Sheriffs (Dressers)

Leslie Baker, Jimmy Guest, Leslie Colliers, Dickn Norwood (Film Operators0, Peter Ware (Senior Studio Cameraman), Nick Lake (Vision Mixer)

Broadcast

Filming Locations

  • National Radiological Protection Board, Harwell, Oxon

  • Worsham Quarry, Witney, Oxon

  • Tubney Woods, Tubney, Oxon

  • East Hagbourne, Oxon

  • Television Centre: Studio 3

  • Television Centre: Studio 8

Number of Production Days: 5

Deaths

  • Guy Crayford [shot and killed by Styggron]

  • Styggron [killed by his own virus]

  • Grierson [shot and killed by the android duplicate of The Doctor]

Production Days

  • 9 Days between Monday 21 July - Tuesday 26 August 1975

Production Errors

  1. Some of the dialogue in part one is out of sync with the actor's mouth 

  2. There are notable differences between the model shots and archive footage of the rocket

  3. Wires can be seen on the darts that land in the bullseye area of the dartboard

  4. When Benton is knocked unconscious in part four, his eyes can be seen flickering 

  5. It is quite obvious that UNIT Soldier in part one does not jump off the cliff

  6. The Kraal's androids are not indestructible if their face can fall when they trip

  7. The Android Duplicates are products from Crayford's memories. If that is the case, why is there a copy of Harry Sullivan walking around? He wasn't a member of UNIT before Crayford went on his space mission 

  8. The Doctor lets go of a branch at one point, allowing it to smack into Sarah's face

  9. The Kraal's androids seem a little unnecessary if their virus can destroy all Earth life in three weeks 

  10. Chedaki and the rest of the Kraals are left unmentioned when Styggron is killed in part four. 

  11. The Doctor robot detector in part four, would have been very useful much, much earlier 

  12. How could The Doctor uses his own Androids against Styggron if all the androids have been neutralized? 

Working Titles

  • The Enemy Within

  • The Kraals

Verdict

The Android Invasion proves that science fiction does not necessarily have to look and sound fancy to be intelligent nor does it have to be totally in your face to be impressive - some of the time. The Android Invasion uses a lot of conventional sci-fi attributes; robot duplicates, a deadly virus and an alien spaceship fleet. The plot spends a lot of time with The Doctor and Sarah exploring a country village and the nearby space defence station whilst trying to find out what the heck is going on. The serial looks sleek and expensive but does very little to bring all the elements together in time before the final episode. The Kraals are impressive mainly due to Martin Friend’s vocal performance and stature. However they do not really do anything which makes much sense and their plot point about invading Earth seems to end when Styggron dies off-screen. The first episode is the best of the four building up the weird situations and telling the audience very little, but the story soon dwindles. The direction is top notch, come on its Barry Letts, the producer of Pertwee era with some well thought out scenes to drag the tension along. Watched in one go will probably leave a sour taste in the mouth but watched episode by episode will put a smile on the most stubborn Doctor Who fans. ***​