Geekbat Tunes

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Doctor Who: The Invasion

Serial Title: The Invasion
Series: 6
Episodes: 8
Doctor: Patrick Troughton
Companions: Jamie McCrimmon (Frazer Hines), Zoe Heriot (Wendy Padbury)

Returning from the Land of Fiction, the TARDIS materializes above Earth’s moon in- @*^$&^*!!! The ‘20th Century,’ bloody heck gosh-darn you all!!!- and gets shot at by a missile. They revise their landing coordinates to a cow pasture in England on Earth  in the same frickin’ non-definitive time period just in time to avoid the weapon.

They find a guy in a truck who gives them a lift but then gets liquidated by some fascist policemen enforcers just after they leave. Meanwhile, something’s broken in the TARDIS (rendering it invisible), and the Doctor decides to look up good old Prof. Travers (continuity!!!) to get help in repairing it. However, someone else is living at his listed address- he and his daughter have just left for America, and cheesecake model/photographer (seriously, I think she’s wearing just a T-shirt, for no reason) Isobel Watkins lives there instead. She directs the Doctor and Jamie to local electronics/computer monopoly company International Electromatics’ headquarters (where her uncle, Prof. Watkins, who she thinks can help with the repairs, has recently disappeared). Zoe... stays to do some modeling for the camera...??? (Note from Sarah: Well why not? I mean she's there...might as well! :-D)

The Doctor and Jamie sneak in, are caught, and taken before the head of the company, Tobias Vaughn (played by Kevin “Mavic Chen” Stoney, so you just KNOW he’s a bad guy...), who plays the whole thing casually, claiming that Professor Watkins is simply wrapped up in his work. After the Doctor and Jamie leave, he opens a secret panel in his wall to communicate with aliens via a complex transmitter...

The Doctor and Jamie are abducted shortly after leaving the building, and driven to an airfield. There, in the back of an EC-130H Hercules transport plane, they find a complete command center- headed up by recently-promoted Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, their ally from 'Web of Fear.' He greets the Doctor in the name of the newly-formed UNIT, the United Nations Intelligence Taskforce. Quicker than you can say Backdoor-Pilot/Foreshadowing, the Doctor and UNIT are giving the Third Doctor’s era a dry ru- I mean, working together to investigate the suspicious International Electromatics. And so are Zoe and Isobel Watkins, who get tired of waiting and go to check out the company for themselves. Zoe gets annoyed by the reception computer and blows it up for a laugh.

Yes, you read that right. BLOWS IT UP.

The two are then arrested by security and taken to Vaughn- Isobel as leverage to make her uncle work, and Zoe due to her association with the Doctor and Jamie- who Vaughn’s mysterious allies recognize from the ‘Planet 14’ incident. (As per the wiki, this is suggested to be good ol’ planet Marinus, as in ‘The Keys Of,’ whose conscience device is also theorized to have spawned... ah, but that would be telling. Suffice it to say the aforementioned adventure is later fleshed out to take place in the Doctor and Jamie’s futures, and the past from this time period.)

The Doctor and Jamie head back to IE and find evidence of Zoe and Isobel’s presence, but are caught by Packer, the security chief, before they can effect a rescue. They’re taken before Vaughn, who denies the kidnapping, and instead shows the Doctor a new invention- the cerebration mentor, a teaching device that can induce emotional changes in humans. When Zoe and Isobel are spirited away, the Doctor and Jamie escape and give chase, and call in help from UNIT, who send a helicopter which rescues Zoe, Jamie, The Doctor, and Isobel.

Sneaky Vaughn hypnotizes the head of UNIT in order to get the organization to back down from its investigations. The Doctor and Jamie sneak into an IE warehouse in London where UFO sightings have been reported, and witness a ceremony to open a mysterious alien cocoon- a cocoon which then reveals... okay, cut it out, Cybermen. It was cute when I didn’t know you. But this is the third one, now- the Daleks always warn me in their titles when they’re the heavies of a serial. Look, I know they’re not here right now- but if you want to step into their niche as the Second Doctor’s big bad, then you need to show me you respect me. Use the name. Look: “Invasion of the Cybermen.” See? It even had a nice ring to it! Come on, guys, I know you can do it. Now let’s get back in there and win this one!

The big bads revealed, Vaughn tests the cerebration mentor on one of them, driving the poor Cyberman mad- he flees on a homicidal rampage, unable to cope with emotions. The rest venture into the sewers to make their way unseen to various invasion points.

The UNIT leader stonewalls the Doctor and Lethbridge-Stewart, who realize that they need proof of the Cyberman invasion before the recalcitrant (mind-controlled) general will believe them and allow them to act. After blocking the planned hypnotism signal designed to conquer Earth (to be transmitted simultaneously from a concealed circuit within every  IE electronic product ever produced), the Doctor finds his companions missing- all three have ventured into the sewers to photograph a Cyberman and bring back the necessary proof. They barely escape an encounter with the mad Cyberman (don’t worry, this won’t be mentioned again), and the photos are a bust- that bit of padding aside, the plot continues as Watkins confronts Vaughn, and is goaded into stealing Packer’s gun and shooting Vaughn- who is revealed to be a robot or something- he has smoking holes through him but is unhurt! (Don’t worry, this won’t be mentioned again). THAT bit of padding over, the Cyberman invasion begins, and everyone outside the range of the Doctor’s telepathic blocker begins to fall sway to cyber-influence.

UNIT launches a Russian missile to destroy the source of Vaughn’s Cyberman-hypnosis signals, while the UK plans to shoot down the incoming Cyber-fleet with missiles. The Cyber-fleet is destroyed, and the remaining Cybermen blame Vaughn, who is forced to side with the Doctor when the Cybermen announce their (extremely emotional and vengeful) plan to retaliate by destroying the Earth with a Megatron Bomb. (Insert your own Transformers joke here). Vaughn uses the cerebration mentor to take down the Cybermen still on Earth (dying in the process, of course), while Zoe’s ‘living computer’ brain calculates a new trajectory in time to take down the final Cyber-ship and thwart the Megatron Bomb plot.  And Jamie is shot! (Don’t worry, this won’t be mentioned again). The day is saved with no mention of Vaughn being a robot or Jamie being hurt- even though we plainly saw both happen onscreen- and the TARDIS is made re-visible as the victorious companions depart.

The Invasion was all set up to be the 'Daleks Master Plan' of the Cybermen (and now considered a well-loved epic chosen for the unique honor of animated reconstruction)- was this to be the Cybermen's breakout high-point pinnacle of awesome? A memorable epic of truly mind-boggling proportions?
Well, it did have its own Mavic Chen. (Literally- Kevin Stoney, playing a very similar role in his handling of the Cybermen as he did to the Daleks- the one arrogant man who thinks he can control them... and is rather mad!)

As it turns out, however, it was not so much about the Cybermen as it was about inventing the trend of making Microsoft the bad guys back before Microsoft even existed. After coasting on so many sci-fi cliches, Doctor Who perpetuates one- the evil monopolizing mega-corp that builds computers and sticks something sinsiter into every one: an emotional circuit.

Errrr... you know... for transmitting... emotions...

Moving on.

This story surprised me. The Cybermen don't appear until literally halfway through. The introduction of UNIT was surprisingly low-key. It wasn't about what I thought it would be about. Was it bad? Not at all- just unexpected. Oh, and The Invasion is set in the futuristic 1976, as per the director- but not stated anywhere canonically. Announcement by a BBC narrator at time of airing indicated 1975. Neither of these dates is official, though.

The first portion is largely setup, and introduction of another female character to hang about in the background and wear tight and/or revealing clothing- methinks Doctor Who was discovering Sex Appeal. More's the pity. At least this one had an excuse- she's a model (and has a great introductory scene in which the Doctor's obnoxiously insistent doorbell buzzing keeps distracting her just as her auto-timer camera is about to go off.) Parts 2 through 4 are spent building the mystery and menace of Vaughn and his corporation, as well as establishing the Doctor's best catchphrase ever- "Shut up, you stupid machine!" Then, 5-8 are spent dealing with the aforementioned Invasion of the Cybermen, which, aside from a few street-marching shots, seems to consist of half a dozen or so advanced guards- plus the orbital fleet which (SPOILERS FOR THE SYNOPSIS ABOVE) never makes it to Earth.

This all probably sounds like harshly sarcastic judgement, but it's really more of good-natured teasing, because the serial is fun. If it had been named "Corporation of Death" or "The Chairman" or some such, there probably wouldn't be a single snarky remark- it's just that, as the serial stands, the Invasion! moniker seems almost misleading. Like a magician's sleight-of-hand- not entirely untrue, but more of a stagey distraction from the true goings-on of the story.

This tale is truly a battle of wits and a series of intelligence commando raids between Vaughn and the Doctor, backed by UNIT. So, much of the strength of the story depends on the strength of the villain. Fortunately, Tobias Vaughn doesn't disappoint, a creepy villain with cockeyed eyes (one always half-shut), and a sometimes genial, sometimes raving-lunatic demeanor encompassing a broad range. Plus, he's a robot. Not that it matters, as aforementioned. Still, that's the only single disappointing element to an otherwise excellent, competent, and charismatic villain. On the other hand, his right-hand thug, Packer, starts out as an intimidating Bond-henchman and, through a combination of incompetence and the worst wrist-communicator design ever devised, slowly becomes an over-exaggerated cartoon character of such absurd proportions that I had to actually Wikipedia his fate because I didn't notice the Cyberman shooting him- his character had degraded to such an unrecognizable caricature of himself that I didn't even recognize him in his death scene. Vaughn's office is a nice set, but the vista out the window is once again too obviously a poorly-lit painting- like the Aztecs, it's faded and doesn't look like it's supposed to really be there. Kudos, in this case, for changing out multiple backgrounds to make it day and night, though.

This serial is also an excellent continuity piece in the ongoing storyline that's being crafted in the Second Doctor's era, setting things up for the ongoing storyline that will dominate the Third's. Not only does this serial feature the return of the Brigadier and the creation of UNIT, it also references Professor Travers. This storyline- from Abominable Snowmen to Web of Fear to Invasion, is the original Bad Wolf... (or more accurately, BW's lame successor that's completely spoiled and not a surprise if you watch it at any time after it's original air date, 'Torchwood')- like Mister Saxxon or Missing planets, it's the ongoing story thread throughout the season, woven in amongst the one-shot stories, and like Cracks in the Universe, setting things up for the ongoing storyline to come in the next season. It's the original template of the ongoing arc-element that New Who has latched onto- the Rise of Unit, and the setup for the Third Doctor's ever-nearing exile.

The Doctor is a strong presence in this one- despite disappearing and receding into the background for a couple of episodes near the end- repeatedly clashing in strong confrontations with Vaughn. It's still not the 'Rescue' or 'Evil of the Daleks' modern-series style confrontations with the villain- the climactic encounter with the villain is not yet a part of this television program, leading instead to impersonal solutions, ships exploding, or various other anticlimaxes; the show's one remaining weakness, its weak endings and resolutions that don't serve the buildup given to them- but nonetheless, the Doctor has a number of great sparring and outwitting moments here, and even some action bits, including the copter sequence, and the ending battles. (Unsurprisingly, the aforementioned copter stunts were once again among the lost footage. Three for three... Enemy of the World, Fury from the Deep, and now Invasion- every chopper stunt performed on this show has been lost! At least we have an animated reconstruction for this one, but the bizarrely conspicuous assault directly on helicopter stunt footage has caused me to wonder if this is indeed the true, hidden, secret Stone-mason-esque motivation behind the BBC's tragic Jihad against the legacy of one of their most beloved programs back in the 70s... the real reason the deep and storied history of Doctor Who's earliest foundations is riddled with slide show-filled holes is that some Knight Templar-level executive put out a secretive, and as yet unexplained, hit on helicopter footage in Black and White science fiction... and tragically, the First and Second Doctors paid the price. Why this vile anti-helicopter agenda that drug so many sterling works of creativity down with it to the grave? No one knows... but perhaps it can be the arc theme of Matt Smith's Third Series. Oh, and... prediction, Andrew writing this review, 2/11/2011... by the time this blog is released, said series has already aired, because we're that far behind in our releases.) (Note From Future Andrew: The series would just be starting if the BBC weren't playing this delayed-'till-fall game...)

Jamie continues his reckless, rash, and sometimes quarrelsome behavior, which remains very human and realistic but is on the verge of losing its charm; he's mostly relegated to following the Doctor or Zoe around in this one, and doesn't have too much to do.

Zoe, on the other hand, is... bizarre. (Note from a future regeneration of Andrew – Here is the misunderstanding I mentioned in the Wheel in Space blog... at this time, I still understood Zoe to be smart yet unemotional, like a Vulcan, as a character premise... as opposed to intelligent yet immature, almost childish, as I currently understand her character premise to be. Viewed through that filter, her actions in this serial make perfect character sense, and are even amusing, as she’s SUPPOSED to be that naive. The computer destruction, heading off half-cocked because she doesn’t want to wait, etc. all fit perfectly with my current understanding of the character, and would probably give me a chuckle.)

And speaking of said body... she is once again showing herself off in the return of that oddly-hilarious glittering catsuit... but it also leads to one of the best moments I've ever seen in Doctor Who, right on par with that Zarbi running full-tilt into the camera with an audible 'THUNK.' As Zoe flits about the line of monitors in UNIT HQ, reading off figures and making her world-saving missile trajectory calculations (all the while wearing the same sparkly catsuit that, as covered previously, tends to accentuate the actress' aft attributes), she stops beside each radar operator, standing beside them to read their data screens over their shoulders- and in a hilarious moment that seems more more like actor unprofessionalism than planned character nuance, both the second and third actors in the row of UNIT personnel get completely distracted from their acting and stop to observe- the second giving a casual-but-noticeable glance back to inspect the aforementioned aft... while the third full-on turns his head ninety degrees and leans back in his chair to check her out up close in the most blatant and noticeable fashion possible (NFS: He doesn't lean WAAAY back though...the way you describe it sounds like he's practically reclining with his hands behind his head. :-D). The man probably doesn't even remember that he's on a TV show at the moment, much less that he's supposed to be acting like a disciplined military man- he's taking full advantage of the oblivious girl in tight clothing beside him, acting career be darned! (It's a hilarious moment, but also with a slightly disturbing flavor to it in light of Zoe's acting like a distinctly immature minor in this serial.) (Note from Sarah: Although if he's a military man and hasn't seen a girl for a long time...then this is a pretty good character nuance. :-D) 

Plus, there's also another embarrassingly-obvious actress-on-vacation serial in which a kidnapped Zoe doesn't appear. Jamie has a slightly more subtle-but-still-jarring absence in the final chapter for the same reason; at least this one is much better written, as you don’t really question his absence due to story events. It does, however, lead to a rather jarring moment, as mentioned before, in which he’s shot in battle, and it’s never followed up on save for a brief mention of him being in the hospital- with the shooting itself happening practically in the background- no reactions or anything, just a get-it-done-to-get-him-on-vacation wide shot. They really aren't very smooth with these breaks...

Meanwhile, we're introduced to recurring character Sgt. Benton, and reintroduced to Lethbridge-Stewart, now his properly iconic rank of 'Brigadiere'- and both are dull as dishwater, very run in the mill- though the Brig does have a few minutes of facial subtlety and good performance that gives me hope for a future demonstrative range. No, really, the problem here is that their roles- as radio voices and communications coordinators, are simply dry and without much texture of flavor. (What, am I describing a performance, or a cracker, here?) I have no doubt that in future stories, with more to do, they'll be a more impressive presence... but in this serial, they were both dull enough to cause my wife great concern that the forthcoming UNIT-based Third Doctor era would be a snorefest. I think not, or the Brig would not have become such a beloved companion... but we shall see. (Note from Future Sarah: The Brigadier turns out to be one of my most favorite characters ever....that's not to say that the Third Doctors era didn't turn out to be a snorefest though....)

The only other character of note is Isobel Watkins... with nothing much to do but have a fun introductory scene (see above) and wear only a long shirt whilst lying spread out on the floor (to 'photograph' more comfortably, I'm sure- see Doctor Who discovering sex appeal, above), she's really pretty much a Zoe clone, only less interesting. Likewise, her father was a relatively under-developed character; a man of convictions blackmailed into working for a bad guy... though his resignation at his position ("You don't even expect me to believe that, do you?") made him an interesting, if only briefly seen, character- and the shock factor of his being goaded into shooting Vaughn in what seems like it's going to be a standard "See? You don't have the guts!" moment demonstrates a surprising strength of character (as he recognizes the evil that needs to be destroyed and does what he believes he must, despite his personal reluctance and fear of doing so). He was a well-layered character despite having very little screen time, and, heck- he's the scientist I'd want on MY staff!

There are a few nice middle action highlights- the aforementioned chopper rooftop rescue under gunfire (a sequence which conspires to give us the unlikely tableau of three individuals wearing skirts climbing a ladder in the wind... perhaps it’s better that this bit was lost to the ravages of time! Fraiser Hines, the actor portraying Jamie, reportedly sewed led weights into the hem of his kilt to minimize its updraft potential), an excellent and exciting sequence that must have absolutely blown the bank, sadly lost to the Helicopter Footage Jihad (evidence of that potential broken bank coming in the rescue of professor Watkins, a scene planned but not shown due to time and money constraints... leading to the rather jarring edit in which a scene in UNIT HQ ends with the Brigadier essentially saying “Allright, let’s go rescue professor Watkins!” and then immediately cuts from a close-up of him to a close-up of a gibbering, beat-up henchmen proclaiming to Vaughn “And then UNIT hit the car hard, and all of the guards were killed, and UNIT took professor Watkins!” with nothing in-between those two shots to even indicate time had passed. In a modern movie, it might be taken as an intentional ironic editing choice, but here it smacks of didn’t-have-the-budget...), as well as the Cybermen attack in the sewers (with an excellent but completely unsupported-by-the-music moment where a Cybermen pops up to grab the escaped characters' heels as they leave)- plus some nice shocking moments- such as the unexpected shooting of the mysterious UNIT informant in the first chapter, or the unexpected goading of Doctor Watkins into shooting Vaughn to no effect partway through. Shocking in the extreme! The action climax, with the Doctor and Vaughn fleeing together, is nicely staged, but comes before the actual climax of the spaceship destruction which is weak and anti-climactic, leaving the end to flop a little bit- the Doctor/Vaughn bits should have been saved for the finale. Strangely, two of the most important elements- Vaughn being an android, apparently (Yeah, that's kind of a big deal!!!) and Jamie being shot (like, shot, with bullets, during the final battle) are NEVER DEALT WITH. No, not even slightly. They're shown briefly, and then it's like they never happened, with implications and consequences- or even a follow-up mention- not forthcoming at any point later in the serial. How do you throw in story elements that shocking and then not do ANYTHING with them?

The ending itself suffers from the same anticlimactic weak-finale syndrome too many Whos do in this era- an intense, impersonal, destroy-the-mothership finale that isn't very exciting or engaging, happens well after the main climax, or just plain loses all the built-up momentum... but tries to make up for it with a cool outer-space model shot to wrap things up. Sorry, but a bit of eye candy doesn't substitute having an emotional investment in the finale, a stake in the outcome, or a little bit of anticipation built into the proceedings. Again, we can only hope that climactic confrontations in Doctor Who improve with the Third Doctor's era. Oddly... it seems to be primarily the Cybermen that suffer from this truncated, sudden, or unexciting finale syndrome- Fourth Planet, Wheel in Space, Invasion, and to some degree, the Moonbase... though Tomb of the Cybermen had an excellent, personal, thrilling climax involving direct personal confrontation with the final monster (though unlike The Rescue or Evil of the Daleks, not a confrontation by the Doctor)- so we know it's possible for Cybermen stories to have a satisfying resolution- it's just that most don't.

I should probably write a blog comparing the different strong and weak points of Dalek Invasion of Earth to The Invasion, seeing what was done better and worse with each of the two major races, eh? E-mail or comment me if you'd like to see that. Let me know. Leave some feedback. E-mail me if you want a pizza roll... (And if you get THAT reference...)

Plenty of miscellaneous notes. There was some ambitious prop work with the gorgeously detailed Cyberman communicator device in Vaughn's office (with a swinging panel entrance that they were clearly overly proud of, as they showcase it WAY too often).  It's a pity, then, that such a stellar piece of prop work was destroyed, as they appear to have eliminated it in a real pyrotechnic display during it's finale destruction. Effects failures, on the other hand, do abound- from the teeny, tiny grenade explosions more akin to firecrackers in the sewers (which leads to the stumbling Cyberman, which needs to be seen to be believed, and is the fourth entry into the funniest-thing-I-ever-saw-in-Doctor-Who category alongside the Zarbi collision, Zoe check-out, and the New Series' "Vampires of Venice" bachelor party opening), the stock footage of missiles being raised into place around the world that is repeated shot for shot FOUR TIMES (including one where the trajectory was just being adjusted, but which required all of the missiles to rise out of concealment, open up, and arm anew to do so, apparently, as they use the exact same footage) and the missile impacts in space- many of which hit their cybership-targets, go spinning off into space with hilariously obvious spiral trails of out-of-control fury, and then several seconds later, the belated explosion at the point of impact is set off. Plus, the traditional Doctor Who set-extension-matte-painting-that-doesn't-match-the-angle-of-the-hallway-and-thus-is-really-obvious, in the sewers. (Also, not really a failure, but... the Cybermen are still stealing the Daleks photo-negative beam effect!) These are balanced out by the stock footage missile firings- which are about the coolest most awesome things ever captured on film (and okay, the Russian rocket is okay... but the Saturn V launches woulda been cooler!) and some excellent model work for the cool, detailed, and uniquely designed Cyber-ships (whcih make a re-appearance in Matt Smith's first 11th Doctor season finale, The Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang). It would've been nice to see the Episode 1 missile/dark side of the moon, too. 

On the live-action side of things, the Doctor and Jamie end up hugging alot. The escape-into-the-elevator reminds em a lot of the Doctor's escape in Downing Street in the New Who episode World War Three (the Slitheen two-parter conclusion) and I wonder if it was staged as a tribute to this serial. The mime humor at the end was nicely done, with everyone reaching out awkwardly to look for the TARDIS. Lots of fun. Oh, and the Cybermen...  FAR easier to understand this time, finally breaking from the indecipherable 'Tomb' voice. Plus... they have lace-up sneakers that are just painted silver. Whoops! (NFS: Whoops? Or awesome? You be the judge.)

This serial also features far more incidental music than we're used to, a very nice change of pace, though not without its hitches- including the jaunty, goofy, carnival-like "Car Theme" that gets played whenever someone takes off in a jeep, regardless of how tense the situation may be (and including the brilliantly mind-boggling moment when two UNIT soldiers set out to deliver a nuclear device to Russia (always a good idea!)... driving out the back of a cargo plane in a jeep and off into the distance... apparently preparing to drive to Russia instead of taking the plane they were just in. If the irony of that situation seems limited to 'the trip will take much longer' to you, consult a map and trace the patch from England to Russia, then check the identity of that large blue patch in between)- and the previously mentioned Cybermen-popup-to-drag-you-back-down-to-Heck scare... in which the music doesn't change tone or react to this sudden tension whatsoever, continuing the peaceful, tranquil, out-of-danger tones it was already involved in as men bash at the Cyberman's forearms with rifle-butts, shout, and clamor to escape the deadly cybernetic grasp. Oh, well... despite this occasional failure, it's an overall improvement that added mood and tone to the piece, and helped to keep things lively- even throwing in some ambient source music, which I don't think we've heard since Evil of the Daleks' coffee bar. This is all thanks to composer Don Harper, hired for this serial only because the director, Douglas Camfield, refused to work with usual electronic-tonalities-and-minimalist-pulse-beats composer Dudley Simpson. So sadly, this music will be a one-off.

And did I mention how incredibly cool that budget-blowing chopper rescue would've been to see? Curse you, you Mason-Templar-Scientologist-Alien Overlord BBC execs, and your mysterious and sinister crusade against helicopter footage!!! How many must die (and believe me, the reconstruction Hump and its brethren are pretty killer!) for your secret plots???

Great moments:
The villain revealed to be a robot. Zoe vs. The Computer (Zoe wins). The helicopter escape scene. The unsubtle lecher. (Note from Sarah: I can't remember who said it but I do remember someone yelled out "did he just give her the twice-over!? Rewind that!")  Armies of Cybermen on the streets. The Doctor running and clutching his burning behind. And of course, the Cyber-stumble. 

Overall, the Invasion is an interesting battle of wits interspersed by excellent moments of humor that manages to keep a good, constant pace that never flags, wears, or grows dull, despite an anticlimactic finale. Plus, like Tomb of the Cybermen, the restored DVD video quality is STELLAR, and looks incredible, smooth and sharp, compared to its peers. Overall, I have to give it 4 out of 5 Bickering Dominators. It wasn't my favorite story of all time (though it may have been my wife's)(NFS:I think I just thought they got the atmosphere really well, I liked the idea of an invasion in modern england and everyone underground, they did it really well.) and certainly wasn't another Daleks Master Plan... but it was entertaining, enjoyable, ambitious, and excellent.

And of course, how could I give anything BUT 5 out of 5 to the reconstruction? It's professionally animated, for pete's sake! Sure, the characters tended to be a little stiff below the neck, only occasionally breaking out the full-body animation for a wide shot that required someone walking, running, etc., and the trailer was deceptively cool in that they animate plenty of awesome and atmospheric moments from the serial that weren't actually part of the animated episodes, thus faking us out into expecting animated Cybermen awesomeness, when in fact we only receive one shot of an animated Cyberman in the whole affair, the very final shot- but still... it was excellent, well-animated, fun to watch, and well put-together... this is (no offense to our beloved and missed Loose Canon) the ONLY way to see the Invasion- animated, and on DVD!

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