The Android Invasion

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PRODUCTION INFO

Name

The Android Invasion

Serial Code

4J

First Transmitted

22 November 1975

Final ratings

11.90m

DVD RELEASE

DVD

VHS RELEASE

VHS

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CAST

Regular Cast

Tom Baker (Doctor Who), Elisabeth Sladen (Sarah Jane Smith)

Guest Cast

Milton Johns (Guy Crayford), Peter Welch (Morgan) [1-3], Max Faulkner (Corporal Adams), Martin Friend (Styggron), Dave Carter (Grierson) [1,4]*, Ian Marter (Harry Sullivan) [2-4], Roy Skelton (Chedaki) [2-3], John Levene (RSM Benton) [2-4], Stuart Fell (Kraal) [3], Patrick Newell (Colonel Faraday) [4], Hugh Lund (Matthews) [4], Heather Emmanuel (Tessa) [4].

CREW

Written by Terry Nation
Directed by Barry Letts
Produced by Philip Hinchcliffe

sypnosis

The TARDIS seems to have returned the Doctor and Sarah Jane to modern-day England, but it quickly becomes apparent that something is very wrong: the people behave oddly, the calendar has just one day on it, coins are all minted from the same date.

The time travellers soon realise that They are not on Earth at all, but on a simulacrum created by the Kraals, who are using the replicated village to help them prepare for their imminent invasion of Earth

NOTES

  1. This story had working titles of: The Kraals, The Kraal Invasion and The Enemy Within. A rumoured working title was Return to Sukkannan, but this was actually the title of a second storyline by Terry Nation which had been submitted to the Doctor Who production office At The same time, but was apparently abandoned.
  2. The story was influenced by the film Invasion of the Body Snatchers, and would be the last Terry Nation script for Doctor Who for four years until his final script for the series, Destiny of the Daleks (1979). This was the first non-Dalek story scripted by Nation since 1964’s The Keys Of Marinus and was his only other foray away from his most famous creations.
  3. This story marks the last appearances of John Levene (Sergeant Benton) and Ian Marter (Harry Sullivan) in the series. Both actors have told Doctor Who Magazine (#230 and #93 respectively) that They didn’t enjoy the story, Levene because none of the other UNIT regulars were present and Marter because “There was no real reason for Harry to be in it… I couldn’t see the point”. The characters were mentioned (but did not appear) in Mawdryn Undead (1983). Harry was said to be working with NATO and doing something “hush-hush at Porton Down”. Benton was said to have left the army and become a used car salesman. Levene later reprised the role of Benton for the non-BBC independent video production, Wartime.
    UNIT would play a significant role in one more story, The Seeds of Doom and thereafter vanish (save for a cameo in The Five Doctors) until 1989’s Battlefield.
  4. Barry Letts and Nicholas Courtney have both said in Doctor Who Magazine (#270 and #228 respectively) that The Brigadier was originally meant to be in the story. As Courtney was busy, his part had to be replaced with Faraday. Courtney’s other reason for turning the part down was because he’d been asked back for another story and then had his part cancelled At The last minute, after he’d passed up other work, “and I was very annoyed”. (DWM #228)
    Benton’s final appearance on-screen shows him being lying on the floor as he is replaced by his android double, who then orders the removal of his body; his fate is not made clear At The end of the story.
  5. This was the first story to feature the return of a former companion, namely Harry Sullivan (Benton is not generally considered a companion). Harry also figured in montage sequences in Logopolis and Resurrection Of The Daleks. Dialogue references to him would also be made in Mawdryn Undead and Invasion of the Bane, with the latter also featuring a photograph of the character. In future years, the return of past companions would be a featured part of specials such as The Five Doctors and The Two Doctors, and also be incorporated into several storylines of the 2005-present revival.
    Marter would continue his acting career and write several Doctor Who novelisations, an original novel featuring Harry and an unproduced screenplay, Doctor Who Meets Scratchman, the last with Tom Baker. He died in 1986.
  6. Kenneth Williams noted this story in his diaries, writing that Doctor Who was getting “more and more silly.”
  7. This marks the first appearance of the Fourth Doctor’s seldom-seen light grey overcoat. Elisabeth Sladen is credited as ‘Sarah’ in Radio Times for Part One.
    Although credited for Part One, Dave Carter (Grierson) does not actually appear in the episode; his scenes were edited out prior to transmission.
  8. Roy Skelton (Chedaki) is credited on-screen for Part Two, but is not billed in Radio Times
  9. Order the DVD

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