The Invasion: Episode Six

First Broadcast December 7th, 1968 @ 5.15pm (6.5m viewers)

It took a while but the Cybermen made it to Earth eventually. The climax of this particular episode, number six of eight, sees the silver giants leave their footprints on the streets of London. These images would become some of the most iconic ever generated by the programme.

Memorable Moment (Spoiler Warning)

Cybermen outside St Paul’s Cathedral. Next to the Daleks on Westminster Bridge, it is perhaps the most iconic moment in Doctor Who’s history. In many ways ‘The Invasion’ replicates what the Daleks had done four years previously with their own invasion of Earth. One of the landmarks the Daleks didn’t visit however was St Paul’s. The sight of Cybermen marching down the steps has been replicated numerous times. Most recently of course ‘Death in Heaven’ saw Cybermen on the marching from the building. 80’s era Cybermen used the steps during the filming of ’30 Years in the TARDIS’ and ‘Cybus’ Cybermen posed there to promote the Doctor Who Experience at London’s Olympia. I’m sure it will be repeated again with a new model one day.

‘The Invasion’ is a classic story which tested a template to be installed for the incoming Third Doctor. At eight episodes it is a little long but remains utterly engrossing. Largely due to Kevin Stoney’s villainous turn as Tobias Vaughn. Equally, Cybermen rising up from the sewers also made younger viewers look twice when passing a manhole cover. UNIT are also introduced, ably under the command of Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart. Their successful introduction paved the way for a new strategy, which neatly reduced production costs but sent viewers scurrying behind the sofa. Earth-based tales with The Doctor combining with a military force to defend the planet from alien marauders.

Spinoff ‘Class’ has once again explored the potential of alien species coming to Earth. It was first presented in ‘The Dalek Invasion of Earth’ in 1964. Before that it was Quatermass. Before that, it was ‘The War of the Worlds’. It is a storyline which will continue for eternity. ‘The Invasion’ however not only proved the effectiveness of the concept yet again but also set in place the pieces for a new era and secured the programme’s future.

Cast:

The Doctor – Patrick Troughton
Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart – Nicholas Courtney
Jamie – Frazer Hines
Zoe – Wendy Padbury
Captain Turner – Robert Sidaway
Cyberman – Pat Gorman
Cyberman – Ralph Carrigan
Cyberman – Charles Finch
Cyberman – John Spadbury
Cyberman – Derek Chaffer
Cyberman – Terence Denville
Cyberman – Peter Thornton
Cyberman – Richard King
Gregory – Ian Fairbairn
Isobel – Sally Faulkner
Major Branwell – Clifford Earl
Major-General Rutlidge – Edward Dentith
Private Perkins – Stacy Davies
Professor Watkins – Edward Burnham
Sergeant Peters – Norman Hartley
Sergeant Walters – James Thornhill
Tobias Vaughn – Kevin Stoney
Tracy – Geoffrey Cheshire

Crew:

Director – Douglas Camfield
Producer – Peter Bryant
Writer – Derrick Sherwin from a story by Kit Pedler

Also First Aired On This Day…
  • An Unearthly Child: The Forest of Fear
  • Dragonfire: Part Three
  • Silver Nemesis: Part Three

LEAVE A REPLY