Previous: Pyramids of Mars
The Android Invasion
By Terry Nation! I keep forgetting he did a few non-Dalek stories.
UNIT officer walking to clockwork music with a twitchy shoulder? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm...
"Ginger pulp?" ...I'm just going to assume that's a British-ism I don't get, because I can't fathom wanting to drink a bottle of just pulp.
(incidentally, guess how I like my orange juice?)
"Can't been any rain here for more than a week." There's a joke about British weather to be made here, but I'm American so
"Please excuse me! Could you be very kind and tell us where we are?"
Is that what happens when you meet a quartet of spacemen in the forest? Because I've never met a quartet of spacemen in the forest before.
Wait, what am I saying. I LARP. I probably have met a quartet of spacemen in the forest at least once.
Well that was certainly a more convincing fall down a small cliffside than that stumble in The Five Doctors.
That UNIT android, though...ouch.
Now this is interesting. Usually when you search a body's wallet for clues, the last thing you'd think to check would be the change purse.
WHY HELLO THERE RANDOM SPACE POD THANKS FOR DROPPING IN
"Three hundred years ago I'd've recognized this like a shot!" *BANG*
Devesham? I wonder if that's a real place. Seems like a sleepy little town. By which of course I mean, completely empty for some reason.
("In reality, East Hagbourne was far from deserted. There were crowds of onlookers, and Tom Baker was mobbed by adoring children.") Awww...
Radiation leaks: apparently they morph coinage into uniformity.
Umm...did Four actually just offer a possible explanation for why radiation in the area COULD lead to the money being all the same??
Hello, did someone order a lorry-load of villagers? Funny, I didn't know they came in bulk.
Villagers activated by: clock striking twelve!
"Sarah Jane, stay put while I go do the thing" seems to be a motif of sorts so far this season. Hope it doesn't last.
"Well, somebody say something!" oh god they're not even blinking
"And I'm sure you shouldn't be drinking so soon after breaking your neck!" All my love for Sarah Jane's snappy exit lines.
Spacemen with no face, no-face spacemen...
Wait, is it just me or did that space pod from earlier move SARAH JANE NO DON'T JUST LEAVE YOUR KEY IN THE TARDIS DOOR
"DOCTOR, DON'T GO! I'M STILL HERE! ...Don't leave me..." First I was confused and then my heart broke a little.
First thought: Let's not grab ladies' legs. Second thought: This is literally turning into Invasion of the Body Snatchers.
THIRD THOUGHT: DON'T STRANGLE SARAH JANE OH MY GOD
Wow, after nearly a full episode of Four and Sarah Jane and android clones, seeing someone who actually looks human is kind of weird.
ALSO I'M PRETTY SURE THAT SIGN SAID "BRIGADIER LETHBRIDGE-STEWART" ON THE DOOR
It does! Aww, and Four is calling him by his first name, almost like a kid checking to see if his friend is home.
"You know the Brigadier?"
"I'm his unpaid scientific adviser."
So it sounds like Eyepatch Guy here probably IS the first other human we've encountered. Aaaaand naturally he's paranoid and has a gun.
And I wonder if this is the first instance of the Brig being in Geneva.
"If you're calling the butler, I'm very partial to tea and muffins." Once again, the Fourth Doctor: ever a cucumber.
Sounds like Eyepatch Guy is most likely a human working with the androids. And those sure don't sound like man-made guns, either.
Wait, Sarah Jane, how did you get here so fast?
"Is that finger loaded?"
I know Sarah Jane can't be wearing Crocs, but from the style and the spots it kinda looks like she is.
Oh, wait, those aren't spots, I think that's a floral pattern. ...I almost want those shoes now.
WWWWWWOOOOOAAHHH WHAT IS THAT FACE IT KINDA LOOKS LIKE A SONTARAN BUT I'M PRETTY SURE THERE ARE NO SONTARANS IN THIS STORY
Should probably start referring to Eyepatch Guy by his real name. Although, that also happens to be Guy. (Guy Crayford, though.)
Aaaaaand apparently, according to Sarah Jane, he's supposed to be dead??
"Well well well, it's a small world!"
Benton? BENTON! ...I hope, anyway...?
Casually pulling a gun on our heroes soooo...I'm guessing Android-Benton.
Yup. AND HARRY! Wait...Android-Harry. Wow, first Zygons and now androids? That's a lot of fake Harrys.
"Controlling?" Wait, they've seen how some of the people move and they don't suspect androids?
Then again, this might just be a case of Spoilers In The Title. When you watch The Android Invasion, you expect androids to be invading.
Ah yes, a Companion Ankle Sprain. Haven't seen one of those in a long time.
Oh, Four, not the hat and coat! I liked that hat and coat.
Okay, so he didn't go far. Also, Tom Baker with wet hair amuses me for some reason.
Well that diversion plan failed. AND CAN WE NOT CARRY UNCONSCIOUS COMPANIONS AROUND ON STRETCHERS COVERED BY SHEETS IT MAKES THEM LOOK DEAD
I was about to say "Four, don't bother with that phone booth," but then I remembered this was when phone booths were actually a thing.
Oh man, when was the last time I used a payphone? Or even found one that actually worked?
*smacks forehead* wait of course this is in an alien-controlled village of course the phone booth doesn't work anyway
"It's no good, Miss Smith."
OH GOD AND THEY'RE USING THE HARRY ANDROID THAT'S JUST MEAN
Also...is that a Nook he's holding?
"...Something you want, sir?"
"Yes, a telephone that works!"
Four, is this really the time to be throwing darts and having a pint?
("The Doctor's prowess at darts was accomplished with the help of a videodisk machine.") Which might explain the three bullseyes.
I kind of love how the conversation between the two aliens right now is basically "but the Doctor doesn't LIKE oppressive races!"
Ohhhhh wait, Four was saying "ginger POP" last episode, not "pulp." That explains a lot. I'm surprised Sarah Jane's not a fan.
Devesham: uniform coinage, brand new dartboards, and eternal summer. #july6thFOREVERRRRRR
("Once again, one can only marvel at the eccentricity of Styggron's methods. It seems he has a tendency to micro-manage the details while losing sight of the big picture. Why else would he go to the trouble of stocking a fake pub with ginger beer, but make such a hash of the calendar?") Oh InfoText, I love you.
On that note, I hope Four takes note of the phone's convenient Sarah Jane Sensitivity and recognizes that this is some sort of trap.
OKAY SO I WASN'T EXPECTING SARAH JANE'S DISLIKE OF GINGER POP TO BE A PLOT POINT BUT APPARENTLY
Sooo either Four is rolling with this Android Sarah Jane's story for as long as he can or he still hasn't figured it out. Hoping the former.
"I will now activate the Hostility Circuits!" why do I love this line
wait wait wait wait what's this about this not being earth or real wood when did this happen WAIT IS THE WHOLE AREA A SIMULATION
Oh good, Four knew all along that this wasn't the real Sarah Jane. But not because of the ginger pop, but because of her scarf.
If you'll indulge me for a moment: AWWWW SCARF BUDDIES
And now I get to sit here and wonder how many kids in the 70s shrieked in terror when Android Sarah Jane's face literally fell off.
Random observation: Lis Sladen is AMAZING at eye control. I can't keep my eyelids that close to shut without them quivering a lot.
Looks like the android villagers' field trip is done for the day. Bye guys!
Thank god the aliens' security system seems to be complete ass because that was one of the easiest escapes I think I've seen on Classic Who.
*GRAB* "Resistance is inadvisable!" I love seeing the different variations that get used to finish the "resistance is..." threat.
Boy, it's a good that local foliage has the same consistency as rope, or the bad guys would have nothing to tie up Four with!
Ah, Sarah Jane, excellent timing! Let's see if you and Four can defuse this bomb together #ofcourseyoucan
On the other hand, Four, it might help if you actually TOLD SARAH JANE ABOUT THE BOMB.
Or you could just...undo Four's bonds and run for cover while the town gets turns into a desert wasteland. I guess that works too.
Okay so the town was deserted the whole time anyway, but still.
Aaaaand of course they weren't on Earth at all that entire time so...never mind.
It seems the aliens are called the Kraal and they want to take over Earth because their own planet is dying.
So...basically what you're saying is that this is more or less a retread of Terror of the Zygons. Which we just watched. Huh.
Generally speaking, I don't have that big a beef with Doctor Who repeating ideas every so often, but putting stories this similar in the same season doesn't strike a favorable chord with me. Part of why I didn't really like Sleep No More in Season 9.
I saw a story about the Surviving Crew of a Stricken Base Plagued by Monsters with a Mysterious Box and thought "isn't this Under the Lake?"
But I digress. Back to the Grande Olde Escapades of Four and Sarah Jane.
Absolutely loving this shot of Four with one eye in the bright light and the other concealed by the shadow of his hat.
OH. OH DEAR. WE JUST GOT THE EXPLANATION FOR WHY CRAYFORD HAS AN EYEPATCH AND IT'S ACTUALLY PRETTY BRILLIANT AND UNSETTLING.
HE WAS LITERALLY BEING RIPPED APART BY G-FORCES IN SPACE AND THE KRAALS PUT HIM BACK TOGETHER. EXCEPT FOR HIS EYE WHICH "COULDN'T BE FOUND."
Okay he says ripped apart by "gyro-failure" but you know what I mean.
"The Kraals have *promised* me that no humans will be harmed!" Where's that mock laughter cover of What Makes You Beautiful when you need it
The levels at which Four is Not Taking Any of This is getting increasingly hilarious.
Oh hey, the sonic screwdriver actually being used to unscrew things! Feels like we don't see that very often.
"I'm dying for a drink." NO SARAH JANE DON'T DRINK THE WATER IT'S POISONED
Thanks. Also, I'll bet that cable you just unplugged will have some effect on the device they're about to use on Four.
Oh. I guess I was wrong.
That's actually a pretty excellent reaction for someone who's never killed a person who feels like they just did for the first time.
OH MY GOD. CAN YOU IMAGINE HOW MUCH WORSE THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN FOR HER IF IT HAD BEEN THE HARRY OR BENTON ANDROID.
And she actually managed to turn the machine off! I was sure that something going wrong was going to be the cliffhanger.
Possible death by crushing G-forces? Well, you've got me, show. I really have no idea how they're going to get out of this one.
Orrrrr they could just not actually die. That's fine too.
On that note, HELLO ANDROID-FOUR.
Between this and Meglos, does that make this two Tom Baker stories where he also plays a copy of the Fourth Doctor?
For some reason I'm remembering a third, but maybe I'm just remembering Androids of Tara when there were two (or four?) Romanas.
"So. Providing we don't burn up on re-entry and aren't suffocated on the way down, we'll probably be smashed to a pulp when we land!"
"Exactly! Sarah, you've put your finger on the one tiny flaw in our plan!"
"OUR plan? It's YOUR plan!"
"Well I'm open to suggestions if you've got a better idea!"
Oh nice, the space center isn't entirely populated by just white guys!
Also, is that the real Benton and Harry?! Hello again boys! Nice to see you in the flesh at last.
I wonder if that third guy with them is the new Brigadier? He's got Alistair's hat and everything.
Ah, never mind, that's Colonel Faraday. Still, new guy.
Okay good, looks like Four and Sarah Jane will be in for a relatively smooth landing at that speed.
Ah, so THAT'S where the Benton Thinkyface gif came from!
Space pod next to the TARDIS, Four randomly pops out of nowhere...what's the better that that's Android-Four?
"It would suit our purposes better if no one was warned."
*android Sarah Jane rises like a goddamn vampire out of a coffin*
Hang on, did the Doctor actually have his UNIT pass on him for once, or was that a proto psychic paper we just saw?
Hang on another sec, what's this about Benton having a kid sister??
HANG ON ONE MORE SEC, WHAT DO YOU MEAN THE GUY IN THE MR. ROGERS SWEATER IS A BAD GUY?
"They've made replicas of you and Harry, colonel."
"Confounded cheek, how dare they!"
OKAY FOUR DO YOU MEAN TO SAY THAT YOU'VE LITERALLY HAD AN ANDROID DETECTOR IN YOUR POCKET THIS WHOLE TIME???
THAT KINDA WOULD HAVE COME IN HANDY A COUPLE EPISODES AGO
A picture-perfect Doctor Exit: slam a door in the face of your robot double with a gun, then somersault out the far window.
Now all we have to do is hope that this is the real Sarah Jane who's come to his rescue.
Seven minutes to save the day, guys!
"Don't be a fool Benton I'm one of you! Didn't you hear the colonel just now? The Doctor's not here he's at large somewhere in the complex!"
"Oh yes of course, sir. I'm sorry, sir."
"That's alright Benton, but keep your wits about you! Nobody knows who's who around here!"
And then the second one comes in and Benton JUST SHOOTS HIM REPEATEDLY OH GOD okay I know it's the android BUT STILL
CRAYFORD'S EYE WAS FINE ALL ALONG. I'll admit, I wasn't expecting that eyepatch to be a Chekov's Gun, but it was a damn good one.
Now, Four, the time has come to LITERALLY FIGHT YOURSELF!
It's fun watching this scene and seeing how the camera angles and blocking make sure we never see both of their faces at once.
Androids stopped by the power of Freeze Frame! Now, how are we going to deal with the Kraals in four minutes?
Aww, and there's the Real real Harry! ...Wait, how long has he been in there?
And how did Android-Four reactivate and get on the Kraal ship first???
"I reprogrammed it to confuse Styggron." Ah, okay.
Oh no, Sarah Jane wants to leave? And Four says he'll take her home GEE I WONDER WHERE THIS COULD BE GOING.
And that's the en- WAIT A FRICKIN MINUTE THERE WAS ANOTHER ANDROID SARAH JANE AND WE NEVER SAW WHAT HAPPENED TO IT WHERE'D IT GO
*shakes fist at the sky* NATIOOOOOONNNNNNN
Next: The Brain of Morbius