Thursday, 7 July 2011

The Android Invasion (Part 4)


Originally Broadcast 13th December 1975
Written by: Terry Nation

In a nutshell: Arriving back on the (real) Earth, the Doctor and Sarah must warn the people before the invading Kraals can arrive.

Review: A step up from the terrible third episode, the fourth still gets off to a very shaky start. I don’t really care nor did I find any interest in the first ten or so minutes of this episode, where the Doctor and Sarah have a lucky escape from last times cliffhanger before returning to Earth in the android pods.

The same trick from the previous episodes was maximised far beyond the point of return, which is that of mistaken identity, with it happening to pretty much every character in the serial in this episode. The good thing that came out of this, though, was getting two Doctors fighting each other, but then came the obvious conclusion to this storyline when one of the Doctors got shot by Styggron.

Again Levene’s Benton and Marter’s Sullivan were truly wasted characters although this time round I can add Sladen’s Sarah Jane into the mix as she had terrible writing in this one too, being given pretty much nothing to do bar a very out of character and extremely random remark in the closing minutes of the episode. Sarah tells the Doctor she wants to go home by cab, to which the Doctor makes a deal about taking her home in the TARDIS. Inevitably Sarah agrees without putting up a fuss, I really, truly do not understand why this scene is here, what relevance it has or how it even fits with Sarah’s story who doesn’t even want to leave when she has to (in a years time through ‘The Hand Of Fear’).

Colonel Faraday has to be near the top of the list as one of the most pointless, boring and irritatingly generic characters in the history of the show, there is nothing to like about him, nothing to see about him, the character can just be summed up by the word nothing. Well, the word nothing and the word pointless.

Overall this is a story that began so wonderfully but slowly digressed into lesser and lesser quality, with little chance of regaining itself. At least the Doctor/Companion team is strong throughout bar Nation’s SJS characterisation in part four.

Some wasted characters get to stand around and watch

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