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Doctor Who - The Invasion [Import anglais]
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Investigating the disappearance of an eminent scientist, the Doctor and his companions follow his trail to the London headquarters of International Electromatics, a global supplier of electronic equipment run by the formidable Tobias Vaughan. Teaming up with the newly-formed United Nations Intelligence Taskforce--UNIT--under the command of Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, it soon becomes apparent that Vaughan is working to his own sinister agenda. As Cybermen invade in cities all over the world, can the Doctor convince Vaughan to help him defeat their plan for global domination?
This story was originally broadcast on BBC1 between 2nd November and 21st December 1968, produced by Peter Bryant and directed by Douglas Camfield.
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Cette fois le Docteur (Patrick Troughton plus dandy décalé que jamais accompagné de Zoé et Jaimie )affronte les Cybermen sur Terre .
Il retrouve le "Brigadier" personnage au combien culte (interprétation impeccable de Nicholas Courtney ).
UNIT et une jeune photographe très "sixties" sont aussi au rendez vous.L'histoire se divise en 8 épisodes avec pas mal d'action (assez inhabituel à l'époque ).
De plus 2 des épisodes sont sous la forme de dessins animés (les épisodes originaux perdus depuis l'époque )le travail d'animation est de toute beauté ainsi qu'un bel exploit puisque parfaitement synchronisé avec la bande son d'origine !(à voir les bonus passionnants )et tout cela en version originale non sous titrée en français .
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The highlight of this story is the background history and what transpired to make this 'missing' story into a released DVD set.
The sixth season of the show (1968-1969) had a lot of scripts falling through. As a result, commissioned stories had to be stretched out longer. "The Invasion" is one such story. The good news is, the gravitas of the character and performance of the actor (Kevin Stoney) playing Tobias Vaughn helps elevate this story and keeps it moving. The story is essentially him vs the Doctor, with Tobias attempting to use the Cybermen to his benefit while the Doctor enlists the help of a newly formed secret paramilitary organization that battles alien invaders; UNIT (United Nations Intelligence Taskforce).
I would say episodes 6 and 7 do drag on a bit, but there are plenty of set pieces that re-awaken you at the right times.
As usual, sound and video for a program made in this time are sensational. And the extras and commentaries made by still-living cast and crew alone pay for this story; and then we get the story itself...
Here's the rundown: In the 1970s, the BBC junked many programs from its archives. The Patrick Troughton era of "Doctor Who" was badly hit. As a result, most of his stories have been destroyed.
Fortunately, over the years, episodes are found in warehouses, returned to the BBC by countries who bought licenses to air the old episodes during the 1960s and never junked the films themselves, or returned by collectors - who are far more philanthropic than many we'd otherwise give the title to.
Additionally, during the 1960s, home video recorders didn't exist. (Another 12 years would pass before the technology became feasible... or popular.) So people recorded them onto audio tape, often by dangling a microphone in front of the TV set.
As part of the restoration process (and having seen many VHS copies, some work had to be done), the end result of episodes 2, 3, and 5-8 are marvelous. And this is the first professionally released version of the story where all the Cybermens' dialogue can be heard distinctly, with full clarity. The previous releases I've seen just didn't have the cleanup applied and the difference is PHENOMENAL.
But the icing is on the cake: Episodes 1 and 4 have been re-created via cleaning and amalgamating numerous audio tape sources, with animation applied. And the animation is spectacular. It doesn't steal any opportunities to go "over the top", there is a genuine sense of the animators trying to be true to the original footage as possible (though some embellishments are inevitable; the master tapes and films nonexisting). It's very clever, grabs your attention, doesn't seem at all shoehorned in, and the audio quality is spectacular. The extras go into the history of program junking, how audiotracks were recovered, and a well made piece on how they were cleaned - I don't want to spoil it here, but as with the main story, there is not one piece of extra that does NOT entertain or edify!
Reserve your advance copy of this lost masterpiece today! Support this glorious and thoroughly successful breakthrough. And join in the hope that The Invasion will signal a new era for Patrick Troughton, the greatest Doctor of all! (Now how about the First Doctor's Marco Polo, or Dalek Master Plan . . .?)
It says massive things when I say that this was eight episodes, and NOT ONCE was I bored.
The producers of the show were planning a new direction for Doctor Who, one that'd take the series completely to Earth, and this makes a fantastic first impression as a sort of "pilot" for this new era. Needing some electronic spare parts for the TARDIS, the Doctor, Jamie and Zoe search for Professor Travers, only to find that they've left their house to a Professor Watkins, who has been missing for several days. Thus starts an adventure of revelation after revelation of what's going on at International Electromatics, a company that has the monopoly on practically everything in the world. Tobias Vaughn is well casted by Kevin Stoney, as Wendy Padbury (Zoe) said on the commentary, the scenes between Vaughn and the Doctor when they're playing mindgames with each other could've been ruined by a lesser actor, but you're practically on the edge of your seat the whole time.
This is the first story to feature the newly formed UNIT, led by Brigadier Lethbridge Stewart, and what a way to introduce it! The return of the Cybermen, but what does Vaughn have planned for them... this sets the bar so high for the stories to come (And indeed for the new Jon Pertwee era just around the corner.)
And it's not just drama either. There are some good scenes with Vaughn's all brawn and no brain sidekick Packer. I love the scene where the Doctor pretends he's going to co-operate, "I can't let you hurt Zoe and Isabel, so when Tobias Vaughn comes- oh there he is now!" and then shoves him and runs off to the lift when Packer turns the other way. Something subtle like that is all you need. Oh, and how could you not love the last bit, where Isabel's snapping pictures while the Brigadier and his men run off to take care of the Cybermen's transmitter, and the Doctor first protests, but then strikes some heroic poses while men run all around them!
Eight episodes, and it doesn't flag. A teriffic achievement all around.
The Invasion stars Patrick Troughton as the second Doctor, featuring in a format that set the stage for his successor Jon Pertwee's tenure in the role. After the success of the Web of Fear a year earlier, when Yeti invaded the London Underground and the Doctor helped the British military contain the threat, the production team set about creating another London/alien invasion story, with the military presence expanded to a fictional international force known as UNIT. They brought back the same character and actor from the Yeti story to lead this force, promoted him to Brigadier and thus launched one of the most popular and enduring characters from the show's history.
This particular story was something of a milestone in Doctor Who history, even though it was born out of a panic to replace some rejected scripts. Not just because it created a new format for the show, but mainly for its impact on the viewing public. When the Cybermen emerged from the London sewers to enslave the human race, marching inexorably down the steps of St. Paul's Cathedral, the impact on the psyche of the British children watching was enormous. I know I was not alone in avoiding all sewer manhole covers for years to come! Alas, episodes 1 & 4 were junked by the BBC in 1971 and the remaining 6 were of poor quality tele-recordings. Inadequate linking material, intended to bridge the gaps, was recorded by Nicholas Courtney - The Brigadier - for the 1993 VHS release, but now the brilliant boys at Cosgrove Hall have replaced the two missing episodes in their entirety with animated recreations of the missing footage. I wasn't sure at first about the concept, but all doubts were dispelled as it is so brilliantly executed. Using the original soundtrack, the animation has been recreated perfectly and fills the void wonderfully.
Apart from the animation and phenomenal restoration work, there are many extra features describing the animation concept, process and restoration, as well as an in depth feature on the making of the programme and the era in general. The care and love that went into making these two episodes is evident. It thus seems almost churlish - and certainly geeky - to make any criticism, but there is one error which is almost unforgivable! The animators have given the Doctor's assistant Zoe the wrong costume in the early part of episode 1! It would have been an easy mistake to make, except that the previous episode (which runs immediately into this story) does exist and photos from episode 1 are abundant. They've drawn her with the costume she adopts about mid-way through the first episode. For all their attention to detail, it seems a very basic error to have made.
The commentary from Frazer Hines (Jamie), Wendy Padbury (Zoe) and Nicholas Courtney for the six live action episodes is very entertaining, as is the one from the animators and restoration team for the two missing episodes. But I wish they'd have included Derrick Sherwin, the script editor, eventual producer, creator of the UNIT format and author of this particular tale. Much as I like hearing the Brigadier, he does get used rather often on the Doctor Who commentaries. A minor quibble.
With all of these extras and goodies, it's a shame to compare the relatively thin co-release, The Sontaran Experiment. A two part adventure from Tom Baker's first season in the role of Doctor number four, this very short story really belongs as a tag-team with the preceding four-part adventure, The Ark in Space. It's really using all the location and outside broadcast allocation that didn't get used in the studio based Ark story. By releasing it alone, I think the BBC are stretching fan's patience just a tiny bit, but they have at least included a very well made documentary on the history and evolution of the Sontarans and there's a great commentary soundtrack too. Seems a bit much to shell out $13 for two episodes, but as a fan, I'm just glad to have them in my library. As the first story ever made to be made entirely on location and entirely on video tape, it's an interesting milestone in the Doctor Who evolution.
A good pair of releases. One probably too long and one probably too short, but together forming another great pair of entries into the Doctor Who DVD collection.
However, my enthusiasm is muted by the fact that Episodes 5 - 8 on Disc 2 exhibit noticeable jitter in the vertical detail due to a mastering error when converting the material from PAL to NTSC. Steve Roberts of the Official Restoration Team described the problem as "nasty" and wrote:
"Oh dear, the episodes on disc 2 are a bit of a mess, aren't they?
"The fact that it has gone composite at some point is almost irrelevant - the cross-colour is just about detectable in some shots, but I doubt I would have noticed it during normal playback if I wasn't looking for it. The major problem is the terrible line-twitter on the standards converter, I haven't seen a converter so poor in many a year. The end credits look terrible and there's constant twitter throughout the episodes. I suspect it's also knocking back the resolution of the picture as a whole, as episode eight in particular looked a lot softer than I expected.
"The episodes on disc 1 are fine - looks like a decent Alchemist standards converter has been used. But disc 2 has clearly been done on a much older converter which has either a composite input or output."
Unfortunately, neither the BBC nor 2|entertain has expressed any interest in addressing this error. The good news is that many people don't notice the problem when watching on a typical NTSC television. The bad news that if you try watching Disc 2 on a high-resolution progressive scan set then you're definitely going to notice.
Bottom line: I would recommend this DVD set with some reservations.