4
Sep 10

Time Reconsidered as a Helix of Semi-Precious Who Eps: #8a THE INVASION (pt 1)

FT1 comment • 162 views

or “emotion could be used to DESTROY THEM!

… being a show-by-show TARDIS-esque (ie in effect random) exploration of Doctor Who Soup to Nuts, begun at LJ’s diggerdydum community and from now on also crossposted at FT.

So I am back to the actual real proper true doctor, MY doctor which is the right doctor, in an YIKES eight-parter, 1968’s THE INVASION feat.Cosmic Hobo, Jamie and Zoe: and — bcz some of it is LOST — reconstituted where needed as animation (tho with the original sound). I am reviewing it in TWO SECTIONS ftb is more fun that way (and hence lovefilm handily sent it me in two sections). Plot to date: a NOBvious Corporate Villain runs a massive electronics company w/thuggish private army, has kidnapped a major scientist and is reporting to a mechanoid alien contact in re a forthcoming INVASION who or who can it be DOIN THE INVADIN? Now read on…

i: It is the PAST it is an DIFFERENT COUNTRY, an country where they do things MUCH MORE SLOWLY. freakytigger joked that no one can tell the diff between the animated reconstitutions and the originals [UPDATE: click thru to diggerdydum for Tom’s correction here] ; but actually the animations do the job of sensitising you to all the stuff you do get in the originals; stuff so emotionally pertinent to someone of my age; old enough to remember the actual England this was filmed in etc; and hence old enough to get a rush of affectionate recognition for the various backdrops we get to see so much of, be they country lanes, brand new brutalist office blocks, the new-b uild spaceradar golfballs off on the moors, or just some london back lane complete with old-skool graffiti… but young enough to be open-eyed to the world right now unfolding for you …
ii: … and this is MY BELOVED DOCTOR WHO I LOVE so i don’t mind watching all the banter there is between him and his lovely boyf jamie (PT is totes the gay regen, this is v.obvs no?) — as a big fan of the pellmell that RTD instigated, i also value this very deliberate one cliffhanger-per-ep slowness too, a lost art on TV i ph34r
iii: tremendous perfs from the villains, vaughn when he’s vastly amused by the girls destroying his computer (via ALGOL and square roots of neg numbers!); his sidekick when he’s under pressure and gets squeakily hysterical and comical (and is played by harold pinterunder an assumed name) —
iv: — alll of which fits into the subtextual tale, which is HUMANGS AND THEIR FLAWS AND VARIANCE ARE BETTER THAN STUPID MACHINES AND THEIR UNIFORM RELIABILITY; fuck digital intelligence, fuck it to hell, and etc; v: viz zoe and her new photographer friend isobel who spend an ENTIRE EP ditzing around being GURLS LOVIN FASHION (isobel takin photos of zoe the swinging carnaby street dollybird taking a HOLIDAY from stupid TARDISism), except instead of annoying or timewasting or bad, this is a sign of what’s EXCELLENT ABOUT PEOPLE versus vaughn’s two offices are designed to be identical (bcz “uniformity and replication are the key to corporate success” ooh bit of politics) and also — rather awesomely — he has cheesy piped muzak parpling away in them; ALSO HE GIVES JAMIE A LITTLE TRANSISTOR RADIO to turn him into a consumerist pop ROBOT do you SEE?? the fact of FEELINGS as a social good has already been set up in the “Cerebotron” sub-plot
vi: … and plus vaughn gets in a RAGE when he is asked to take orders from the MYSTERIOUS MACHINE-VOICED SOON-TO-BE-INVADERS who already met the doctor on “planet 14”, oh who oh who can they BE?
vii: and finally, the first arrival of UNIT feat.lethbridge-stewart (second appearance) and benton, already all caught up in politics and protocols (IE why can’t they just send some tanks in, given the level of nefarious activity on the plant: vaughn has an armed private army who use their guns pretty freely…)

Nostalgia aside, I am loving this story — it isn’t under pressure to second-guess itself at all, it uses its pace to ensure attention to detail, sterling perfs all round, the balance between scifi political satire (in which the MAN, a “CYBER”MAN if you will, is homogenising us with his MONOLITHIC* CAPITALIST LEISURE TECHNOLOGY) and kids action thriller (in which our heroes repeatedly place themselves in traps) — well — yes, nostalgia not aside, I was eight, Troughton more than any other doctor I think gibed with his times (not a hippie exactly but clearly hippie-friendly) and HURRAH!

*Oh oh the actual relevant technological breakthrough is called “micro-monolithic circuit design”!

Comments

  1. 1
    Billy Smart on 23 Feb 2011 #

    The second part of my attempt to find a literary antecedent for every Doctor Who story;

    http://drunkennessofthingsbeingvarious.blogspot.com/2011/02/doctor-who-reading-list-part-2.html

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