Summary: Better With The CGI Enhancements
Comment: The Invasion of Time has always been one of my favorite Doctor Who stories. Unfortunately, the nasty special effects that were created for the Vardans really ruined the story for me. (Well, maybe the clumsy Sontaran trying to leap over the chaise lounge chair was pretty lame too.)
However, thanks to the advent of CGI technology, the viewer is able to replace some of the bad special effects. This helps the story immensely.
I recommend this story for the tried and true Doctor Who fan.
Summary: Tom Baker at his best
Comment: Very enjoyable story. Has our beloved Doctor turned evil and sold out Gallifrey to alien invaders? Tom Baker's acting is top notch. My only complaint about the story is Leela's romance with a Gallifreyian soldier is not very believable-no chemistry between them at all. I highly recommend this episode to other Dr. Who fans.
Summary: "Even the sonic screwdriver won't get me out of this one."
Comment: Time was one luxury that those involved in the making of "The Invasion of Time" had none of. After receiving an utterly unworkable script soon before things were supposed to get started, the producer and script editor had to team up and dash this one off at the last minute, making sure to incorporate only pre-existing sets and costumes since barely any leeway existed for crafting new ones. As if that weren't enough, filming had to be hurriedly scheduled so as to avoid inevitable strikes at the BBC looming on the horizon. Everything seems to have been working against them, in short, and yet somehow they pulled off one of the more unusually intriguing and unique Doctor Who stories of the 1970's.
How? Partly by making a virtue of necessity. The story returns us once again to the Doctor's home world of Gallifrey (for which sets and costumes still remained from Doctor Who - The Deadly Assassin), a rather tedious and drearily bureaucratic place enlivened only by petty political maneuvering and backstabbing, a society resting on its laurels after having achieved all it could ever achieve ages beforehand. Into this bland uneventfulness come the Doctor and his knife-wielding companion Leela, throwing everyone for a loop--including the viewer, as the Doctor begins to act more and more erratically, more and more like the very type of power-mad dictator he usually fights against. Tom Baker pulls this off with superb finesse, giggling (for instance) with wickedly barking mad glee as he supposedly introduces his fellow Time Lords to their conquerors, his apparent accomplices the Vardans. The writers keep us going for quite a while, too, finally revealing only rather late into the story that this is all but a risky yet clever stratagem on the Doctor's part to hoodwink the Vardans and save the day, expertly timing this revelation just exactly before the moment our confusion would've shifted into active dislike for our erstwhile hero.
Still, for all that, the strain shows. The concept behind the Vardans' threatening power--the ability to travel instantly along any wavelength, including that of thought--is as highly original as it is indeed formidable, but the less than special effect used to depict them (rattling tin foil superimposed onto the screen) is so dismal as to be distracting even to longtime fans tolerant of the show's chronic shortcomings in this area. Their humanoid form is not much more impressive, and then in an uncomfortable moment of anticlimax intended apparently to keep the story going for another two episodes at all costs, the Sontarans replace the Vardans with little real rhyme or reason. Don't get me wrong, the Sontarans are great, but this isn't their gig (shouldn't they be busy with the Rutans?), and limited physical beings with conventional space weaponry that they are, they seem much less a threat to the Time Lords than the prior Vardans. Second of all and in a similar vein, the frankly ingenious idea of having a chase through endless labyrinths within the Doctor's dimensionally transcendental vehicle the Tardis is sadly let down by actuality, it being painfully obvious that these are just old musty hallways in some building in England (a defunct mental hospital, as it turns out). Finally, Leela is swiftly and abruptly written out at the conclusion in an implausibly ridiculous manner glaringly inconsistent with her character--a particularly deplorable lapse for me, Leela being one of my favorite companions.
Given the circumstances, though, these problems are less surprising than the fact that it all ultimately beats the odds and holds together pretty dang well as an interesting and thoroughly enjoyable Doctor Who adventure. Some very memorable supporting characters contribute a lot to this success, including the Doctor's old mentor Borusa, venerable and yet foxily savvy, and the obsequiously scheming Castellan. On a larger scale, there is just something dreadfully compelling about the idea of an advanced society presuming itself invulnerable and so being taken off guard, and the unseemly politics of occupation are portrayed as convincingly as possible given the show's format. Finally, some of the off-the-wall oddball humor considered so typical of the Fourth Doctor really comes to the fore here, including a daring though momentary aside to the audience. Probably no other show could get away with this and still count as good solid serious science fiction, and on that strength alone "The Invasion of Time" manages as a fine example of classic Doctor Who, not to mention grace under pressure.
Comment: what can I say, the more Doctor Who that is released the better the world is. great redone special effects and of course the original version.
Summary: Invasion indeed!
Comment: I've been a Tom Baker fan all my life, so admittedly, there are few baker stories that I don't like. However, any fan of the series would be very hard pressed not to love this episode. This is pure, unbridled Doctor Who. This one is chock full of twists and turns and the appearnce of an old foe really blindsides you! Well acted, with some fabulous chemistry between the actors, especially the Doctor and the Cardinal. the whole thing leaves you with a feeling of mixed emotion of course, as the bad guys get it in the end, but we lose a Tardis companion. The possibilities of what actually happned to this companion are limitless, and have never been explored, and of course with the new series, anything is possible!!! This really is Tom Baker at his erratic best doing what he does best!