The Invasion (Doctor Who)

The Invasion is the partly missing third serial of the sixth season of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast in eight weekly parts from 2 November to 21 December 1968. It marks the first appearance of UNIT and, notably, Corporal Benton, later to become a Sergeant during the Third Doctor era.

046 The Invasion
Doctor Who serial
The Doctor and Tobias Vaughn
Directed byDouglas Camfield
Written byDerrick Sherwin, from a story by Kit Pedler
Script editorTerrance Dicks
Produced byPeter Bryant
Incidental music composerDon Harper
Production codeVV
SeriesSeason 6
Length8 episodes, 25 minutes each
Episode(s) missing2 episodes (1 and 4)
First broadcast2 November 1968 (1968-11-02)
Last broadcast21 December 1968 (1968-12-21)
 Preceded by
The Mind Robber
Followed by 
The Krotons

It was the first incomplete Doctor Who serial to be released with full-length animated reconstructions of its two missing episodes.


After escaping the Land of Fiction, the Doctor, Jamie and Zoe find that they have materialized near the Moon in the late twentieth-century. A missile is fired from the surface, forcing the crew to land the TARDIS in England. With the visual stabiliser damaged, the TARDIS is rendered invisible and they decided to head to London to find Professor Edward Travers for his assistance. Hitching a lift with a van driver, they learn of International Electromatics, a mysterious company which has become the world's leading electronics producer. Arriving at Traver's address, the crew learn he has left for America with his daughter, Anne, and left the house in the care of his colleague, Professor Watkins, and his niece Isobel. As the professor has gone missing working for International Electromatics, the Doctor and Jamie leave to investigate its head office. After being caught, they are brought to Tobias Vaughn, the company's Managing Director. He claims that Professor Watkins was at a delicate stage of his work and refusing to see anyone, though the Doctor notices unusual behavior and quickly becomes suspicious. When they leave, Vaughn opens up a section in his wall to reveal a Cyber-planner.

Shortly after their meeting, the Doctor and Jamie are abducted by two strangers and taken to meet their commanding officer, Alastair Lethbridge-Stewart. Having been promoted to Brigadier after their encounter with the Great Intelligence, he reveals that he has been placed in charge of a military taskforce called UNIT, which investigates unusual activities around the world. Currently investigating International Electromatics after multiple claims surrounding the organization, the Brigadier asks for their assistance, having lost contact with an operative investigating the company. Tired of waiting for the Doctor and Jamie to return, Zoe and Isobel leave to investigate the company on their own, only to be captured after Zoe destroys a robotic receptionist. The Doctor and Jamie follow them and are also captured, after noticing them being loaded into transportation cases.

Taken to the company's countryside base, the Doctor and Jamie meet Isobel's uncle, who is working on a "Cerebration Mentor" device, intended to be a teaching machine. The professor reveals that Vaughn is working with an unspecified ally and that they are planning to take over the world. After escaping from their security guards, the Doctor radios the Brigadier to rescue them and also locates Zoe and Isobel. During the investigation, Jamie finds a living creature in some kind of cocoon inside one of the containers. The Doctor and his companions escape via helicopter, but by doing so alert Vaughn that UNIT is a threat to his plans. Back at UNIT HQ, the Doctor investigates photos of UFOs near the factory and reasons that Vaughn's allies are alien invaders. Heading back to the factory to intercept one of the pods, he and Jamie witness scientists reviving one of the creatures from the cocoons: a Cyberman.

Further investigation by UNIT is stymied by the interference of a retired general at the Ministry of Defense, who is actually under Vaughn's hypnotic control. The Cybermen begin moving through the London sewers in preparation for the invasion. Hedging his bets in case he needs a weapon to maintain control of the Cyberman after they have arrived, Vaughn tests a prototype of the "cerebration mentor" machine on an awakened Cyberman. The Cyberman is driven insane by the emotional overload and flees into the sewers. Whilst the Doctor investigates an International Electromatics device, Isobel, Zoe and Jamie venture into the sewers to obtain proof of the Cybermen's presence on Earth. After becoming trapped between a group of normal Cybermen and the victim of Vaughn's tests, they are rescued by Captain Turner and a UNIT squad.

In order to circumvent Vaughn's plant at the Ministry of Defense, the Brigadier leaves to seek help from UNIT international HQ in Geneva. In his absence, Captain Turner arranges for professor Watkins to be rescued from International Electromatics to help the Doctor. Using accounts from the professor, they deduce that the Cybermen intend to send a hypnotic signal through the devices produced by International Electromatics, which will incapacitate the world's population and nullify resistance. In the nick of time the Doctor is able to protect his companions and their UNIT allies with specially-made depolarizers that neutralize the Cybermen's signal. As the Cybermen take over, the Brigadier arranges for the Doctor and company to be transported to UNIT headquarters in Geneva to help battle the invasion.

After completing production on more depolarizers, the Doctor leaves to confront Vaughn in London whilst UNIT works to stop the Cybermen. Uncovering the Russian's plans to launch a rocket at the ship sending the signals, Turner leads a squadron to assist them whilst Zoe helps the Brigadier predict the Cyberfleet's movements. Using British artillery, they are able to destroy the full fleet, causing the Cybermen to turn on Vaughn and decide to destroy Earth with a megatron bomb. When the Cyber-planner reveals that they no longer need Vaughn, he uses the "Cerebration Mentor" Prototype weapon to destroy it. With his plans ruined, Vaughn agrees to thwart the invasion and helps the Doctor locate the homing signal. With UNIT sending troops to help, they are able to defeat the Cybermen guarding the beacon and turn it off, though Vaughn is killed in an ambush. The megatron bomb is destroyed by an anti-missile defense rocket, while the Russian rocket destroys the Cybership broadcasting the hypnotic control signal, ending the invasion.

With repairs on the circuit completed, the Doctor, Jamie and Zoe return to the TARDIS, accompanied by Isobel and Turner. After finding the ship, the trio bid farewell to the two before dematerializing.


Originally The Invasion was going to be a six-part story called Return of the Cybermen. The character of Professor Travers (who appeared in the two earlier Yeti stories) was to have appeared for a third time, but the decision was made to replace him with Professor Watkins as using him would involve paying Mervyn Haisman and Henry Lincoln (who were against their characters' usage following The Dominators), although Travers is still referenced by name several times.[1] The sequence where Gregory describes UNIT's attack on an IE car and then is subsequently killed by a Cyberman was written into the script after time pressures prevented the production team from filming the car attack on location. (Ian Marter, however, did reinstate the lost car attack scene in his novelisation.)


Wendy Padbury does not appear in episode 3, as she was on holiday. Frazer Hines was on a scheduled break during the last episode but did appear in a pre-recorded film insert[2] at the conclusion.

According to Frazer Hines in an interview on the audio CD of The Invasion, Sally Faulkner's skirt kept getting blown up around her neck whilst climbing up the rope ladder to the helicopter. To avoid the same thing happening to his kilt, he remembered reading somewhere that The Queen had lead weights sewn into the hem of her skirt to stop this from happening to her. It so happened that Frazer's dresser was a keen fisherman, who sewed some lead weights into his kilt.

This was one of the first Doctor Who serials in which scenes were recorded out of order. This was due to the then-improved videotape editing technology.[3]


Due to director Douglas Camfield's refusal to use regular composer Dudley Simpson, Don Harper was hired to do the music for this serial. It would be Harper's only work with Doctor Who.

Cast notes

Kevin Stoney previously played Mavic Chen in The Daleks' Master Plan (1965–66) and would later play Tyrum in Revenge of the Cybermen (1975). Peter Halliday, who plays Packer, also supplied the voice of the Cyber-Director in all eight episodes of the serial, in addition to the Cybermen voices in the last four episodes. In addition, Halliday went on to do several other roles (both voice and acting) in several later serials in the series. Edward Burnham also portrays Professor Kettlewell in the Tom Baker serial, Robot (1974–75). Clifford Earl previously played the station sergeant in The Daleks' Master Plan. Sheila Dunn previously played Blossom Lefavre in The Daleks' Master Plan and would later play Petra Williams in Inferno. Sally Faulkner later played Miss Tremayne in the audio play Winter for the Adept. Ian Fairbairn had previously played Questa in The Macra Terror (1967) and would later played Bromley in Inferno (1970) and Doctor Chester in The Seeds of Doom (1976), both stories directed by Camfield.

Broadcast and reception

EpisodeTitleRun timeOriginal air dateUK viewers
1"Episode One"24:322 November 1968 (1968-11-02)7.3Only stills and/or fragments exist
2"Episode Two"24:269 November 1968 (1968-11-09)7.116mm t/r
3"Episode Three"23:4416 November 1968 (1968-11-16)7.116mm t/r
4"Episode Four"24:1823 November 1968 (1968-11-23)6.4Only stills and/or fragments exist
5"Episode Five"23:2530 November 1968 (1968-11-30)6.716mm t/r
6"Episode Six"23:207 December 1968 (1968-12-07)6.516mm t/r
7"Episode Seven"24:4614 December 1968 (1968-12-14)7.216mm t/r
8"Episode Eight"25:0321 December 1968 (1968-12-21)7.016mm t/r

^† Episode is missing

Paul Cornell, Martin Day, and Keith Topping in The Discontinuity Guide (1995) noted that the serial "shows the advantages of recognisable Earth settings" and described it as "an all action romp".[6] In The Television Companion (1998), David J. Howe and Stephen James Walker wrote that The Invasion was "one of the very best stories to feature the Cybermen", with praise for Stoney's Tobias Vaughn.[7] In 2009, Patrick Mulkern of Radio Times wrote that the story was plotted with "scarcely a dull moment", with the first four episodes "grippingly plotted" to lead up to the cliffhanger of the Cybermen. Mulkern also praised the dynamic and characters of the Doctor, Jamie, and Zoe, as well as Tobias Vaughn.[8] The A.V. Club reviewer Christopher Bahn said that the story's length allowed for "an awful lot of contrivance, drawn-out scenes, and running back and forth between locations with one group of characters just missing the other group", but it still remained enjoyable, especially because of Stoney's performance.[9] He also noted that "there's a tendency in this story to cut corners, sometimes forgivably and sometimes not".[10] Ultimately, Bahn felt that the story was more about Vaughn than the Cybermen and, like Mulkern, highlighted Zoe's character.[10] DVD Talk's Stuart Galbraith gave The Invasion a rating of three and a half stars out of five, noting that it borrowed from other science fiction tales and could have been shorter, but ultimately was entertaining and delivered an "atmospheric tale full of dread and high-tension suspense".[11] In 2013, Ben Lawrence of The Daily Telegraph named The Invasion as one of the top ten Doctor Who stories set in the contemporary time.[12]

Commercial releases

In print

The Invasion
AuthorIan Marter
Cover artistAndrew Skilleter
SeriesDoctor Who book:
Target novelisations
Release number
PublisherTarget Books
Publication date
10 October 1985

A novelisation of this serial, written by Ian Marter, was published by Target Books in May 1985. The novelisation restores material cut from the original shooting scripts including the UNIT raid to rescue Professor Watkins and Vaughn convincing Routledge to shoot himself. In this novel the Russian Air Base is named as Nikortny, a punning tribute to actor Nicholas Courtney.

Home media

As with many serials from the Troughton era, a complete version of The Invasion does not exist in the BBC's archives, as Episodes 1 and 4 were lost. However, their soundtracks survive, recorded off-air by fans at home.


The soundtracks for The Invasion and The Tenth Planet along with a bonus disc, The Origins of the Cybermen, an audio essay by David Banks, were released in a collector's tin called Doctor Who: Cybermen.


The story was released on BBC Video in 1993, with the missing Episodes 1 and 4 summarised on-screen by Nicholas Courtney.

In June 2006, the BBC announced that the animation studio Cosgrove Hall, who previously created the webcast Scream of the Shalka, had produced full-length animated versions of the two missing episodes. These episodes, along with newly remastered copies of the rest of the serial, were released on DVD on 6 November 2006.[13]


Re-recorded score

Cold Worlds
Soundtrack album by
Released6 June 2014[14]
LabelDual Planet
Doctor Who soundtrack chronology
Doctor Who: The 50th Anniversary Collection
''Cold Worlds''
Doctor Who: The Day of the Doctor/The Time of the Doctor

A re-recording of Don Harper's score for The Invasion was released 6 June 2014 on LP and 17 June 2014 on CD[14] by Dual Planet on LP and CD under the title Cold Worlds. Also included on the release are tracks by Harper used in Dawn of the Dead, and a 1973 recording of the Doctor Who theme music by Harper.[15][16]

Track listing

All tracks are written by Don Harper, except where noted.

1."Doctor Who Theme" (Ron Grainer arr. Don Harper) 
3."Moving Shadows" 
4."Dank Earth" 
5."Cold Worlds" 
7."Sinister Stranger" 
8."Twisted Mind" 
9."Troubled Mind – Torment" 

Original soundtrack

Doctor Who: The Invasion
Soundtrack album by
Don Harper
Released14 September 2018[17]
LabelSilva Screen
ProducerMark Ayres
Doctor Who soundtrack chronology
Doctor Who: Series 9
''Doctor Who: The Invasion''
Doctor Who The Five Doctors

Two of Harper's original tracks ("The Dark Side of the Moon" and "The Company") were included on the 4-disc edition of the album Doctor Who: The 50th Anniversary Collection,[18] with the 11-disc edition containing an additional two ("Brigadier-Lethbridge Stewart" and "Mysteries").[19] The complete original score, including unused cues and Radiophonic effects by Brian Hodgson, will be released on CD and LP in 2018.[20] The complete original soundtrack was released on 14 September 2018.[21][17] including Radiophonic effects by Brian Hodgson. It will also be released on LP 28 September 2018, omitting some effects.[22][23]

Track listing

All tracks are written by Don Harper, except where noted[17].

1."Doctor Who (new opening theme, 1967)" (Ron Grainer arr. Delia Derbyshire at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop)00:52
2."The Dark Side of the Moon (Music 2 Variation)"00:33
3."The Company (Music 7)"01:31
4."Hiding (Music 8)"04:54
5."International Electromatics Headquarters (Music 3)"00:16
6."Muzak" (John Baker at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop)02:46
7."The Cyber Director (Music 5)"00:08
8."The Cybermen, My Allies (Music 7)"00:27
9."Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart (Music 12a)"01:22
10."Plans for Invasion (Music 8)"01:25
11."Mysteries (Music 12)"01:33
12."Fire Escape (Music 11)"01:11
13."The Dark Side of the Moon (Reprise) (Music 2)"00:31
14."The Cybermen, My Allies (Reprise) (Music 7, looped)"01:07
15."Music 4 (Trapped in Gas Chamber - v. 1 & 2)"01:29
16."Music 9"02:20
17."Music 10"02:00
18."Music 13"00:05
19."Music 14"00:15
20."Music 15a"00:04
21."Music 15b"00:20
22."Music 15c"00:04
23."Music 15d"00:20
24."Music 15e"00:16
25."Music 15f"00:04
26."Music 15g"00:04
27."Music 15h"00:23
28."Music 16a"00:04
29."Music 16b"00:05
30."Music 16c"00:06
31."Music 16d"00:07
32."Music 16e"00:04
33."Music 16f"00:08
34."Music 16g"00:05
35."Part of TARDIS disappears" (Brian Hodgson at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop)00:25
36."All of TARDIS disappears" (Brian Hodgson at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop)00:24
37."TARDIS take off slow and painful" (Brian Hodgson at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop)02:13
38."International Electromatics Headquarters Exterior" (Brian Hodgson at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop)10:33
39."International Electromatics Headquarters Interior" (Brian Hodgson at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop)06:26
40."Computer" (Brian Hodgson at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop)00:21
41."Cyber Director Appears" (Brian Hodgson at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop)01:01
42."Cyber Director Constant" (Brian Hodgson at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop)02:37
43."Cyberman Brought to Life" (Brian Hodgson at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop)02:26
44."Cyber Invasion" (Brian Hodgson at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop)07:51
Total length:01:01:14


  1. Doctor Who – The Invasion (DVD). 2 Entertain Video. 2006.
  2. "BBC - Doctor Who Classic Episode Guide - The Invasion - Details".
  3. The Invasion DVD: Evolution of The Invasion
  4. "Ratings Guide". Doctor Who News. Retrieved 28 May 2017.
  5. Shaun Lyon; et al. (31 March 2007). "The Invasion". Outpost Gallifrey. Archived from the original on 18 June 2008. Retrieved 30 August 2008.
  6. Cornell, Paul; Day, Martin; Topping, Keith (1995). "The Invasion". The Discontinuity Guide. London: Virgin Books. ISBN 0-426-20442-5.
  7. Howe, David J & Walker, Stephen James (1998). Doctor Who: The Television Companion (1st ed.). London: BBC Books. ISBN 978-0-563-40588-7.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  8. Mulkern, Patrick (14 August 2009). "Doctor Who: The Invasion". Radio Times. Retrieved 6 April 2013.
  9. Bahn, Christopher (2 October 2011). "The Invasion (Episodes 1–4)". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 6 April 2013.
  10. Bahn, Christopher (9 October 2011). "The Invasion (Episodes 5–8)". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 6 April 2013.
  11. Galbraith, Stuart (14 June 2007). "Doctor Who – The Invasion". DVD Talk. Retrieved 6 April 2013.
  12. Lawrence, Ben (30 March 2013). "Doctor Who: the 10 best contemporary tales". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 21 April 2013.
  13. "Doctor Who ReAnimated!". 20 June 2006. Archived from the original on 20 July 2006. Retrieved 5 December 2007.
  14. "Don Harper – Cold Worlds (Cd)". Retrieved 22 May 2014.
  15. "Don Harper – Cold Worlds". Dual Planet. 2 May 2014. Retrieved 21 May 2014.
  16. "Dual Planet to release incidental music by Don Harper and Eric Siday". Doctor Who News. Retrieved 21 May 2014.
  18. "Doctor Who 50th Anniversary – Tracklisting". Doctor Who Music.
  19. "Doctor Who – The TARDIS Edition". Doctor Who Music.
  20. Ayres, Mark (22 February 2018). "Re: Silva Screen releases [Part Two]". The Doctor Who Forum. Retrieved 1 March 2018.
  21. "Doctor Who - The Invasion - Original TV Soundtrack". 14 September 2018. Retrieved 7 August 2018 via Amazon.
  22. Ayres, Mark (22 February 2018). "Re: Silva Screen releases [Part Two]". The Doctor Who Forum. Retrieved 22 February 2018.
  23. "Don Harper - Doctor Who - The Invasion (Original Television Soundtrack)". Silva Screen Music. Retrieved 24 August 2018.


Target novelisation

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