Day: February 20, 2016

Doctor Who – tape 1738

You wait ages for some Doctor Who and three come along in quick succession. This time, more from UK Gold’s repeats, and we’re with Tom Baker this time, for The Invisible Enemy.

The story opens on a spaceship (a real one this time) with some grumpy crew, annoyed that they don’t get to fly it, because the computer’s in charge. It flies into an ‘unknown organism’ and the radio broadcasts the message ‘contact has been made.’

Nice mid-70s model work here.

Invisible Enemy model work

The Doctor and Leela are in the ‘No 2 control room’ for the first time in a long time since, presumably, the wooden control room was in use since Leela joined the show.

No 2 Control room

There’s more lovely miniature work, as the crew we saw earlier arrive at their destination.

Invisible Enemy miniature

The crew have been infected by something, and when they arrive on Titan they zap the existing crew. Then, quite shockingly, the Doctor is zapped by the same thing in the Tardis. Luckily, Leela is immune. She tells him that there is Evil outside the Tardis and tries to stop his going out.

When the Doctor meets the infected crewmen, he appears to be under the influence of ‘The Nucleus’, the organism that has infected the crew.

Michael Sheard makes yet another appearance in Doctor Who as the base administrator.

Michael Sheard in The Invisible Enemy

The Doctor is fighting the infection, and they take him to another outpost, where there’s an expert, Dr Marius. By this time, Sheard has been infected by the nucleus.

And this is where we first meet K9, who is Professor Marius’ computer assistant.

K9

The Doctor persuades Marius to clone himself and Leela, then uses a dimensional stabiliser to shrink both of them, and inject them into the real Doctor’s infected body. Cue a fantastic voyage… (as the UK Gold announcer also says).

The Nucleus, when they get there, is, frankly, disappointing. A black blob with a hairy crab claw.

The Nucleus

After their soul-searching dialogue, the Doctor and Leela’s clones self destruct – the clones could only exist for a few minutes – and the virus – the only instance of the virus it would seem, uses their proposed escape route through the Doctor’s tear duct (straight out of Fantastic Voyage) and is unshrunk, becoming, somehow, a prawn of some kind in the macroscopic world.

Macroscopic Nucleus

The Nucleus wants to breed more of his kind, so the Doctor has to stop him. Which he does with a strangely underwhelming fire effect.

Fire Bar

Not quite as much of a classic as Invasion of the Dinosaurs for me, but a solid enough story. I can’t help thinking the show didn’t always use Leela to best effect, though. There’s far too much here of her asking questions.

After the lest episode there’s a trailer for Horror of Fang Rock.

Then, there’s a bit of  The Late Show With David Letterman. He interviews a young cowgirl. Then some strange trails from whatever weird foreign satellite station was showing Letterman, and the tape ends.

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