Production Code: 4J
1 - 22/11/1975 17:45
2 - 29/11/1975 17:45
3 - 06/12/1975 17:45
4 - 13/12/1975 17:45
The TARDIS arrives on the planet Oseidon where the alien Kraals have created an exact replica of the English village of Devesham and its nearby Space Defence Station and populated it with androids in order to rehearse for an invasion attempt. A human astronaut, Guy Crayford, has been duped into collaborating with them.
The TARDIS travelson to Earth alone, and the Doctor and Sarah follow in Crayford's rocket, which is being used to carry the spearhead of the invasion force. The Kraals' chief scientist, Styggron, intends to release a deadly virus in order to weaken resistance to the forthcoming invasion.
On reaching Earth, the Doctor and Sarah try to convince UNIT troops at the Space Defence Station of the danger, but with the Brigadier away in Geneva, their attempts fall on deaf ears - Crayford is being hailed as a hero.
The Doctor uses the Station's transmitters to jam the control signals of the now active androids - including duplicates of himself, Harry Sullivan and RSM Benton - and prevents Styggron from releasing his virus. Styggron accidentally infects himself during a fight with the android Doctor and is killed.
The Doctor is captured trying to escape from the replica Space Defence Station but Sarah sees him being taken to a cell and creeps up to release him once the android guards have gone. Unseen by Sarah or the Doctor, a communicator on the wall swings back to reveal an alien face peering out at them.
The Doctor and Sarah return to where the TARDIS landed, but it has gone. The Doctor now knows that this is not the real Earth - and that his companion is not the real Sarah. He grabs her and, as she struggles to free herself, she falls over. The front of her face falls off to reveal that she is an android.
The Kraals are preparing Crayford's rocket to leave for Earth. The Doctor and Sarah hurriedly make their way on board, where they find pods containing androids. They start to move the androids out so that they can get into the pods themselves - otherwise, they will be crushed by the g-force on take-off. Sarah manages to get into one of the pods, but the rocket takes off and the force starts to crush her.
The Doctor and Sarah locate the TARDIS on Earth and depart.
Invasion of the Body Snatchers.
The Stepford Wives.
Pohl's Tunnel under the World; Star Trek (the mind probe in Errand of Mercy).
On waking up, the Doctor mixes up Chekov and Carrol.
The Doctor : [To one of the android drones with a finger-mounted gun.] "Is that finger loaded?"
Styggron : "The androids will disseminate a virus. It will cause a contagion so lethal, the Earth will be rid of its human population within three weeks, then it will burn itself out and the world will be ours."
The Doctor : "Once upon a time there were three sisters, and they lived in the bottom of a treacle well. Their names were Olga, Marsha and Irena... Are you listening, Tillie?... I feel disorientated."
Sarah : "This is the disorientation centre!"
The Doctor : "That makes sense."
The Doctor : "Let's try the pub!" [[Kraals drink McEwan's Export]]
The Doctor : "I will now activate the hostility circuits."
The Doctor : "If we can somehow lure that guard in, give him a good stiff jolt..."
The Doctor likes tea, muffins and ginger beer. He can survive high acceleration, and was unpaid when advising UNIT. Sarah has been a journalist for at least two years, hates ginger pop, and once came to Devesham on a story (to cover the loss of XK5).
Benton has a younger sister (they're ballroom dancing partners). The Kraals know of the Time Lords. The TARDIS is due for its 500 year service. The planet Oseidon has the highest natural radiation level in the galaxy, but an Earth type atmosphere, gravity, etc.
The Space Defence Station (British, rather than UN) is an installation against alien attack, the only one of its kind in the world. The Brigadier has an office there [as a courtesy on a liaison basis]. UNIT staff are on hand for the important event of Crayford's return.
The Senior Defence Astronaut is kept well informed, so much so that he knows that the Doctor is a Time Lord. Rockets can land and take off from the Station [suggesting that it's the British government's new direction for their space programme, an attempt to create a space borne complement to UNIT]. Space freighters were being tested two years ago [there must be space stations for freight to be moved to]. Humans have only got as far as orbiting Jupiter.
Oseidon, the Devesham Space Defence Station, [Friday July 1973: calendar in the Inn].
Untelevised Adventures: The Doctor once met the Duke of Marlborough.
Tom Baker had a bad throat while the location filming was being done, and his voice is much huskier than usual during these scenes.
Marshal Chedaki sounds almost exactly the same as Zippy from the children's television series Rainbow. Actor Roy Skelton provided the voices for both parts.
Like the Skystriker in the previous season's Revenge of the Cybermen, Crayford's rocket is represented by NASA stock footage of a Saturn V.
Ian Marter and John Levene make their final contributions to Doctor Who as, respectively, Harry Sullivan and RSM Benton (and their android doubles).
Patrick Newell, appearing here as Colonel Faraday, was better known as Mother in the espionage thriller series The Avengers.
This story was originally written to feature the Daleks rather than the Kraals. (It wasn't.)
The Doctor lets go of a branch and it slaps Sarah in the face.
A large piece of cardboard appears behind the pod for the Doctor to lie on.
The Doctor's robot detector in episode four would have been very useful earlier on.
The Kraal plan has several flawed aspects: their indestructible androids' faces fall off when they trip, and their complete memory prints don't include a dislike for ginger pop.
Why do the Kraals need the androids at all, as the virus will wipe out all human life in three weeks? [The virus canister breaks at the end and only Styggron is affected, so perhaps the virus has a tiny range, and has to be spread manually.]
The village, the Space Centre and all the people were copied from Crayford's mind, so why is there an android of Harry (he wasn't a member of UNIT two years previously), and why isn't there one of the Brigadier (who does, after all, have his own office at the Space Centre)?
Why do they need to destroy their duplicate village? Chedaki and the rest of the fleet are left unmentioned at the end of the story, especially odd since the Doctor says the Kraals could take Earth by force if they wanted to!
As the Daily Mail reviewer in 1975 wondered, how can the Doctor use his own android against Styggron if all the androids have been neutralized?
Crayford has never looked under his eyepatch to find his intact eye! (And nobody at Space Control notice this acquisition, either.)
In part four, an android version of Sarah appears just after the real Sarah runs off after being confronted by an android version of the Doctor by the TARDIS. When the android Doctor appears inside Space Control, this android Sarah has vanished, and never appears again in the story.
Styggron's silver Doc Martens.
The android mechanics' space helmets. 'I don't like the look of them,' says Sarah.
Cast & Crew
The Doctor - Tom Baker
Sarah Jane Smith - Elisabeth Sladen
Chedaki - Roy Skelton
Colonel Faraday - Patrick Newall
Corporal Adams - Max Faulkner
Grierson - Dave Carter
Guy Crayford - Milton Johns
Harry Sullivan - Ian Marter
Kraal - Stuart Fell
Matthews - Hugh Lund
Morgan - Peter Welch
RSM Benton - John Levene
Styggron - Martin Friend
Tessa - Heather Emmanuel
Director - Barry Letts