Doctor Who Unit Files
Well 2Entertian have done it again. Much like
Earth Stories, the Unit Files slams two stories together one
of which is firmly set in the Third Doctor’s golden age of Unit stories
and thus earning the title. The other is a Forth Doctor story and
doesn’t even have the Brigadier in it; so how about we call it Almost
Unit Files, or Stories that feature Unit but you might be disappointed
This set starts out with “Invasion of the
Dinosaurs.” If ever there was a need for new special effects…
Let’s be honest, where this story is letdown and what
most people can’t see past is…..the Dinosaurs. Worse even than I
remember them being.
It’s...well the only word is laughable. Doctor Who
has often suffered from a plethora of doggy special effects over the
years, even the new series isn’t entirely immune to it…but this…well
just look at them!
Ok in many ways this story gets a bad rap. The story
itself, whilst convoluted is fairly good. It features some very cool
Sci-fi tropes such as; a mysteriously deserted London, a group of people
who think they’re on an interstellar voyage even though they’re not ,
the bringing of creatures from the past to the future, scientists who
are sick of the world we live in and want to bring back a “Golden Age”
by living in the time of the Dinosaurs. It’s not the best Third Doctor
story but it’s better than Terra Nova by a long shot; being genuinely
fun and funny and even at six episodes doesn’t feel too long (Which
isn’t something Terra Nova can boast).
The second story in the set is “The Android
Written by Terry Nation in his first non Dalek story
since the earliest days of Doctor Who this is another story whose plot
is that is thin on sense but manages to be a ripping yarn anyway.
Ok so there are these aliens and they want to conquer
the Earth because that’s what aliens do. So they build a near exact
replica of an Earth village; so it can’t be Real-estate they’re after.
They build androids and they make a virus that will wipe out humanity
because a significant trait of these aliens is their proclivity for
convoluted plans. These androids are exact replicas of real humans.
These arrive in pods and take over the lives of the corresponding human
because it’s important to these aliens that their plan resembles
Invasion of the Body Snatchers as closely as possible. Anyway, The
Doctor and Sarah land on this fake Earth and they bask in the creepy
atmosphere that this setup creates, till everything gets a bit silly.
And where it gets silly is the eye patch moment.
Guy Kreyford who is they aliens stooge thinks that the aliens have
patched him back together after an accident, but they couldn’t find one
of his eyes. Towards the end of the episode the Doctor tells him that
there was no accident and they did nothing for him, this leads to Guy
going to the nearest mirror and taking off his eye patch to reveal…duh
duh duh!....a perfectly good eye under his patch. This of course means
that he has not looked under the patch for the last two years, since the
aliens captured him.
This is but one plot hole in the story that is
entirely composed of plot holes and coincidences. But is entertaining
none the less.
Invasion of the Dinosaurs first episode doesn’t exist
in colour. But 2Entertian have done something that means that they can
extract a color signal from a non-colour source, something about croma
dots existing in once colored black and white material. And it
works…sort of. It’s not great but it is color in places and given what
they had to work with it’s pretty impressive. Other than a ropey first
episode, which does give you the option to view in black and white, it
The Android invasion looks ok, but have 2Entertain
stopped restoring mid 70’s Doctor Who?
Audio on both series is fine with little to recommend
and nothing to disparage.
Invasion of the Dinosaurs
– There’s some notes, they seem to be about the production.
Power, People and Puppetry
- A half hour look back at the production of the story with a surly
presenter who obviously isn’t a big fan of this story, Doctor who or the
art or presenting. Still it is informative and like a lot of these
features does paint a good picture of what was going on with Doctor Who
and indeed Britain at the time of production.
Doctor Who Stories: Elisabeth Sladen: Part One
– This seems to be taken from The story of Doctor Who
(2003), this is pretty good, Liz Sladen talking about her time on who,
telling stories. Her Australian Accent is worth the price of admission
Now And Then
– It used to look like this, now it looks like this….woohoo.
John Levene Commentary
– John Levene played Sgt Benton and seems to have gone a bit mad since.
Which makes for very interesting commentary.
Billy Smart's Circus
– A very
short shot of Jon Pertwee arriving at a circus in the Whomobile.
Life After Who: Philip Hinchcliffe
– I’m a great fan of Phillip Henchcliff but mostly his tenure as Doctor
Who’s producer which I think was the greatest era of the program.
Unfortunately this documentary picks up just as I lose interest.
advertisement from the 70’s for what is the British version of Weetbix
featuring a Dalek and a Doctor Who tie in.
The Village That Came To Life
total yawnfest that has so little to say it goes back to the pub where
the story took place and asks the children who were around at the time
what they remember, they don’t remember much.
– If the last feature got your blood pumping then you need to see this