Doctor Who: Season 11, Episode 5

Invasion: Part One (12 Jan. 1974)

TV Episode  |  TV-PG  |   |  Adventure, Drama, Family
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 141 users  
Reviews: 3 user | 1 critic

The Doctor and Sarah return to London in the present day only to find the city strangely deserted, while nearby UNIT are dealing with a series of monster appearances.



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Episode credited cast:
John Bennett ...
Richard Franklin ...
Ben Aris ...
Lieutenant Shears
Dave Carter ...
Martin Taylor ...
George Bryson ...
John Caesar ...
R / T Soldier
Gordon Reid ...
Trevor Lawrence ...
Terry Walsh ...
Warehouse Looter
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Dick Mills ...
Dinosaur (voice)


The Doctor and Sarah return to London in the present day only to find the city strangely deserted, while nearby UNIT are dealing with a series of monster appearances.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis





Release Date:

12 January 1974 (UK)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


There is a longstanding fan myth that the master tape of this episode was wiped by mistake and had been confused with an episode of the Patrick Troughton serial The Invasion. In fact, the BBC issued specific instructions to wipe all six episodes of this serial just six months after the story's transmission; for reasons unknown, only this episode's master tape was wiped. See more »

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User Reviews

The 'story with the rubbish dinosaurs' actually has a lot of good in it but the ideas are rather ill-conceived.
14 November 2014 | by (South Wales, UK) – See all my reviews

Review of all 6 episodes:

The first episode is titled simply 'Invasion; Part One' so does not give away the content of the story. That works well as when the creatures appear late in the episode it would be surprising to an audience unaware of what to expect. The remainder of the story is given its full title of Invasion of the Dinosaurs. Many people know this story as 'the one with the rubbish dinosaurs' and it is used as an embarrassing example of poor special effects in the series. I do agree that the dinosaurs are very poor indeed, particularly the T- Rex which is simply awful. If this was re-released with the addition of well done CGI dinosaurs it would certainly improve the production and impact of many scenes. However, I try not to hold bad special effects too much against an old show. It is the bad idea of having dinosaurs in the first place that I hold against it. They are actually completely pointless and not very logical or sensible in how they are used by the villains. Therefore, to use them is purely for spectacle and novelty value. When they cannot have been certain (despite assurances from the company supplying the models) of good quality, they should never have included dinosaurs at all.

This same mistake was actually repeated in the first episode of the 12th Doctor, Peter Capaldi's era 40 years later with a pointless and illogical inclusion of a dinosaur for spectacle alone. Fortunately special effects are better nowadays but even if this was done with added CGI the dinosaurs in this story are, in my view, a mistake. That is not the only problem with the plot either as the time- altering aspect of the story is also illogical. It seems jarring that 1970s Earth scientists could manage to achieve the power of moving dinosaurs through time or returning the Earth to the state it was in millions of years ago. A more sensible and logical plot would have had a devious non-Earth villain providing the scientific know- how for this (as The Master used to be involved in many previous stories). It also would have been better to have alien monsters that could be easier to be better designed than the dinosaurs.

Saying all that I must point out there is a lot of good in this adventure. The acting, script and many scenes, especially in the first episode (where The Doctor and Sarah Jane find themselves in an eerily quiet London not knowing that dinosaurs have started appearing) are of great quality. It is only as the story goes on and the less logical aspects come to the fore that the overall quality diminishes but the dialogue and performances remain excellent throughout.

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