Doctor WhoMusic/Audio

Dalek Invasion Earth Boxed Set by Terrance Dicks and Malcolm Hulke (CD review).

This ‘Dalek Invasion Earth Boxed Set’ covers three different invasions of Earth with two different Doctors. It seems a shame nobody invaded while the Second Doctor was in charge but it looks like this was a scoop up of stories for a boxed set which doesn’t exactly show a great deal of thought. However, it’s pretty good value for a set of three multi-disc adventures and they are cracking ones.

Doctor Who And The Dalek Invasion Of Earth read by William Russell

This epic adventure is set on Earth post the Dalek invasion, another fixed point in history that the Doctor cannot interfere with. Much happens in this and it’s hard to take it all in, even from the detailed novel here voiced by Ian as survivor of his third (or more) encounter with the Daleks. Once again, the companions are split up from the Doctor and also, this time, we get divided loyalties and a decision that will change the travellers forever. Luckily, William Russell has the gravitas to pull off this story. At the back of my mind was the film version of this which mistakenly changed the lead characters.

Did I mention epic? This is grand in scale and you can see where ‘Survivors’ got its lead from post-apocalypse and the human race is surviving but there are all sorts of character traits coming to the surface, not just bravery and resilience.

The Auton Invasion read by Caroline John

‘The Auton Invasion’ based on ‘Spearhead From Space’ is a Third Doctor adventure and if you saw the opening episode of series 1 of the 9th Doctor you will recognise the enemy. Those of us who saw it the first time spent many years avoiding the windows of Burtons in the High Street.

This is an interesting story as it’s the first for the Third Doctor and even opens with the scene of the Second Doctor’s trial. His frantic acquisition of clothes in the hospital was recently used in the Eleventh Doctor regeneration as a nod to this classic scene. We meet the disgruntled Liz Shaw and once again we get a proper serious story. The Autons are a major threat and the country suffers from the invasion. Nothing is reset and the story is placed at the precise time it was broadcast. This makes it have much more of an impact and explains why I felt such disquiet over walking down that High Street. It does a good job of shaking up how we feel about authority and let’s not forget the Brigadier is back, too.

Rather sadly this is read by Caroline John. The three main actors have all now died and at least this forms a tribute to their work on the show.

The Dinosaur Invasion read by Martin Jarvis

‘The Dinosaur Invasion’ is the final series included in the boxed set. Again it’s the Third Doctor who along with Sarah Jane and the handy Venusian Neck Pinch sees off some very obnoxious creatures and some dinosaurs. Such fun! In another epic adventure, the whole of London has been evacuated because of the appearance of the creatures from the Cretaceous era. Caught unawares, the travellers are bound for a stay in a prison camp after being caught stealing a van full of fur coats.

Now you know if you didn’t already think, that ‘Primeval’ must have got its founding idea from this ‘Doctor Who’ adventure. As the creatures come and go with apparent ease, it is down to the Doctor and Sarah Jane to get to the bottom of the conspiracy. Being the paranoid seventies, it is of course the plotting at the highest level that forms the basis of the story.

This is read by Martin Jarvis who covers all the bases in voice talent. I can’t fault his delivery and the story is done justice by his presentation. ‘The Dinosaur Invasion’ is a bit loopy but would have been very ambitious on a limited budget and, of course, audio smoothes over all the flimsy special effects and scale of the original

These three stories, though not really connected as a set, do offer value for money if you want to stock up on audio adventures. They are all four discs each and that’s a whopping amount of listening time. They are read brilliantly by the three different readers

Sue Davies

November 2012


(pub: Audio Go/BBC. 12 CDs 790 minute story. Price: CD: £20.00 (UK))

read by: William Russell, Caroline John and Martin Jarvis

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