Doctor Who: The Invasion (part three)

As I’ve already written quite a lot about this serial and part three doesn’t honestly advance the story very much, let’s just pause and note just how very good Douglas Camfield’s direction is, and how entertaining Kevin Stoney and Peter Halliday are as the villains Vaughn and Packer. Tobias Vaughn is just a great, great villain. He’s finding all of this extraordinarily entertaining and amusing, and believes himself completely in control of the situation. This was the second time that Camfield cast Stoney in a Doctor Who serial. Camfield also cast him in a 1973 episode of the Thames TV police drama Van der Valk.

Packer seems to be a pretty good example of “the Peter Principle.” He must have been an efficient soldier or guard, once, but he’s promoted above his level of competency, and can’t quite balance his petulant bullying with the fear that his boss is going to fire him. When Vaughn does lose patience with Packer, it’s actually a little scary, because Kevin Stoney takes the character straight from “amused disdain” to “bellowing with fury.” They’re a great, and very real, double-act.

Of note in the cast this week: this is Edward Burnham’s first appearance in the series, as the imprisoned Watkins. He made a career of playing doctors, professors, Parliamentary under-secretaries, and the like. But we don’t get to see his niece or Zoe this week, as they’re being kept prisoner elsewhere, giving those actresses a week off. John Levene isn’t seen onscreen this episode, but he does radio in, so we do hear him.

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