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YMMV / Doctor Who S13 E4 "The Android Invasion"

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  • Better on DVD: A major plot point concerns a throwaway exchange about thirty seconds into the first episode (the Doctor casually offering Sarah a sip of his drink and Sarah turning it down). It's easy enough to remember that Sarah doesn't like ginger pop if you watched the whole thing in one sitting, but most viewers who weren't anorak-level Sarah fans would have been lost after waiting a week between episodes.
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  • Ham and Cheese: Tom Baker and Elisabeth Sladen hated everything they had to say and so rewrote all of their dialogue together. Both of them are clearly having a lot of fun.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • The rocket-launch Stock Footage used for the takeoff of Styggron's ship is the same clip that MTV used for its hourly station-identification in its early years.
    • Ater the Android Doctor is destroyed, fooling Sarah Jane into thinking the Doctor was dead for a moment, she tells him not to do anything like that ever again.
  • Idiot Plot: The story has a plot twist based around the idea that Crayford, a character who wears an eyepatch, actually still has a perfectly functioning eye underneath it without his knowledge. This would require him to never take his eyepatch off for years - not to clean it, not to sleep, nothing. The Doctor comes up with several incorrect theories regarding the events in the village - first that they've landed in the aftermath of a radioactive incident, then that there's mass hypnosis going on - which is quite unusual for him; Sarah forgets to tell the Doctor that the TARDIS has gone missing; and Styggron's "plan" is without doubt the most incomprehensible and random Gambit Roulette ploy any villain has ever attempted in Classic Who, which is saying something. The Doctor even speculates to an android Sarah about just one aspect of Styggron's plan (why's he bothering to create a simulated Earth village and fill it with android doubles if he could just wipe everyone out with a virus?) and the story never answers it. The DVD production subtitles spent a lot of time pointing out all of these plot holes and eventually conclude that Styggron is 'one of the most eccentric opponents the Doctor has ever faced... or else he's a twit'.
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  • Narm: Sarah nearly falls down a fairly nonthreatening embankment. Not as bad as what she'd have to deal with later, but it didn't come across as life threatening. Probably the best the location could offer and they made do.
  • Padding: All of the scenes developing the relationship between Crayford and Styggron were added to fill the serial's running time by Robert Holmes (and, since they're in a totally different writing style to Terry Nation, it shows). It has the side effect of making Crayford and Styggron's relationship come off as a bit weirdly sadomasochistic.
  • Uncanny Valley: Some of the androids qualify - the 'deactivated' androids with their flat expressions and staring eyes, the finger-gun androids with their slightly odd artificial hands, the android Doctor doing all the loveable Doctor tics but with dead, predatory eyes, and especially the android Sarah Jane when her face falls off and reveals a strange mechanical head with protruding eyeballs.
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  • Visual Effects of Awesome: The face falling off the android Sarah Jane. Not only is the effect one of the all-time behind the sofa moments, some very clever construction is used to make the servos look like they go right to the back of the head, and the eyeballs are mounted on stiff springs that twitch in a way frighteningly like natural eyeball flicker movement, making it seem like the android is still thinking and studying the Doctor as it turns its head towards him.
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