The Invasion - Original Television SoundtrackBookmark and Share

Friday, 2 November 2018 - Reviewed by Chuck Foster
The Invasion - Original Television Soundtrack (Credit: Silva Screen )
The Invasion - Original Television Soundtrack
Music by Don Harper and Brian Hodgson
Released by Silva Screen 2018
Purchase from Amazon UK
50 years ago (to this very day!) UK viewers were introduced to The Invasion on television featuring an evocative score by Australian composer Don Harper. 25 years ago the music tapes were provided to Mark Ayres for conservation and restoration. And this year that score has been released for us all to enjoy for the story's golden anniversary, thanks to Silva Screen!

The UNIT of this story reflects an organisation steeped in covert observation and infiltration, and Harper's score does much to evoke the "spy era" of the 1960s. If Derrick Sherwin had continued a little longer as producer, and director Douglas Camfield helmed the Spearhead From Space and again employed Harper, perhaps the look and feel of the UNIT "family" would have been much different? (his final two UNIT endeavours Terror of the Zygons and The Seeds Of Doom with Geoffrey Burgon also conjure up more mystery than the "friendly" Simpson-helmed stories). Some of those early elements do crop up in later adventures (such as Mike Yates at Global Chemicals in The Green Death and Harry at Think Tank in Robot), but in general its a much watered down version of UNIT who become more 'protect and defend' as the organisation developed under Barry Letts and Terrance Dicks.

What's quite surprising is how little music Harper actually composed for the story. In the sleeve notes Ayres notes how only some eleven minutes featured in total across the eight episods, but this is down to how memorable his themes are, especially in the early episodes as the mystery is set up. This CD also presents a number of additional cues/stings that were composed for the story but were not ultimately used.

The rest of The Invasion (and the CD) features additional electronic music composed by Brian Hodgson, which mainly accompanied International Electromatics scenes and the latter episodes as the Cybermen plans come to fruition, plus some incidental 'muzak' from Radiophonic Workshop stalwart John Baker.

This is the first time the full, original score has been released on audio; a few tracks were included on disc two of the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Collection, and many of the cues were reworked by Harper himself and released on an album New Decades (later included on a compilation of Harper's music released by Dual Planet in 2014, Cold Worlds).

However, the question is whether it is worth buying this new release if you have the others already? Well, as mentioned the latter album was a re-working of the orginal themes rather than hearing them as originally recorded, plus you get all the previouly unheard cues and the additional electronic elements from Hodgson, remastered under the ever-efficient hand of Mark Ayres.

All-in-all, I feel this is a worthy addition to the ever-growing collection of Doctor Who music that is now available from Silva Screen and, perhaps, a glimpse into what UNIT might have been like had it been more of a investigative organisation to what ultimately developed in the 1970s (or the eighties depending upon the dating protocol!)


(1968 ... 1993 ... 2018 .... so what's next for The Invasion in 2043?!!!)