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Digital Subscriptions > Doctor Who Magazine > The Essential Doctor Who: Invasions of Earth > Everybody Wants to Rule the World

Everybody Wants to Rule the World

Many have tried to take over the Earth; many have failed. But what’s the appeal? And what can any would-be conqueror learn from these failures?

There’s more to taking over the Earth than simply planting your flag in its soil and telling a bunch of Earthling bystanders that you claim the planet, plus its moons and satellites, for the greater glory of your intergalactic empire.

Commander Linx (Kevin Lindsay) of the Fifth Sontaran Space Fleet learned this to his cost, after crash-landing in Wessex circa 1200 AD (in The Time Warrior, 1973-74). For one thing, Earth’s revolting natives – in this instance, a robber baron named Irongron (David Daker) and his assembly of cut-throats – have a habit of revolting against you, sooner or later. For another, you might find even such a limited incursion halted by the intervention of a Time Lord who sometimes claims to be the planet’s protector. No, if you’re going to invade the planet Earth, you can’t do it on the fly. You’re going to need a plan…

A publicity shot of Kevin Lindsay as Commander Linx in The Time Warrior (1973-74).

Of course, at the time of Linx’s landing, the Sontarans believed the Earth to be a “hole in space”, with neither military value nor strategic significance. By the dawn of Earth’s twentieth century, all that would have changed. By then, the Sontarans’ sworn enemies, the Rutans, planned to station their mighty battle fleet on Earth, using the planet as a launching point for their “final assault on the Sontaran rabble” – at least, according to the Rutan scout whose temporary takeover of an English lighthouse was halted by the above-mentioned Time Lord (in Horror of Fang Rock, 1977). Now, both powers sought to claim Earth for its strategic importance – which is why, when the Sontarans returned 100-odd years later, they came armed with a plan: to fit atmosphere-converting devices inside as many of the Earthlings’ personal vehicles as possible, so the planet could become one enormous hatchery for their clone troops (in The Sontaran Stratagem/The Poison Sky, 2008). But again, they were defeated by a combination of native rebellion and renegade Time Lord intervention.

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About Doctor Who Magazine

This essential guide celebrates Doctor Who’s most renowned invasion episodes. Interviewees include Anna Barry (Day of the Daleks), Ray Brooks (Daleks’ Invasion Earth 2150 A.D.), Johnny Byrne (Warriors of the Deep), Michael Ferguson (The Seeds of Death), Peter Harness (The Zygon Invasion/The Zygon Inversion), Douglas Mackinnon (Flatline), Victor Pemberton (Fury from the Deep), Toby Whithouse (The Vampires of Venice) and Jon Davey (Rise of the Cybermen/The Age of Steel). Plus, there are rare images, a tribute to Nicholas Courtney, Terry Nation’s original storyline for The Dalek Invasion of Earth, details of Jon Pertwee's unmade story The Spare-Part People and much more!