Monday, May 20, 2013

Doctor Who and The Daleks and Daleks: Invasion Earth 2150AD were two Doctor Who spin-off films made respectively in 1965 and 1966. When they were released, they were disowned by the BBC but they have just been released by StudioCanal on Blu-ray. Peter Cushing plays the Doctor, who is called Doctor Who here, and both scripts deal with the Daleks. The first one sees the Doctor  accompanied by his companions travel to Skaro, the planet of the Daleks, and become embroiled in a war between the dustbin-shaped aliens and the human inhabitants. Doctor Who and The Daleks is let down by a poor script and the fact that the costume design for the humans consists of some very sixties-looking eyeshadow and some cheap tunics and Roy Castle as the gormless Ian is very poor indeed. Cushing does look a little embarrassed on screen but it has a certain sort of period charm…
Daleks: Invasion Earth 2150AD, where the Doctor and his companions, which includes policeman Tom (Bernard Cribbins), find themselves on a future Earth ruled by the Daleks, is a little better. The Daleks have taken over a number of the human population to enslave the planet, with the eventual aim of transporting Earth through space to be closer to Skaro. The special effects look like they got change out of a fiver but for some reason, the second film feels a little closer to the TV series. Cushing seems a little more comfortable here and Cribbins is better than Roy Castle, who was in the first film, as a foil for the action.
Neither film is a work of genius but as a period curio, and for fans of Doctor Who who haven't seen them, they are worth checking out on Blu-ray, with reservations.

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