Dr. Who and the Daleks (film series)

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Dr. Who and the Daleks (film series)
Directed byGordon Flemyng
Produced by
  • Milton Subotsky
  • Max J. Rosenberg
Screenplay byMilton Subotsky
Based onDoctor Who by the BBC
The Daleks &
The Dalek Invasion of Earth
by Terry Nation
Starring
  • Peter Cushing
  • Roy Castle
  • Jennie Linden
  • Roberta Tovey
  • Bernard Cribbins
  • Ray Brooks
  • Jill Curzon
  • Andrew Keir
Music by
  • Malcolm Lockyer (1)
  • Barry Gray (electronic music;1)
  • Bill McGuffie (2)
CinematographyJohn Wilcox
Edited by
  • Oswald Hafenrichter (1)
  • Ann Chegwidden (2)
Production
company
  • AARU Productions (1)
  • BBC-TV Productions (1)
  • Amicus Productions (1-2)
  • British Lion Films (2)
Distributed by
  • Regal Films International (1)
  • Columbia Distributors (2)
Release date
1965–1966
Running time
166 minutes (both films combined)
CountryUnited Kingdom
LanguageEnglish
BudgetTotal (both films):
£466,000

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The Dr. Who and the Daleks film series is a series of two films based on the long-running British science-fiction television programme Doctor Who, specifically the two serials The Daleks and The Dalek Invasion of Earth, but with a larger budget and alterations to the series' concepts.

Premise[edit]

In the films, Dr. Who (Peter Cushing), travels the universe with his companions, which include his granddaughters, Barbara (Jennie Linden) and Susan (Roberta Tovey), his niece, Louise (Jill Curzon), Barbara's boyfriend, Ian Chesterton (Roy Castle), and policeman Tom Campbell (Bernard Cribbins) in Tardis, encountering a species of invasive alien cyborgs known as the Daleks, witnessing their battle with the Thals on the planet Skaro and their invasion of Earth in the year 2150.

Films[edit]

Film Release date Director Screenwriter Producer(s) Production company(s) Distributor
Dr. Who and the Daleks August, 23 1965 Gordon Flemyng Milton Subotsky Milton Subotsky and Max J. Rosenberg AARU Productions & BBC-TV Productions and Amicus Productions Regal Films International
Daleks' Invasion Earth 2150 A.D. August 5, 1966 Gordon Flemyng Milton Subotsky Milton Subotsky and Max J. Rosenberg AARU Productions & British Lion Films and Amicus Productions British Lion-Columbia Distributors
Cancelled third film Gordon Flemyng Milton Subotsky Milton Subotsky and Max J. Rosenberg

Dr. Who and the Daleks[edit]

Dr. Who’s (Peter Cushing) Tardis time machine takes him, his granddaughters (Jennie Linden, Roberta Tovey), and a friend (Roy Castle) to war-ravaged planet Skaro, home of the Daleks.

Daleks' Invasion Earth 2150 A.D.[edit]

Dr. Who, his granddaughter, his niece (Jill Curzon), and a London bobby (Bernard Cribbins) find that Daleks have invaded 22nd-century Earth and are turning humans in to slaves.

Cancelled third film[edit]

Other films in the series were also proposed, including a third film loosely based on the serial The Chase, but were cancelled due to the second film’s under performance at the box office.

Cast and crew[edit]

Cast[edit]

List indicator(s)

This section shows characters who will appear or have appeared in the Dr. Who and the Daleks film series.

  • An empty, dark grey cell indicates the character was not in the film, or that the character's official presence has not yet been confirmed.
Films
Dr. Who and the Daleks
(1965)
Daleks' Invasion Earth 2150 A.D.
(1966)
Dr. Who Peter Cushing
Ian Chesterton Roy Castle
Barbara Jennie Linden
Susan Roberta Tovey
Alydon Barrie Ingham
Ganatus Michael Coles
Dyoni Yvonne Antrobus
Temmosus Geoffrey Toone
Antodus John Bown
Elyon Mark Petersen
Thals Ken Garady, Nicholas Head, Michael Lennox, Jack Waters, Virginia Tyler, Jane Lumb, Bruce Wells, Martin Grace, Sharon Young, and Gary Wyler (uncredited)
Thal Child Michelle Scott (uncredited)
Dalek operators Bruno Castagnoli, Michael Dillon, Brian Hands, Robert Jewell, Kevin Manser, Eric McKay, Len Saunders, and Gerald Taylor
Dalek voices David Graham, Peter Hawkins (uncredited)
Tom Campbell Bernard Cribbins
David Ray Brooks
Wyler Andrew Keir
Louise Jill Curzon
Wells Roger Avon
Roboman Geoffrey Cheshire
Conway Keith Marsh
Brockley Philip Madoc
Lead Roboman Steve Peters
Thompson Eddie Powell
Dortmun Godfrey Quigley
Man on Bicycle Peter Reynolds
Man with Carrier bag Bernard Spear
Young Woman Sheila Steafel
Old Woman Eileen Way
Craddock Kenneth Watson
Robber John Wreford
Lead Dalek Operator Robert Jewell

Crew[edit]

Crew Film
Dr. Who and the Daleks
(1965)
Daleks' Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D.(1966)
Director Gordon Flemyng
Producer(s) Milton Subotsky
Max J. Rosenberg
Composer Malcolm Lockyer
Barry Gray
Bill McGuffie
Editor(s) Oswald Hafenrichter Ann Chegwidden
Cinematographer John Wilcox

Release[edit]

Home media[edit]

Dr. Who and the Daleks[edit]

Super 8 film

  • Released in the UK by Walton Sound and Film Services in 1977.

VHS

  • Released in the UK by Thorn EMI in 1982 and by Warner Home Video in 1988 and 1996.
  • Released in the US by Thorn EMI in 1985, by GoodTimes Home Video in 1989 and by Lumiere in 1994.
  • Released in Australia by Universal in 1990.

Blu-ray

  • The film, plus the Dalekmania documentary, released in the UK by StudioCanal in 2013.
  • Released in the UK by StudioCanal as a Zavi exclusive 'Steelbook' limited edition in 2015.
  • The film, plus the Dalekmania documentary, released in the US by Kino Lorber in 2020.

Daleks' Invasion Earth 2150 A.D.[edit]

Super 8 film

  • Released separately in the UK by Walton Sound and Film Services in 1977.

VHS

  • Released in the UK by Thorn EMI in 1982 and by Warner Home Video in 1988 and 1996.
  • Released in the US by Thorn EMI in 1985 and by Lumiere in 1994.
  • Released in Australia by Warner Home Video in 1990.
  • Released in Japan by King Video/Tohokushinsha Film Co. in 1992.

DVD

  • Released in Spain (as Los Daleks Invaden la Tierra 2150 AD, with original Spanish soundtrack) by Universal Pictures Iberia S.L.. in 2009
  • Released in Australia by Umbrella Entertainment in 2012 together with the Dalekmania documentary.[1]

Blu-ray

  • The film, plus the Dalekmania documentary, released in the UK by StudioCanal in 2013.
  • Released in the UK by StudioCanal as a Zavi exclusive ‘Steelbook’ limited edition in 2015.
  • Released in Australia by Umbrella Entertainment in 2014 together with the Dalekmania documentary.[2]
  • The film, plus the Dalekmania documentary, released in the US by Kino Lorber in 2020.

Both films[edit]

DVD

  • Released along with the Dalekmania documentary, in the US by Anchor Bay Entertainment as a boxset in 2001 and by Lionsgate as a two-disc set in 2012.
  • Released along with the Dalekmania documentary, in Australia by StudioCanal as a two-disc boxset in 2001.
  • Both films, plus the Dalekmania documentary, released in the UK by StudioCanal as a two-disc boxset in 2002 and 2006.

Blu-ray

  • Released in the UK by StudioCanal/Optimum Releasing as a two-disc box set in 2013.

Reception[edit]

Box office[edit]

Dr. Who and the Daleks[edit]

The film premiered in London on 23 August 1965.[3] The film was the twentieth biggest British box office moneymaker in 1965. It did not perform as well in the US, however, where the Doctor Who television series and the Daleks were relatively unknown.[4]

Daleks' Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D.[edit]

Daleks' Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D. did not gross as much as its predecessor, being a box-office bomb, which resulted in a third film being cancelled.

Critical response[edit]

Dr. Who and the Daleks[edit]

Halliwell's Film Guide described the film as "limply put together, and only for indulgent children".[5] John Clute, in the book Science Fiction: The Illustrated Encyclopedia, gives the film one star out of three, stating: "Many people would like to see the [Doctor Who] television series back; few mourn the long-gone films".[6] Radio Times was more favourable, awarding the film three stars out of five, commenting: "this spin-off lacks the bite and inventiveness that set the landmark series apart, unwisely injecting humour into the sparse scenario, and the cheap art direction is strictly '101 Uses for Pink Plastic Sheeting'. However, despite the many faults, it's still a fun ride for both the uninitiated and die-hard fans alike".[7]

In The Guardian in 2013, Stuart Heritage stated: "Cushing does his best, but he's not exactly given a lot to work with." He described the Daleks as "so pointlessly toothless here" and also criticised the "incredibly tedious" amount of Dalek dialogue to explain their motives, the portrayal of the Thals, and Roy Castle's performance, saying "to call him hammy would be to provide the greatest disservice to pigs."[8] Andrew Nette of the British Film Institute stated the film was "widely derided by many fans and critics", adding it is "certainly an uneven affair. Some scenes [...] still have the capacity to thrill. Others, like the final victory over the Daleks, feel rushed and flat. The Doctor's granddaughters are largely one-dimensional... The aspect of the movie that most antagonises purists is Cushing's Doctor." Nette described the film as having a "wonderfully pulpy sci-fi atmosphere", saying: "The highlight of the movie is its look... Many of the sets [...] are impressive" and "the movie Daleks are more impressive than their small screen counterparts".[9]

According to the BFI, the Cushing films "are often forgotten in the Doctor Who pantheon".[9] Similarly, Stuart Heritage commented in The Guardian in 2013 that "people don't talk about Dr Who and the Daleks any more".[8] In 1975, actor Tom Baker, who was playing the Fourth Doctor in the television series, commented on the flaws of the film and its sequel while discussing another proposed Doctor Who film, saying "There have been two Doctor Who films in the past, both rather poor... There are many dangers in transporting a television series onto the big screen.. a lot of things that you could get away with on the small screen wouldn't wash in the cinema."[10]

Daleks' Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D.[edit]

The film was given a negative review in The Times newspaper on 21 July 1966: "The second cinematic excursion of the Daleks shows little advance on the first... The filming of all this is technically elementary... and the cast, headed by the long-suffering, much ill-used Peter Cushing, seem able, unsurprisingly, to drum up no conviction whatever in anything they are called to do. Grown-ups may enjoy it, but most children have more sense."[11]

Alan Jones of the Radio Times gave the film three stars out of five in a retrospective review, stating "Independence Day it's not, but director Gordon Flemyng keeps the colourful action moving swiftly along to cheap and cheerful effect. Youngsters will love it, while adults will want to E-X-T-E-R-M-I-N-A-T-E Bernard Cribbins, who provides comic relief as the bumbling bobby. Yet, through all the mindless mayhem roll the ever-impressive Daleks, truly one of science fiction's greatest alien creations."[12]

In a review of the 2013 Blu-ray release, Starburst reviewer Paul Mount said the feature was "a leaner, slicker film than its predecessor, its bigger scale and lavish location filming giving the story room to breathe and allowing for some effective action sequences, such as the rebel attack on the impressive Dalek flying saucer."[13]

Music[edit]

Soundtrack[edit]

  • Daleks' Invasion Earth 2150 A.D.'s soundtrack was adapted and presented by Gordon Gow for radio broadcast on the BBC Light Programme on 18 November 1966 as Show 305 of the Movietime series. It was produced by Tony Luke.[14][15]
  • Music from both films was released by Silva Screen Records on a CD entitled Dr. Who & the Daleks in 2009, and was reissued 16 April 2016 as a yellow double vinyl LP, limited to 1500 copies for Record Store Day.[16]
  • Selected tracks from both films released by Silva Screen Records as a limited edition 7" EP in 2011.

Other media[edit]

Cancelled radio series[edit]

During the late 1960s, there were plans for a radio series starring Peter Cushing as the voice of Dr. Who. Under a collaboration between Stanmark Productions and Watermill Productions, a pilot was recorded and a further 52 episodes were to be produced. The pilot story (entitled Journey into Time) featured Dr. Who and his granddaughter travelling to the time of the American Revolution. The script was written by future Doctor Who TV series writer Malcolm Hulke. Although the recording was subsequently lost,[17] the script was novelised by Obverse Books in 2019.[18]

Documentaries[edit]

In 1995, a documentary about the two Dalek films, Dalekmania, was released on video. It revealed details about the productions, spin-offs, and publicity campaigns.[3] It was later included as an extra in many of the home media video releases of the two Dalek films.

Roberta Tovey appeared in the documentary, More than... 30 Years in the TARDIS, while also briefly reprising her role as Susan for a skit. Set in the Dalek-infested London of the 22nd century, the skit shows a Black and Red Dalek and two Robomen walking past Tardis, not noticing it. After they leave, the doors open to reveal Susan, grinning at her successful stealth. Following the skit, Tovey discussed a follow-up to the two Cushing films centering on an adult version of her Susan, having taken on her grandfather's mantle as an adventurer in time and space, these plans never materialised.

Literature[edit]

In addition to the two films, Dr. Who has appeared in a Dell comic book adaptation of the first film (1966), the Doctor Who Magazine comic strip stories Daleks Versus the Martians (1996) and Dr. Who and the Mechonoids (2022), and the short story The House on Oldark Moor by Justin Richards, published in the BBC Books collection Short Trips and Sidesteps (2000).

The films are referenced in Steven Moffat’s novelisation of The Day of the Doctor. In this story, the tenth and eleventh Doctors are stated to be fans of the Dalek movies and friends of Cushing. This was brought to the attention of UNIT when he started to show up in films made after his death.

Unofficial charity book series[edit]

Obverse Books have published a series of books featuring Cushing's Dr. Who character, starting with novelisations of the two films and continuing with "novelisations" of fictional films based on BBC Doctor Who serials. The book series also includes short story collections based on a fictional radio series, posited as a continuation of the unaired radio series pilot. The authors of these books prefer to remain anonymous, so various pseudonyms are used.[19]

  • Dr Who and the Daleks (2019, novelisation by "Alan Smithee")
  • Daleks Invasion Earth 2150AD (2019, novelisation by "Alan Smithee")
  • Dr Who and the Ice Men from Mars (2019, by "Alan Smithee")
  • The Tenth Planet Invades the Moonbase (2019, by "Alan Smithee")
  • Dr Who and the Yeti Invasion of London (2020, by "David Agnew")
  • Dr Who: Journey into Time (2020, short story collection edited by "David Agnew")
  • Dr Who and the Auton Attack (2020, by "David Agnew")
  • Dr Who and the Curse of the Dæmons (2020, by "David Agnew")
  • Dr Who: Escape to Danger (2022, short story collection edited by "Robin Bland")
  • Dr Who: Missions to the Unknown (2022, short story collection edited by "Guy Leopold")[20]

Relation to the Doctor Who television series[edit]

Though based on the series, the films were never intended to form part of the ongoing storylines of the television series. Elements and characters from the programme are used, albeit in re-imagined forms.

Dr. Who[edit]

Dr. Who (who's surname is clearly stated to be "Who" in both films) is an eccentric inventor who claims to have created a time machine, named Tardis, in his back garden.[21] He is a gentle, grandfatherly figure, naturally curious, sometimes absent-minded but not afraid to fight for justice, and is shown to have a keen and somewhat juvenile sense of humour, a strong sense of adventure, a will of iron and very strong morals, unlike the then current version of the character who was portrayed as an abrasive, patronising and cantankerous extraterrestrial.

Companions[edit]

In Dr. Who and the Daleks, Dr. Who travels with his two granddaughters: Susan and Barbara (who is not related to The Doctor in the television series), who are portrayed as much younger than their television counterparts. Ian Chesterton is depicted as a generally clumsy and comical figure and is Barbara's boyfriend, whereas version from the television series is older and more heroic, and his relationship with Barbara is more amicable and professional.

Tardis[edit]

Like in the television series, the exterior of Dr. Who's Tardis (not "the TARDIS", as referred to in the television series) resembles a British police box, but the films offer no explanation as to why it has this appearance. Other than using the contrivance of the craft's interior being larger than its exterior, the interior set bears no relation to the clean, high-tech TV version of the time. In the first film it is filled with a chaotic jumble of wiring and electronic equipment, replaced in the second film by a number of simple consoles adorned with buttons, gauges and lights.

Daleks[edit]

The movies used brand new Dalek props constructed by Shawcraft Engineering, while ones with integrally moulded shoulder collars, mainly used to make up numbers in crowd scenes, were produced by the Plaster Workshops at Shepperton Studios.[22] They borrowed the original design’s large, black bases and predominantly silver paintwork, with grey shoulders, natural aluminium collars and slats, blue hemispheres, and larger dome lights than their TV counterparts. The three Dalek leaders (shown in the second film), are painted respectively in gold, black and red. The Daleks exterminate their enemies using poisonous gas rather than a directed-energy weapon, and some also used mechanical claws in place of the standard plungers used in the series. The first film’s props were also bought by the BBC and used the television series’ serial, The Chase (which aired before the film’s premiere), and would later be used for the Doctor Who Comic Relief parody, Doctor Who: The Curse of Fatal Death. The second film also marks the first instance of the Daleks using rels as a time measurement, this would be used in comics and later, the revived series.

Cast members who also appear in the show[edit]

Peter Hawkins and David Graham also provided Dalek and other voices from the series, and Robert Jewell had operated Daleks and other creatures in the television series. Eileen Way appeared as Old Mother in the series' first serial An Unearthly Child and as Karela in The Creature from the Pit[23] Bernard Cribbins later appeared in the series' revival as Wilfred Mott, a supporting character in the 2007 Doctor Who Christmas television special, "Voyage of the Damned"; he then appeared in a recurring capacity as the same character for the 2008 series, as the grandfather of companion Donna Noble.[24] He became a Tenth Doctor temporary companion himself in "The End of Time", the two-part 2009–10 Christmas and New Year special. This makes him the only actor to have played two companions. Philip Madoc appeared four times in the television Doctor Who in different roles.

References[edit]

  1. "DALEKS - INVASION EARTH 2150AD". Umbrella Entertainment. Archived from the original on 2 April 2018. Retrieved 29 June 2018.
  2. "DALEKS - INVASION EARTH 2150 AD (BLU RAY)". Umbrella Entertainment. Archived from the original on 16 April 2018. Retrieved 29 June 2018.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Kevin Davies (director), John Farbrother (producer), Nick Elborough (editor) (24 July 1995). Dalekmania (Video). Lumiere Films. ASIN B00008T63Q. LUM2221.
  4. Bryce, Allan, ed. (2000). Amicus: The Studio That Dripped Blood. Stray Cat Publishing. pp. 32–36. ISBN 978-0-95332-613-6. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  5. Walker, John (1998). Halliwell's Film Guide (13 ed.). HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0-00638-868-5. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  6. Clute, John (1995). Science Fiction: The Illustrated Encyclopedia (1 ed.). Dorling Kindersley. p. 268. ISBN 978-0-77157-317-0. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  7. "Doctor Who and the Daleks". Radio Times. Retrieved 11 May 2013.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Heritage, Stuart (23 November 2013). "Dr Who and the Daleks recap: the non-canon version with doddery Doctor". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 October 2019.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Andrew Nette (2015). "Doctor who? Peter Cushing's Dr Who and the Daleks turns 50". British Film Institute. British Film Institute. Retrieved 8 April 2019.
  10. John Kenneth Muir (2008). A Critical History of Doctor Who on Television. McFarland and Co. p. 407. ISBN 978-0786437160. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  11. "Studio One (Tomorrow): Daleks - Invasion Earth 2150 A.D.". The Times. 21 July 1966. p. 17.
  12. "Daleks - Invasion Earth 2150 AD". Radio Times. Retrieved 11 May 2013.
  13. "Starburst Blu-ray Review: DALEKS - INVASION EARTH - 2150 AD (1966)". Starburst Publishing Limited.
  14. Pixley, Andrew (March 2005). "DWM Archive Extra: Daleks - Invasion Earth 2150 AD". Doctor Who Magazine. No. 354. Panini Comics. pp. 50–57.
  15. Pixley, Andrew (10 November 2004). "Doctor Who on Radio - Part One: 1966-1993". Doctor Who Magazine. No. 349. Panini Comics. pp. 26–27.
  16. "OST (1) - DR WHO AND THE DALEKS". Record Store Day.
  17. Foster, Chuck (2012-01-15). "Missing Radio Script Discovered". Doctor Who News Page.
  18. "Dr Who: Journey into Time". Doctor Who World.
  19. "The Cushing Doctor". Obverse Books.
  20. "10. Dr Who: Missions to the Unknown". Obverse Books.
  21. Norton, Charles (2013). Now On The Big Screen. Prestatyn: Telos Publishing. p. 17. ISBN 978-1-84583-084-7. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  22. Holliss, Richard (January 1984). "The Dalek Movies". Doctor Who Monthly. No. 84. Royal Tunbridge Wells: Marvel UK. pp. 20–34.
  23. "BBC - Cult - Classic TV - Century Falls (1993)". www.bbc.co.uk.
  24. "Into the Future!". Doctor Who Magazine. No. 386. 19 September 2007. p. 4.

External links[edit]


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