Daleks - Invasion Earth 2150 A.D. Reviews
It has an amazing cast, tonnes of action and explosions, and follows the TV serial very well, whilst still being different.
Although it was poorly received when originally brought out, I think it is a wonderful movie that shouldn't be forgotten.
For instance, why did the makers of this film toy around with the Doctor Who mythology?
My brother, a friend of ours, and myself, sat picking at the various plot inconsistencies. For instance, one character says,
"We'll never defeat the Daleks."
Then, another character destroys a Dalek by pushing it down a ramp, causing it to explode.
Why, (apart from budget constraints) if this film was set in the future, did everything look so 1960s?
At least, unlike other sci fi from this period, no characters were wearing velour, or metallic looking outfits.
Terry Nation's television story saw the human race in tatters, a situation that eerily recalled the London Blitz. It's a doomy, terrifying and epic tale that splits up the main foursome and sends them all over Britain, encountering the best and worst of humanity as drawn out by the Daleks. There's a real feeling that they might not meet up again, and if they do, they won't be quite the same. It's a landmark in the programme's history.
The second Dalek film, based on this, is less good. This won't come as a huge shock if you've seen the first one, which took the first televised Dalek adventure and surgically removed the excitement.
The opening scene is quite exciting, at least. Policeman Tom Campbell (Bernard Cribbins) stumbles on a robbery, and staggers to get help from a nearby police box. Unfortunately for him, it's the TARDIS. (Parked on a street corner and unlocked, so this sort of thing was bound to happen, really.) This opening is slightly grittier than you'd expect for a whimsical sci-fi movie - apart from a ghastly comedy look-to-camera from a bystander - and it's a good, memorable start. Just thought I'd mention it. Hold that thought. Ahh.
Anyway, Tom meets the Doctor (Peter Cushing, who still insists on calling himself "Dr. Who"), Susan and Louise. (No explanation is given for who Louise is, or where Ian and Barbara have got to. But this isn't an issue really, as Louise doesn't do anything of note in the entire film. Forget I mentioned her.) So, the Doctor really wants to go to the year 2150. No explanation is given, and off they go, encountering a world ravaged by war. Events rumble along much faster than they did on television, and with much less impact. For example: in the film, the Doctor and Tom discover a brainwashed Roboman standing dead between some boxes (no explanation), while on television we first see one twitching, wandering mysteriously towards the Thames, and then to his death. Which works better? Tell me honestly.
Most of the same events occur as in the original story, but they just thud dully into place. Characters once again dispense major plot points like they're reading their shopping lists. We never get to know anyone, including the regulars. Tom is fairly likeable, but that's mostly just Bernard Cribbins' natural affability. Peter Cushing, whose wig doesn't fit, rarely enlivens things, but that's par for the course when you take a time-travelling alien and turn him into just some eccentric old Granddad. Oh, and the emotional peak of the story - Susan leaving to pursue a relationship - no longer exists, as Susan is still being played by tiny Roberta Tovey. You might think they'd transplant the subplot to Louise, giving her some kind of purpose in the story at least, but no. See, it's all brains, this screenplay.
The Daleks are their usual charming selves, accompanied by the supposed-to-be-quite-sinister Robomen. They'd work better if an extended comedy sequence with Tom didn't totally hollow out any of their threat value, and if it was remotely explained that once a person is turned into one then they're stuck like that forever. This point made them both scary and tragic in the original story, so of course it's got no business here, where they're reduced to a bunch of average-looking blokes in silly PVC outfits, marching out of time. Sigh.
The production values range from more impressive than the TV series to the same, or worse. The Dalek spaceship looks a lot less Ed Wood than it used to, but it's still held up by visible strings. The Dalek operators don't seem to know what they're doing half the time, occasionally pointing their eye-stalks at the wrong things and getting stuck on the sets. And is it me, or does the use of fire extinguisher foam as the main Dalek weapon just get less and less scary? Half the time it looks like they're just enthusiastic about fire prevention.
As with the last Dalek movie, there's simply nothing here - besides a few bright colours - that in any way improves on the source material. In fact, it's considerably worse. Apart from Bernard Cribbins (who is less inyerface slapstick than Roy Castle), Andrew Keir (who sparks more interestingly off Susan than the rest of her family) and Philip Madoc (as a Dalek turncoat), there's little to even remember about it. So once again, and what a big surprise: skip it, and watch the proper one instead.
Who really steal the show are The Daleks they look big great and colourful and in my opinion the definite design better than the TV Show, I love that Iconic scene of the Dalek gliding out of the Thames, what an entrance! The movie has its small faults (the roboman comedy scene and the flying saucer on wires) but who cares it is just a fun picture and is superb example of 60s cinema when Doctor Who was at its peak. I know it is not a favourite with Doctor Who geeks because it is different from the TV Series and the Doctor is Human or some other bollocks like that, So Bloody what itā(TM)s a great movie shame there were only two.
Cheers for the heads up Tony.