In the mid-1960s, with Dalekmania sweeping Britain, BBC TV's Doctor Who materialized on the silver screen. Doctor Who and the Daleks replaced William Hartnell with Peter Cushing and remade the Daleks' TV debut with a much ... more »bigger budget in Technicolor and Techniscope. With his two granddaughters, Roberta Tovey and Jennie Linden (and Roy Castle along for comic relief), the Doctor becomes an intermediary in a conflict between the robotic Daleks and angelic Thals on the almost-dead world of Skaro. A huge hit on release, the film remains an enjoyable, well-produced family adventure, though somewhat lacking the menace of the TV original. Daleks: Invasion Earth 2150 A.D. remakes the second Dalek TV serial and finds the Doctor and companions in a ravaged future London where a resistance movement has literally gone underground to fight the Nazi-like alien invaders. Peter Cushing once more makes a kindly, dependable Doctor, though Bernard Cribbins is given a cringe-making comedy routine impersonating a "roboman," and the jazzy soundtrack is wildly out of place. Nevertheless this is a superior sequel, offering lavish production values, better action set pieces, and a higher suspense and fear factor than its predecessor. The best moments remain surprisingly chilling even today. The three-DVD set includes Dalekmania, a fun, very well made 1995 documentary running 57 minutes and recounting the production of both feature films. Included are interviews with various surviving cast members. Doctor Who and the Daleks--the first disc--has an affectionate commentary track with Roberta Tovey and Jennie Linden, hosted by Jonathan Southcote, author of The Cult Films of Peter Cushing. Sadly Daleks: Invasion Earth 2150 A.D. has no substantial extra features, but both films include the respective trailer presented anamorphically enhanced and a DVD-ROM reproduction of the relevant movie brochure. The mono sound is good and the sharp, vibrant, anamorphically enhanced 2.35:1 transfers are all but flawless, making both films look good as new. --Gary S. Dalkin« less
Sarah Hadley | Murfreesboro, Tennessee USA | 11/23/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I have a sort of love/hate relationship with these films. As a tried-and-true fan of the TV series, I always feel a little bit like they're "not the real thing", just "trying to make some cash" - a fairly common attitude for a fan. And that's exactly why they were made...but really, don't they deserve a place in Doctor Who history, too? The first film is admittedly one I have never been enamoured of. It's very, very sixties - the pink plastic set, the Thals' makeup, the wild Dalek colour schemes, and the corny humour all contribute to a definite feeling of kitsch. I have to be in a very certain frame of mind to enjoy it. The second film is, in my opinion, much more entertaining. There's real tension and horror in the situations presented, and it compacts the story nicely from the TV serial's 150 minutes to the film's 84. Both the Daleks' colour schemes and Cushing's performance are more subdued, and the flying saucer is very cool. I'd much rather watch this than the TV version, 'The Dalek Invasion of Earth'. Both movies are presented anamorphically in their original aspect ratio of 2.35:1 - a real revelation to me, as I expected the traditional 1.85:1 or even 1.66:1. The transfers are just gorgeous, boasting a remarkably clear picture and strong, vibrant colours, including very true blacks. If you've only seen the films on pan 'n' scan video, you just haven't seen them! There is some grain evident in the picture - more noticeably in "Daleks - Invasion Earth", thanks to the extensive outdoor scenes - and the occasional shimmering suggestion of edge enhancement, but the films really look extraordinary for 35-year-old pictures. I don't know who remastered them, but clearly work has been done. Very nice indeed. Unfortunately, I can't give a completely clean bill of health to the films. Regrettably, Anchor Bay was provided with the wrong edit of "Daleks - Invasion Earth". This causes the film to open with the title sequence, followed by the pre-credits robbery scene. It's terribly obvious, since the scene ends with a musical cue leading into the titles, and you can't even correct it with the memory function on your player (although the titles and robbery are different chapters, each ends with the fade-up from black to the next scene). I fervently hope Anchor Bay takes action to re-release the film in its proper form. Both discs include a nice smattering of extras, including their original trailers, a "History of Doctor Who" text essay, extensive photo gallieries, and an in-depth biography of star Peter Cushing. "Dr. Who and the Daleks" also includes a commentary with actresses Jennie Linden (Barbara) and Roberta Tovey (Susan), monitored by journalist and Cushing film historian Jonathan Sothcott. The pace of the commentary is leisurely - perhaps too leisurely - and the discussion is often very generalised and anecdotal. It's a fun commentary, yes, but nowhere as good as those on the BBC's "Doctor Who" discs. Take it for what it's worth, enjoy 83 minutes with some very friendly people, and then realise you'll probably never choose the 'Commentary' option again. The third disc contains the 1995 documentary "Dalekmania". Containing interviews with many of the actors and actresses involved, as well as Dalek creator Terry Nation, stuntman Eddie Powell, and others, the 57-minute film is a wonderful companion to the two Dalek pictures, and very much in the vein of Kevin Davies' other, better-known Doctor Who documentary, "More Than 30 Years in the TARDIS". Pleasantly, he transfer for "Dalekmania" is equal to that of the two films, with a bright, vivid picture marred only by a bit of grain. It's really nice to see it treated as well as the main attractions, as I had imagined a more VHS-quality print. Overall, this 3-DVD set went far and beyond my expectations. The only thing that could make it better, in my opinion, is if Anchor Bay issued a corrected version of "Daleks - Invasion Earth 2150 A.D.", and replaced those discs already purchased. I highly recommend the set or the individual discs to any fan of the Dalek movies, as well as "Doctor Who" fans who haven't yet tried the films - this is definitely the way to see them! Maybe DVD release will finally bring Peter Cushing's portrayal of the Doctor, and the Dalek films as a whole, the respect they deserve."
Lots of lovely Daleks
Sarah Hadley | 11/20/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I give this package a 5 star rating, although I could suggest a couple of improvements.Of course the movies were made in the mid 1960s and they are as they are. The picture quality on these DVDs is excellent. The colours are brilliant, although the sets in the first one still look studioish - albeit more solid and expensive than the TV sets.I think Peter Cushing makes a great Doctor and there are plenty of Daleks of various shades, though now, more than 35 years on, I don't find the Daleks as scarey as I did when I was eight years old.The third disc, Dalekmania, is a documentary from 1995. This is the area where improvements could be made. It would be good if there had been some coverage of the TV series and an exploration of the anatomy of a Dalek. While the interviews are interesting, there are a lot of clips taken from the two movies, which are already included in the set.My biggest complaint - The wonderful 'Dr. Who' theme tune and the very wierd noises of the TV series are not here."
When is Dr Who not Dr Who?
Kathleen Cobcroft | Australia | 11/15/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Dr Who and the Daleks and Invasion Earth are two films made for cinema release during the height of the Dalek mania. This is *not* the Dr Who of the television series - this Doctor has been doctored to appeal to "families," so... he's a human (admittedly a rather odd one) with a family which includes a rather cute little girl-genius. The actor playing the Doctor wasn't available at the time of shooting (too busy with the series), so he was replaced by Peter Cushing - a well-known horror movie actor.With the higher budget of a film, they were able to do some spiffy special effects (unfortunately campy by today's standards) and created some fine Daleks which were later borrowed by the tv series."Dalekmania" is a really interesting feature about the Dalek fad. It features interviews with cast members from the films, and shows lots of wonderfully silly merchandise that was sold. (I want some! It's hilarious!)Good for the completist Dr Who fan, but expect to get a much sillier Dr Who experience than usual."
Matthew L. Roffman | Smyrna, GA USA | 12/27/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Although it isn't listed on the Amazon description. the "Dr. Who and the Daleks" DVD has a commentary track featuring the two female stars of the movie and a Peter Cushing expert. I'm glad they managed to work in a commentary track on at least one of these DVD releases although it would be nice if they had done both movies. The Dalek documentary is fairly interesting as well. The thing I always ask myself when I see these sorts of things is "Where are all these Dr. Who enthusiasts?". You don't see them like you used to. Maybe I'm just too young and missed the boat or something. Dr. Who and the Daleks is a slightly different and upgraded version of the original Dalek story. Peter Cushing is an elderly man named "Dr. Who" who lives with his two granddaughters and invented a time machine in his back yard. While showing it off to his grand daughter's date (Ian) they are all accidentally sent to another planet where they meet the Dalek's. An alien race that was so mutated by a great war that they had to build special machines to live in. They are now evil and bent on destruction of all non Dalek life forms. This movie has a lot of great visuals but can be difficult to watch by even the most hardened Dr. Who fans. Dalek Invasion of Earth 2150 AD is also an altered version of an original Dr. Who story. The Dr. and his granddaughters pick up a different male companion and end up on earth in the far future where the Dalek's have conquered the planet. With a little ingenuity and dumb luck they free the earth from the Dalek's tyranny. This movie, while again having pretty good visuals, is even more difficult to watch than the first. But it has it's moments. My favorite scene is at the beginning when the police man stumbles into the Tardis. I'm a little upset because I recall this scene as originally being before the opening credits (at least that's where it is on the video release) which added a lot more drama and excitement to the movie as a whole. Also, somehow the Doctor manages to return the officer back to before the time he was taken which is a paradox that makes absolutely no sense. Dalekmania, while being a cheap and boring documentary, gives some good insight into the whole Dr. Who film phenomena thingy. You learn some interesting tid bits like they wanted to make a 3rd movie for about 20 years after the release of the 2nd film. They considered everything from adapting the 3rd Dalek storyline "The Chase" to making a Dalek movie without the Doctor at all. Bottom Line... I like this collection but I recommend it ONLY for people who are big Dr. Who fans or big Peter Cushing fans."
Doctor . . . WHO?
Timothy E. Jones | Phila., PA USA | 05/21/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"These two movies, dispite the fact that they are compiled from two sets of multi part episodes with characters and events shuffled around are actually quite enjoyable.The First "Dr. Who & The Daleks" places an absent minded professor and his family on a planet in the far distant future where the first of two races gets around in a machine known as a Dalek, very deadly and very strange. The second race are the Thals who abhore violence and war, but are forced to wage a new war against these Daleks, knowing that only one race can survive.In Daleks Invasion Earth, another story loosely based on the Dr. Who serial by the same title, places the Daleks on Earth 200 some odd years in the future, where they have robotized the human race into a type of slave labor, but fortunately, the Doctor and his friends come across an underground who they help.Originally, there were were supposed to be several more Dr. Who movies, but several factors shut down the concept, first: Peter Cushing's health wasn't at its best, the second movie wasn't as widely accepted as the first, amongst other things. Other movies whics were supposed to be made were: The Daleks Masterplan & the Chase.For fans of the series, who can apprieciate the differences, some major, some subtle, this is for you. For fans of 60's sci-fi movies, this is for you, if you are followers of Peter Cushing or Roberta Tovey this set of movies are for you. There are actually very few I wouldn't reccommend this movie to, it has something for everybody."