Thomas E. O'Sullivan | Knoxville, Maryland United States | 11/21/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"As fans of DOCTOR WHO will tell you, DR. WHO AND THE DALEKS with Peter Cushing is less about DOCTOR WHO than the DALEKS - and that's exactly how it should be. A vivid full color, widescreen adpatation of Terry Nations script THE MUTANTS (commonly known now as THE DALEKS) for the DOCTOR WHO television series, this is a bright and entertaining film that manages to skirt the line of family fun with the stark horror of the Daleks. A clean and clear transfer of the film, coupled with solid sound and excellent menus is accented with a host of speical features - the best of which is the entertaining feature length commentary with Jennie Linden (Barbara) and Roberta Tovey (Susan) moderated by Jonathan Sothcott which goes into the background of both the movie, the series it was based from and all the actors involved. Not to be missed. For fans of the series, DR. WHO AND THE DALEKS is a must for any collection, for the casual viewer, it's a timeless piece of sound and fury which will not disappoint."
It's a Dalektable lark
Armchair Pundit | Durham City, England. | 02/13/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This 1965 film and it's 1966 sequel "Daleks-Invasion Earth 2150 A.D.". Were made cheaply and quickly to capitilise on the immense success the Daleks were having on the kids of Britain at that time.(Myself included) You could buy Dalek toys, sweets, wallpaper, Pyjamas and slippers, sounds familiar doesn't it? The reason the Doctor was changed to an eccentric "Professor type" from an Alien were for reasons of simplicity. At that time the Doctor Who TV show was not playing in as many countries as it is now, so no complicated and time consuming back story would be needed. Plus it made audience identification that much easier with the various members of the cast. (The only demographical group missing from this Tardis crew is an ethnic one, but it was the much more free sixties afterall.) ~~~~ The producers, Subotsky and Rosenberg approached the BBC to see if they could use the TV show's distinctive theme music and opening graphics, but due to the high price the Beeb wanted, that idea was dropped. This film is an edited version of the first Dalek story shown on TV in 1963, with marginally better production values, and did much better at the box office then the more action orientated sequel. As a long time Doctor Who fan,(Episode six,Dalek Invasion of Earth, December 1964 was my first episode.), I have to admit the Daleks in these films are a long way more visually impressive then they were on the TV show. Happy memories, I can still remember my Mother taking me to the Pictures to see this Movie and the sequel. Both films were made for a family audience, so get a big tub of popcorn, lower the lights, and watch them with your children! (To see who the real stars are in this film notice the size of text "Doctor Who" get's compared to "The Daleks" on my house poster picture!) ~~~~ Who-Trek connections:~ The actor Barry Ingham who plays Alydon the Thal in this film, plays Danilo O'Dell in the second season Star Trek next generation story, Up the long ladder."
First Cushing film is entertaining 60's sci-fi.
Daniel J. Hamlow | Narita, Japan | 01/01/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The first Dr. Who movie tie-in, a remake of the second story in the TV series, is a worthy step in trying to duplicate the TV series to the big screen. It was in colour, it had some well known names (Peter Cushing, Roy Castle, Barrie Ingham), and with a bigger budget.Peter Cushing's the typical absent-minded professor, and a gentle fellow, compared to the irascible William Hartnell.
In contrast with Carole Anne Ford's portrayal, Roberta Tovey's Susan is more a person of action, brave, someone with more initiative. She's the one who snatches the box of phials, beating an indecisive Ian to the punch, and she also walks out of the Daleks' cell in order to retrieve those phials. Not bad for someone in her pre-teens.The twin dynamics here are interesting as well. Susan shares her grandfather's spirit of adventure, while Ian and Barbara are the cowardly lions. As a result, Cushing and Tovey work together superbly and are the more watchable pair of the quartet.Roy Castle's Ian is a far cry from William Russell's. Ian here is a clumsy clod, nearly sitting on the chocolates he brings Barbara, who's his girlfriend in this story, and also hopelessly stupid. The scene of him trying to get a pair of doors open in the Dalek city makes one think how hapless he is. And talk about being a coward! When the Thal party he is with says they must climb up a mountain, he exclaims, "Climb?" before quickly recovering with, "I was only thinking about Barbara." Sure you were, sissy!The interior of the Dalek city is impressive, with bright yellow-orange colours. And they must have had some Earth influence--there are lava lamps visible when Susan writes her letter to Alydon.This was more of a challenge, condensing a 175 minute serial (7 25-minute episodes) down to a mere 78 minutes! True, the grimness of the story was toned down and it was a bit cutesy, but the core material came through, i.e. the trip to the city for more mercury, the travellers planning their escape from the Dalek cell, the Doctor convincing the Thals to help them, and the trip across the chasm.Not bad, and it produced a sequel that outdid this one."
Daleks and the Doctor on a bigger screen
Rottenberg's rotten book review | nyc | 12/18/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This was the first of the two big-screen adaptions of Dr. Who - with bigger and better special effects than on the show, though taking a different course as to the Dr.'s character. On the show, the Doctor is an alien - a member of an advanced race of humanoids who live extremely long lives, can regenerate their bodies under circumstances that would kill normal muggles like us, and have mastered the science of space-time travel. Carousing through the cosmos, the Doctor's ship is incredibly huge on the inside (actually limitless) but on the outside can look like an object of any size - in the Doctor's case, a London Police call box. Frequent travels brought the Doctor into conflict with the Daleks - machines housing horribly (and never seen) natives of the planet Skaro who descended from the mutated survivors of a global thermo-nuclear war. The most popular of the Doctor's TV-foes, the Daleks were the natural choice to share his leap to the big screen. While the Daleks' story is unchanged for the film (cold conquerors of a dying world), and though this flick otherwise follows the plot of the serial in which the Daleks were introduced, the flick otherwise changes the Doctor's story. Now, instead of being a time-lord, the Doctor is a curmudgeonly human inventor (named "Doctor Who" - the characters who are his granddaughters are never mentioned by that name) who manages to construct a crude space-time machine which is bigger inside than out, and just happens to look like a Police call box on the outside. Accidentally sending the time/space ship on its way - the Doctor and crew (his two granddaughters and the older one's date) - vanish from Earth and wind up on a blasted alien world. The Doctor tricks his passengers into going out exploring - he's too much of an adventurer to pass the alien world up. When a huge (and seemingly abandoned) city looms nearby, he goes to investigate, hoping - he tells the others - to find extra mercury for a critical fluid link. Instead, when the city proves to be home to nasty sounding Daleks, they are all captured. The Doctor is then forced to learn the nature of these mechanized creatures and find a way to escape and link up with the Thals - green-skinned descendants of the Daleks' ancient enemies. Though the Thals are stubbornly peaceful, you know that the Doctor will lead them to rise up against the Daleks.This was a great flick - not quite faithful to Who-lore, but confident in its own way. Cushing is an unforgettable Who, though he could have done with the TV incarnation's more hard edged (here he's a kindly old guy with a child's sense of adventure). Being a human inventor raises some questions, but none that get in the way of the fun, and anyway sticking to the TV-show's premise of the Doctor's being a time-lord would complicate things (the story would have to explain his origin AND the Daleks') The Daleks, on the other hand, are faithfully translated to the big-screen - their huge city, their screeching voices and their fascist-style cruelty fit them to a tee (if anything, the movie Daleks are even louder here) The flick ends on a climactic battle that won't dissappoint."
Dr. Who - Classic Stuff with an Acceptable DVD Transfer
Rottenberg's rotten book review | 12/04/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"A few character changes from the TV series, but still classic stuff if you grew up with the show. The script is tailored for a family audience, so don't expect any sophistication here! But the hairdos and the pure 60s flavor are a nostalgic treat.
The anamorphic DVD transfer is quite good for a 60s film, and grain is handled well. It even looks relatively good in home theater projection."