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Dr Who and the Daleks

Entry updated 14 January 2017. Tagged: Film, TV.

Film (1965). AARU. Directed by Gordon Flemyng. Written by Milton Subotsky, based on the second Doctor Who television story, the seven-episode The Mutants (1963-1964; also known as The Dead Planet and The Daleks) by Terry Nation. Cast includes Roy Castle, Peter Cushing, Jenny Linden and Roberta Tovey. 85 minutes. Colour.

The Doctor – played colourlessly by Cushing as a polite old man – is inadvertently taken to a dying planet with his two granddaughters (Tovey and Linden; this alters the television situation of a single granddaughter and two outsiders, her female and male schoolteachers) and an accident-prone young man (Castle) as a result of the latter falling onto the controls of the Doctor's time-and-space machine, the TARDIS. They find a city occupied by Daleks about to wipe out their ancient human enemies, the Thals, with a neutron bomb; despite their fierceness the Daleks prove ridiculously easy to immobilize. Dr Who and the Daleks shows something about the 1960s in having the Doctor, famous in later incarnations as a crafty expert in nonviolent resolution of conflict, hawkishly urging the pacifist Thals to war. This crudely made children's-film remake of the early television story in which the Daleks made their debut is of interest mainly to Doctor Who completists wishing to see Cushing in the role, which he never played on television. Though inferior to its original, it is at least superior to the even more tepid film sequel, Daleks: Invasion Earth 2150 A.D. (1966). [PN]


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