Click here to return to the main site.
When Constable Tom Campbell chases a suspected thief, he accidentally mistakes the TARDIS for an actual police box. When he enters he collapses from an earlier coshing and is taken against his will by Dr Who, his granddaughter Susan and niece Louise into Earth's far future, a future dominated by the Daleks invasion of the Earth...
Daleks Invasion Earth 2150 AD (1966 - 1 hr, 24 min, 14 sec was the follow up big screen adventure for Dr Who, following the commercial success of Dr Who & the Daleks (1965). The film was once again directed by Gordon Flemyng from a Milton Subotsky script.
This time the Daleks have reached Earth with the intent of hollowing out the planet's core so they can move the Earth like a giant spaceship. When the group arrive they find a London which has been devastated by an aerial attack and are quickly locked out of the TARDIS when it is buried beneath rubble.
The group then find themselves separated with Louise and Susan rescued by a group of freedom fighters and Tom and Dr Who captured in the iconic scene where a Dalek emerges from the river Thames.
For this film, the vision was expanded with location work, placing the Daleks in more naturalistic settings. The studio is mostly used for the interior of the Dalek ship and here the use of widescreen adds to the film's sense of scale.
Peter Cushing (Dr Who) once again plays his character as an eccentric professor. The film follows the background of the first film with Dr Who being portrayed as a human inventor, rather than a Timelord. For comic relief Roy Castle has been replaced with Bernard Cribbins (Tom) who would play a crucial role in David Tennant’s time as the Doctor. His antics are often more comic than Castle's, but then this is balances the overall story which is much darker than the first with a higher degree of on-screen violence.
Roberta Tovey returns as Susan, once again putting in a spirited performance. For reasons never explained Barbara is replaced by Louise (Jill Curzon), although she fulfils the same purpose of mother figure. From the supporting cast, three actors stand out. David (Ray Brooks) is a young rebel who tries to protect Dr Who and Tom and takes a leading role in their rescue, he is the closest thing to an action hero that the film possesses. Wyler (Andrew Keir) is a more pragmatic, older rebel who becomes Susan’s protector. Lastly, another old face from the television show as Philip Madoc turns up playing the magnificently duplicitous Brockley, few people can be so slimy onscreen and although it is little more than a cameo it is none-the-less memorable.
Once again we have a restored picture and sound which creates a far more superior experience to the previous DVD releases. Colours are bright and vibrant, although the improved picture quality also means that the strings holding up the Dalek spaceship are often visible. Fans of the primary coloured Daleks, from the first film, may be a little disappointed as for most of the first half of the film the Daleks used are a variant of the silver one used on the show, the more colourful variant appears mostly on the ship.
The Blu-ray comes with a number of extras; including Restoring Daleks’ Invasion Earth 2550 AD (7 min, 11 sec) is a companion piece to that found on Dr Who & The Daleks, which also discusses Techniscope and how the director used the new medium. Some of the technical information is repeated, probably because you can buy the films separately or as a set. Although they did a wonderful job of restoring the film back to its original state, it’s a shame they didn’t think to take out the visible strings holding up the Dalek spaceship.
There is a new Interview with Bernard Cribbins (4 min, 02 sec), a new piece with Cribbins who reminisces about his time on the film and an Interview with Gareth Owen (4 min, 08 sec) another companion piece to that found on Dr Who & the Daleks which looks at the making of the movie, the most interesting fact is the inclusion of Sugar Puffs as a partner, hence the product placement. The disc is wrapped up with a Stills Gallery and original trailer.
A darker companion piece to Dr Who & the Daleks, but just as much fun as the first film and with the restoration the film has never looked so good.