Friday, June 12, 2015

Dr.Who And The Daleks!


Dr.Who and The Daleks is the 1965 movie which for all intents and purposes sits outside the vast canon of stories which inform the ever-growing Dr.Who universe. Apparently created as an attempt to cash in on the enormous faddish success of The Daleks, the arch-enemies of the Doctor, this story, such as it is, revolves around a future Earth on which a great war has raged leaving behind only a high-tech city of Daleks and some roaming hippie peacniks called the "Thals".


But to get there we first must meet "Dr.Who" (Peter Cushing), who in fact is called just that by Ian (Roy Castle) the boyfriend of Barbara (Jennie Linden) who along with Susan (Roberta Tovey) are the granddaughters of the doting but grumpy Dr.Who. No mention in this story of Time Lords nor that the Doctor is anything other than an eccentric old inventor who it turns out has built a Tardis (the name is not explained in any way that I noticed) which looks like a telephone box (again not explained) and which transports the quartet forward into time.


There they find the city of the Daleks, fecklessly explore it and fall victim to the rolling terrors who come in an array of bright colors. But they escape eventually after seeming to trick the Daleks, but then fall back into their clutches when a vital Tardis part is forgotten. At about this time we meet the Thals.


The Thals are a listless bunch of nomads, all sporting shiny blond hair and tired eyes. I guess they are supposed to evoke the Eloi of H.G.Wells' great novel The Time Machine, but I get more allusion to drop-out culture from them. They eventually join forces with Dr.Who and his "team" and battle the Daleks.

It's all pretty tiresome before it finally ends. There are missions and obstacles but none of it really seems to make much tactical sense and luck more than anything seems to win the day.


The story was adapted by Dell Comics and to get a look at that check this out.

This is not a very good Dr.Who story needless to say, but beyond that it's a rather tedious sci-fi effort across the board. There are a few intriguing sets and the Daleks do loom dangerously in a few scenes, but mostly the characters have to behave stupidly pretty continuously for the story to progress. It's hard to root for such boneheads, even if one of them is Peter Cushing.

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8 comments:

  1. In fairness to this film, I don't believe the TV show running concurrently had mentioned Time Lords or had people addressing him as "The Doctor" (he was still being listed as Dr Who in the end credits right up to and including the Tom Baker years)...he was still mystery enough that for all anyone knew he might very well have just been an eccentric old man called Who.

    Never knew that Dick Giordano did the artwork for this, though...compared to his later DC work it looks pretty rushed!

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    1. That's good info. Thanks for the clarification. As for the Giordano artwork, most of the stuff done for Dell by Giordano was arranged for by Sal Trapani, Giordano's brother-in-law I believe, and I see his hand in those inks giving the book a different tone.

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  2. I remember first seeing this on TV in the early or mid-'70s, and I have to confess that I quite enjoyed it - for what it was. I recall being entranced by the music throughout the movie and I must buy the CD soundtrack one day. Doubtless what you say is true, but it works at a certain level despite these faults. It is unashamedly for kids 'though.

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed it, and I wanted to. I just couldn't.

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  3. I liked it... but I REALLY liked the bigger-budgted sequel!

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    1. The sequel does look like a lot of fun. I watched the trailer for it online and wish I had a copy.

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    2. The sequel sticks much closer to the Hartnell original (albeit still without the Time Lord parts), has a really cool spaceship, and best of all, co-stars Bernard Cribbens, who would "return" to the Tardis many decades later as Donna Noble's grandfather! $2.99 VOD on YT.

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  4. There is much more to this Movie than what you touched on, but just to address a couple of things, he was always addressed as "the Doctor" on the TV show and as far as the movie his name was Who, not so in the TV continuity. And Dr, Who is just an earth inventor not an alien as on the TV show, but you are right about the secrets of the Time Lords not being revealed until the end of Pat Troughtons run 1969. By the time Tom Baker was on the show what he was and from were known. The movies (there were two as this one was successful) that Cushing was offers the TV roll not once but two times, to replace both Actors. And as far as the credits on the TV show, he was addressed as Dr, Who or Doctor Who till David Tennant was given the roll and his request the credits were changed to "the Doctor"...guess that is a fair start...

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