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Daleks' Invasion Earth 2150 A.D.

UK 1966
produced by
Milton Subotsky, Max J. Rosenberg for Aaru/Amicus
directed by Gordon Flemyng
starring Peter Cushing, Bernard Cribbins, Roberta Tovey, Jill Curzon, Ray Brooks, Andrew Keir, Roger Avon, Keith Marsh, Philip Madoc, Geoffrey Cheshire, Eddie Powell, Godfrey Quigley, Kenneth Watson
screenplay by Milton Subotsky, based on the BBC-serial Doctor Who - The Dalek Invasion of Earth written by Terry Nation, music by Bill McGuffie, Barry Gray

Doctor Who, Doctor Who (Peter Cushing), Daleks

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Wanting to report a robbery, Police constable Tom (Bernard Cribbins) stumbles into Doctor Who's (Peter Cushing) time machine TARDIS, which has the appearance of a London Police Box as camouflage. & what would a time machine be good for if it wouldn't take Tom, the Doctor, his niece Louise (Jill Curzon) & his granddaughter Susan (Roberta Tovey) into the future, 2150 AD (hence the title) to be precise. But by then, London is a depressing sight, most of the buildings lieing in ruins, no living soul in sight & an air of terror & decay lieing over the city ... & it doesn't take long before some sliding rubble blocks our heroes' way to the TARDIS.

So while Louise & Susan stay at the TARDIS & are soon abducted by who turn out to be the rebels, the Doc & Tom search a warehouse to look for some tools to free the time-machine of the rubble, & are soon taken prisoner by the Robomen & their masters ... the Daleks.

In the Dalek's spaceship, Doctor Who & Tom are about to be robotized, but thank god the rebels, led by Wyler (Andrew Keir), have picked exactly this moment to attack the spaceship - not at least thanks to the pleas of Susan & Louise.

Initially the attack seems to succeed, but soon the rebels ahve to realize their bombs, a viable means against the Robomen, have no effect on the Daleks (which look a bit like giant Salt-shakers by the way), & they have to retreat - at least having freed the Doctor & Tom ... unfortunately though Louise seems to miss the retreat & has to hide on the Daleks' spaceship, & Tom, looking for her, suddenly realizes the ship takes off (with her & him) & has to dress up as a Roboman in order to remain unnoticed.

Wyler meanwhile decides he has to leave for the country after all his rebels have died or fled anyways, & he takes Susan with him ... much to the dismay of the Doctor, who arrives at the rebels' HQ minutes later with fellow rebel David (Ray Brooks) & finds no trace of the girl. So he decides to head for the country too, for Bedfordshire to be precise, where the Daleks have a big mining operation going on ... which by some incident is where the Dalek ship carrying Louise & Tom is heading too. & by some incident, Wyler & Susan, betrayed by 2 human spies who pretended to offer them food & sympathy, end up in Bedfordshire as well, as prisoners though.

In Bedfordshire, the Doctor finally learns the Daleks plans: they want to blow up the earth's core with a bomb to turn the earth into a giant spaceship ... but he soon makes plans to redirect the bomb to amplify earth's magnetism to a point where it's fatal for the metal-made Daleks - & so he sends Tom down a mineshaft to block the bombs way to the core & redirect it to an enormous abandoned mine which will do the trick.

At the same time though he has to save Wyler & Susan & the other human prisoners, so he uses the treachery of corrupt & cynical black market dealer Brockley (Philip Madoc), who of course betrays the Doc to the Daleks (at no gain for himself since the Daleks blow him up as a little thank-you) & once in the Dalek-HQ, the Doctor uses their communications systems to turn the Robomen against them, for the humans to make a comfy getaway, before the Daleks are sucked into the earth (rather literally) thanks to the enhanced magnetism.

All's well that ends well, & constable Tom at the end even catches his robbers in his present time when the Doctor lands his TARDIS 2 minutes before he left off ...

 

The second Amicus-produced Doctor Who film does much better than the first one, Doctor Who and the Daleks, on a pure quality level thanks to a much tighter script - which also manages to succeed over its not-so-great & overlong TV-basis, The Dalek Invasion of Earth from 1964 -, & a budget that allowed convincing sets & some nice miniature effects.

A poit of critique though is, as in Doctor Who and the Daleks, that, opposed to the tv-eries Black & White, the typical 1960's pop-art candy colours take away much of the menace of the proceedings, while of course being perfectly charming in other ways.

Speaking of candy: it is rumoured that the company Sugar Puffs did supply some money for the movie in exchange for one of their poster-ads prominently displayed in one scene. That might be true, since the ad is clearly visible ... curiously enough though, no such rumours exist about (among other companies) Air India - whose ad is clearly visible in one scene as well.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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