Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Daleks' Invasion Earth 2150 A.D. (4½ Stars)

I've spelt the film's title correctly, exactly as it appears on the film's title screen. Most of the posters, and even some of the DVD releases, omit the apostrophe in the word "Daleks'". Sometimes a hyphen is added between "Daleks'" and "Invasion". Here's the title screen, in case you don't believe me.

If you're wondering who the copyright holder is, Aaru Productions was a subsidiary company of Amicus Productions, which I spoke about briefly in my post on "The people that time forgot". Amicus created a separate company for its science fiction films, but after making only two films (the two Doctor Who films) the company was dissolved and the ownership of the films was transferred to Amicus.

This film is better made than "Doctor Who and the Daleks". It looks more polished, probably as the result of having a bigger budget. It's a remake of the second Dalek adventure in the Doctor Who TV series. This time the Doctor is accompanied by his granddaughter Susan, his niece Louise, and Tom Campbell, a random policeman who walked into the Tardis while it was parked on a London street. Unlike in the TV series, the Tardis in the Doctor Who films is never locked. Anyone can walk in and out whenever he wants to. That's not a smart idea. If I invented a time machine I'd definitely keep the door locked. It would be embarrassing if someone took it off on a joy ride.

I personally prefer "Daleks' Invasion Earth 2150 A.D." to "Doctor Who and the Daleks", but it was less successful at the box office. Maybe Dalekmania was dying down? I don't know. My only real criticism is that the film seems too short. It's long enough to retell the six-episode story, but I would have appreciated some padding. What's missing is some of the iconic scenes from the TV episodes, the Daleks against the background of famous London landmarks.

In the original TV series the Robomen, humans who have been brainwashed to serve the Daleks, look genuinely terrifying. In the film they look like pizza delivery guys in fetish gear. Even more amusing is that the Daleks feed the Robomen on a diet of Smarties.

I've watched the DVD a few times, but today was the first time I noticed a distortion in the sound, a light clicking in quiet scenes. Once I'd noticed it I couldn't ignore it any more and it really annoyed me. I need to buy the remastered Blu-ray.

1 comment:

  1. A very nice, fun family movie.
    I do much prefer Tom Campbell to Ian Chesterton and even Louise to Barbara. (Of course the TV Ian and Barbara are hard to beat as companions go in the entire classic series).
    Maybe it could have had more screentime, but the prologue and epilogue were brand new and an excellent bit of early timey-wimey.


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