The Doctor Who movies

I recently bought the two Peter Cushing Dalek films on a two-movie DVD (they're both on the same disc).  For some strange reason they decided to edit the second film, and run the title sequence before the jewel heist scene (originally, it was a lead-in).  Unfortunately, they did quite a duff job of it, and didn't properly edit the sound to go with the re-ordering.  The disc also includes still photos from the movie, and interviews with the crew.

Doctor Who and the Daleks

(Starring Peter Cushing, Roberta Tovey, Roy Castle, and Jennie Linden; and filmed in the 1960's.)

A movie based on a children's science-fiction/horror TV series, “Doctor Who”, that started in the 1963 and went on for around 30 years, shortly to be resurrected.  Though, this film took a bit of liberty with the characters, and changed them from the originals (the Doctor being a time travelling alien, with his granddaughter, who whisk away some nosey Earth school teachers who discover their little secret).

For this story, the Doctor (played by Peter Cushing), is a Earth-man, who invents a time travel machine (called “TARDIS,” short for Time And Relative Dimensions In Space; a machine that's larger on the inside than the outside, and can travel through time and space).  There's no school teachers, and the Doctor whisks away the visiting boyfriend of one of his two granddaughters, when he accidentally bumps the controls while being shown the TARDIS.

They arrive on an alien planet, in the middle of a petrified forest (where everything is ashes and dust).  Not wishing to return home without first exploring, after seeing a city in the distance, the Doctor sabotages his TARDIS to ensure that they have to explore.  When they reach the city, they discover that they've been walking around in the middle of the remains of a nuclear war, and have become dangerously ill.  Which is the moment that the Daleks come out of hiding, and capture them.

The Daleks are one of the surviving races on the planet (the other is the Thals).  The Daleks survived by building an armoured shell to enclose their seriously mutated form (unseen, but they used to be humanoid), and become ruthless xenophobes, believing that they're the supreme form of life in the universe, who will exterminate anything that's not the same as themselves, unless they're of slave value (though that's a future behaviour, in later stories; for this one they're not interested in keeping slaves).

The film actually is remarkedly similar to some of the kitch Hammer horror films of the 1960's, which also often starred Peter Cushing (with other strange, and often laughable, monsters).  Though, it's a bit tamer, as it's aimed at a younger market, and the producer (Milton Subotsky) was not a fan of gory films.  Though, after complaints from fans that not enough people died in the film, he relented and had more people bumped off in the sequel:

Daleks:  Invasion Earth 2150 A.D.

(Starring Peter Cushing, Roberta Tovey, Jill Curzon, and Bernard Cribbins; and filmed in the 1960's.)

Again, based on one of the stories in the 1960's black and white TV series.  Again, a colour film made in the 1960's (the first film really went to town with using colour).  And again, the film doesn't play very close homage to the original story line.

This time the TARDIS whisks off a police officer who drops into the TARDIS (which looks like a police telephone box, on the outside), after he gets coshed while trying to prevent a jewel robbery.  They arrive in the Earth's future, to a world that's been desolated by war.  One in which the Daleks have enslaved the humans (those that they've not exterminated), and are busy attempting to mine out the Earth's core, to pilot the entire planet like a huge space ship.

Naturally, it's up to the Doctor, to thwart their plans.

You can see some screen captures from both Dalek films, on another page.

Doctor Who, the movie

(Starring Paul McGann, filmed in the 1990's.)

The two prior films were shot in the 1960's, reprising a couple of the William Hartnell Doctor's stories.  This is a new film, with a completely new story, set after the demise of the BBC TV series (around the 1990's), starring Paul McGann.  Again, a certain amount of the background has been perverted, this time by the Americans.

The Master, the Doctor's arch-enemy, has been executed in a trial on Scaro, the home planet of the Daleks (something that just doesn't fit as a trial location), and he's asked the Doctor to return his remains to their home planet of Gallifrey.  On the way, the Master's body escapes from its box, interferes with the TARDIS forcing it to make an emergency landing on The Earth, and subjecting the entire planet to catastrophic consequences as the TARDIS starts to die.  Which is another background subversion—the reason for the catastrophe, is due to “The Eye of Harmony,” being opened in the centre of the Doctor's TARDIS.  However, The Eye of Harmony (a balancing element for a captured black hole) is not located inside a TARDIS, it's on the Time Lord's home planet of Gallifrey, powering the entire planet.

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