02b – Peter Cushing Movies

Doctor Who and the Daleks (1965)

In 1964 Dalekmania hit England, so you shouldn’t be the least bit surprised that a movie studio looked to cash in on it. They took the basic story from William Hartnell’s The Daleks, but recast all of the roles, with Peter Cushing as Doctor Who, Roy Castle as Ian Chesterton, Jennie Linden as Barbara, and Roberta Tovey as Susan. In this version, however, Susan is a much younger girl, not a teenager. And Barbara is yet another, older, granddaughter of the Doctor, and Ian is her boyfriend. The movie is oddly put together. The plot is different in several ways from the original TV story, but many of the specific scenes are retained. At 1 hr, 23 mins. it is shorter than the TV original story, but for some reason I didn’t seem to think anything was missing. This was not a critically regarded movie, but was commercially successful to a degree that the same studio made a movie out of the second Hartnell Dalek story. If you have a little over an hour and need to fill it, this is might be worth looking at, but if you pass it by you haven’t really missed anything.


Daleks’ Invasion Earth 2150 A.D. (1966)

This second movie recapitulates the main plot points from the Hartnell serial, but as in the first movie the casting is different. Peter Cushing and Roberta Tovey return as The Doctor and Susan, But in place of Barbara there is now a niece Louise, played by Jill Curzon. And in place of Ian we now have a police constable played by Bernard Cribbins, who returns many years later during David Tennant’s run as Wilf, the grandfather of Donna Noble, though he previously appeared in a small role in Voyage of the Damned as a newspaper seller. As in the first movie, many of the scenes from the TV serial are retained, but details are changed. It is interesting that Cribbins, playing a Police Constable, enters the TARDIS thinking it is a police call box, which is exactly what happened with Dodo Chaplet. At 1 hr, 24 mins this is scarcely longer than the first movie, and like the first, cannot be considered essential. And no further movies about the Daleks were made after this, which may be a commentary on its success.


Reviews of both movies

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