Which One : The big budget version of Hartnell’s – The Dalek Invasion Of Earth.
Cast : The Doctor : Peter Cushing
Tom Campbell : Bernard Cribbin
David : Ray Brooks
Wyler : Andrew Keir
Louise : Jill Curzon
Susan : Roberta Tovey
Wells : Roger Avon
Conway : Keith Marsh
Brockley : Philip Madoc
Thompson : Eddie Powell
Dortmun : Godfrey Quigley
Young Woman : Sheila Steafel
Old Woman : Eileen Way
Craddock : Kenneth Watson
Robber : John Wreford
Written By : Terry Nation (The Dalek Invasion Of Earth)
Screenplay By : David Whittaker & Milton Subotsky
Release Date : 5 August 1966 (UK).
Length : 1 hour 24 minutes.
Plot : The Doctor attempts to thwart a plot by the Daleks to take over 21st
Whats good : Big budget realised version of Hartnell’s; The Dalek Invasion Of Earth. Very faithful to the TV version – in places.
Whats bad : It’s not as memorable or as punchy, as its TV episode inspiration. Or indeed its predecessor movie The Daleks. Peter Cushing himself, wasn’t on top form – due to illness. Heavy-handed humour. The Robo-men are stupid.
Review With Spoilers : Daleks – Invasion Of Earth, is a big-budget movie remake of the William Hartnell TV episode; The Dalek Invasion Of Earth. It is also a sequel, to the previous Cushing movie; Doctor Who & The Daleks.
Hartnell was replaced in the movie series, by movie actor Peter Cushing; who took over the role of the Doctor. This Doctor, is not an alien but an Earthly professor – and his actual second name – is ‘Who’.
Out of the companions, only the movie version of grand-daughter Susan returns. The movie versions of Ian & Barbara do not figure – and are replaced by brand-new characters; niece Louise and non-related; Tom and David.
The plot follows the Doctor travelling to 2150. Here, they discover that the Daleks have invaded Earth – and London is mostly destroyed; with the population enslaved.
The Daleks have been converting humans, into “Robomen” and putting humans-slaves – to work in a mine; near Bedford. The Daleks plan to destroy the Earth’s core with a bomb. Meanwhile, small groups of resistance fighters, attempt to thwart the Daleks and the Robomen legions.
“Your bomb is designed to slide down this shaft, strike a fracture in the Earth’s inner surface, and so release the magnetic core of our planet. But the fracture is near the meeting point of the magnetic influence of the North and South poles. One mistake, one deviation in the aiming of your bomb and enough magnetic energy will be released to destroy you!” Doctor Who
The Dalek Invasion Of Earth, is much better material than The Daleks; in terms of a movie-experience, due to the reference of an Earth-invasion angle.
Actor Peter Cushing, was ill for much of the shoot and wasn’t able to stamp his authority on the Doctor character, or build much on the promise of the previous film – Doctor Who & The Daleks; which he carried – quite well.
The Daleks themselves, still look pretty cool in their redesigned movie format. However, they are still shooting clouds of gas from their death-rays, which gives them a slightly comedic fire-extinguisher feel.
The introduction of the Robomen, doesn’t really work and for most part they come across as silly and are unwisely, played for laughs. Not helped, by the scene where companion Tom impersonates one – and keeps getting the robotic actions wrong (for supposed added comedy effect!).
Being set on Earth and shot mostly on location; it has a much more realistic feel, than the studio-bound – previous movie; Doctor Who & The Daleks.
Who regular – Philip Madoc, makes a nicely homaged, memorable appearance here; as sinister wheeler-dealer, Brockley. Brockley is secretly working – in league with the Daleks; to deliver prisoners to the Daleks. After having fleeced them, of all of their worldly possessions, for his own gain.
It is a shame, that Daleks – Invasion Of Earth; was not as well received – commercially. A potential trilogy final part, based on The Chase never got out of the development stage and could have potentially; been the best of the three movies (time-travelling Daleks and big-budget locations!).
Ultimately though, it doesn’t have the style and punch of the Hartnell episode. The Dalek Invasion Of Earth does however, edge the previous movie; as a better executed story. Especially, in reference – to the potential stakes (this time the destruction of Earth!).
Still, The Dalek Invasion Of Earth has value, just in terms of being another useful non-canon entry, into the overall Doctor Who mythos. Alongside the previous movie; The Daleks they both stand-up as a realised experiment into taking Doctor Who into new mediums.