Daleks' Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D.

Daleks' Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D.

***

Reviewed by: Jennie Kermode

By far the stronger of the Doctor's two early big screen adventures, perhaps because it was based on a popular story from the TV series, Daleks' Invasion Earth: 2150 AD delivers all-out adventure with refreshingly little messing about. Peter Cushing never quite clicks in the role of the famous time traveller but makes an engaging enough protagonist nonetheless, whilst Roberta Tovey reprises her role as granddaughter Susan, Jill Curzon plays curvacious, no-nonsense niece Louise and Bernard Cribbins is a Cocney copper who, in a swift opening sequence, stumbles into the TARDIS, determines to file a complaint, and finds himself stumbling out again in 2150. There's also an appearance from Quatermass star Andrew Keir.

That's the humans out of the way. Of course, the real stars of the show are the daleks, and they're on great form. By the time the Doctor and his crew arrive they're pretty much finished invading Earth (or at least London) and are proceeding with stage two of their plan - to blow up the planet's core and turn it into a giant spaceship that can be used to further their military ambitions elsewhere. Only a desperate group of rebels is holding out against them. Can the Doctor thwart the dalek plans and save the Earth?

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For its time, this is an impressive piece of work. Though it looks a bit stagey, the sets, like the script, are well designed to let simple special effects have maximum impact. Most impressive of all is the rendering of a whole dalek army using just a handful of daleks and an awful lot of mirrors. Though they lack the brutalist industrial look of their modern counterparts, these daleks more than make up for it in sheer nastiness and the sense that they are unstoppable (they're also quite cute but we needn't let that spoil it). Tovey in particular dos a good job of looking scared and younger viewers will find her easy to identify with, probably from behind the sofa.

With the resurgence of interest that the Doctor has enjoyed in recent years, now is a great time to check out these early films. They may not be as slick as the new series and may not respect the canon of the older ones, but they're still a lot of fun in their own right.

Reviewed on: 28 Jan 2013
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Daleks' Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D. packshot
Peter Cushing's Doctor takes on the exterminating aliens.
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Director: Gordon Flemyng

Writer: Terry Nation, Sydney Newman, Milton Subotsky, David Whitaker

Starring: Peter Cushing, Bernard Cribbins, Ray Brooks, Andrew Keir, Roberta Tovey, Jill Curzon, Roger Avon, Geoffrey Cheshire, Keith Marsh, Philip Madoc, Steve Peters, Eddie Powell, Godfrey Quigley, Peter Reynolds, Bernard Spear

Year: 1966

Runtime: 81 minutes

BBFC: U - Universal

Country: UK


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Doctor Who And The Daleks