It feels dated, the sets look ridiculous by today’s standards, and the acting is reminiscent of an episode of Tracy Beaker, but there is something enjoyably endearing about this 1965 big-screen outing for the Doctor and his most famous of enemies. Hardcore who fans (or Whovians) may moan that it doesn’t link up properly with the BBC series and lacks the depth of some of the other adventures, but for many I think this re-release of the immensely successful Doctor Who and the Daleks will be a delight.
Here the Doctor is played by Hammer legend Peter Cushing. More doddery old grandfather than alien Timelord, his performance is sweet-natured and entertaining. He is helped out by his two granddaughters (Jennie Linden and Roberta Tovey) and the eldest one’s boyfriend (Barry Ingham). Their adventure, based on a TV episode, sees them transported in the TARDIS to an alien planet which has undergone terrible devastation. It doesn’t take long for them to discover what deadly creatures are behind it.
Though the sets look rather flimsy, viewers of the time would have undoubtedly been impressed at the step up in production values compared to the television series. Director Gordon Felmyng, who went on to direct TV series The Bill and Minder, keeps the atmosphere up, making this an enjoyable piece of escapism.
A note on the disc: StudioCanal continue to build on their substantial reputation as one of the most dedicated distributors putting out remastered old classics on Blu-ray disc, and this release is very pleasing. The film has been remastered well. Clarity is good, film-grain is still intact and the colours are good.
Dr. Who and the Daleks (1965), directed by Gordon Flemyng, is released on Blu-ray disc in the UK on 27 May by StudioCanal, Certificate U. A DVD edition will also be available.