The second of two Doctor Who releases from StudioCanal to tie-in with the show’s 50th Anniversary is Daleks’ Invasion of Earth 2150 A.D. The film was released in 1967 after the overwhelming success of the first feature (reviewed here). It also continued to cash-in on the Dalek-mania that was keeping the nation keen to part with cash to see a biscuit barrel shout ‘EXTERMINATE’.
This second opportunity audiences had to see the Daleks in colour on the big screen has a bit of a different feel to it than Dr. Who and the Daleks. This time, we are not on foreign planets, but on Earth, two-hundred years into the future. London has fallen. It is in ruin, and the Daleks have taken control. But all is not lost, as the Doctor (played, as a human rather than a Time Lord, by Peter Cushing), his niece and granddaughter, along with Bernard Cribbins as a confused police office, are all keen to save the world.
The structure isn’t as tight as the first film, nor is the script as straight-forward, but there is much to relish here, including the effectively eerie creation of a deserted futuristic London. The special effects have improved noticeably too.
Although they don’t slot well into the mythology of the TV series, the two Peter Cushing films have a friendly, dated charm about them. Although lack subtlety or a tough edge, they are terrific fun and very watchable.
A note on the disc: As with the previous Dr. Who disc, StudioCanal offer viewers a superb blu-ray transfer. It hasn’t been smothered in digital noise reduction, grain is still good and pleasant without being distracting, and the sound also impresses. This Blu-ray does the film proud.
Daleks’ Invasion of Earth 2150 A.D. (1967), 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.