Saturday, May 8, 2010

When Peter Cushing played the chap in the TARDIS...

... and the Daleks were badass in Technicolor.

Dr. Who and the Daleks (1965) and Daleks — Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D. (1966) were big-screen adaptations of the first two Doctor Who TV serials featuring the Daleks. They capitalized on the "Dalekmania" then sweeping across the U.K. (or at least the under-12 portion thereof), and came aimed squarely at children. They're unsophisticated and silly (like so often the TV series, then and occasionally now) and for true Whovians they're by no means canonical. Yet they have a Saturday afternoon tea-time-for-tykes charm.

For those of us who over the years have followed both the Doctor's adventures and Peter Cushing's iconic appearances in Hammer horror films and their ilk (not to mention his turn "holding Vader's leash" in the original Star Wars), it's a multiple nostalgia whammy to see him as the TARDIS's owner and operator.

In Cushing's second theatrical outing as "Dr. Who" (the Time Lords hadn't been invented yet and, unlike his TV counterpart, "Dr. Who" is treated as his actual name), receiving second billing is Bernard Cribbins. If you're a fan of the post-2005 return of the BBC TV series, you know Cribbins well as lovable old Wilfred Mott from the David Tennant years. In the movie he plays a London policeman who (understandably, considering) mistakes the disguised time-space machine for an actual police box, getting more than just a handy telephone in the bargain.

This fan-edited trailer makes the movie look better than it actually is:

Dr. Who and the Daleks and Daleks — Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D. are each YouTube'd in their entirety (with commercials but in remarkable video quality) here and here.

Music: Ralph Vaughan Williams, Concerto in A Minor for Oboe and Strings
Near at hand: Elizabeth's latest draft of "The Angel of Seattle" for my critiquing/editing enjoyment.