Friday, April 29, 2011

Video Fridays: Dr Who and the Daleks

The British have a long tradition of taking successful tv series in every genre from sitcom to sci-fi, and remaking them into feature films.
So, it seemed only logical that, with "Dalekmania" reaching a frenzied peak in 1965,  a feature film adapting the first tv appearance of the lethal pepperpots, would be a box office smash.
It didn't quite turn out that way.
Amicus Productions, basically a lower-budget Hammer Studios, acquired the rights, and produced Dr Who & the Daleks, starring Peter Cushing as Doctor Who.

Note: I said "Doctor Who" and not "The Doctor".
That's because the movie's Doctor is an eccentric human inventor named "Who", not an alien Time Lord using the title "Doctor"!
The TARDIS, while still a space-time travelling device bigger on the inside than the outside, is now the product of one man's expertise, not the culmination of the technology of an advanced civilization.

Beyond that basic change to the concept, the movie was a fairly straightforward condensation of the  seven-episode serial, utilizing the original story's major plot points.
With the benefits of
  • being the first color version of Dr Who (the tv show was shot in black and white until 1970)
  • a bigger budget than the tv series and
  • a music score by Thunderbirds composer Barry Gray
the movie did very good box office in Europe and Asia, though only moderately-well in the US, where the tv show had not yet aired.
Encouraged by the ticket sales, Amicus adapted the second Dalek story into an even more-expensive feature film, Daleks Invasion Earth: 2150 AD.
But that's a story for another time...

The British Trailer

The American Trailer

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