Daleks Invasion Earth 2150AD review (Blu-ray)

The sequel to the so-so Dr Who And The Daleks sees the action firmly grounded back on planet Earth. This time the Daleks have come here, and taken control in the year 2150. The Doctor (Cushing) arrives with his companions - granddaughter Susan (Tovey), neice Louise (Curzon, replacing Linden as granddaughter Barbara from the first film) and London cop Tom (Cribbins), who wandered in after mistaking the TARDIS for an actual police box. Tom and the Doctor are captured by the Daleks and their goons, "robotised" humans dressed in black vinyl jumpsuits and wearing Judge Dredd-like helmets. Susan and Louise, meanwhile, fall in with a bunch of Resistance freedom fighters trying to take back the planet from the evil little bell-shaped aliens.

Daleks Invasion Earth 2150AD is easily the best of the two Doctor Who films from the mid 1960s (neither of which is considered canon as far as the long-running TV series is concerned). It's still a fairly slim story, but it moves at a much faster pace and the sets are a lot less wobbly – clearly it had a bigger budget after the success of Dr Who And The Daleks. Cushing has a lot of fun with the character, although he's just a boring old human rather than an alien Time Lord. There's more location work this time, and some better special effects – including a gorgeous spaceship that looks like something out of Thuderbirds. There are some good laughs to be had, too. The "candy eating" scene is a joy. Oh, and let's not forget the highly amusing "fight" scenes that really must be seen to be believed.

As with the first film, Daleks Invasion Earth 2150AD looks superb - the restoration work that has been done on it is first rate. If you're only to buy one of these Cushing reissues, then this is definitely the one to get.

EXTRAS ★★ Not quite as good as the bonus material you get with Dr Who And The Daleks. There's a featurette on the restoration of the film (7:11); an interview with Cribbins (4:02); an interview with Gareth Owen (4:08), the author of The Shepperton Story; a stills gallery; and the theatrical trailer.

Stuart O'Connor is the Managing Editor of Screenjabber, the movie review website he co-founded with Neil Davey far too many years ago. He likes all genres, as long as the film is good (although he does enjoy the occasional bad "guilty pleasure"), and drinks way too much coffee.

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