Peter Cushing and Roy Castle in Dr. Who and the Daleks (1965)

A Dalek and a Castle

When Ian (Roy Castle) comes round for his girlfriend Barbara (Jennie Linden) he gets to meet her sister Susan (Roberta Tovey) and their eccentric grandfather Dr. Who (Peter Cushing). It is Dr. Who's invention a time travelling police telephone box which he calls Tardis finds them in trouble when it transports them through time and space to the planet Skaro. In need of Mercury to return they learn that the peaceful Thals are under danger from a nuclear attack thanks to the planets other inhabitants, the Daleks.

Never having been a fan of "Dr. Who" I actually don't remember ever watching an entire episode not even as a child when Tom Baker was the Dr. But that probably goes in my favour when it comes to "Dr. Who and the Daleks" the movie based on an episode from the series as none of the changes offend me and in fact I quite like the major change of Peter Cushing playing the Dr. as he gives it a touch of Jules Verne crossed with Edgar Rice Burroughs, that sense of eccentricity but kind. And that is the key to "Dr. Who and the Daleks" as whilst I don't how it compares to the TV series of the time the movie comes across in the way some Jules Verne stories have been adapted to the screen right down to Roy Castle giving plenty of humour as Ian Chesterton.

The thing is that whilst I enjoy this Jules Verne-esque styling with Peter Cushing delivering one of the sweetest Dr. Whos I have ever come across I can't say that this storyline which sees Dr. Who, Ian and his grand daughters on planet Skaro and dealing with the Daleks didn't actually enthral me and there seemed to be something a little awkward about the movie. Maybe there were budget restrictions or maybe it had to be edited down but the sets look minimal and the dialogue doesn't feel like it flows with a lot of the time the actors seeming to pose as they deliver their lines.

What this all boils down to is that you don't need to be a fan of Dr. Who to watch "Dr. Who and the Daleks" but it helps if you enjoy the sci-fi movies of the 60s that are based on Jules Verne stories as it has that feel about it both in look and story.

Tags: British TV Shows & Their Movies