Synopsis: An eccentric inventor and his companions travel in his Time Machine to the Planet Skaro and battle the evil menace of the Daleks.
When Dr. Who, Barbara, Susie, and Ian get into his new invention, The Tardis. They find themselves transported to the Planet Skarro where they find themselves caught in the middle of a conflict between the Peace-loving Thals and the warmongering Daleks. Now Dr. Who and his friends do what they can to help the Thals in preventing the Daleks from using a neutron bomb on their planet.
The cast of this movie adaptation of the first Terry Nation Dalek story is headed up by the late great Peter Cushing who played a somewhat different Spin on Dr. Who. As this movie is loosely based on the original six-part Dalek story from the Doctor Who series. The characters were slightly changed to reflect that this movie was in a separate universe from the one in which the TV series operated. The first big change is the Doctor himself because in this the Doctor is merely a human scientist and his sir name is Who. Whereas in the series Doctor Who. The Doctor is a Timelord from the planet Gallifrey.
Other differences are that the doctor’s Granddaughter Susan (Roberta Tovey) is referred to as Susie and is an adventurous young girl and not a teenager like in the series. Also, Barbara (Jennie Linden) is not a school teacher in this film nor is Ian. If anything the version of Ian who is played by the late Roy Castle is pretty much the comic relief and not the heroic figure from the series.
These changes work fairly well. As this movie was aimed at a fairly broad audience at the time and did help spark Dalekmania. Roy Castle who was known as a children’s entertainer and would later host Record Breakers with the BBC is cast brilliantly as Barbara’s clumsy boyfriend. Likewise, Peter Cushing does brilliantly with his interpretation of the doddery old scientist. However, the real break-out star is Roberta Tovey whose precocious performance as a rather brave young girl steals every scene she is in.
This 4K Box set of the movie is a must-have for collectors irrespective of whether you are a big fan of the film or not. The set comes with 2 disks. One is the 4K restoration of the film, which looks absolutely lush. The second is a Blu-Ray version.
The artwork on the box is stunning and very much in keeping with the time period in which the movie was made. The box art is a cartoon-style drawing of Dr. Who and his companions surrounded by Daleks. The art has a foil-like appearance to it, which causes it to catch the light in some rather nice ways as you look at the artwork from different angles.
Blu Ray Extras
The extras are usually the reason that I shell out money for sets like this and you get quite a lot of bang for your buck here.
First and foremost before you even put the disks in your Blu-Ray Player. You get two booklets, one of which is full of photos and publicity art from the movie. The other is a preview of sorts of a forthcoming making of the film book from our good friend John Walsh. Added to that you also get two fantastic posters as well as a few postcard stills from the film as well as an exclusive commemorative coin. The coin has a Thal on one side and a Dalek on the other and is really nicely detailed and presented.
When it comes to the Extras on the actual disks themselves. You get audio commentaries from actors Jenny Linden and Roberta Tovey. As well as a second commentary from film critic and writer Kim Newman.
On top of that you also get the following:
- The Dalek Legacy: Destination Skaro
- Restoring Dr. Who in 4K
- Audio Commentary with critic Kim Newman, screenwriter/writer Robert Shearman, and actor/writer Mark Gatiss
- Audio Commentary – actors Jennie Linden and Roberta Tovey
- Interview with Gareth Owen
- Original Trailer
- Stills Gallery
This is a wonderful set to have and will take pride of place on my shelf. Rewatching the film brought back fond memories of my childhood in the 1970s when my older brother and I would wake up extra early in the Summer Holiday to watch the morning movie, which is when I first saw this movie. Sure by today’s exacting standards. The visual effects are not the best, but considering that the film was made on a modest budget it holds up fairly well. The story still feels relevant and the film’s pacing is fairly good.
In terms of the extras. I’m still sifting through them. But what I have seen I have really enjoyed. As always the audio commentaries are highly entertaining as well as educational as they are often a great resource of stories from the set of the film or TV show. As told by actors that were involved. The documentary about restoring the film for 4K was really interesting.
In fact, the only extra on this set that I had already seen from a previous DVD boxset was the documentary Dalekmania, which pretty much tells the story of how the popularity of the tin pots rocked the nation. In fact, if it happened today it would probably break both the internet and Twitter.
Overall. A great boxset that is well worth the money.
- The Story8.5
- The Acting9.6
- The Presentation10
- Blu Ray Extras10