DALEKS’ INVASION EARTH: 2150 A.D. (director: Gordon Flemyng; screenwriters: Milton Subotsky/David Whitaker/based on the Episode The Dalek Invasion of Earth by Terry Nation from the TV series Doctor Who; cinematographer: John Wilcox; editor: Oswald Hafenrichter; music: Bill McGuffie; cast: Peter Cushing (Doctor Who),Bernard Cribbins (Tom Campbell), Roberta Tovey (Susan), Jill Curzon (Louise), Andrew Keir (Wyler), Ray Brooks (David), Godfrey Quigley (Dortmun), Philip Madoc (Brockley), Roger Avon (Wells); Runtime: 81; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Max J. Rosenberg/Milton Subotsky; Anchor Bay Entertainment; 1966-UK)
“It’s the rare occasion where Peter Cushing plays the good guy.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
This is the silly but fun sequel to 1965’s Dr. Who and the Daleks, that was also directed by Gordon Flemyng (“The Split”) and also starred Peter Cushing as the dizzy time-traveler scientist Dr. Who. The Dr. Who character, asked here to save the world from an attack by the alien mechanical Daleks, is based on a long-running BBC television series of the same name. The cast seemed to be having a blast making such nonsense, but it was not a commercial hit and no more sequels were made.
Dr. Who (Peter Cushing) is in present-day London, with his adult nieceLouise (Jill Curzon) and feisty adolescent grand-daughter Susan (Roberta Tovey), tinkering around in his time-machine named Tardis, that looks on the outside like a phone booth, when police constable Tom Campbell (Bernard Cribbins), chasing after a gang of thieves who blew up a store on his beat, enters the booth to call for police reinforcement just when Dr. Who pushed the lever to be transported to the year 2150. The foursome enter a 22nd century London that was razed by meteorites and cosmic rays and most of its inhabitants were turned into robots by the Daleks, who called them Robo-Men. The alien Daleks look like giant salt shakers, and have enslaved the robot humans to obey all their commands and have most used as a slave labor force mining the metallic core of the Earth so that the enterprising Nazi-like Daleks can alter the Earth into a giant Dalek spaceship. The aliens plan on using a bomb to blast out the core. It’s up to the eccentric Dr. Who to figure a way of escaping from their captivity and finding the enemy’s weakness so he, along with all the other Brit resistance fighters hiding out in London and armed with makeshift weapons, can stop them before they completely destroy the planet.
This childish science-fiction film preceded Kubrick’s masterpiece 2001 by two years. It’s an Edward D. Wood Jr. type of film, one where the viewer must be very, very tolerant of what is onscreen or else the film will not hold-up to scrutiny as something that’s even remotely passable. But it’s the rare occasion where Peter Cushing plays the good guy, and for that alone might be worth seeing.
REVIEWED ON 12/30/2011 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”
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