Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Dr. Who & the Daleks (Gordon Flemyng, 1965)

This is an odd one. While First Doctor William Hartnell was still doing the television program Doctor Who, Hammer Films competitor Amicus Productions came out with Dr. Who & the Daleks. Peter Cushing portrays the Doctor, and is openly referred to as "Doctor Who." It is far from being cannon, in my limited First Doctor experience, though it does have the aftermath of the war between the Daleks and the Thals set on planet Skaro.

In this film, it appears that Dr. Who is completely human, and has built his TARDIS himself. As I understand things, it was not clear that the First Doctor was in fact a time lord, only that he was from another dimension. I imagine they had a lot of room to play with the background, and in typical film adaptation style decided to get the back-story out of the way quickly.

From a film standpoint, it is fairly standard sci-fi for the time. Not as hokey as much. It has a rather Disney feel to it, and you can almost see Dick Van Dyke playing companion Ian Chesterton rather than Roy Castle. There is a great deal of slapstick humor from Ian. The set pieces look like Star Trek in many ways.

If you are sensitive about your Doctor, this might not be the film for you, but as many of us these days are unfamiliar with the Hartnell Doctor it might be a good history lesson of sorts. It is fun, if occasionally stupid, and I imagine was pretty impressive in 1965. Plus, you can check it out for free online (links below).

On Hulu or Youtube


Britt Reid said...

And you can read the 1965 comic adaptation drawn by DC legend Dick Giordano!

Unknown said...

ive never explored Dr. Who at all.....sounds interesting.

Darius Whiteplume said...

@Britt - cool. I will check it out.

@MM - Doctor Who can be a little hard to get started with, as there are so many incarnations and story changes. I am a big fan of Third Doctor John Pertwee. Hartnell's episodes can get a tad boring, I hate to admit.

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