Peter Cushing IS Doctor Who in 'Daleks - Invasion Earth 2150 A.D'.
You know it may be sacrilegious but I enjoy the film version of this story more than I do the Hartnell television version. It eliminates some of the padding, although the main plot: Daleks try & dig down to Earth's core in order to turn Earth into giant spaceship & the Doctor stops them is still as daft as the original. Piloting the Earth through space I ask you. What kind of dopey idea is that?
It's also got Bernard Cribbins in it, a sure sign of quality playing Special Constable Tom Campbell. I don't know about you but if I'd been RTD I'd have been seriously tempted to name Cribbins' character in 'New' Who 'Tom' just for the sheer mischevious hell of it. This is probably why it isn't a good idea to put me in charge of flagship BBC programmes.
Cribbins - Sign of Quality
Also both Ray Brooks and Andrew Keir put in rock solid performances as David and Wyler respectively.
The special effects hold up pretty well, except the rather obvious model shot right at the end; Roberta Tovey as Susan isn't actually that irritating as child actors go; the Daleks move at a quite a lick when they need to. They also look pretty impressive compared to the television version, perhaps it was the colour. The story as a whole moves with pace, even if the plot is as daft as I've already mentioned
I first saw this in a hotel in Tenerife at approximately the time Meglos was being shown in 1980 & I saw it on the BIG SCREEN at the lovely Duke's cinema/theatre in Lancaster when I was at University so I've get a bizarrely warm fuzzy feeling about this film, more so than the other Dalek movie.
It also has the first - and shortest - Doctor Who appearance of The Madoc, which adds to it appeal in my opinion.
As for Peter Cushing himself, he's not really playing the same character as the television Doctor. He's more avuncular than Hartnell, more 'grandfatherly', which is perhaps not a surprise as Rebecca Tovey's Susan is a child unlike Carole Ann Ford's television Susan. It's not bad, it's just not that Doctor-ish. Personally I prefer Cushing when he's fighting vampires or making Christoper Lee into the Monster.
Still it's all good clean fun so definitely worth catching the next time it's on the telly.
Tony Cross is the creator of the wonderful Centurion Blog's found HERE and HERE.
Image – BBC.