Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Captain's Library: DR WHO & THE DALEKS Part 1

The British have a long tradition of taking successful tv series in every genre from sitcom to sci-fi, and remaking them into feature films.
So, it seemed only logical that, with "Dalekmania" reaching a frenzied peak in 1965,  a feature film adapting the first tv appearance of the lethal pepperpots, would be a box office smash.
It didn't quite turn out that way.
Amicus Productions, basically a lower-budget Hammer Studios, acquired the rights, and produced Dr Who and the Daleks, starring horror icon Peter Cushing as Doctor Who.

Note: I said "Doctor Who" and not "The Doctor".
That's because the movie's Doctor is an eccentric human inventor named "Who", not an alien Time Lord using the title "Doctor"!
The TARDIS, while still a space-time travelling device bigger on the inside than the outside and looking like a Police Call Box, is now the product of one man's expertise, not the culmination of the technology of an advanced civilization.

Beyond that basic change to the concept, the movie was a fairly straightforward condensation of the  seven-episode serial, utilizing the original story's major plot points.
With the benefits of
  • being the first color version of Dr Who (the tv show was shot in black and white until 1970)
  • a bigger budget than the tv series and
  • a music score by Thunderbirds composer Barry Gray
the movie did very good box office in Europe and Asia, though only moderately-well in the US, where the tv show had not yet aired.
With all that in mind, let's continue...
We will discover more of the Daleks' plans and how to stop them, tomorrow, in the exciting conclusion!
Plus MORE Dr Who goodies!


  1. Actually, at the time the first movie was made, the Doctor's back story had not yet been written and he was billed as 'Doctor Who' in the TV programme's credits. Therefore, the design of the Tardis interior apart, most viewers wouldn't have been aware of any suggested differences between the TV and movie Doctors (apart from the actors playing them, obviously).

  2. While he was billed as "Doctor Who" up to "Logopolis", nobody actually called him that on-screen.
    In the first episode, Barbara addresses the Doctor as "Doctor Foreman", as that's the surname the Doctor's granddaughter Susan goes by, and the junkyard in which they find him bears the sign "I.M. Foreman".
    When addressed by Ian with this name, the Doctor responds, "Eh? Doctor who? What's he talking about?"
    Later, when Ian realises that "Foreman" is not the Doctor's name, Ian asks Barbara, "Who is he? Doctor who?"

    The fact he was an alien was mentioned a number of times on-screen during the First Doctor's run (and is included in the original series bible)