Daleks' Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D. (1966 UK)

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Daleks' Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D. (1966 UK)

Post  BoG on Wed Apr 07, 2010 12:50 am


Wow! The sequel to DR. WHO AND THE DALEKS (1965) was a bigger-budgeted invasion tale set in Earth's future (as opposed to on another planet). Peter Cushing returned as the elderly Dr. Who, as did Roberta Tovey as his granddaughter. Jill Curzon was a new face as Who's niece, while Cribbins played a beaten-up copper who stumbles into the TARDIS near the start as it's about to go off somewhere, some-when. Where: still on Earth, in London; When: 2150 AD!

When I watched this again recently, I now questioned the wisdom of Dr. Who taking his niece & granddaughter with him into the unknown, on some dangerous adventure. When I first saw this as a kid, that judgment never entered my mind - I might have even been a bit jealous of Susan, the granddaughter. I'm pretty sure I saw this one on TV first, before DR. WHO AND THE DALEKS, because back then I was puzzled by Who's recognition of his old foes, the unforgettable Daleks - it was a startling shot of the first Dalek we see in this film, moving out of the water. Cushing's Dr.Who had, of course, ran into the Daleks in the previous film (but it's mentioned that this may have been an even further future -  Question  ).


As a kid, I was really impressed with the scope of this film - and I still am to an extent: London in a destroyed state; humanity decimated (a character mentions how the Daleks used meteorites against the planet). There was that cool, detailed, fully-functioning flying saucer (not a standard model/shape); there were the creepy Robo-men in their slick black bodysuits and helmets, looking like some futuristic space zombies. And then the locale switches to the rural areas, involving a slave labor camp. The money was well spent.

But what really set this above the previous film were the characters; there was a much more adult tone to these and the proceedings. The human underground was represented by some truly gritty characters (best acted by Ray Brooks, wheelchair-bound Godfrey Quigley and especially a hobbled Andrew Keir). There was a more realistic feel to the violence and death, a harder edge to it all. And, there was even a more sophisticated, layered & dark approach - there were informers and profiteers among the humans. Cribbins as constable Tom Campbell was also very good - he had his clownish side but avoided the over-the-top slapstick of Roy Castle from the previous film, except perhaps in that one scene of him blending in with the Robo-men. Curzon was pretty and snappy in her attire.
The plot entails the main characters getting split up into 3 groups and eventually coalescing around the master plan of the Daleks, involving the detonation of a special bomb. But, the climactic action is less important than the set-up during the first two-thirds of the film: this is an exceptional invasion story, recalling yet bettering other British efforts like The Earth Dies Screaming. They even throw in a slight time travel twist at the very end.
A few years after I first watched this, I began to think about the year 2150 as portrayed in this film; the buildings all looked like they'd been wrecked in the 20th century, but my impression was that the Daleks had conquered Earth only a decade or so earlier. So... Question  Best to let it go...  Rolling Eyes BoG's Score: 7.5 out of 10  


Last edited by BoG on Fri Apr 03, 2015 12:50 am; edited 3 times in total
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Daleks' Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D.

Post  BoG on Wed Apr 07, 2010 1:11 am


Behind the Scenes of Daleks'Invasion Earth:

This one had a larger budget than its predecessor (reportedly twice as large), allowing for a lot of on-location shooting. It was a remake of the TV episode arc titled 'The Dalek Invasion of Earth' from 1964. The same director, Flemying, was signed on against producer Milton Subotsky's misgivings, but Flemying did a better job than Subotsky expected. Some funding was obtained through the then-rare method of product placement - in this case, Sugar Puffs cereal.

Photography began on 01/31/66 and was interrupted towards the end when Cushing caught a virulent flu virus. Though shooting schedules were re-arranged, they still had to suspend the crew for 2 days with full pay until Cushing returned. Amicus was forced to file an insurance claim to meet the budget but the film still finished over-schedule, on 03/22/66. Box office grosses were not as good as the first one, canceling plans for future films; Subotsky had envisioned  one-film-a-year in this series, like a sci-fi version of the James Bond series. The next one would have been based on the TV episode 'The Chase.'

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Producer Milton Subotsky may have been ahead of his time; he was a man of a lot of ideas & possibilities and it was he, way back then, who first realized the potential commercial possibilities of the Marvel Comics super-heroes - Spider-Man, the FF, Hulk and so on. Around the same point as this film was made, he wanted to buy the rights to these characters for films, but was unable to convince his partner at Amicus.

I may be just as well, however - Subotsky's ideas revolved around presenting these super-heroes as camp, probably like the Batman TV show of that time. Think of it - Spider-Man in a 1967 film, in the style of the Batman TV show. It may have been funny - but probably also cringeworthy.
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