It’s seems to be a standard with the Peter Cushing Doctor’s stories to speed up the pacing while simultaneously upping the production budget. This story hits the key notes, but the faster pace removes a large amount of the tension. This is readily apparent in the sequence when the Dalek emerges from the river. That big reveal just isn’t as dramatic when it moves at a breakneck pace.
Production-wise, the Dalek ship had a good new look, and wasn’t too shabby for the era. The Robomen, however, look like rejects from an unholy union of CHiPs and THX 1138. Good lord, those get-ups were silly, but at least they get their three square meals of nutritious… jellybeans?
In character notes, the police officer Tom, who replaced Ian in the plot, was a major step up from his Cushing-era predecessor. It was nice to see Bernard Cribbins again, particularly in his first voyage in the police box before he joined David Tennant as Wilfred Mott. An equally fresh breath of air was Louise, the replacement for Barbara, who was much more engaging and intelligent than her predecessor.
On the downside: Dortmun, the wheelchair-bound scientist, died a very meaningless death in comparison to his television counterpart. There was no need for him to attack them or die since the van could have very easily outrun the Daleks, just as easily as it ran the blockade moments later.
Anyway, this rating won’t count toward anything since this isn’t an official Doctor.
Rating for The Dalek Invasion of Earth: 5/5
Rating for Daleks’ Invasion Earth 2150 A.D.: 3/5
While we’re on the subject, let’s talk about the Peter Cushing Doctor. I like Peter Cushing, but his Doctor would have been better served with original stories. When Hollywood tries reboots in the modern day, I try to divorce my brain from what came before and offer up the benefit of the doubt. However, these two projects were designed as a near reproduction of the two Hartnell stories, so it’s almost as if the producers are asking audiences to compare in hopes that they will find the bigger, flashier, and colorful exploits to be more engaging. Similar to Gus Van Sant’s shot-for-shot remake of the classic Psycho, these projects pretty much demanded to be compared to their source material.
Cushing’s Doctor isn’t Hartnell’s Doctor. He’s far less proactive, and far less analytical, but he’s superficially warmer and easier to relate to. He would have been a worthy successor on the actual show, but in near exact remakes, he was merely average.
Dr. Who and the Daleks – 3
Daleks’ Invasion Earth 2150 A.D. – 3
Cushing Doctor’s Weighted Average Rating: 3.00
Onward to Series Four.
UP NEXT – Doctor Who: The Smugglers