50th Anniversary of Dr Who and the DaleksBookmark and Share

Sunday, 23 August 2015 - Reported by Harry Ward
Today marks fifty years since the first Peter Cushing Dalek film was released in UK cinemas. Dr Who and the Daleks was based on Terry Nation's 1964 serial The Daleks, with the story being adapted to the big screen by Milton Subotsky. The film was directed by Gordon Flemyng who had previously directed William Hartnell in episodes of The Army Game.


Although initial reviews of the film were not too kind, they didn't deter the British public from parting with their hard-earned money. The film was twentieth biggest British box office moneymaker in 1965. In August 1965 BFI's Monthly Film Bulletin posted their review of the film:
A patchy piece of juvenile science fiction. The settings are quite effective in a Christmas pantomime way, while the Daleks themselves—mobile pillar-boxes with flickering lights on top, weaving proboscises, and hesitantly guttural voices—make admirable villains. Against this, however, must be set some crude slapstick from Roy Castle, and absent-minded bumbling from Peter Cushing: these flabby attempts at humour only succeed in slowing down the action. And the Thals, looking and sounding like ballet dancers with their golden hair-dos, heavy eye-shadow and camp speech, must be the wettest tribe on record. [p. 123]
Peter Cushing himself later revealed in a 1986 interview that he was offered the role of the Doctor in the TV series but said he couldn't accept the offer as he was "otherwise engaged" but went on to say even if he was available he wasn't sure he would take the role. His reasons for this was because he "didn't really care for the Doctor Who television series", stating that "they weren't my cups of tea". He added that "the Daleks did rather get on my nerves".

On 2012's DVD release of Death to the Daleks, an extra was included entitled Cushing and Castle which looked at the casting of Peter Cushing and Roy Castle in Dr Who and the Daleks.

In 2013 Studio Canal released a new digitally restored version of the film on DVD and Blu-ray to coincide with the 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who. A screening for Dr Who and the Daleks and the follow-up Daleks – Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D. was organised by The Doctor Who Appreciation Society and held at Riverside Studios. The event was held on 26 May 2013, which would have been Cushing's 100th birthday.

Competition

To celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Dr Who and the Daleks, Doctor Who News is offering readers the chance to win a copy of the film on either DVD or Blu-ray, courtesy of Studio Canal.

To be in with a chance of wining simply answer the following question:
At which British film studios was the film shot?
Please send your answers along with your name, address and where you heard about the competition (news site, news app, other website, etc.) to comp-DrWhoDaleksFilm@doctorwhonews.net with the subject "Technicolor Daleks". The competition is open to UK residents only, closing date: 31st August 2015. Only one entry per household will be accepted.

Artwork

One again artist Deborah Taylor has created us a piece of artwork to go with the anniversary. The design is based on Chris Achilleos's cover of David Whitaker's Target novelisation of The Daleks.
Dr Who and the Daleks (Credit: Deborah Taylor)




Daleks' Invasion Earth 2150AD limited edition steelbookBookmark and Share

Friday, 5 December 2014 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Zavvi are to release an exclusive steelbook for the second Peter Cushing movie outing, Daleks' Invasion Earth 2150 A.D.. The Blu-Ray release will be a limited edition of 2000 and is due out on 15th May 2015; it is available for pre-order from today.

Daleks - Invasion 2150AD Bluray Limited Edition Steelbook (Credit: Zavvi/SteelbookBluray)Daleks - Invasion Earth 2150 A.D.
Limited Edition Steelbook
Release date: 15 May 2014 (available for pre-order)

Daleks - Invasion Earth 2150 A.D. directed by Gordon Flemyng, now fully restored and starring Peter Cushing in his return to the big screen as British TV's most iconic sci-fi hero, Doctor Who.

The earth of 2150 AD is a desolate and hostile ruin of a planet, crumbling at the edge of civilisation, slowly disappearing into the darkness of space. For the future of planet earth now belongs The Daleks, a destructive army of alien invaders who have turned the human race into cowering slaves.

Meanwhile deep within the London Underground a group of resistance freedom fighters are planning an attack. But there's only one man who could possibly help them succeed in destroying their extra-terrestrial enemies and take back control of planet earth. A man of mystery, a man of time and space, a man known only as... The Doctor.

Special Features:
  • Restoring Daleks - Invasion Earth 2150 A.D.
  • Interview with actor Bernard Cribbins
  • Interview with author Gareth Owen
  • Stills Gallery
  • Trailer

Daleks - Invasion 2150AD Bluray Limited Edition Steelbook (Credit: Zavvi/SteelbookBluray)

Details and images with thanks to SteelbookBluray.com




Doctor Who newsreels among thousands of films released by British PathéBookmark and Share

Monday, 21 April 2014 - Reported by John Bowman
Archival footage relating to Doctor Who is among thousands of films now available to view on the British Pathé YouTube channel, after the organisation decided to upload its entire catalogue in high resolution to the video-sharing website.

British Pathé newsreels were once a staple part of going to the cinema, providing people with visual reports and features in the days before television news and, indeed, before many people had TVs. Now its collection of 85,000 films, spanning the years 1896 to 1976, has been released as part of a bid to enable the archive to be seen globally.

Alastair White, the general manager of British Pathé, said of the unprecedented release:
Our hope is that everyone, everywhere who has a computer will see these films and enjoy them. This archive is a treasure trove unrivalled in historical and cultural significance that should never be forgotten. Uploading the films to YouTube seemed like the best way to make sure of that.
German online TV channel Mediakraft has managed the project and is to create new content with British Pathé material. It said:
While the British Pathé archive is available online via their own website, www.britishpathe.com, going public on YouTube will create a new user experience. Viewers can comment, share and embed the historic videos and thereby add another dimension of context to the British Pathé archive.

In addition, it is very likely that the community will find hidden gems in the enormous video library that have not been discovered by the archivists yet. British Pathé, Mediakraft and YouTube are very excited to see the interaction of the online video community with the fantastic archive of history.
Of particular interest to Doctor Who fans will be the film clip of the 1967/68 Schoolboys' and Girls' Exhibition at Olympia, which at the start briefly shows a Cyberman and Yeti with onlookers, as well as the 1959 film Park Rangers, in which a police box on Wimbledon Common is put to use (1:51). Also in the archive is the 1955 newsreel Waistcoat Club Aka Waistcoats For Women, which includes footage of Jon Pertwee and Jean Marsh, who were married from 1955 to 1960 (0:49 and with Pertwee's brother Michael and Michael's wife Valerie at 1:24), as well as Peter Cushing (1:36). The film states that the Pertwees were founder members of the club in 1953.

More offbeat Doctor Who-related newsreels show a radio-controlled Dalek named Dodger selling university rag mags in Coventry in 1964, and another home-made Dalek plus robot and rocket in the back garden of the Sherlock family home in Horsham, which was filmed in 1967.







Fannual published for Peter Cushing's DoctorBookmark and Share

Sunday, 2 March 2014 - Reported by John Bowman
An annual devoted to the film version of the Doctor as played by Peter Cushing has been created by fans.

Designed to fit between the second and third annuals brought out by World Distributors in the 1960s and produced in a similar style, the unofficial FANNUAL: The Peter Cushing Dr. Who Annual has 172 pages of stories, features and artwork, all complying with the continuity of the two 1960s films Dr. Who and the Daleks and Daleks - Invasion Earth 2150 A.D.

Publisher Scott Burditt said:
It's rare to find new adventures of Peter Cushing's Dr. Who in print. There was a comic book adaption of Dr. Who and the Daleks by Dell Publishing in 1966 and that's about it. FANNUAL is all set to change this. For the first time ever, the unofficial Dr. Who is treated to his very own unofficial annual. Most appropriate!

This really has been a labour of love for all concerned, done out of genuine affection and fondness for the films' interpretation of the Doctor Who mythology, and I've had a great response from the people who already have a copy of it.
The publication is available in the following options:
    HARDBACK
  • Yellow or violet cover with colour pages
  • Blue or lime cover with black-and-white pages
    PAPERBACK
  • Red cover with colour pages
Plus, in a nod to one of the scenes in the first film, there is also an alternative paperback cover available with the title Time Travel For The Inquiring Mind. This version has black-and-white pages.

A teaser message from Dr. Who himself is given below:
Time travel. It's supposed to be impossible, isn't it? Well, actually, going forwards in time isn't really a problem at all is it? Just imagine if you could bend the rules . . . Well, I have managed to do just that! Moving freely forwards and backwards through time and space with my own invention is most exciting I can tell you!

1963 was the year it all began. I finally worked out how to make the machine work, and despite the fact that I am a grandfather and quite an old man now, I am still very sprightly because my adventures have given me a new lease of life! Which is just as well, as you will soon discover! Sadly, I can't turn back my own body clock and travel around the cosmos as a young man but I have shared all of the fun with my close friends and family and now I will share it with you . . .

So, let me take a rest from adventuring for a moment to regale some of the tales and the mysteries and challenges we've all faced across the galaxy from visiting our own and other strange worlds, with all of the many unusual and terrifying creatures we have encountered and the new lessons the universe has taught us in the process.

In this book you will find out about myself, my family and friends and the inner workings of my wonderful time machine with a friendly technical diagram highlighting all of the main features.

In my travels I have become caught in events surrounding the civil war of the 1600s, been to a distant alien world in a prelude to a mystery involving a couple I encountered on Barnes Common, and visited the planet Silicus, where I discovered men made of metal! Scary stuff indeed!

I've become a hostage of alien stowaways in my time machine, and on the planet Samsara my granddaughter and I were caught up in a conflict between two sides of the Brethren of Infinity as they waited for their Great Deity to save them from its imminent apocalypse . . .

My friends have even been accidentally miniaturised with one of my other inventions! Oh, the fun they had sorting that out! I've upset a couple of alien traders, encountered familiar-looking robots and landed in one of the most terrible places in human history - No Man's Land during the First World War . . .

I've explored the far side of the galaxy and managed to salvage the cultural heritage of an alien race, and I visited the strange Museum of Space Science in the year 3000 . . .

Also, on a very beautiful planet, my granddaughter encountered an alien prince and the two became romantically involved, which was very sweet. I've defeated evil terrifying robots who enslaved the people of the Earth in the year 2150AD and met intergalactic traders on the War Moon of planet Skirm, and my granddaughter befriended a strange creature on yet another alien planet, unaware that it was actually plotting to kill her at the first opportunity!

I've upset The Knights of Chronos, who are the self-styled guardians of time, and they put me on trial for creating a temporal paradox by returning a policeman I had met to 1966 before he actually left with me on my travels! Most confusing!

Anyway, you can find out about it all for yourself in detail in this marvellous book. I had hoped to write more about my adventures but I am so very busy exploring as I just don't want to miss out on all of the wonders and secrets the universe has to offer before, one day, I have to retire.

I know this sounds like the witterings of a mad old man but I can promise you that these events did actually happen! Enjoy this volume compiled by my friends and travel with me into this fantasy world that I have made a reality!
Examples of the covers and pages are given below:


And in an exclusive for Doctor Who News, here is clean artwork by Tony Clark for the fannual story Day of the Automatons, reproduced by kind permission of the artist:


UPDATE - 3rd MARCH: The red-cover paperback with colour pages is now sold out.