Following the recent release of Dr. Who and the Daleks, the second of the two 1960’s Dalek movies, Daleks’ Invasion Earth 2150 A.D. has also been released. Thanks to another impressive restoration job the picture and sound quality of this 4K release is superb. But this movie is not the bright and colourful adventure like its predecessor…
Gritty. One word to describe Daleks’ Invasion Earth 2150 A.D. It is a far different beast than Dr. Who and the Daleks. Again taking inspiration from a televised serial, this second movie tells the story of an Earth subjugated to Dalek rule. London is almost unrecognisable given the scale of the destruction. With a movie budget, assisted by Sugar Puffs breakfast cereal, the devastation is more substantial than that created by the BBC. The same can also be said for the Dalek saucer!
Epitomising the darker nature of this movie is Philip Madoc as a black marketeer selling out his own race. Madoc’s first role in the Whoniverse is a truly memorable one. As is the character’s demise! Madoc is part of a broad and talented cast. Returning to their roles are Peter Cushing and Roberta Tovey who sadly don’t have as many scenes together so there are fewer opportunities to enjoy their chemistry. Jill Curzon and Bernard Cribbins replace the unavailable Jennie Linden and Roy Castle but both fit naturally into the ensemble. Cribbins also provides the light touches in an otherwise dark story. Oh, that Roboman scene! Other members of the supporting cast include Ray Brooks, Andrew Keir and Eileen Way, who appeared in the first televised Doctor Who serial, amongst others.
Thanks to the impressive restoration for 4K UHD, this movie, although not as colourful as the first, still impresses with the clear picture and sound quality. For instance the red of the Dalek bomb and the gleaming gold of a Dalek sparkle on screen. Daleks’ Invasion Earth is a strong film and stands up brilliantly even given our modern expectations.
A new feature for this release is The Dalek Legacy: Invasion Earth. This includes the same contributors as the accompanying feature on the Dr. Who and the Daleks release last month. Nicholas Briggs describing the variations in the Dalek voices. Robert Shearman rightly picks up on the memorable performance from Philip Madoc. Gavin Rymill provides insight into the props used to make the second Dalek movie. Mike Tucker also explains how the Dalek spaceship model influenced a modern Doctor Who special effects sequence. It is another solid piece which I wish could’ve been a little longer in duration.
Also included is a short interview with the wonderful Bernard Cribbins reminiscing about making the movie. Author of ‘The Shepperton Story’ Gareth Owen provides context for the second Dalek movie in another short feature. Once again the Dalekmania documentary is included. In fairness not everyone will buy both movies, although I can’t see why you wouldn’t. So it feels appropriate that everyone has the opportunity to watch the definitive documentary about the Dalek movies and 1960’s Dalekmania. Providing an audio commentary are Mark Gatiss, Kim Newman and Robert Shearman who offer interesting takes on the movie. Finally, there is the restoration feature, a photo gallery and the original trailer which has also been restored.
The prevailing opinion is that this second movie is the better of the two. I personally can’t choose between them. They are so different that it is hard to compare them and even harder to declare which is superior. A new release with a fresh restoration which returned to the source material allows an opportunity to enjoy both movies once again. I hope many of you managed to see them on the big screen for the first time recently! If not then the chance to watch these movies in the comfort of your home with stunning picture and sound quality is not to be missed.
As home media releases they are once again stunning products. The new artwork on the steelbooks and collector’s editions are excellent. Both versions are packed with additional material and features, fitting effortlessly on the shelves alongside the televised products.