Doctor Who has become a television phenomenon but it was in the early days of the 1960s that his fame started to grow helped in no small part by the Daleks, unarguably the most famous of the Doctor’s enemies. Such was the success of the Daleks that two feature films were made as well as a straight-to-DVD adult movie.
The Dalek Encounters of Doctor Who at the Movies
Doctor Who and the Daleks were not just for television but also had success on the big screen.
Doctor Who's movie adventures with the Daleks
In the 1960s, Doctor Who made the leap from television to the big screen with two film versions, both featuring the Daleks. Peter Cushing was chosen to play the Doctor and there were some rewrites regarding his history. The existence of the films triggered what became known as Dalekmania, science-fiction’s answer to Beatlemania.
The popularity of the Daleks continued to grow and they remain to this day the most liked of the Doctor’s enemies. As such, it is not surprising that independent film makers have tried to jump on the bandwagon, one of the most famous of which being 2005’s Abducted by the Daleks.
Dr Who and the Daleks (1965)
Doctor Who’s first big screen adventure played a major role in elevating the Daleks to the fame that they now enjoy. Peter Cushing starred as the Doctor in a different version of the traditional television history. The Doctor is not a time lord but a human inventor who has built a time machine – the Tardis. Barbara (played by Jennie Linden) and Susan (played by Roberta Tovey) are his grandchildren. They are joined by Ian (played by Roy Castle), Barbara’s boyfriend.
A bit of clumsiness by Ian and Barbara sends the Tardis accidentally to Skaro where they meet the Thals in a petrified forest. The forest surrounds a modern city where the Daleks live. The four explore the city and are captured by the Daleks. They discover there has been a war between the Daleks and the Thals that left the planet radioactive, but the Thals have a drug that protects them. Keen to get the drug, the Daleks send Susan out to fetch a sample. When she returns, the Daleks trick her into luring the Thals into a trap.
The Doctor and his companions escape and warn the Thals as they enter the city. Back in the forest, the Doctor convinces the peaceful Thals to attack the Daleks, who are planning on exploding a neutron bomb to wipe out the Thals. Needless to say, the Thals win the resultant battle and the Doctor and his companions try to go home but end up in the wrong time.
Daleks Invasion Earth 2150AD (1966)
Peter Cushing is back as the Doctor and Roberta Tovey as Susan. They are joined by policeman Tom Campbell (played by Bernard Cribbins), who mistakes the Tardis for a real policebox when he fails to stop a jewellery robbery, and the Doctor’s niece Louise (played by Jill Curzon). The Doctor transports them to 2150 where they find a derelict and decaying London.
The Doctor and Tom are captured by Daleks coming out of the Thames with help from robomen, humans remotely controlled by the Daleks using radio helmets. The Daleks are in control of the Earth but Louise and Susan meet up with the resistance movement who are using the London Underground tunnels as a base.
The Doctor and Tom are taken with other prisoners to be converted into robomen but are saved when the resistance movement attacks the Dalek spaceship. They discover that the Daleks plan to extract the Earth’s magnetic core and use the Earth as a giant spaceship. The Doctor works out how to sabotage the plan and suck the Daleks into the Earth’s core.
Abducted by the Daleks (2005)
Also known as Abducted by the Daloids, this independent straight-to-DVD adult movie was produced as a limited edition of 1000 and then a further edition of 2000 despite attempts by the BBC to stop it.
The plot features four young women who take a short cut to a party when their car hits an alien. They get out of the car to investigate and three of them remove their clothes and are captured by the Daleks. The fourth woman is working with the Daleks and tortures the other three with a whip.
Trying to escape, the three women are killed. Whip woman ends up back on Earth without her clothes and a hunter uses her as bait to capture the serial skinner, a mass murderer who skins women alive. The Daleks kill the serial skinner just in time.
Doctor Who and the Daleks Trivia
Bernard Cribbins, who played Tom in Daleks Invasion Earth 2150AD, was to return to Doctor Who some forty years later as Wilfred Mott, the grandfather of companion Donna Noble.
The line “We’ll have to bypass Watford; the place is full of Daleks” from Daleks Invasion Earth 2150AD won the 2003 Cult TV award for the worst line of dialogue.
In the two films, the Doctor is really called “Doctor Who” in that his surname is Who. This is in contrast to the TV version where he is only ever referred to as “the Doctor”.