Constable Tom Campbell blunders into a police telephone box, and finds himself whisked off to the future by the time-travelling Dr Who. In 2150, London is in ruins, and occupied by an invasion force of evil aliens intent on scooping out the Earths core
A superior sequel to Dr Who and the Daleks, the first big-screen adaptation of the BBC’s flagship science fiction series, this stuck with Peter Cushing’s talcum-in-the-hair dotty old loon interpretation of Doctor Who but has a semi-sumptuous widescreen look, a nice sense of World War II reconfigured as sci-fi adventure, memorable theme music, a splendid flying saucer landed in Sloane Square and excellent action scenes.
It lacks the grey desperation of ‘The Dalek Invasion of Earth’, Terry Nation’s original TV serial, but its cherry-and-metal-flake colour scheme is appealingly gaudy. And, of course, it has the Daleks, the cult creatures of the 1960s, patrolling the ruins of London, barking ‘exterminate’, puffing deadly smoke at squirming humans, emerging eerily from the waters of the Thames and finally sucked to their doom by a realignment in Earth’s magnetic core.
Bernard Cribbins replaces Roy Castle in the leading sidekick role, doing some comedy business when he tries to fit in with Daleks’ corps of the PVC-clad, motorcycle-helmeted zombie RoboMen, but also has a lot of fun doing the sort of action heroics he was never asked to perform in any of his other work.
A solid supporting cast take the whole thing with deadly seriousness – Ray Brooks, Andrew Kier and Godfrey Quigley as pea-jacketed Resistance fighters organising against the Daleks as if they were Nazi invaders, and a memorable bit from the untrustworthily suave Philip Madoc as a double-crossing black marketeer who fully deserves his overkill extermination.
Amateurish, but endearing.