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Doctor Who: The Daleks [VHS]

William Hartnell , William Russell , Christopher Barry , Richard Martin    Universal, suitable for all   VHS Tape
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
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Doctor Who: The Daleks [VHS] + Doctor Who: The Dalek Invasion Of Earth [VHS]
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Product details

  • Actors: William Hartnell, William Russell, Carole Ann Ford, Jacqueline Hill
  • Directors: Christopher Barry, Richard Martin
  • Format: Black & White
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: BBC
  • VHS Release Date: 26 Feb 2001
  • Run Time: 172 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005792S
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 141,430 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

First ever television outing for those malevolent pepper pots, the Daleks. When the TARDIS lands on a strange, seemingly lifeless planet, the Doctor (William Hartnell) is intrigued to discover a metallic city nearby, and secretly sabotages his ship so that his fellow travellers are forced to investigate. Once in the city the TARDIS crew begin suffering from radiation sickness, and matters take a turn for the worse when they are captured by the Daleks - aliens who have mutated as the result of a nuclear war with their enemies, the Thals, and are now encased in metallic travel machines. The Daleks agree to set Susan free in order to obtain life-saving drugs from the TARDIS, but are they as concerned for the time travellers' health as they seem, or do they have an ulterior motive? This story - the first of numerous appearances for the Daleks - was later remade into a film, 'Doctor Who and the Daleks', starring Peter Cushing as the Doctor.

From Amazon.co.uk

The Daleks (sometimes called "The Dead Planet") is the second ever Doctor Who serial, presented with all seven unedited episodes on one tape. First broadcast between December 1963 and February 1964, the story ensured the programme's success by introducing the Doctor's most iconic enemies. Five hundred years after a nuclear war has devastated the planet Skaro, the Doctor (William Hartnell), Barbara, Ian and Susan materialise in a petrified forest where the pacifist, and decidedly camp, Thals face starvation. Our heroes visit a nearby city, the home of the last remaining Daleks, terrifyingly cold-blooded mutants encased in armed, pepper-pot-like shells, and become involved in a desperate battle for survival.

Given a nightmarish atmosphere by Tristram Cary's surreal electronic score, The Daleks proved the template for many a future Doctor Who adventure. Hartnell's Doctor is a surprisingly self-serving hero and the ambitious storytelling, which reflects the Cold War fears of the time, belies a tiny budget. The remastered picture sometimes looks digitised, but this story, remade for the cinema as Dr Who and the Daleks (1965) and starring Peter Cushing, is still both an effective, if at times unintentionally hilarious, entertainment and an essential piece of television history. A superior sequel, "The Dalek Invasion of Earth" was screened in late 1964. --Gary S Dalkin

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The story that assured the legend 22 May 2001
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
Doctor Who had already had its first story, but I always felt that it was this story, penned by the brilliant Terry Nation, that really put Doctor Who on the Map
The direction and acting are spot on.
William Hartnell, already an established actor, making the most of his talents here with his portrayal of the Alien Doctor
Later Earth companians, got less and less shocked when they joined the Doctor
So its refreshing here that Ian and Babara display a sense of wonder and disbelief about the world and life they have stumbled on.
I never saw this when it was first transmitted as I grew up with the Colour Doctors, however, its easy to see why many a family sofa got hidden behind when the Daleks first appreared on our screens
Episode one particularly has a memorable cliff hanger, when all we are treated to is a view of the Dalek sucker
I don't think this is the best Dalek story, Genesis has that honour (also penned by Terry Nation), but nevertheless a terrific piece of work and should be in every fans collection, especially now its remastered and such a bargain price for a seven parter
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enter The Daleks.... 26 July 2002
Format:VHS Tape
The Daleks' first appearance catapulted Dr Who from kids educational adventure serial into true Sci Fi. Although the show would return to historic themes throughout Hartnell's reign as the Doctor, the Daleks stamped their presence and opened the way to futuristic drama and the recurring alien monsters that define Dr Who for most people. The Daleks are riveting of course, but the story itself unfolds at a leisurely pace, introducing us to the planet Skaro, it's inhabitants and history, exploring the group and individual dynamics of the Doctor and his companions, and weaving in a few little subplots along the way. As always, the black and white filming gives a claustrophobic and atmospheric feel to the story, and the acting is first rate. Don't be put off if you've seen the extremely camp film version, this is different territory completely. The Doctor is quirky, irritable, at turns childish and imperious; the companions are not just there as window dressing either - it is Ian who has the practical ideas and leads the rearguard Thal attack on the Dalek city, Barbara who is the voice of reason and conscience, and Susan who reminds us of the true wonder an adventurer would feel visiting an alien world. The Thals themselves are impressive, exuding an air of dignity interwoven with the better human emotions and responses. The Daleks are presented in more detail, and with more thought, than they would be in the latter days of Dr Who (when they became virtual parodies of themselves, screaming, "Exterminate!" and descending to melodramatic levels at every appearance), and we get to see more of their thought processes, and to some extent, personalities, as they plot and react as events unfold.
Buy the video and experience a slice of history - this is Dr Who at its best.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Insightful 8 Jan 2006
Format:VHS Tape
First off, a Warning: This review contains plot spoilers, if you have not seen The Daleks, read no further.
This is IT. The beginning of the most famous and recognisable, in Britian at least, villans ever to appear on the small screen.
The original designs of the monsters, the original Terry Nation Who story. And yet, although this is the first time that we see the Daleks it is very different to what they became.
In their debut the Daleks are not universe-conquering monsters out to chase and exterminate anything that they can see. They are people, they are a nation. Admittedly they are very suspicious and xenophobic, but only to the point of fear of what is not like them. They have clear and understandable motives.
The Thals were a warrior race, the Daleks were teachers and scientists, it doesn't take a genius to work out who probably started the neutronic war.
Having barely survived, the Daleks, horribly mutated, crawl into their city and prepare to let the universe get on with it. But it's not that simple. New Thals have apperared, a possible second attack.
The Daleks in this story are not clones, they are not, as Davros later put it "programmed". They do not listen to a black leader or a massive emperor, they debate and discuss until an accepted course of action is agreed on.
And even the neutron bomb isnt a weapon, it is the only way that the Daleks have discovered that they can survive. Far more subtle than the movie Daleks desire to "explode another neutron bomb and increase radiation to a point that not even tha Thals can survive".
And perhaps most disturbing, the last living Dalek, begging the Doctor to re-start the power grid as it dies.
The Daleks could have been a great society, with cultural eccentricities and class structures and people with personality. Instead they became a race of singular-minded robots.
It is still excellent, however, to watch this and see what could have been.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dated but important 6 May 2009
Format:VHS Tape
Yes a classic story, yes the introduction of the most famous aliens on British TV, yes some decent performances from William Hartnell et al. However, as important as it is in terms od Doctor Who lore, it looks and feels terribly dated, and the cliffhangers surely can't ever have been scary? I read the 1973 Target novelisation as a kid so was probably spoiled by that; The Daleks look good but there is no real sense of menace there.
This story is now available from Amazon as part of the 'Travels in Time and Space' audiobook Collector's Tin.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars An All Time Classic
I watched this classic story for the first time recently on the horror channel and I had no idea what I was going to expect, which I thought the story was going to drag with it... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Mrs. Marilyn A. Rice
5.0 out of 5 stars The League of Gentlemen (Series 1)
Alright black comedy isn't to everyones taste, but the League of Gentlemen portrait of Royston Vasey has to be amongst the comedy classics. Read more
Published on 14 April 2004 by Mr. Karl Goulding
3.0 out of 5 stars a bit disapointing and slow
I thought i wanted to know how the Daleks started out in the first season of Dr Who. I found the story a bit disappointing. Because it's 7 episodes, the story is a bit slow. Read more
Published on 9 Mar 2004 by R. A. Robinson
This is the first story featuring the daleks. One guidline for the show was that storys shouldn't include scary monsters. Two stories out of 160 in and the rule has been broken. Read more
Published on 22 Oct 2002 by Kurdt McFlarne
5.0 out of 5 stars No wonder Doctor Who was a success
The Daleks feature in "The Dead Planet" which is regarded by many as the best, if not the greatest Doctor Who story ever broadcast. Read more
Published on 21 Sep 2001
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best Dr Who's ever
I saw this when I was eight in 1963 and it scared the life out of me. I have just bought it and have been watching with my two young sons. Read more
Published on 23 Mar 2001
4.0 out of 5 stars This video is a welcome re-release
This video is a welcome re-release from the BBC, although I cannot see how it has been remastered. This was only the second Who story, and was the first to feature the Daleks. Read more
Published on 26 Jan 2001 by gaiman@lineone.net
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