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Paul Atkinson (SHEERNESS, KENT United Kingdom)

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Doctor Who: The Daleks [VHS]
Doctor Who: The Daleks [VHS]

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enter The Daleks...., 26 July 2002
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.

Doctor Who and the Daleks / Daleks Invasion of Earth AD2150 [VHS] [1963]
Doctor Who and the Daleks / Daleks Invasion of Earth AD2150 [VHS] [1963]

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Two Curiousities..., 22 July 2002
I remember seeing these films as a kid with my dad in the sixties and they haven't lost their appeal. The first - "Dr Who and The Daleks" is almost a psychedelic romp, with garishly coloured Daleks and even more garishly made up Thals (the humanoid inhabitants of Skaro, the planet of the Daleks). The colours are sometimes overpowering, but compliment the high camp feel of the film. Peter Cushing makes a cracking Dr Who, playing the part as an absent minded inventor, rather than a Time Lord, and one wonders what he might have brought to the TV role, given the chance. Basically the story covers the Thals' attempt to make peace with the Daleks, the Daleks' attempt to exterminate the Thals, and Dr Who's attempt to recover a vital component to his Tardis (time/space ship - you know the routine) from the Dalek city. Peter Cushing is ably assisted by his grand daughters, Susan and Barbara, and Barbara's boyfriend Ian, played for laughs by Roy Castle. The Daleks are terrific, and have never looked better, but you could drive a bus through most of the cliches, dodgy props and plot holes - during the fights, all the Thals have to do is spin two Daleks around to face each other and they obligingly blast each other with their guns, one Thal stays behind in the mutant-infested swamp on his own to fill the water bottles (take a wild guess what happens to him?!), the Daleks decorate their control room with 60's lava lamps(!), our heroes cut the power to one of the Daleks by insulating him from the metal floor using a cloak but when they remove the cloak, his power stays off, and so on...but who cares? This is a romp, and darned good fun.
The second film, "Daleks Invasion of Earth 2150AD" is a little more intellectually challenging. Taking place on Earth with slightly more pastel coloured Daleks, the plot revolves around the Daleks' attempt to extract the Earth's' magnetic core and pilot the planet back to Skaro. To aid them in this endeavour, they have conquered Earth and enslaved the survivors, employing them as miners at the pit down which they will drop their fiendish device. Those they don't use for slave labour are turned into Robomen - black leathered zombies who can do all the stuff Daleks can't - climb over rubble, go up stairs etc. The science is absolutely hysterical, with Earth's magnetic field being at its most powerful somewhere near Watford, which is where the Daleks have decided to drill, and as you can guess, this plays a key role in the outcome. Peter Cushing reprises his role as Dr Who, and this time the comic relief is provided by Bernard Cribbins (who knows, if they'd have kept the film cycle going, we might have seen Frankie Howerd hamming it with the Cybermen...). The Daleks are great as usual, but look out for the absolutely cool Dalek spaceship, still looking fantastic when compared with the effects available today. There are plenty of explosions and fights, and this second film has a grittier feel than the first. Setting it in 2150 is really ropy though - everything looks very sixties (I suppose we could assume that the Earth here has been under Dalek rule for 200 years...?!!), and the film is very much a sixties time capsule. Still, as with the first film, it's a bit of a romp, best viewed on a Sunday afternoon with your friends so you can play spot the gaff and have a good laugh.
Great value video and a curiosity for the non-Dr Who aficionados.

The Prisoner: Volumes 1-5 [DVD] [1967]
The Prisoner: Volumes 1-5 [DVD] [1967]
Dvd ~ Patrick McGoohan
Offered by pokerbooks
Price: £35.00

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Review of "The Prisoner", 10 April 2002
The greatest TV series ever produced on one DVD set. Don't miss it! The series covers the incarceration of "Number 6" in The Village, a mysterious place which is a fusion of Mediterraenean architecture and quaint upper class British themes. McGoohan is quirky, unpredictable but ultimately defiant as the ex-spy who refuses to reveal to his captors the reasons for his resignation. At first confused, and often out-thought and out-manouvered by his captors, the tone changes subtly through each episode as The Prisoner becomes more than a match for each new "Number 2" who takes control of the Village. The plots also become more fantastic as the series progresses, mixing elements of mystery thriller, action-adventure, and SF, with The Prisoner battling Zombie-like Villagers, Super Computers, Mind-Swap devices, altered realities and the ever-present "Rovers" - strange bubble-like creatures which relentlessly track, pursue and engulf would-be escapees.
....and THAT final episode...!
Watch this to see what can be accomplished in the medium with a big budget, an ingenious plot and a who's who of guest stars that would be impossible in today's TV.
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