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on 20 March 2008
I saw these Dalek films 35 years ago and peed my pants...the bit where the Dalek comes out of the Thames still sends shivers down my spine...and my boys aged 3 and 5 watch it ALL the time. I half expected them not to like the old films because they are SO old. How wrong I was! These two films have truly stood the test of time and will keep your dalek fans happy on many a rainy afternoon.
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on 9 November 2007
Two very camp classic Dr. Who films at a very good price.

They come in a regular Dvd case with a nice glossy slipcase outer cover. The Dvd's no longer come with the trading cards and poster(advertised at time of purchase), but at this price I didn't mind.

As for the films, I've never seen them look better.
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Peter Cushing is often the forgotten Doctor, but in reality he's one of the best. I liked him a lot and seeing these films again I still do.

Here we have the two Dalek films from the 1960s, when Daleks were to be feared rather than the blobby plasticy creations of late. I can remember being riveted to the screen when I saw these as a 10 year old. The first because we got a glimpse of the Dalek creature (too hideous to be seen...) , and the second because it is just scary. The Daleks are big, intense and not stupid.

The second film in the series, Invasion Earth is the better one if you can ignore Bernard Crippens hamming it up as the comedy turn. Here the Daleks are truly menacing and the the whole film rolls on much more grippingly than the slow burn TV series on which it is based.

Now when I watch these films again, my heart still beats a bit faster even through I have seen these many times. They say you date yourself by 'your' doctor - for the record - Hartnell - but I think you also have your Dalek and the film Daleks are mine.
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on 20 January 2009
Two wonderful films - Roy Castle showing "If you wanna be the best, if you wanna beat Daleks...Extermination's what you need!"(Apologies to Record Breakers)and Bernard Cribbins making a prophetic early appearance before being regenerated many years later as Donna Noble's grandfather.
Just to add a bit of colour, can I say that, back in 1964/5,I saw the iconic scene from Daleks:Invasion Earth 2150 AD when the Dalek emerges from the Thames being filmed. I was a young lad at the time on my way back home from a cub scouts morning (ah, bless!) and went past the filming area at some old riverside warehouses around the Battersea area. My father and I watched the Dalek being repeatedly dragged out of the river at the end of a thin wire until they got the scene just right.
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Doctor Who has weathered differing levels of popularity over the decades and cemented itself as a British institution. When the series first aired in the 'sixties, it was well received but surprisingly, the biggest stars weren't The Doctor and his TARDIS assistants - instead the runaway stars were the pepperpot-esque baddies who appeared in the second story of the first series. The Dalekmania which followed meant that a big screen outing for the Daleks seemed financially viable and fans could finally see the nations favourite aliens in full colour.

Instead of a new story, the first Dalek film was a remake of the first Dalek TV serial. The same treatment was given to the second film, this time it was a remake of the classic "The Dalek Invasion of Earth" story which featured in the second series. It's clear that the production values are much better for the big-screen, the wobbly sets are gone, coloured lights flash on consoles and the visual effects don't look home made. It is well known among Doctor Who fans that the film is not part of established Doctor Who canon, this is independent to the TV series and Peter Cushing plays "Dr. Who"; a role based on the BBC character rather than The Doctor himself.

The first film wastes no time and only six minutes in, we are introduced to the main characters as they travel in the TARDIS to a strange land populated by Thals, their bright eye makeup making the most of Technicolour! It's also not long before the Daleks make an appearance, though it's not quite as scary as the cliff-hanger from the TV series where they first made an appearance. They do look impressive however with their bright colours and flashing lights, the shrill voice ensures that they remain the stars of the film and Dalek fans can delight that although they are a little bit different, they are still essentially the same metal monsters we all love. It's a faithful retelling of the TV serial which enabled audiences to see the Daleks on the big screen, and the second film is a more ambitious affair which sees the Daleks land on Earth.

The colours in the second film seem even more vivid and the sets are large, beyond anything the telly series could deliver. The Dalek's 'dual disk' flying saucer is very impressive (especially when compared to the 'model on a string' effort from the original TV story) and this has the feel of a rather epic Science-Fiction film, again with good doses of comedy thrown in. I personally enjoy Peter Cushing's portrayal as the doctor in the Dalek movies, he captures a childlike wonder, finding everything fascinating and his enthusiasm gives the grandfather figure great energy. His passion for adventure perhaps best displayed during the opening to the first film when we see his grandchildren reading science books while he is reading a comic. Wonderful, eccentric and warm (if a little war hungry!), it's easy to see how younger audiences may have found him a more accessible character than William Hartnell's doctor, who was often perceived as a tad grumpy.

It's a quality film and as I watched it again recently I marvelled at the visuals (even though some are now a bit dated) but felt that something was missing. There's an element of suspense which is absent from both of these films, it's something which the TV series was able to build over a prolonged period of time. A perfect example of this is the recreation of one of the most iconic scenes in Doctor Who history - the lone Dalek emerging from the Thames. In the original TV episode it was a scene with great gravitas - you can imagine jaws dropping when it first aired and even now it remains a captivating moment. In the film however it doesn't have the same level of intensity, the Daleks are less menacing and it only served to remind me how incredible the original telling of these stories were. Perhaps remaking two legendary stories wasn't the best idea, the benchmark was high, completely new stories may have allowed these to escape the shadows of the TV series. They lack some of the subtle yet magical things which are incredibly significant in giving the TV series a unique style. The TARDIS noise, the theme tune, the reliance on story - all these things are as big a part of Doctor Who as The Doctor himself and although the films do work without them, it's obvious that they aren't 'real' Doctor Who and they lack some of the magic the BBC had created.

This DVD package contains not only the two films but also the documentary 'Dalekmania' which explores how the Daleks have established themselves as cult characters in popular British culture. The DVD comes in a cardboard sleeve and contains several collectors cards (my edition has seven, one of which is signed by one of the actresses playing a Thal), there's also a small movie poster for Dalek Invasion Earth 2150AD.

In a nutshell: These two films recreate the first two Dalek serials of the TV series, they look good (mostly) and are well acted with considerably upgraded visual effects. They don't retell the story any better than the TV series however and the original black and white episodes are still the best way to enjoy these two Dalek plots. Even so, these films are still better than many other Science-Fiction features and the DVD release is excellent.
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on 13 June 2011
I remember these films as a child and purchased this as I imagine other people have done as a trip down memory lane.I stopped watching doctor who many years ago and the last one I watched I believe was a christmas one with Kylie Minogue with a sort of spoof titanic in space story.Thought it might be amusing as a titanic buff.The fact Ms Minogue was in it is another story lol.What struck me was the bad acting and limp cgi effects that supposedly make Dr Who so wonderful these days.Other reviews of this put the old films down purely because these effects are missing and so called poor acting.If thats the case nothing has changed.Enjoy these films for what they are
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VINE VOICEon 8 May 2008
I'm one of those fortunate people who remember the Daleks from the very beginning (December '63 to be precise). I also remember being very excited about these films when they were originally released, watching the first one in a cinema in Slough with my parents and a friend and the second one with my Dad in Aylesbury.

The feel of these films is very different from the BBC TV originals, but it was great to see the Daleks in colour on the big screen and then go home to read the weekly "TV (Century)21" comic, which featured stills from the film and an excellent, now legendary, Dalek strip on the back cover.

The first film stays quite true to the TV story in my opinion, with only the excessively stilted Dalek dialogue (their lights flashed almost continually in this film) and the clouds of steam emanating from their blasters being detracting to an anorak like me. The size of the film stage(s) helped enormously to give a sense of scale to this film, the petrified forest especially looking superb even now. The control room, although a bit dated now, is a fine size, allowing plenty of room for the action to take place. I soon got used to the different actors and rather liked the great Peter Cushing's bumbly Doctor.

The second film was even more impressive in many ways. The Daleks were painted more like the "real thing" and much of the grittiness of the original story transferred over. However, although supposedly 2150, the scenes and sets are all early nineteen-sixties London, with no advanced technology on view except from the Daleks themselves... The Dalek space-ship flying through the sky was very well done, despite the DVD showing the strings holding it up occasionally...

I bought the first DVD issue of these discs for my young son (and I!) to watch a few years ago and they've been played many, many times now and given very much enjoyment over the last few years. We still watch these films when they come on the TV from time to time and they're a pleasure to watch.

If you've a young budding Dalek fan in the family, please buy them these films, as despite the forty years plus since their original cinema release, they're as much fun to kids now (and their Dads[and Mums?]), as they were to me back then. The current "New Series" Daleks on TV are even based on these film versions with large lights and bases...........

Go on, BUY IT. You know you want to................
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on 22 March 2008
Great package for a superb price, this is an absolute must for any Dr.Who fan, young or old. These films have a superior atmosphere than most stages of the TV series did. I'm not a massive fan myself, certainly of the post Tom Baker versions, but I did remember these films to be especially compelling, so I had to buy them (for a snip at this price), and I was quite impressed all over again, especially with the second film. The first movie did remind a lot of HG Wells' Time Machine, with those pasty looking passifists living underground and under the yoke of the cruel Daleks. It is quite Wellsian in its pseudo scientificness as well, and has a real feel of sc-fi about, unlike the increasingly fantasy based TV series of the 70s and beyond.

The second film shows a lot of development from the first and is a much more entertaining adventure. This is more War of the Worlds Wells in style and has a fair bit of Orwell about it too. It's beautifully British (and cheap) looking, and very sci-fi. Both movies have good visually based scenes with an atmosphere worthy of Hammer films, and some great music adding to the flavour. Cushing was also a great choice as a slighty doddering old eccentric with a passion for complex astro physics and of course, time travel. Great hokey stuff.
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on 14 November 2010
Peter Cushing stars as the eponymous Doctor in battling his most feared and popular enemies the Daleks in these two films, Dr Who & the Daleks (1965) and Daleks - Invasion Earth 2150 AD (1966). The first film is set on the Daleks' home planet Skaro and the second is located in London. For some viewers this may bring back memories of 45 years ago crowding into the local cinema to see Daleks in colour and to be captivated at what was then big production values. Now with the benefit of 21st century technology the films are dated, the special effects are poor and the acting leaving much to be desired. However, this is an opportunity to relive some of the delights and wonders of ones' youth and so enjoy. The accompanying documentary is worthy watching and makes this release a three star performance. Nice to see Bernard Cribbins who recently appears in the Dr Who television series with David Tennant.
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on 11 November 2007
Review by my little boy: "I like these discs because I like the Daleks and Peter Cushing. My favourite film is Invasion Earth. I like Invasion Earth because I like it when the black Dalek and the red Dalek fall down the hole. My favourite Dalek on Dr Who and the Daleks is the black Dalek and I like it when the Daleks explode when they shoot each other."
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