Sunday, December 25, 2011


As a major fan of Doctor Who, I am excited to report that Turner Classic Movies will be showing "Daleks-Invasion Earth: 2150 AD", the second of two Doctor Who movies that were released in the mid 60s. The movies featured Peter Cushing as the time traveling hero. The movies were not part of official “Doctor Who Cannon”. In fact, in the films, the Doctor isn’t an alien, isn’t even a “Time Lord”. He’s just an elderly, somewhat eccentric inventor who travels in a time machine with his niece and granddaughter. We still get the TARDIS but in the movies the letters no longer stand for Time And Relative Dimensions In Space. It’s just a name.  Like "Enterprise". 

Cushing as the Doctor
Peter Cushing’s character is a variation of the series first Doctor who was played by William Hartnell. Also changed is the character of Susan (played in the movie by Roberta Tovey), the Doctors “granddaughter”. She’s much younger in the movie where as on the television show she was a teenager (we think, it’s still a little vague if she was even his real granddaughter). In the movie however, we get a new relative…his niece Louise (Jill Curzon).

Cushing & Dalek
Both films feature the Daleks, the greatest and deadliest of all the Doctors enemies. In Daleks-Invasion Earth: 2150 AD the Daleks, having met defeat at the hands of the Doctor on their home planet of Skaro, are now intent on taking over London. The movie is a filmed version of a 6 episode story arc from the television show called The Dalek Invasion of Earth. The stories are similar but while the movie version has a bigger budget, it’s a much weaker, watered down version of the television story. Still, it’s fun to see horror movie icon Peter Cushing as the Doctor. Cushing was the clear choice for such a role in the 60s, having made a career playing mad scientists both good and evil in a number of Hammer Horror films. The movie is pure kitsch of course. But it’s part of Who history. While sappy and silly (even by Doctor Who standards) it does have heart and it’s fun to see a more cinematic version of the character. Daleks-Invasion Earth: 2150 AD is on Wednesday December 28 at 1:15 AM on Turner Classic Movies.


  1. I love the Peter Cushing Dr Who movies. It might be heresy to say so but I prefer the first one to the original TV version which was too slow-moving for my liking.

    And, of course, the second movie features Bernard Cribbins who many decades later became a regular in the TV show itself.

  2. Hi Steve. I agree, the Cushing movies are fun and definitely more fast paced (if not as well written) than the Hartnell stories which they're based on. Only, I wonder why they made him human instead of an alien? I guess that would add too much exposition?

    Cushing was said to have really enjoyed the role as he was able to connect with younger kids who loved the films.