"Dr. Who and the Daleks" (part 2)

"Dr. Who and the Daleks" (part 2)

But then there's good! Remarkably for its time, the women of Dr. Who and the Daleks are not reduced to emotional, helpless fluffers (unlike in "The Daleks" episode, which scarred me for life with its dramatic close-ups of Susan's weeping face as she ran through the petrified jungle). True, the women here are not exactly Sarah Connor clones, but they hold their own when faced with Daleks, mutant horrors, perilous chasms and holding cells. Unfortunately, that is more than can be said for their television series counterparts, who found themselves victims of the times in which the show was developing. 

The Daleks themselves are presented in wonderful Technicolor, with two shiny black and red Daleks commanding the (blue) drones. It shouldn't really be held against the television series for not having the budget or the resources to do anything but show the same three Dalek figures from different angles over and over (and in black and white, at that), but it's hard to argue with the colorful little army that Dr. Who and the Daleks provides. However, while "The Daleks" showed the titular monsters using their energy weapon (with the screen briefly inverting colors, presumably to accentuate the sci-fi moment), the movie replaces the death ray with a jet of steam. It has much the same effect - being used to paralyze Ian's legs when he tries to escape, or kill the first unfortunate Thal to fall into the Daleks' trap - but looks so much less effective. The original idea of the Daleks being equipped with flamethrowers would have been a thousand times more visually powerful, but was vetoed for concerns of health and safety. Another reason was the fear that children would be afraid of huge jets of flame shooting from the Dalek. If you needed more proof that Dr. Who and the Daleks didn't "get" Doctor Who, look no further.

Dr. Who would return for one more cinematic Doctor Who adventure (or should that be "Dr. Who adventure"?), but the lackluster reception to the planned movie franchise resulted in plans for a third film being scrapped. Peter Cushing, who played Dr. Who in both films, made no mention of either the character or the franchise in his autobiography. But while the film franchise died a quiet death, the television series went from strength to strength: the 31st season took to the airwaves earlier this month, forty-seven years after the Doctor and the Daleks first met.

The movies did contribute to the series proper: design elements of the "movie" Daleks were incorporated into the latest version of the Daleks (which made their first appearance in the 2010 episode "Victory of the Daleks"); and the interior doorway of Tardis is similar to the one found in the modern-day design of the TARDIS. Other plans - to reboot Doctor Who as a successful movie franchise (with a bigger budget than anything the television series might have hoped for), to break the series in the United States - came to naught. In retrospect, that  turned out to be a very good thing.