Dr. Who and the Daleks (1965)

dr who and the daleks poster 1965 movie
7.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Great looking different take on the Doctor

Remakes The Daleks storyline which didn't need to be remade, non-canon with Doctor Who series

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Dr. Who and the Daleks

Studio:  AARU Productions Limited

Genre(s):  Sci-Fi/Fantasty/Doctor Who

Release Date(s):  August 23, 1965

MPAA Rating:  Not Rated


I call it the TARDIS…It’s bigger on the inside!

When Ian (Roy Castle) goes to visit his girlfriend Barbara (Jennie Linden), he meets her grandfather Doctor Who (Peter Cushing) and her younger cousin Susan (Roberta Tovey).  Ian accidentally triggers the Doctor’s machine called the TARDIS sending the Doctor, Ian, Barbara, and Susan on an adventure in time and space.  The TARDIS arrives on a strange radioactive petrified planet called Skaro.  Skaro is divided by two warring cultures called the Daleks and the Thals.  As prisoners of the creatures called the Daleks, Dr. Who, Ian, Susan, and Barbara must find a way to help the Thals stop them and escape their deadly grasp.

Dr. Who and the Daleks is the big screen adaptation of the popular Doctor Who television series which began in 1963 and specifically the storyline presented in the second arc of the series entitled Doctor Who:  The Daleks (Story #2).  The series was presented in bright Technicolor (the TV series was still black-and-white) and fairly well received at the time.  The movie is not considered part of the official Doctor Who canon, but it is an interesting “parallel” world.


Susan…I remember you being older.

It is really strange to go back and watch Dr. Who and the Daleks now that Doctor Who has become such a phenomenon.  There are a number of differences between the movie and the series…Barbara and Ian were initially Susan’s teachers.  Susan was a teenager and Barbara and Ian were much older.  The Doctor did have a lot of mystery surrounding him and his alien background wasn’t really explored until later, but Dr. Who appears to just be a man and inventor interested in science instead of an alien.  It is also hard to call him “Dr. Who” since that was just the title of the show and not his actual name (of course he is famously just called “The Doctor” though the show does often play with that).


Dalek central

As an adaptation, the movie is a pretty straight forward.  Once Dr. Who, Susan, Ian, and Barbara arrive on Skaro, the movie doesn’t deviate much from the original plot.  It must have been strange for the early fans of the series to see the story told essentially again.  I have to say that Cushing does make a good Doctor, and it would have been cool to see him as the actual Doctor on the television series.  He has a bit more life and enthusiasm then the original Doctor played by William Hartnell had in Doctor Who:  The Daleks.


It is attack of the Daleks!!!

The Daleks themselves are rather cool in this film.  The movie made them taller than the TV series, gave them the same great voice, and removed their dangerous whisk to be replaced by the claw.  The Daleks used in the movie were used for the second Dalek appearance in Doctor Who:  The Chase so people who saw Doctor Who:  The Chase actually saw a preview of the Daleks used in the movie which came out after the Daleks’ second appearance.

Dr. Who and the Daleks is definitely worth checking out if you are a fan of Doctor Who, but also would be fun for 1960s sci-fi fantasy.  The movie is bright and better looking than the series so it can be fun even for the die-hards. Dr. Who and the Daleks was followed by Daleks—Invasion Earth:  2150 A.D. in 1966.

Related Links:

Daleks—Invasion Earth:  2150 A.D. (1966)

Doctor Who:  The Daleks (Story #2)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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