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Blu-ray Review

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Daleks' Invasion Earth 2150 (1966)
(2022 4K Restoration)


Starring: Peter Cushing, Bernard Cribbins, Ray Brooks, Jill Curzon, Roberta Tovey and Andrew Keir
Distributor: StudioCanal


Certificate: PG
Release Date: 18 July 2022

The first Dalek film was a moderate hit and Dalek Mania was still gripping the country’s children in 1966 – a second film was clearly on the cards. The result – Daleks' Invasion Earth 2150 A.D. – is BIGGER and LOUDER and… generally a better made film. Its more sombre look and feel has also prevented it from aging quite so badly as the first big screen offer. No dodgy nylon wigs this time around.

There’s also something more ‘real’ about seeing evil aliens on the streets of London rather than in the corridors on a metal city, covered in twisted plastic sheeting. Yes, 2150 looks a lot like 1966, but once you’ve ditched the date it all falls into place… kinda! The plot of the first film makes sense, the plot of the second is bonkers… turning the Earth into a space ship! No good will come of this and that’s a fact.

A big screen extravaganza

The good news is that once again the 4k restoration is wonderful. It looks crisp and detailed with minimal grain and lots of colour. The mono soundtrack does what it was designed to do, which all adds up to a very nice presentation… if you can ignore the Sugar Puffs, which are everywhere! Even the women in the woods have a packet or two.

Where the film falls apart is the final reel – the model work really isn’t helped out by 4k, but the crash at the mine is mercifully short, which is undoubtedly for the best. Roberta Tovey’s Susan once again carries much of the action, while Cushing’s Doctor Who often seems little more than a plot passenger, perhaps because the actor was taken ill in the middle of the production. WE may never know.

Miniaturised antenna – most impressive

The packaging, as a whole, is really impressive. Great extras, aside from an oddly tiny picture gallery, help things enormously. And for those of you who fancy getting the release, but haven’t yet invested in a 4k set-up fret not, there’s a Blu-ray version included in the packaging, too.

But there’s a downside in all this clarity… the gold Dalek’s paintwork looks like it’s been applied by year seven’s art class using knackered old paintbrushes. It’s very rough and ready! There are probably finger prints visible if you look hard enough so it’s probably best you don’t. Its last minute addition to the Dalek hierarchy [it’s a silver prop given a splash ‘n’ dash promotion] is very obvious in 4k.

So should you cop a copy?

Bernard Cribbins is in the film so it’s obviously going to be great. He’s a screen legend for a reason and actually pretty darn good here, all things considered. In fact, the supporting cast chew very little scenery aside from at the very start and end – the robbery sequences are a bit naff, truth be told, but they make for a nice framing device so I can forgive the slapstick.

Overall, Daleks' Invasion Earth 2150 A.D. has some very impressive visuals, a tight script, atmosphere and a solid cast of characters. The Daleks impress, too, even if the plot contains a few planet-sized holes…


Anthony Clark

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