Sunday, 21 January 2018

FROM SERIAL TO CEREAL : WIN A DALEK : HUGE GALLERY : CALLUM MCKELVIE PART TWO


FOLLOWING ON FROM last week’s piece, I’m now turning my attention towards the second Dalek film, Daleks Invasion Earth 2150 A.D. Released in 1967, right at the very end of ‘Dalekmania’, Invasion Earth was not as warmly received as its predecessor despite my thinking it the superior film. My DR WHO AND THE DALEKS REVIEW AND GALLERY HERE! However, it still has a slew of interesting facts and tid bits concerning its production and release...


OF COURSE ONE of the more infamous aspects of the films production and marketing concerns the ‘Sugar Puffs’ sponsorship. On the one hand, this was extremely beneficial, assisting in the films financing and helping immensely with marketing. Examples of this include the Daleks featuring in Sugar Puffs television commercials, on the front of cereal boxes and of course a competition to win one of the Dalek props. 






THE NEGATIVE SIDE concerns the product placement that features regularly throughout the film, most notably on the walls during the opening sequence in which the Tardis is covered in rubble. It’s not damaging to the film in any particular way, but it is somewhat distracting when considering the film is supposed to be set in an apocalyptic future. I mean, did all other forms of food run out during the Dalek invasion and everyone went Sugar Puff mad?


WHEN BUILDING DALEKS for this film it might seem an obvious assumption that the Daleks were simply edited and re-used from the first film. Unfortunately due to prize giveaways and tours these Daleks numbers had been sufficiently depleted. With a number of new props built others were taken from the Curse of the Daleks stage-play and sufficiently remodelled. 


IN TOTAL NINETEEN were used with Terry Nation (Dalek creator) going on to own four. The rest, reputedly were left on the Shepperton backlot to rot. Nations Daleks would spend the next few years appearing on tours, being used for photoshoots and fairs. One of the Dalek props would get another chance to show off its acting chops- albeit on the small screen, appearing opposite Jon Pertwee’s third doctor in Planet of the Daleks.



THIS DALEK WAS SUITABLY ‘pimped’ out, having been repainted gold and black and appearing with a torch instead of an eyestalk. It looks suitably impressive and despite not getting much screen-time, steals the show. Nation's Daleks would continue to make public appearances for the rest of the 1970’s including the stage show Doctor Who and the Daleks in Seven keys to Doomsday.


OTHER MORE CONVENTIONAL and traditional marketing appear to have been a little less extreme this time around. Perhaps Subotsky, reassured by the massive success of the first film, decided to cost-cut in this area? That’s not to say there wasn’t any however. Some fascinating behind the scenes footage remains in a television programme entitled ''A WHOLE SCENE GOING ON' (1966) which features a fascinating interview with director Gordon Flemying, who discusses his motivations for wanting to direct BOTH Peter Cushing / Dalek feature film and how he chooses to work. Hammer stalwart Eddie Powell gets a shout-out and features in a few clips, setting up for stunts during the final battle sequence within the Dalek base. Cushing can also be seen walking around set and preparing for scenes


ONE OF THE MORE INTERESTING promotional aspects concerns the films soundtrack, which was adapted and presented by Gordon Gow for the BBC Light programme. Aired on November 18 1966 as part of the Movietime series, I’ve been unable to discover if any copy of this broadcast remains. There is however, the original soundtrack recordings, lovingly restored from the vaults of Pinewood Studios, and presented with 20 page booklet from Silvascreen. Some of the vibrant period scores written by Malcolm Lockyer and Bill McGuffie, also have sections enhanced by electronic sounds created by Barry Gray, famed for his work with Gerry Anderson.


DALEKS INVASION EARTH 2150 AD would be the final film in the series although a third film was planned, any ideas were shelved when 2150 AD didn't  hit the lucrative mark of its predecessor. However that’s not to say that that this would be the end for the Cushing doctor. Cushing himself maintained that he had been asked to take the role on for television 




IN EARLY 2010, it was discovered that Cushing did indeed reprise the role, although not on television or the big screen.  A promotional bill announcing the commencement of recording, 'JOURNEY INTO TIME' in ISSUE FIVE had appeared in the pages of the Peter Cushing Appreciation Society Journal, way back in 1981. It took until 2011, for anyone else to realise that the bill was indeed genuine, and seriously take up the research. Cushing recorded a pilot episode in the late 1960's, with the company mentioned in bill, STANMARK and Watermill Productions. However, the pilot came to nothing and sadly, the tapes have since been lost. The recording is thought to have been a thirty minute radio pilot for a proposed series, written by well-known Doctor Who script writer, Malcolm Hulke (creator of the Silurian’s and Sea Devils amongst other well-known monsters). All 52 episodes were to have been produced for Australia and other overseas territories. The plot concerned the Doctor and his companion 'Mike' journeying to the American Revolution.





FOR TWO SCI-FI 'kid's flicks', the Dalek movies have certainly left something of an impression. As I said in my reviews they are incredibly controversial which seems surprising due to their lighthearted nature and just how fun they are.  Love them or loathe them they certainly have an interesting history, though I feel I may be staying away from WHO for a while now, having already devoted four articles to it! I hope you have enjoyed them. Peter Cushing's work is all incredibly interesting and who knows, what we will be featuring here next Sunday? I HOPE you'll come along and find out!

If you want to know more about the Dalek props then I highly recommend visiting HERE!’, a site which features a complete and in-depth breakdown of what happened to both sets of movie Daleks. ALSO these sites are recommended too! http://www.doctorwho.tv/ and HERE!




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