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Dr. Who and the Daleks aka "Doctor Who and the Daleks" [Blu-ray]
(Gordon Flemyng, 1965)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: AARU Productions
Video:Studio Canal / Kino Lorber
Region: 'B'-locked / 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Runtime: 1:22:57.875 / 1:23:11.903
Disc Size: 23,498,377,198 bytes / 32,736,812,320 bytes
Feature Size: 17,591,267,328 bytes / 26,329,356,288 bytes
Video Bitrate: 24.99 Mbps / 37.90 Mbps
Chapters: 12 / 10
Case: Thick (UK) Blu-ray case / Standard Blu-ray Case
Release date: May 27th, 2013 / September 8th, 2020
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Master Audio English 1972 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1972 kbps /
24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
English (SDH), none
• Commentary by Jonathan Sothcott (The Cult Films of Christopher Lee), Jennie Linden and Roberta Tovey
• Dalekmania (Dedicated to the memories of Peter Cushing and Roy Castle) - (57:30)
• Restoring Dr Who & The Daleks (8:31)
NEW Audio Commentary by
Writer/Film Critic/Film Historian Kim Newman,
Screenwriter/Author/Film Historian Robert Shearman and
Actor/Writer/Filmmaker Mark Gatiss
Description: Directed by Gordon Flemyng and now fully
restored, Dr. Who & The Daleks (1965) was the first
big screen film adaptation of British TV’s most iconic
sci-fi hero, and was the first time Doctor Who was ever seen
The first big screen adventure for the good Doctor, this one steps
outside series canon but still delivers a satisfying adventure for fans.
As its poster makes clear, the daleks are the real attraction, and
they're also the most pleasing part of this film. The introductory
scenes - a trip to the planet Skaro - are fairly dull. Nobody really
cares about the fate of the miserable Thals. But when those metal
monsters take to the screen, it's non-stop fun and extermination.
It's certainly rather more light-hearted, and that tone suits the movie, which is colorful and sort of groovy, with its elfin space hippies and splashy opening titles, in a way that the black-and-white series produced by the BBC's children's department wasn't. It's deliberately funny throughout, with Castle especially giving a fine comic performance: He does a nice sort of collapse-a-bit-but-get-right-back-up every time Ian falls short in his attempts to impress Dr. Who or Barbara. Still, while it's a kind of a light adventure for the whole family, it also doesn't hold back in terms of cliffhanging adventure or keeping the dangers of nuclear war - which left this planet a radioactive wasteland and seemed quite likely when this film was released in the 1960s - right at the forefront of the audience's mind.Excerpt from eFilmCritic located HERE
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Dr. Who and the Daleks is restored on Blu-ray from Studio Canal in the UK. The image quality shows a fine layer of grain but colors are more passive than vibrant. It can look frail with mediocre contrast but I suspect that this may have been a concession to the restoration as it has some instability that required addressing. It is 1080P and is neither glossy nor pristinely sharp but shows some texture in the, pleasing, 2.35:1 aspect ratio. This Blu-ray has a consistent appearance. Visually this isn't dynamic but has no marks or flaws - it's just a little lifeless.
The Kino Lorber is on a dual-layered disc with a max'ed out bitrate - cited as a 'new 2K restoration'. It looks superior to the Studio Canal with richer deeper colors and better rendered contrast levels. It looks like the same restoration - very clean - duplicate framing but Kino have transferred it more robustly. Kino wins on the video.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
More Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray Captures
Studio Canal offer an uncompressed Linear PCM 2.0 channel track (16-bit) with minimal depth but the film doesn't have an abundance of floor rattling. It's fairly passive. There are optional English (SDH) subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'B'-locked.
Kino advance on the audio as well with a DTS-HD Master dual-mono track transfer at 24-bits. This is apparent in the effects (Dalek robotic hollow voices) and score by Malcolm Lockyer (Deadlier Than the Male, Island of Terror, Night of the Big Heat, Bang Bang, You're Dead, Ten Little Indians) that adds to the film's genre charisma sounding pleasing and often light for the humor, with more depth than the Studio Canal's 16-bit LPCM. Kino also offer optional English subtitles (within the widescreen frame - see samples above) and their Blu-ray disc is Region 'A'-locked.
Studio Canal add many extras including a commentary by Jonathan Sothcott (author of The Cult Films of Peter Cushing), and the gals from the film; Jennie Linden and Roberta Tovey. It has reminiscing about Cushing, how they got involved in the project etc. Not deeply probing but an okay surface recollection. There is also Kevin Davies' 1995 Dalekmania (dedicated to the memories of Peter Cushing and Roy Castle) that runs shy of an hour. It's a behind-the-scenes documentary about the two 1960s "Dr. Who" movies starring Peter Cushing, and spin-offs from the BBC TV series Doctor Who (1963), that starts with a trip to the cinema for two kids lands them in the world of Dr. Who and the Daleks. It has clips from the movies, various trailers, and interviews with the original cast and crew. Fans should enjoy. Restoring Dr Who & The Daleks goes through some of the stages of how the film was restored - both video and audio (drop-outs smoothed-over etc.) It runs 8.5 minute. There is an 8-minute interview with author Gareth Owen (A Life Through the Lens: Memoirs of a Film Cameraman), a stills gallery and a trailer.
Kino include as supplements the same Dalekmania: Kevin Davies' 1995 documentary is dedicated to the memories of Peter Cushing and Roy Castle. It's a behind-the-scenes documentary about the two 1960s "Dr. Who" movies starring Peter Cushing, and spin-offs from the BBC TV series Doctor Who (1963), that starts with a trip to the cinema for two kids lands them in the world of Dr. Who and the Daleks. It has clips from the movies, various trailers, and interviews with the original cast and crew. Also duplicated is the 8-minute interview with author Gareth Owen (A Life Through the Lens: Memoirs of a Film Cameraman) and the 8 1/2 minute Restoring Dr Who & The Daleks goes through some of the stages of how the film was restored - both video and audio (drop-outs smoothed-over etc.) Plus there is a theatrical trailer. New is an audio commentary by Kim Newman (author of Anno Dracula 1999: Daikaiju), and writers Robert Shearman (author of Doctor Who: Dalek - Target Collection) and Mark Gatiss (author of St. Anthony's Fire - New Doctor Who Adventures). They are very enthusiastic - gaining energy from each other's enjoyment and stories of watching Dr. Who. It's filled with details including William Hartnell and the Kinescope TV versions of Dr. Who from the early 60's. They are really enjoying each other's company, plenty of laughing, and we benefit from the depth of the information exported.
Studio Canal - Region 'B' - Blu-ray
Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Well, the Kino wins on audio and video. I think I give the Newman, Shearman + Gatiss commentary the win as well - the rest of the extras are the same. This is very family-oriented Dr. Who and Cushing is not at his finest. But the nostalgia level is high and it is fun - especially for the Dr. Who completists - there is a reason the series is so popular. Another great job by Kino!
November 8th, 2017
August 29th, 2020
About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 3500 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.
Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who
focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I
find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze
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