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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
Region: 'B'-locked (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 23,498,377,198 bytes
Feature Size: 17,591,267,328 bytes
Video Bitrate: 24.99 Mbps
Case: Thick (UK) Blu-ray case
Release date: May 27th, 2013
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
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)
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 - which is probably the best the film will get.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
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. The score is by Malcolm Lockyer (Deadlier Than the Male, Island of Terror, Night of the Big Heat, Bang Bang, You're Dead, Ten Little Indians) and adds to the film's genre charisma sounding pleasing and often light for the humor, if lacking intensity, in the uncompressed. There are optional English (SDH) subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'B'-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.
November 8th, 2017
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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