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Daleks' Invasion Earth 2150 A.D. [Blu-ray]
(Gordon Flemyng, 1966)
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: 1:24:14.625 /1:24:27.479
Disc Size: 21,192,491,504 bytes / 33,968,608,753 bytes
Feature Size: 17,708,580,864 bytes / 26,726,356,992 bytes
Video Bitrate: 25.00 Mbps / 37.90 Mbps
Chapters: 12 / 9
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
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1976 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1976
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
• Restoring Daleks - Invasion Earth 2150 A.D. (7:11)
NEW Audio Commentary by
Writer/Film Critic/Film Historian Kim Newman,
Screenwriter/Author/Film Historian Robert Shearman and
Actor/Writer/Filmmaker Mark Gatiss
Description: Daleks - Invasion Earth 2150 A.D. directed by
Gordon Flemyng, now fully restored and starring Peter
Cushing in his return to the big screen as British TV’s most
iconic sci-fi hero, Doctor Who.
By far the stronger of the Doctor's two early big screen adventures, perhaps because it was based on a popular story from the TV series, Daleks' Invasion Earth: 2150 AD delivers all-out adventure with refreshingly little messing about. Peter Cushing never quite clicks in the role of the famous time traveller but makes an engaging enough protagonist nonetheless, whilst Roberta Tovey reprises her role as granddaughter Susan, Jill Curzon plays curvacious, no-nonsense niece Louise and Bernard Cribbins is a Cocney copper who, in a swift opening sequence, stumbles into the TARDIS, determines to file a complaint, and finds himself stumbling out again in 2150. There's also an appearance from Quatermass star Andrew Keir.
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.
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Daleks' Invasion Earth 2150 A.D. is restored on Blu-ray from Studio Canal in the UK. The image quality is superior to that of Dr. Who and the Daleks Blu-ray. It is 1080P and has rich black levels in the, cinematic, 2.35:1 aspect ratio. This Blu-ray has a consistent appearance not crisp but there is depth. The grain texture isn't thick and reasonably consistent. Visually this isn't dynamic but has no marks or flaws and it is decent in-motion. It may be the best the film will ever get. I wasn't displeased with my viewing at all.
Like Dr. Who and the Daleks, 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. Skin tones are slightly warmer and you see a bit more depth. The Kino HD presentation is the best of the two.
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 at 1536 kbps (16-bit) with a few instances of notable depth but the film doesn't have an abundance of aggression in the conventional sense - with robotic Dalek demands and some gas-shooting, fires and expositions. It's fairly passive. Many will recognize Bach's regal Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, BWV 565. There are optional English (SDH) subtitles (see sample above) 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 aggressive effects with the spaceship(s) and the score by Bill McGuffie (Corruption) and that adds to the film's adventure with some sci-fi cues that sound imaginative in the lossless. Many will recognize in the opening Johann Sebastian Bach's "Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, BWV 565". The score, overall, has 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 offer less than the Dr. Who and the Daleks Blu-ray, without a commentary here, but we get a 7-minute Restoring Daleks - Invasion Earth 2150 A.D. plus a interview with actor Bernard Cribbins and another with Gareth Owen (author of The Shepperton Story: The History of the World-Famous Film Studio.) There is a stills gallery and a trailer.
Repeated are the Dalekmania: Kevin Davies' 1995 documentary which 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 ofDr. Who and the Daleks. It has clips from the movies, various trailers, and interviews with the original cast and crew. It is the same one on the Dr. Who and the Daleks Blu-rays. Also duplicated is the 4-minute interviews with Bernard Cribbins and Gareth Owen. The 'Restoring Daleks’ Invasion Earth 2150 A.D.' video piece is also here and a theatrical trailer. What Kino add, that the Studio Canal does not have, is a new 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 tend to agree on the value in Daleks' Invasion Earth 2150 A.D. over the earlier Dr. Who and the Daleks. They have fun discussing the Sugar Puffs product placement and wanting Robo-men to return. Plenty of value and these three are enjoying the film and filling the commentary with opinions and details.
Studio Canal - Region 'B' - Blu-ray
Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Well, again, the Kino wins on audio and video. I think I give the Newman, Shearman + Gatiss commentary is a valuable addition - so they win on extras as well. The Kino is the one to own and this is a film that Kim Newman calls his favorite of the late 60's (with 1966's The Batman Movie.) It has great pace and a bona-fide apocalypse entry. Absolutely recommended!
November 25th, 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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