Daleks’ Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D., the second Doctor Who feature film, follows Dr. Who & The Daleks by one short year, and clearly betrays where the public’s interest lay at the time by ditching any mention of Dr. Who in the title. The first film largely disregarded the TV show’s premise and continuity, and the sequel similarly plays fast and loose with its own predecessor. Dr. Who has yet another young female relative, a niece named Louise? Why does she call her uncle “Doctor”? Did Barbara elope with that twit Ian?
Otherwise, the screenplay is loosely based on the original 1964 TV serial The Dalek Invasion of Earth, starring William Hartnell. It follows the original farily closely, especially in the early seqences showing a war-ravaged London and the iconic image (well, to Brits, anyway) of a Dalek rising out of the Thames (actually better realized in the original – here they cut away from a Dalek head poking out of the water and back to it fully emerged).
It’s just barely slightly better in terms of action and spectacle (the Dalek flying saucer isn’t half-bad, considering), but nevertheless just as mind-numbingly stupid. Let’s start with the title. Why is it set in the future? Everyone’s dressed in 1960s clothing, with contemporary rifles and cars. If there’s nothing to be gained, it might as well be set in present day. Plus it would be that much more of an exciting thought for kids to to imagine an invasion might happen today rather than next century.
Look out, Robo-men! Why did the Robo-men take off their helmets and suddenly become human again when the Doctor simply orders them to attack the Daleks? And why do they scream like little kids? Why do the Daleks have fire hydrant guns? Why do the Daleks only take male prisoners? What do they do with the women?
Of course, there’s also the music. After another set of pointless psychedlic opening titles, a sequence depicting a bank robbery is set to… Beethoven? WTF? After that we get a generic lighthearted score, determinedly whimsical even when Dr. Who discovers a corpse. Incidentally, this Doctor is badass. Crossing the countryside on foot, a Robo-Man orders him to halt. The Doctor shoots him and turns right back to the map. “As I was saying…”
And finally, why did the Daleks invade England? The “magnetic influence of the North and South Poles” is located under Watford, of course!