The first big-screen outing of the BBC’s ever-popular sci-fi TV series (first shown in 1963) has Roy Castle stumble onto the TARDIS control panel and launch the Doctor and his grandchildren off to the devastated future world of Skaro – home planet of the Daleks.
Here the Daleks unleash neutron Armageddon in order to deal with a nasty infestation of hippies known as the Thals.
In an interesting contrast to his later pacifist incarnations, Peter Cushing’s doddery old Doctor actually urges the non-violent Thals to stop being silly and get to war.
This film also consciously separates itself from the television source so much that it is not considered to be part of the Doctor Who canon or history. In this film, the Doctor is not an alien Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey but an eccentric human professor and inventor.
This spin-off lacks the bite and inventiveness that set the landmark series apart, unwisely injecting humour into the sparse scenario, and the cheap art direction is strictly “101 Uses for Pink Plastic Sheeting”.
However, despite the many faults, it’s still a fun ride for both the uninitiated and die-hard fans alike.