Friday, 13 May 2011

Dr Who at the Movies

Dr. Who and the Daleks
Since their introduction early in the first series of the BBC's Doctor Who(1963-89; 2005-), the Daleks - warlike, metal-cased inhabitants of the planet Skaro - had captured the imagination of a public fascinated by new technology and the burgeoning space age. Dr. Who and the Daleks saw them transferred to the big screen, in colour, for the first time.

The Daleks were a merchandiser's dream. Their inhuman likeness was ubiquitous by the mid-1960s, appearing in books, comics, and newspaper cartoons; on pencils, toys, masks and bedroom slippers. Selfridges even designed a Dalek cake for Christmas 1965. Spotting a sure-fire money-spinner, producer Milton Subotsky acted quickly to secure screen rights toDoctor Who for his Amicus company. According to Amicus historian Allan Bryce, Subotsky, a shrewd negotiator, persuaded the BBC and Dalek creator Terry Nation to let his company make a film version of the first televised Dalek serial, The Daleks, with options for two projected sequels, for the knockdown price of £500. To secure funding and distribution, this family-orientated film was to be deliberately distanced from the horrific fare Amicus was generally known for, and was released under the newly created AARU production banner.
Dr. Who and the Daleks
William Hartnell, the Doctor in the television series, but unknown in America, was replaced with the internationally bankable Peter Cushing. As always, Cushing approached his role with conviction, but his character, though still eccentric, was transformed from Hartnell's cantankerous, rootless, mysterious alien time traveller into a twinkle-eyed, kiddie-friendly suburban family man. The result is that Cushing's Who is distinctly sicklier and soppier than his abrasive television counterpart, and his adventures sometimes resemble a foolhardy and awkwardly protracted family outing. Terry Nation, for one, was unhappy with this dilution of the character. "He was a little too gentle... too kindly and too warm. The thing that Bill (Hartnell) had was this irascibility... he was a bad tempered, old, curmudgeonly figure... I'd like to have seen more of that in the character."

Dr. Who and the Daleks



Published by


Volume 32, No.379, August 1965, page 123


Dr. Who is showing off his latest invention, a time machine, to his granddaughters Barbara and Susan, and Barbara's boy-friend Ian, when Ian accidentally sets it in motion. They land in a petrified forest on another planet, where they discover a strange city in which they are trapped by the Daleks - mobile metal cones which apparently shield some form of life. They learn that, after the planet was ravaged by a neutron war, the Daleks built their city and cones as protection against the polluted air; another tribe, the Thals, are able to live in the forest as they possess a drug which immunises them against radioactivity. Holding the others as hostages, the Daleks send Susan to the Thals for a sample of the drug, offering food in exchange if they will come to the city. Returning with the drug (which the Daleks find has no effect on them), Susan tells her friends that the Thals are a peaceful race whom the Daleks obviously intend to destroy; they manage to escape, warn off the Thals, and persuade them to take the initiative against the Daleks, who are planning to explode a huge bomb which will make the planet uninhabitable to all outside the city. Led by their four Earth friends, the Thals successfully attack and destroy the Daleks and their city before the bomb goes off. Regretfully, Dr. Who, Barbara, Susan and Ian say goodbye to their new friends and climb aboard the time machine.

A patchy piece of juvenile science fiction. The settings are quite effective in a Christmas pantomime way, while the Daleks themselves - mobile pillar-boxes with flickering lights on top, weaving proboscises, and hesitantly guttural voices - make admirable villains. Against this, however, must be set some crude slapstick from Roy Castle, and absent-minded bumbling from Peter Cushing: these flabby attempts at humour only succeed in slowing down the action. And the Thals, looking and sounding like ballet dancers with their golden hair-dos, heavy eye-shadow and camp speech, must be the wettest tribe on record.

The Monthly Film Bulletin was published by the British Film Institute between 1934 and 1991. Initially aimed at distributors and exhibitors as well as filmgoers, it carried reviews and details of all UK film releases. In 1991, the Bulletin was absorbed by Sight and Sound magazine.

Frosties - They're grrrreeeaaattt!

Back in the 1970s, Tony the Tiger popped up during the commercial break
telling us that Frosties the Breakfast cereal are, Grrrrreeeeaaatttt! And they were too!

This advert dates back to August 1970 and comes from the magazine, "Boys Life."

And for 1970 Sears move from the 1960s Shimano Lark to the very 1970s Shimano Eagle. The gear lever positioning is also somewhat avant-garde.

I like the graphic design of these Sears adverts, with an almost Norman Rockwell look to the clothing and flesh and the cropping to exclude the head.


The Beattie Ads 1987 – 1991

British Telecom ran one of its most successful ad campaigns starring actress Maureen Lipman as a Jewish grandmother Beattie. Looking back many of these ads were comedy gold, with many classic moments including her ringing the shop to check if they had her size and after quizzing the poor shop assistant she comments that it’s not all the rage, resulting in the assistant throttling a nearby shop dummy, her reluctance to buy a dishwasher as it wasn’t good enough for Mrs Jones and her reassuring comments to her grandson Anthony over his exam results in this advert.

Double Diamond Works Wonders!
Double Diamond Beer Advert

According to the adverts Double Diamond works wonders. Sadly Double Diamond is a Beer of the past. It was massive in the sixties and seventies and most soccer footage show one advert at the football stadium advertising the Ind Coope Beer.

Until the 1960′s beer had been regional.Then in the sixties national names emerged, namely Double Diamond, Mackeson Stout and draught and bottled Watneys Red. D

ouble Diamond, Bass Worthington and most notably Guinness, were becoming increasingly available as draught. The success of Guinness encouraged Watneys to compete with Colonel Murphy’s Stout.

Double Diamond approached television as a crucial mechanism for getting their voice heard by a wide audience. The jingle: “A Double Diamond works wonders, works wonders, works wonders. A Double Diamond works wonders, so drink some today!” was used throughout the seventies campaign.

Get well soon Betty!....

Betty Driver fans have posted messages of support online

Coronation Street icon Betty Driver has been inundated with words of support as she battles pneumonia.

The 90-year-old actress who plays Weatherfield resident Betty Williams, was rushed to hospital with pneumonia earlier this week, and forums, websites and fansites have been festooned with messages wishing her the best.

Co-star Brooke Vincent, who plays Sophie Webster, tweeted: "A Special Tweet For The Amazing Betty Driver!! Stay Strong & My Thoughts Are With You ....... "

Several cast members are already believed to have visited the soap icon.

A show source told The Sun: "She's a feisty old thing and is battling like a woman half her age."

Betty was due to be filming this week, but producers have had to re-write the scenes she was set to shoot.

Some fear the star's latest health problems could see her give up her role, but the Rovers' longest-serving barmaid has insisted she loves the soap so wants to work right up until she dies.