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Doctor Who: Day of the Daleks (Story 60)

4.2 out of 5 stars 49 customer reviews

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(Sep 13, 2011)
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Editorial Reviews

Doctor Who: Day of the Daleks (DVD)

On Earth in the 22nd century, Daleks have enslaved the planet, and humans live in fear of their masters. Meanwhile, back in the 20th century, a peace conference is urgently needed to prevent World War Three. When reports reach UNIT of a ghost at Auderly House – the site for the conference – the Doctor and Jo decide to investigate. Danger is waiting for them there, including a trip two hundred years into the future without the TARDIS.


Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Jon Pertwee, Nicholas Courtney, Richard Franklin, Katy Manning, John Levene
  • Directors: Paul Bernard
  • Writers: Louis Marks
  • Producers: Barry Letts
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: BBC Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: September 13, 2011
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0051V55XA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #37,194 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape
The benefit of this video is that it's more intellectual and thought-provoking than most television SF. The premise is a paradox, a time loop, and I find myself thinking if it existed before the Doctor got involved, and if so, did it continue to exist afterward? And when, pray tell, did it begin?
That said, the characterizations are well-done, building on existing character tropes without contradicting anything put forth in the past. There's a certain continuity failure, as there is in this series when the future of Earth comes into question (how often can our world be destroyed, overrun, or conquered for the first time?), but we've come to accept that as part of the joy of time travel. The Daleks are as deliciously evil and as devoid of redeeming qualities as ever, and the tortured heros make the noble choice in the end, as they always will.
An enjoyable SF romp for a Friday night with the brain in neutral, or a thought-provoking, issue-oriented drama when that's what you need. A little of something for everyone.
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Format: DVD
I'm surprised that it took so long for "Day of the Daleks" - a pretty good Doctor Who story - to see the light of day on DVD. Perhaps the folks at BBC Worldwide and 2entertain were waiting for CGI technology to advance, to the point that they could produce a cheap but good-looking special edition (which is what you get on the second disc of this DVD two-pack).

Generally speaking, I don't care for special editions; new special effects or new scenes that are shoehorned into old productions tend to look distractingly out-of-place, in my eyes. For example, like much of the world's population, I dislike George Lucas' special editions of the Star Wars movies, for their anachronistic use of computer effects and pointless tinkering with minor plot points (such as whether Han or Greedo "shot first"). And previous special edition Doctor Who DVDs have tended to look a bit ... well, lame, as they featured often-primitive CGI that barely improved on the original special effects.

But with "Day of the Daleks," the BBC has finally produced a special edition that looks really good, and is (somewhat) worthwhile. They have added many new special effects to this story, and even a handful of new shots, primarily to make the battle scenes more exciting. Wisely, the DVD producers decided to make the new special effects retro-looking, so they fit well into a 1970s production; for example, when the Daleks zap people in the special edition, their victims turn into skeletons, which is cool but also in the same pleasantly goofy vein as "Mars Attacks!"

While all this effort to "improve" the story is impressive, this is still "Day of the Daleks," and if you've seen the original version you've basically seen the special edition as well.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I was a "Doctor Who" fan from somewhere in the late 70s until the mid-80s, getting into re-runs of Tom Baker, Peter Davison, and Jon Pertwee episodes via PBS. Lately, I've seen some of the new "Doctor Who," and gleaned that the show and its conventions were popular once again, so I decided to revisit one of my favorite stories from the old days.

I don't really like the new episodes. They feel wrong to me. I think that Matt Smith does an outstanding job with the title role--he's probably one of the best ever to play the part--but on the whole the stories are too slick, too busy, too overstuffed. Maybe that opinion says as much about me as it does the show, but I don't care.

And I'm happy to report that I had an absolute blast with "Day of the Daleks." Was it cheesy? Yes. Did it occasionally have a cheap, shot-on-the quick feel? Yes. Did it always make sense? No.

But did it bound exuberantly from one setup to the next, from one scene to the next, with a glee that you can't buy with all of the high-budget SFX in the world? Yes. Yes.

Watching this felt like going back in time. That's my Doctor Who - the Doctor and his companions lounging around on supposedly futuristic pillows sipping wine from a vaguely bong-like container, or rushing to start up a completely incongruous and unexplained pull-start three-wheeler ATV in the middle of the 22nd century, or using "Venusian Aikido" to subdue a foe. And throughout it all, storytelling spirit shining through the cheap backdrops and sketched-in effects - a low budget production wearing its heart on its sleeve.

It's brisk, light, slightly cheap, maybe a little too dated for some. But it's fun. A ton of fun, and I will be revisiting it sooner rather than later.

I have regretted some of the purchases I've made for the sake of nostalgia. This is not one of them. I literally loved every minute of it.
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Format: DVD
Like my other reviews, I'm not going to give a synopsis of this story, or ramble on about the history of the show. There are already a plethora of these presented here and elsewhere. Instead, I'd like to focus on what else makes this worthy of your purchase.

Finally 2|entertain added some bonus features that were worth viewing. There aren't many on the first disc, but the quality made up for quantity. And the second disc contains special features that are pertinent to the special edition, as well as U.N.I.T. The text commentary is the typical mixed bag of nuts, but I always take the time to read these, and the audio commentary was as wonderful to hear as it was sometimes disheartening, due to the fact that producer, Barry Letts, is one of the commentators, and I still feel his loss as he passed away in October of 2009, while I equally love hearing his take on the show,

The other mixed bag of nuts is the revised version on the second disc. In all honesty, the Dalek voices in the original release are... need I say it? But this version features Nicholas Briggs, the current voice of the Daleks, with an updated performance. Funny enough, when watching one of the special features on the making of this version, it was stated that part of their efforts was to make them sound true to the original Daleks, rather than the manic version of the new series. Yet, the first two episodes were more like the new series Daleks. Fortunately, that was toned down by the third episode, and finally, they sounded proper to how they should have. It's just too bad that they didn't realize this and rerecord his performance for the first two episodes.
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Doctor Who: Day of the Daleks (Story 60)
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