Dr. Who (Dalek films)
Peter Cushing as Dr. Who
|First appearance||Dr. Who and the Daleks|
|Last appearance||Daleks – Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D.|
|Portrayed by||Peter Cushing|
|Family||Susan and Barbara (granddaughters)
Dr. Who is a character based on the BBC science-fiction television series Doctor Who. Although based on the Doctor who appears in the TV series, the film version of the character is fundamentally different.
The character, portrayed by the actor Peter Cushing, appeared in two films made by AARU Productions: Dr. Who and the Daleks (1965), which was based on the televised serial The Daleks (1963), and Daleks – Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D. (1966), based on The Dalek Invasion of Earth (1964). Plans for a third film, to be based on the serial The Chase (1965), were abandoned following the poor box office reception to the second film.
Dr. Who is a gentle, grandfatherly figure, naturally curious and sometimes absent-minded, but at the same time is not afraid to fight for justice. He is shown to have a keen and somewhat juvenile sense of humour, and a strong sense of adventure with a will of iron and very strong morals.
Unlike his TV counterpart, his surname is clearly stated to be "Who". He is not called "the Doctor" by his companions in Dr. Who and the Daleks, although in the sequel, Daleks' Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D., his surname is referred to only once and he is otherwise addressed simply as "the Doctor". Cushing's character is an eccentric inventor who claims to have created TARDIS.
In the first film, Dr. Who travels with his two granddaughters: Susan (Roberta Tovey), who is portrayed as a younger character than the Susan depicted in the TV series, and Barbara (Jennie Linden). They are joined in this first adventure by Ian Chesterton (Roy Castle), who is portrayed as Barbara's "new boyfriend" and as a generally inept, clumsy and comical figure (whereas the TV version of the character is more heroic, and his relationship with Barbara – both of them being teachers – is purely professional).
The exterior of Dr. Who's TARDIS resembles both that featured in the TV series and a real police box (although the films, unlike the TV series, offer no explanation as to why the machine has this appearance). Like the TV TARDIS it is bigger on the inside. The interior design bears no relation to the clean, high-tech TV version of the time, however. In the first film it is filled with a chaotic jumble of wiring and electronic equipment, replaced in the second film by a number of simple consoles adorned with buttons, gauges and lights. As with the TARDIS seen from the 2005 series onward, the interior and exterior are shown as being directly connected by the external doors.
In addition to the two films, Dr. Who appeared in the comic strip Daleks versus the Martians in the 2006 "Spring Special" of Doctor Who Magazine, as well as in the short story The House on Oldark Moor by Justin Richards, published in the BBC Books collection Short Trips and Sidesteps.
Proposed radio series
During the late 1960s, there were plans for a radio series starring Peter Cushing as the voice of Dr. Who. A collaboration between Stanmark Productions and Watermill Productions, a pilot was recorded and a further 52 episodes were to be produced. The pilot story (titled Journey into Time) featured Dr. Who and his granddaughter travelling to the time of the American Revolution. The script was written by future Doctor Who TV series writer Malcolm Hulke and the recording was subsequently lost.
Attempts at reconciliation with TV series
Over the years, several attempts have been made to reconcile the film character with the TV series continuity:
- Reference was made to Dr. Who in the novel Salvation. The book mentions the film Prey for a Miracle, released in 1970, and the Doctor's role in events was played by Peter Cushing as "the bumbling scientific advisor, Dr. Who". Critics noted that little was known about the "true" Doctor, suggesting that his was a "shadowy, manipulative presence".
- The unlicensed book I Am the Doctor: The Unauthorised Diaries of a Timelord suggests that the films were based upon a memoir written by Barbara Wright of the TV series.
- Nev Fountain's short story "The Five O'Clock Shadow", from the anthology Short Trips: A Day in the Life, reveals that Dr. Who and his eight-year-old granddaughter Suzy are fictitious creations invented by the real, Time Lord Doctor to keep his nemesis, Shadow (the embodiment of grief and sorrow), distracted until such time as he could overcome his grief and escape from Shadow's prison. Shadow has no hold over the cheerful, angst-free Dr. Who, who departs with Suzy on further childlike and wondrous adventures.
- The Sixth Doctor and his companion Frobisher attended the American premiere of Star Wars at Mann's Chinese Theatre in May 1977. During the screening, the Doctor thought that actor Peter Cushing (playing Grand Moff Tarkin) looked familiar, and seemed to remember meeting his granddaughter (PDA: Mission: Impractical).
- Peel, John and Terry Nation: (1988). The Official Doctor Who & the Daleks Book. New York: St. Martin's Press. ISBN 0-312-02264-6, pp. 99-100.
- Peter Cushing. Peter Cushing: an autobiography. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson.
- Hearn, Marcus (2013). "The Peter Cushing Scrapbooks". Doctor Who Magazine (Panini Comics) (461): 16–21.
- Foster, Chuck (2012-01-15). "Missing Radio Script Discovered". Doctor Who News Page.
- http://www.drwhoguide.com/whotrip16.htm#4 Doctor Who Guide: Summary of Short Trips: A Day in the Life