My Favourite Film of 1966.

Film And so, with some inevitability, let's talk about Doctor Who or Dr. Who as is the case with Daleks – Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D. (or whatever it's called - opinions surprisingly differ).

I've already talked at some length elsewhere on multiple occasions, and here's a version here, about how I properly became a Doctor Who fan, during the so-called wilderness years after listing to an audio starring Paul McGann.

I've also written here about my first memory of the television series, which was later revealed to be a scene from The Invisible Enemy.

With that covered there's one aspect of the Amicus film series which I've always found slightly fascinating.

If Daleks - Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D. had been a bigger success, and notice how it wasn't, how the first flush of Dalekmania had subsided enough for kids not to want to see this version of Who at the cinema, the third film would have been an adaptation of The Chase.

Although for production company Amicus this must have seemed like the natural choice being the third television story to go into production featuring the robotic Russian dancers, the whole process of actually adapting a two and a half to three hour, six episode epic into an eighty minute widescreen technicolour film sounds like a challenge.

If someone has ever seen a potential outline I'd be intrigued as to where they went with it.

There's certainly plenty of incident.  From the chase around the desert to meeting the Aridians (and mire beasts!) to visiting contemporary Earth a couple of times (with the whole business in the haunted house!) and then the material with the doppelganger, the filmmakers would have a lot of spectacle to choose from.

There's a lot of chaff in the script too.  With needs and budgetary requirements of having to create more new locations on a weekly basis than normal, the scripts contain a lot of moments which feel like writer Terry Nation giving his characters something to do to fill the duration of the episode having had the set built rather than a proper sense of action or jeopardy.  In some cases the action just stops altogether.

Nevertheless you could imagine plenty of jokes being achieved through montage sequences of the TARDIS team finding themselves in scrapes, of some sections being given the full adaptation treatment and others being parred down to a visual gag.

Unless it's simply the concept which is retained and the rest would be thrown out.  The Daleks chase the TARDIS across time and space.  For reasons.  Plenty of scope for the utilisation of stock footage and premade costumes and sets.

Which crew?  Would Roy Castle have returned?  Or Bernard Cribbins?  Or some new comedic leading man?

Either way, this is another one of those delicious almost wheres in Doctor Who's long history.

No comments: