Dr. Who And The Daleks (1965)
This commercially successful remake of the second Doctor Who television story 'The Daleks' was a fun, soft-centred romp that featured horror icon Peter Cushing as Doctor Who. Yes, that's 'Doctor Who', not 'The Doctor'. (Still, having ’Who’ as a surname is probably less stigmatised than bearing a double-barrel).
The central character was now a doddery Earthling inventor who happened to create a time machine in his back garden and inadvertently whisk off his two granddaughters Susan and Barbara to the Daleks' home planet of Skaro, accompanied by Barbara's loveably bumbling bloke Ian (played by legendary trumpet-blower and record breaker Roy Castle).
It wasn't their adventures that were the film's selling point though. It was the chance to see the Daleks in glorious Technicolor for the first time! Unlike on the television show, where black and white cardboard cutouts were used to bulk up the number of the metallic mutants, these Daleks were numerous, visually luscious, bore beefed up bases, bigger 'ears' and some even possessed claws. Due to the height of 'Dalekmania' at the time, the time-travelling hero barely featured in the advertising.
Doctor Who had vanished from the title of this sequel, which adopted the plot from television story 'The Dalek Invasion Of Earth'. Peter Cushing returned alongside Roberta Tovey as Susan, but the comic foil was now in the shape of a certain Bernard Cribbins - yes, Donna's granddad Wilf from the recent series. Playing hapless copper Tom, Cribbins is transported alongside the remnants of the Who Family to 2150, when Earth is under Dalek control apart from a small group of resistance fighters.
Impressive sets, flying saucers and an esteemed supporting cast including Ray Brooks and Philip Madoc helped to bolster the film's appeal, but Dalekmania was on the wane and the takings were significantly down on its predecessor. Nonetheless, it must be seen for the outrageously camp black leather PVC outfits worn by the Dalek-controlled Robomen - particularly during one eating sequence with Cribbins infiltrating their ranks.
The Chase (Unmade)
According to unsubstantiated fan rumours, plans were underway for a third Dalek story adaptation from the television series until Invasion Earth's disappointing international box office performance quashed the project.
It's a big shame that this adaptation was never realised, as the expansive range of locations and monsters in the story were ideally suited for a large budget and screen. The Empire State Building, the planet of the massive Mechanoids, a haunted house with Dracula and Frankenstein, plus the mandatory quarry were all visited, but the best excursion was to the Mary Celeste - the infamous ghost ship. Watching the Daleks take on the crew worked a treat on the television, especially as one of the pepper pots seemingly topped itself by trundling overboard!
The television show was riding high in the ratings during Tom Baker's tenure as the Time Lord in the latter half of the 1970s. Yet he was unable to attract sufficient funding to convert a script he wrote with Ian Marter, who played companion Harry Sullivan, into a fully-fledged movie. Horror legend Vincent Price was repeatedly linked with playing the villainous Scratchman, while model Twiggy was set to be The Doctor's companion, but not even big name casting possibilities lured the investors.
The plot is believed to have taken place in various dimensions, manifested on a giant pinball table (this was the 70s!), and the Daleks also locked plungers with their nemesis. Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, the film's central baddie is in no way linked to the '90s pop icon Scatman John.
Doctor Who And The Krikkitmen (Unmade)
Renowned author Douglas Adams assembled a submission for a proposed big screen outing during the Tom Baker era, but the plan never came to fruition and he accepted a role as script editor on the popular show. Fascinatingly, he reworked the Krikkitmen ideas into the plot of the third of his popular Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy books, entitled Life, The Universe And Everything. Other creations from the unmade film were also siphoned off into Doctor Who's sixteenth season arc 'The Key to Time'.
Doctor Who had a dwindling viewership by 1989, but that didn't stop an attempt to raise money for a mega-budget incarnation of the show. It amounted to nothing and no real story details emerged, but the project somehow felt very close to realisation because of the existence of a poster promoting the movie. However, it only appeared in various trade publications (before being circulated by fandom) in a bid to attract funding.
Intriguingly, Donald Sutherland, David Bowie and Alan Rickman were all linked with playing the title role, while former Bond girl Caroline Munro was reportedly in line to play his assistant. It did help that her husband George Dugdale was a producer on the project. The film was still being mooted in the mid-90s, despite the television show's cancellation, but the BBC's negotiations with Steven Spielberg's Amblin studios helped to put any movie version on ice.