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Doctor Who unmade film script from Dalek movie writer featured two Doctors

Milton Subotsky, who wrote two Doctor Who films starring Peter Cushing, also produced a screenplay for a third movie.

Bernard Cribbins and Peter Cushing in Daleks – Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D.
STUDIOCANAL
Published: Monday, 20th June 2022 at 9:00 am
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A pair of Doctor Who movies starring Peter Cushing – Dr. Who and the Daleks and Daleks - Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D. – were released in the mid-1960s and have now been painstakingly remastered for a new 4K Ultra HD release, but with this release has also come new information about a proposed third movie.

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It has been suggested over the years that a third film would, like its predecessors, have been based on a TV serial featuring the Daleks – specifically 1965 story The Chase – but that underwhelming box office returns for the second movie saw these plans abandoned.

Appearing on a panel at the BFI Southbank in London to promote the 4K release of the existing two films, Sergei Subotsky – son of the original films' writer Milton Subotsky – produced a document from his father's archives dated December 1964 that laid out an agreement between the BBC, Daleks creator Terry Nation and AARU Productions Ltd.

"People have often asked about the third movie – this first agreement was for two films," Subotsky clarified. "As long as [the first movie] was made within a year, then the second option could be exercised... the rights to make the second movie."

However, Subotsky revealed that a second deal was negotiated following production of 1965's Dr. Who and the Daleks which would indeed have allowed for a third film. "There was a further agreement that was entered into, to give the rights to make a third movie, which of course was never done," he explained. "It was on the same terms as the original films, so my feeling is... the option lapsed."

Though a third movie never materialised, Subotsky further revealed that his father did in fact produce a screenplay for the proposed sequel that remains in his family's possession and was also displayed at the BFI event – this script, however, was not an adaptation of any existing Doctor Who television serial.

"Many years later, maybe 15 years later, it was clearly still on his mind, because he had prepared a script called 'Doctor Who's Greatest Adventure' which actually was a repurposed script of a horror film entitled 'King Crab'... the original title was even worse, it was 'Night of the Crabs'!

"It was with two Doctors – a young Doctor and an old Doctor – which is an idea that has been returned to."

Roberta Tovey at the BFI screening of the 1960s Dalek movies
Roberta Tovey at the BFI screening of the 1960s Dalek movies STUDIOCANAL

It's unclear if one of the leads in this planned multi-Doctor motion picture would've been Peter Cushing, but speaking exclusively to RadioTimes.com, Jill Curzon – who played Dr. Who's niece Louise in 1966's Daleks - Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D. – and Roberta Tovey – who played the scientist's granddaughter Susan in both original movies – insisted they and their co-star would have been game to reprise their roles.

"I think we would've all done another," said Tovey, with Curzon adding, "Yes, definitely. Yeah, I'd have done another one."

"It was a very happy set, on both films," Tovey elaborated. "There were never any dramas. Everyone got on – from Roy [Castle, playing Ian] and Jennie [Linden, playing Barbara] to Jill and Bernard [Cribbins, playing Tom Campbell], everyone got on. There were no tantrums. I think if they'd said yes to another one, Peter would've [too]... and we would've done another one."

Jill Curzon at the BFI screening of the 1960s Dalek movies
Jill Curzon at the BFI screening of the 1960s Dalek movies STUDIOCANAL

Curzon also challenged the accepted notion that a third film hadn't been made in the 1960s due to diminishing box office returns. "I think the box office takings were good, I don't think it was that," she said. "I think it was more just... life changing. Gordon [Flemyng, who directed both films] was in America, he went to America the same time I did. He took me to lunch a couple of times in Hollywood and never talked about going back to do that."

Whatever the reason, it appears a completed Doctor Who movie script exists that has never been produced. Your move, Big Finish...

Dr Who and the Daleks is available to buy now in 4K Ultra HD. Daleks - Invasion Earth 2150 AD will be released on 18th July and is available to pre-order now.

Check out more of our Sci-Fi coverage or visit our TV Guide to see what's on tonight.

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