Doctor Who and the Angels of Death is a 2018 British science fiction film directed by Sam Mendes and written by Russell T Davies and Steven Moffat. It is the first of multiple modern films based on the BBC television series Doctor Who. It stars Ian McKellen as Doctor Who, Judi Dench as Mrs Who, Naomie Harris as Barbara Wright, Chiwetel Ejiofor as Ian Chesterson and Ellie Bamber as Susan Who.

The story is an original but features the television series villains The Weeping Angels as the film's main antagonists. The film is not intended to form part of the ongoing storylines of the television series, despite being co-written by two of the show's former show-runners. Elements from the programme are used, however, such as various characters, and a police box time machine, albeit in re-imagined forms.

Synopsis

An eccentric former physics professor is brought out of retirement by his granddaughter to investigate a series of unexplainable disappearances seemingly involving a group of moving statues at her university.

Cast

  • Ian McKellen as Doctor Peter Who, an eccentric retired Physics professor who has successfully built a time machine. Unlike his television series counterpart, this Doctor Who is human, much like Peter Cushing's portrayal, who is the character's namesake in the film.
  • Judi Dench as Mrs Verity Who, Doctor Who's wife and travel companion who helps him on his adventures. She is an original character for the film, but is noted for having similar personalities to characters like River Song. She is named after Doctor Who's original producer, Verity Lambert.
  • Naomie Harris as Barbara Wright, a history lecturer at Susan's university who is alarmed by the new statues who have appeared on campus. Barbara is loosely based on the television character of the same name, portrayed by Jacqueline Hill.
  • Chiwetel Ejiofor as Ian Chesterson, a physics lecturer at Susan's university and Doctor Who's former student and protege, he brings the statues to Susan's attention in hopes of having the Doctor investigate them. Ian is loosely based on the television character of the same name, portrayed by William Russell.
  • Ellie Bamber as Susan Who, a student at the university being plagued by the Weeping Angels and the granddaughter of Peter and Verity Who. Susan is loosely based on the television character of the same name, portrayed by Carol Ann Ford.

Reception

Box Office

Doctor Who and the Angels of Death grossed £160 Million globally against a £22 Million budget, opening at number 1 in the British box office and staying there for 3 weeks. It was less successful in the USA, but was not deemed a failure by the US Box Office, ranking at an average of third place over it's debut 3 weeks.

Critical Reception

Doctor Who and the Angels of Death was well received by critics and fans alike, with an average rating of 88% on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 82 reviews. It was particularly praised for separating itself from the source material while still maintaining the spirit. The film's cliffhanger ending was also noted as a nice touch. The film also received praise for Ian McKellen's portrayal of Doctor Who.

Future

Shortly after the film's release in 2018, BBC Films confirmed a sequel would be released in late 2019, with a script by Russell T Davies and Steven Moffat already complete. Entitled Doctor Who and the Cyber Invasion, the entire original cast was confirmed as returning, alongside new characters. As the title suggests, the film's protagonists will be the Cybermen. Russell T Davies confirmed in January 2019 that like the Weeping Angels, the Cybermen would be significantly redesigned to differentiate from the television series counterparts. In July 2019, BBC Films confirmed a third film had been greenlit, and would feature the Daleks. The film would serve as a conclusion to 'the first of many trilogies'.

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