Thursday, 25 June 2015

Doctor Who Candy Cigarette Cards - Daleks vs Voord!

The 1960s were a different time. For example, children were encouraged to buy delicious candy versions of cigarettes in adorable fake-cigarette packets so they could learn early that smoking is really really cool. For some reason they don't make them any more. I can't imagine why!

In 1964, one of the earliest Doctor Who tie-in merchandise was released in the form of 'Doctor Who and the Daleks Candy Cigarettes', the BBC obviously prioritising licensing material that would help the health of the nation's youth. More exciting than just sweets, the packs of candy cigarettes also included collectible cards that told a story!

These candy cigarettes are also extra healthy as the main ingredient is 'Skaro'. Seriously. Check the packet up top there.

There were fifty cards in total, telling two exciting stories about Dr Who and the Daleks. They are an odd mixture - the original art is quite nice, though they were clearly too cheap to fork out for William Hartnell's likeness. Also they seem to have simply printed the artist directions as the text, complete with some cards telling the artist what to include and how to frame it! All the cards are available as scans at the following album, though sadly they are not in order. I assume this is the album of whoever scanned them originally (if not, let me know so I can link to the original).

Today we will look at the first story, which is seriously the greatest thing ever made. Did you think that the Daleks vs Cybermen in 'Doomsday' was amazing? Well, you've not seen anything yet!

We open in the middle of a pitched battle on the planet Marinus, where the Voord (or 'Voords' if the pluralisation is to be believed) are engaged in a pitch battle with the dreaded Daleks! The Daleks and Voord then decided to join forces to invade Earth in search of a mysterious power. What is this power? We will find out later! (I promise it is good!)

The Voord/Dalek alliance capture Dr Who (for that is his name) and force him to disclose the secret of Ultkron travel, the fiends! Dr Who threatens to pull the big red lever that will destroy the Voord ship (a frankly poor design choice) and so begins a series of capture-escapes the like of which Doctor Who fans are very familiar with.

The Daleks and Voord fall out and have another exciting pitched battle. I bet you never knew you wanted this, did you?

Meanwhile Dr Who escapes in a space rocket but is set upon by the dreaded Chief Voord! Bad Chief Voord! Bad!

In a moving scene, the Dr Who crashes his ship and tenderly rescues his new friend the Chief Voord. But what are the Daleks after on Earth?

It turns out that the Dalek's master plan is to search for mushrooms. Seriously. This is a real thing that actually happened. The Daleks start foraging in the jungle for mushrooms, but only the Chief Voord has the "secret of the fungi".
The Chief Voord befriends the Daleks again and shows them the mushrooms. Again, this is a real thing that actually happened.

The Chief Voord rides one of the Daleks' hover discs. It is sort of adorable! But now that the Daleks have the mushrooms, can anything stop them?

Oh thank god, all the Daleks just drop down dead. Earth is saved! Dr Who travels back to England in triumph.

Yes, the story isn't really up to much, but it's fascinating as one of the earliest ever Doctor Who spin-offs in any medium. Sure, the Doctor does nothing, the Daleks bumble about before eating mushrooms and dying, but it's got Voord in it. What more do you want?

So remember kids, mushrooms are bad. Now go and eat your candy cigarettes.

1 comment:

  1. Were your candy cigarettes the same as ours, I wonder? Because candy cigarettes are just the best.