It turns out viewers will be getting some new Doctor Who on TV this fall after all!
Well, I say “new”…
A six-part animated reconstruction of the 1966 story “The Power of the Daleks” will bring everyone’s favorite plunger-wielding pepper pots back just in time for the Doctor’s 50th anniversary.
(Why should Star Trek have all the fifty-year fun?)
Scripted by Doctor Who co-creator and first script editor David Whitaker, “The Power of the Daleks” was the third story of the show’s fourth year. It was already the mutated, murderous aliens’ sixth storyline – true testament to the popularity of writer Terry Nation’s villains.
Even more significantly, the six-part story was the Patrick Troughton’s first full adventure as the Doctor. He’d actually taken over the role from William Hartnell, the First Doctor, at the end of the previous storyline, “The Tenth Planet,” in Doctor Who’s first “regeneration” sequence (though that term wouldn’t be used to describe the process until “Planet of the Spiders” in 1974).
As the “renewed” Second Doctor, Troughton fought the good fight against threats and terrors throughout time and space—his musical recorder and (new to the Second Doctor) his sonic screwdriver at the ready – until 1969’s “The War Games.”
“The Power of the Daleks” is one of ten Doctor Who serials missing in their entirety. Its six episodes fell victim, like 253 others, to the BBC’s purge of old film and videotape in the late ’60s and the ’70s. With archival storage space and recording media both at a premium, contractual rights expiring, and no reason to think anyone would want to watch the programs again, the Beeb wiped or destroyed material from several of its series.
Many lost Doctor Who episodes have since been found, but “The Power of the Daleks” hasn’t surfaced. Fortunately for posterity, Doctor Who fans have been a devoted bunch from the start. Audio for all lost episodes and stories survives because some people recorded it right off the TV.
In the decades since, some audio tracks have been used to “score” screen captures and production photographs. Others have been used with limited animation to fill in gaps here and there. “The Power of the Daleks” is the BBC’s first complete animated lost story.
In the U.S., “The Power of the Daleks” premieres (again—how very timey-wimey) in its glorious black-and-white cartoon incarnation on Saturday, November 12 on BBC America.
If you’re looking for special Doctor Who collectibles while you watch, head over to the Entertainment Earth Doctor Who store – big enough on the inside to supply all your needs!
What are you looking forward to most about “The Power of the Daleks”? Let us know in the comments below!