We’re particularly excited for the BBC America airing of “The Power of the Daleks,” the long-lost Doctor Who story from 1966 that’s been visually restored with brand new animation and the utilization of complete off-air audio from the time (so it’s the original cast, music, and sound effects). That’s happening on November 19, but you’ll be able to see the first adventure of Patrick Troughton‘s Second Doctor on an even bigger scale a few days early.
BBC America has yet again partnered with Fathom Events to present “The Power of the Daleks” in select cinemas nationwide. On November 14 at 7:00pm local time, you’ll be able to head to participating theaters and see the six-part serial in its new format, along with bonus material such as interviews with original cast members.
Tickets go on sale on Friday, October 14, 2016, at 10:00am ET. For more info, head to Fathom Events’ website.
Original Post, 09-06-2016
In a number of ways, the fervor over Doctor Who has taken a distinct downturn since the 50th anniversary. Even with the Peter Capaldi years being (arguably) some of the best they’ve done yet, the excitement over the show, and specifically the classic series, has tapered off distinctly. With all of the existing episodes released on DVD, and no missing episodes found since the gargantuan haul of nine 1967-1968 episodes in 2013, the classic series pool has been rather stagnant. So, as a classic series fan, I was particularly bummed, but today the BBC have announced an exciting addition: the lost 1966 serial “The Power of the Daleks” is being reconstructed using animation.
The news comes amid weeks of speculation on social media regarding whether the six part serial had been found or would indeed be animated. At just after midnight Greenwich Time, the BBC announced it would not only be releasing an animated version of the story, but they would be releasing it 50 years to the minute that it was first broadcast, being at 5:50pm on November 5th (remember, remember that date!). The serial will be available digitally via BBC’s online shop and then on DVD in the UK on Monday, November 21. In the U.S., the serial will broadcast on BBC America on November 12, then it will hit iTunes and other online retailers, before getting a DVD release sometime soon thereafter. Mark your calendars accordingly.
“The Power of the Daleks” is one of the most legendary missing stories in the history of the series. It’s the first to feature Patrick Troughton as the Second Doctor and it saw the first of his two run-ins with the evil Daleks. In this one, the Daleks pretend to be the servants of a group of scientists living on the planet Vulcan and only the Doctor — who seems to his companions Ben (Michael Craze) and Polly (Anneke Wills) to be very distinctly not the Doctor — can convince them otherwise. The producer and director for the project is Charles Norton, with character designs from acclaimed comic book artists Martin Geraghty and Adrian Salmon.
This is not the first time animation has been used to replace or reconstruct missing episodes of Doctor Who. There have been several releases where one or two episodes of a 4, 6, or 8 episode serial have been recreated using black-and-white animation of varying styles. However, this is the first time the procedure is being done for an entire story, where zero film elements exist and only the off-air audio (recorded by loyal fans at the time) remains intact. “The Power of the Daleks” was aired only once, for six weeks beginning November 5, 1966, and was lost to time following the massive 1974 wiping of the BBC archives. Though many episodes have been recovered from foreign sales markets through the years, 97 episodes are still missing, presumed lost forever.
While the announcement of the animation being commissioned all but solidifies that “The Power of the Daleks” has not and will never be found, this does open the door, should this release do well, to more such animated reconstructions of wholly missing stories. I’m very open to the idea; my DVD shelf longs to be full of sweet ’60s Doctor Who!
Are you excited about this development? Which other stories would you like to see restored? (My hopes are for “The Myth Makers” and “The Evil of the Daleks”!) Let us know in the comments below!
Kyle Anderson is the Associate Editor and the resident Whovian for Nerdist. Follow him on Twitter!