The Doctor has faced many enemies over the course of his travels, and he’s come out victorious each time. But he’s still battling his worst enemy. No, it’s not the Daleks, or the Silurians, or the Great Intelligence. Doctor Who‘s biggest foe is, or rather, was, the BBC itself.
You see, “back in the day” when space ran low and the studios ran cold, the Beeb would just toss master recordings of Doctor Who on the fire. While this freed up space, it forever erased many episodes of the world’s longest-running science fiction television program. A dastardly deed not even the Daleks would attempt.
But now, BBC America has announced the recreation of Patrick Troughton’s debut episode, The Power of the Daleks. Lost in 1974 to one of the BBC’s infamous archive purges, no complete film recordings exist of this episode. Working from surviving clips, audio recordings, and still photoraphs, BBC America and BBC Worldwide have commissioned an animated recreation of the 6-part episode. (Remember, back then Doctor Who was serialized and shown in weekly segments.)
The fruits of their labor will be shown on Saturday, November 12 then made available the next day to stream on the BBC America app and at BBCAmerica.com. Here’s a little teaser trailer to whet your appetite for something nearly lost forever.
And here are a handful of photos. Two are live-action stills and the other two are clips from the animated remake.
And if you’re a detail-oriented person, I’ve included the press release just for you.
BBC AMERICA Brings Back To Life Destroyed Doctor Who Episodes
The Power of the Daleks returns exactly 50 years after its original BBC broadcast
BBC AMERICA and BBC Worldwide commission special animated series featuring Patrick Troughton’s debut as the Doctor – based on the original audio recordings, photographs and film clips
New York, NY – September 6, 2016 – It’s one of the most celebrated Doctor Who adventures and yet no complete film recordings of The Power of the Daleks are known to have survived. The master negatives were destroyed in an archive purge in 1974.
Announced today, BBC AMERICA and BBC Worldwide have commissioned a brand new animation based on the program’s original audio recordings, surviving photographs and film clips that will be released 50 years after its only UK broadcast on BBC One. Doctor Who: The Power of the Daleks premieres Saturday, November 12 on BBC AMERICA and will be available the following day to stream on the BBC AMERICA App and BBCAmerica.com.
The six-part adventure features the regeneration, or as it was then called ‘renewal’, of first Doctor, William Hartnell into second Doctor, Patrick Troughton, as the Time Lord and his companions Polly (Anneke Wills) and Ben (Michael Craze) do battle with the Daleks on the planet Vulcan.
Doctor Who: The Power of the Daleks is produced and directed by Charles Norton, with character designs from acclaimed comic book artists Martin Geraghty and Adrian Salmon.
Sarah Barnett, President of BBC AMERICA, commented, “50 years after its inception, Doctor Who continues to be a global phenomenon that perpetually reanimates itself – literally, right now. “The Power of the Daleks” is the latest uniquely creative storytelling to spring from the extraordinary mythology of the Doctor Who world – there are only a handful of global franchises that have the depth to evolve in this kind of way. We are so proud to present this work to our BBCA Doctor Who fans, who we think will go crazy for this reverent yet shockingly reinvented “mash up”.”
Charles says, “The Power of the Daleks animation is the most ambitious Doctor Who archive restoration ever attempted and we’re all very honored to be a part of such an exciting project. Intelligent, suspenseful and magnificently staged, The Power of the Daleks is one of the great lost classics of 1960s television and a superb example of the black and white era at its finest.”
Paul Hembury, Executive Producer, BBC Worldwide says, “Charles and his team are remarkably talented and passionate about Doctor Who and we are thrilled that fans will soon be able to enjoy this rather sinister but wonderful, classic story.”