This November, it will be fifty years since the second Doctor Who, Patrick Troughton, made his screen debut opposite the Daleks at 5.50pm on Bonfire Night 1966 (okay, we realise that technically he made his debut the previous week for all of about seven seconds, but you know what we mean).
And the BBC have just announced that by way of celebration, they are going to be releasing a fully animated version of the six-part story Power of the Daleks on the BBC Store at precisely fifty years since that original transmission.
Beginning with Episode One on 5th November, the serial will be released one episode daily for the following five days.
The animation will be a BBC Store exclusive for the first week, before being available elsewhere from November 14th, and in great news for enthusiasts a DVD will be released on November 21st.
Power of the Daleks has famously been missing since the master tapes were wiped in 1974, and has only been seen once in the UK on its original broadcast. As the full debut of the Second Doctor, it stands as the story most Doctor Who fans would like to see returned to the archives. But with no news yet of any possible (but highly unlikely) recovery, this will be seen as the next best option, particularly being the anniversary of the first regeneration.
The animation has been completed by the team who recently animated the lost Dad’s Army episode A Stripe for Frazer, under producer and director Charles Norton and with character designs from Martin Geraghty and Adrian Salmon.
According to Norton, “The Power of the Daleks animation is the most ambitious Doctor Who archive restoration ever attempted and we’re all very honoured to be a part of such an exciting project. Intelligent, suspenseful and magnificently staged, 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 adds, “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.”
BBC Worldwide have a history of part-animating incomplete Doctor Who stories, with recent examples running from The Reign of Terror, animated by Planet 55 Studios, to The Ice Warriors, from Quiros, both released in 2013. Recently The Underwater Menace and The Web of Fear had, however, both been released with missing instalments included via telesnap reconstruction, so a fully animated six-part story will come as something of a surprise to most fans.
Hopefully, if the project is successful enough, further such animations might find themselves on the cards. March 2019 is the fiftieth anniversary of The Space Pirates, for example...
But for now, and in lieu of any further announcements of recovered episodes since The Enemy of the World and The Web of Fear were unveiled prior to the series’ fiftieth anniversary, a full six-part animation of Power of the Daleks comes as very welcome news indeed.
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