Doctor Who made headlines not too long ago with the announcement that some of its long-lost episodes would be returning to the small screen. Huge chunks of Doctor Who lore seemed lost to time thanks to a BBC archive purge between 1967 and 1978, and it seemed likely that we'd never get to see some of the most important chapters in the Doctor's long history. Now, thanks to some serious creativity from BBC and the Doctor Who team, everybody will be able to see the six-part 1966 serial "The Power of the Daleks" that had seemed gone forever.
The restoration of "The Power of the Daleks" means that it won't look exactly the same as it did when it aired for the first and only time on the BBC. Instead, animators have pieced together surviving bits of dialogue and used the few film clips that avoided destruction to recreate the story via animation. We'll still get to hear Patrick Troughton as the Second Doctor; we just won't get to see him in the conventional manner.
Frankly, we're lucky we're getting any version of this particular serial. "The Power of the Daleks" featured the first time in Doctor Who history that one version of the Doctor regenerated into another. It was an unprecedented move for a TV show, and it's been a tragedy that Two's debut had been destroyed. I'd take a crude claymation version of "The Power of the Daleks" if it meant seeing the story play out.
We're also lucky that we don't have much longer to wait before the animated "The Power of the Daleks" hits the small screen. The serial will premiere on November 12 on BBC America. For those who can't catch the premiere live, it will be available for streaming on BBCAmerica.com and on the BBC America app. The November debut is fitting for "The Power of the Daleks," all things considered. It first aired in November of 1966. What better way to celebrate the beginning of Two's time in the TARDIS than with a restoration of his regeneration?
Patrick Troughton won't be the only actor whose voice will be lifted from surviving audio into animation. Anneke Wills' and Michael Craze's voices will be heard as early Doctor Who companions Polly and Ben as they join the Doctor in battling the Daleks on the planet Vulcan. Check out a first look of what to expect with "The Power of the Daleks" on November 12:
The Doctor Who Christmas special with Peter Capaldi as Twelve is on the way, but there's no saying how much longer we'll have to wait before we see him kick off Season 10 with his new companion. "The Power of the Daleks" could be a great way to give us a Doctor Who fix in the meantime. Check out our fall TV premiere schedule to see what else you'll be able to watch on the small screen.