Doctor Who Cuttings Archive

How we helped rescue a missing classic

From The Doctor Who Cuttings Archive
Jump to navigationJump to search

2020-08-01 Radio Times.jpg



How we helped rescue a missing classic

The Power of the Daleks was Patrick Troughton's first outing as the Doctor in 1966, but the six-episode story no longer survives a victim of the BBC's tape-wiping. RT asks Charles Norton, the producer/director of a new animated version that brings it magically back to life, how it was done...

Why is the story important?

When the show started in 1963, the Doctor was played by William Hartnell. There was never any intention that the central character would physically transform. Then, in 1966, Hartnell left and they cast Patrick Troughton to take over. So The Power of the Daleks was the first Doctor Who story to have a new actor in the lead. The 50-odd years of Doctor Who history we've had since - the regenerations and the idea of multiple Doctors - all stemmed from The Power of the Daleks. If that story hadn't worked, there simply wouldn't be a Doctor Who any more.

You've used the original sound?

Although we have a full set of audio recordings for all six episodes, they weren't professionally made. At the time of the original broadcasts, a member of the public recorded the episodes at home with a domestic tape recorder. Mark Ayres, who does the sound remastering on the animation range, worked very hard to get the most out of these tapes. And by making use of some of the original 1966 music and effects tapes, he's even been able to create a surround-sound effect.

This new version has regenerated an existing animation. Can you tell us why it's so special?

An earlier presentation of The Power of the Daleks was put together by us back in 2016, in partnership with the now defunct BBC Store (it closed in 2017). When we realised that 2020 would mark the 100th anniversary of Patrick Troughton's birth, it seemed like a good time to revisit the story, which had never had a mass-market Blu-ray release in the UK before. It was also a good opportunity to really pull apart what had been done in 2016 and make a number of considerable improvements to the animation. The new release has enabled us to put out a lot of brand-new special features, too: new documentaries, storyboards and a massive amount of previously unreleased archive content. We uncovered a lot more archive footage and photographs from the original 1966 production, so this is a wonderful opportunity to showcase that.

You also worked on a missing Dad's Army from 1969. How did the two compare?

They were both made for BBC Store and were both based on archival audio recordings from the 1960s. However, those points aside, the two projects aren't really all that comparable. The Dad's Army episode was only something like 28 minutes of content, most of which was restricted to seven people talking to each other in one or two rooms. The Power of the Daleks was two and a half hours of drama, spread over six episodes, with battle scenes, spaceships, alien monsters and a much larger cast of characters.

There are many more missing Doctor Whos, so can you tell us what will be next?

There will be another Troughton animation out on DVD and Blu-ray later this year. That will be Fury from the Deep, a 1968 story.

RT OFFER To buy Doctor Who The Power of the Daleks Special Edition on Blu-ray, with audio by Patrick Troughton and a host of new features, for £49.99 incl p&p (RRP £64.99), call 0844 848 7300 (call charges apply*), or visit, quoting ref RTI821. Contract with Simply Home Entertainment.


REGENERATING Storyboard artist and cell-shader Adrian Salmon

A-NI-MATE! The Doctor's enemies are brought back to gleaming life in The Power of the Daleks

NEW WHO Patrick Troughton captured by RT's Don Smith

Disclaimer: These citations are created on-the-fly using primitive parsing techniques. You should double-check all citations. Send feedback to

  • APA 6th ed.: Braxton, Mark (2020-08-01). How we helped rescue a missing classic. Radio Times .
  • MLA 7th ed.: Braxton, Mark. "How we helped rescue a missing classic." Radio Times [add city] 2020-08-01. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Braxton, Mark. "How we helped rescue a missing classic." Radio Times, edition, sec., 2020-08-01
  • Turabian: Braxton, Mark. "How we helped rescue a missing classic." Radio Times, 2020-08-01, section, edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=How we helped rescue a missing classic | url= | work=Radio Times | pages= | date=2020-08-01 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=24 July 2024 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=How we helped rescue a missing classic | url= | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=24 July 2024}}</ref>