It looks like TV viewers are going to get to see new Doctor Who action much earlier than we expected – because the BBC are remaking a classic “lost” episode of the long-running sci-fi series in animated form.
First broadcast in 1966, The Power of the Daleks saw the regeneration (then called “renewal”) of William Hartnell’s First Doctor into Patrick Troughton’s Second, with the new Time Lord subsequently taking on the Daleks on the planet Vulcan alongside companions Polly (Anneke Wills) and Ben (Michael Craze) across six half-hour episodes.
However, the episode was seemingly lost for ever when a BBC archive purge in 1974 saw the master filming negatives destroyed – until now.
Today, BBC Worldwide announced that it has commissioned an animation studio to re-create the iconic story, using surviving audio recordings of the original cast as well as remaining clips and photographs to bring the story back to life in a special black-and-white animated episode.
The animation team previously performed similar restoration for lost Dad’s Army episode A Stripe For Frazer, which was released on BBC Store earlier this year. The producer and director is Charles Norton, with comic-book artists Martin Geraghty and Adrian Salmon on hand for the character designs.
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The finished episode will be released on the BBC Store website as a digital download, and will be available to download on Saturday 5th November, 50 years to the minute after its one and only airing on BBC One. A DVD will be available for purchase on the 21st November.
“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 a an exciting project,” director Charles Norton said.
“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.”
BBC Worldwide executive producer Paul Hembury added: “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.”
A special screening of episodes 1-3 of Doctor Who: The Power of the Daleks will take place at BFI Southbank, London on Saturday 5th November, with a Q&A from Director Charles Norton, star Anneke Wills and former Doctor Who companion Frazer Hines.
Doctor Who: The Power Of The Daleks will be released on BBC Store on Saturday 5th November followed by the DVD on Monday 21st November.