The BBC’s Doctor Who has been one of the most popular science fiction shows worldwide since its debut in 1963. Unfortunately, several of the episodes from the 1960s have been lost. One of these missing episodes is “The Power of the Daleks,” from 1966, the first episode to feature Patrick Troughton as the Second Doctor.
Four years ago, an animated reconstruction of The Power of the Daleks was released on Blu-Ray and DVD. July 6, 2020, a new animated version of The Power of the Daleks will be released on Blu-Ray and DVD in the UK. It will have extra bonus features: the 1992 documentary Daleks – The Early Years, an episode of the series Robin Hood which contains Troughton’s earliest surviving TV appearance, raw incidental music and much more. Troughton appeared as in the title role in Robin Hood. The BBC has not yet announced which episode of Robin Hood will be included with this new cartoon, nor when this DVD will be released in the USA.
This particular episode was an important one in the history of Doctor Who, and featured the first regeneration of the quixotic traveller from Gallifrey, the one where William Hartnell’s Doctor regenerates into Patrick Troughton’s.
A staggering number of the first six years of Doctor Who are lost to us. Between 1967 and 1978 the BBC routinely deleted archived shows for various reasons, including lack of storage space or rebroadcast rights. Sometimes the tapes were just wiped so they could be reused for something else. As a result of the culling, an approximate 97 of the 253 episodes from the those first six years are currently missing, leaving 26 story arcs incomplete. Many more were considered lost until recovered from various sources, mostly overseas broadcasters.
Doctor Who is unusual, however, in that each of its 97 missing episodes survives in audio form, recorded off-air by fans at home. Bits of them have been conserved in the form of production stills and short home recordings. Restoration efforts have resulted in all the episodes from the 1970’s being recovered and made available in full color.
Efforts to locate missing episodes continue, both by the BBC and by fans of the series. Recovered episodes have been extensively restored for release on VHS and DVD; surviving soundtracks have been released on cassette and CD. Many missing episodes have had their visuals reconstructed, either through specially commissioned animation or use of surviving footage and photographs.
Susan Macdonald is the author of the children’s book “R is for Renaissance Faire”, as well as short stories in “Alternative Truths”, “Swords and Sorceress #30”, “Supernatural Colorado”, “Barbarian Crowns”, “Cat Tails””Under Western Stars”, and “Knee-High Drummond and the Durango Kid”. Her articles have appeared on SCIFI.radio’s web site, in The Inquisitr, and in The Millington Star. She enjoys Renaissance Faires (see book above), science fiction conventions, Highland Games, and Native American pow-wows.