Some Whovians say you can tell a lot about a person by their favorite Doctor Who regeneration. I say, Amateurs. You can tell even more by their favorite Doctor Who villain. And I care not for your sexy Masters or Missy. I have no time for your clunky Cybermen (and Cyberwomen). I’m old school, and I am writhing with anticipation to watch Doctor Who: The Power of the Daleks.
The Power of the Daleks is going to be an absolute treasure trove for me. The Daleks are definitely the greatest enemy The Doctor has faced. I even consider them to be the greatest villain we have ever faced, as an audience/pseudo-companion. They have been terrifying children (and some adults) for decades, with their battle-cries of “exterminate” and their unrelenting focus on the destruction of the Time Lords (yeah, I even see their point on that one).
However, their greatest power stems from our own fear of becoming just like them. I’m talking about the Daleks sacrificing their emotions, their ability to feel emotional pain, because of the suffering they have experienced already. They hide behind their machines, afraid of any touch or interaction with another living, breathing creature. The greatest insult ever to hit The Doctor where it truly hurt was from a Dalek:
My own mother was probably too young to remember the original television screening of Doctor Who: The Power of the Daleks. T’was all the way back in 1966 (November and December) when the six-part serial gave us the first regeneration, turning a very old, very cranky, and very tired William Hartnell (bless his soul) into a vibrant pot of contradictions known as Patrick Troughton. In contrast, this serial didn’t give us the first sighting of a Dalek, but it was one of the earliest examples showing the similarities between Them and Us.
But alas! The serial was to become a Holy Grail for Whovians after pretty much every copy of it was destroyed. In fact, only two countries purchased the original serial–New Zealand and Australia. Australia’s National Broadcaster (the ABC) has been faithfully screening Doctor Who episodes since 1965, often with the feel of “infinite repeat.” Quite a few “lost episodes” have turned up in Australia, and the hope for The Power of the Daleks stayed true.
However, naught has been found. *sad Dalek* It has been considered lost to time, along with what is felt by some fans to be the best display of true Dalek deception in the history of Gallifrey.
So the BBC decided to stop waiting for a miracle and make their own; they recreated the infamous serial as an animated series, based on the program’s original audio recordings, surviving photographs, and film clips.
For those who want to really make an occasion of it, BBC has announced a limited-run theatrical screening of Doctor Who: The Power of the Daleks before the DVD release.
UK: On Saturday, November 5, there will be a special screening of episodes 1-3 at BFI Southbank London. [EDIT: Have since heard the tickets are sold out.] The entire animated serial will be available in the BBC Store on the same date, with DVD available from November 21.
Australia: Starting from Saturday, November 12, for one week only selected cinemas will be screening Doctor Who: The Power of the Daleks, along with bonus content including interviews with members of the original cast. Tickets can be purchased directly from Sharmill Films, or from any of the participating cinemas listed on their website.
US: BBC America and Fathom Events have announced a one-night special theatrical screening of the serial on Monday, November 14. Tickets can be purchased online through Fathom Events.
Now I’m all excited for what other classic “lost episodes” they might upgrade…