The Power of the Daleks: Episode One

First Broadcast November 5th, 1966 @ 5.50pm (7.9m viewers)

Patrick Troughton is The Doctor! Following on directly from events the previous week, companions Ben and Polly, plus the audience at home, watch on as a new man now stands where The Doctor once was. Now, of course, we recognise this process of actors changing over in the role as ‘regeneration’. In this episode, it is described as a ‘renewal’. As the first occasion where this ‘renewal’ has occurred, the concept is a blank canvas. We are therefore treated to a number of lovely moments, some which are unique to this adventure, some that would continue in future regenerations.

Doctor Who: The Power of the Daleks (c) BBC
Doctor Who: The Power of the Daleks (c) BBC
Memorable Moment (Spoiler Warning)

On viewing his reflection in the mirror the image of his predecessor appears. The Doctor would regularly use a mirror to examine his new appearance. The process is also described as being “part of the TARDIS”. Whilst more often than not the regeneration process would indeed take place within the TARDIS, it would not be implied that the two were so intrinsically linked in future. We also see the Second Doctor acquire the 500-year diary and a recorder. These two items would become heavily associated with this incarnation. After all, a number of photographs were taken of Troughton clutching the diary and his recorder during production on this opening episode. Other photographs would, of course, feature the returning villain selected for the new Doctor to encounter; the Daleks.

Polly. Ben. Come in and meet the Daleks.

Doctor Who: The Power if the Daleks (c) BBC
Doctor Who: The Power if the Daleks (c) BBC

‘The Power of the Daleks’ is a lost classic. Not only does it see Patrick Troughton’s earliest appearance as The Doctor but it also saw a return of the Daleks. Terry Nation’s famous creations were for the first time appearing in a story which their creator had not contributed towards. Although credited to David Whitaker the author of this tale was, in fact, Dennis Spooner who had written the later episodes of ‘The Daleks’ Master Plan’. He added a new perspective on the Daleks. When they appear towards the end of Episode One the Daleks are not powerful, threatening to exterminate. They are dormant relics in a space capsule. However, their ability to be terrifying still remains and grows throughout the remainder of the story.

The Power of the Dalek's Animation (c) BBC
The Power of the Dalek’s Animation (c) BBC

Sadly, ‘The Power of the Daleks’ was only broadcast once in the UK. And yet it has gone down as a great largely because of the strength of the story. This story has been presented as a novelisation, on cassette, in a script book and on audio CD, using original documents and recordings. However today, on the 50th anniversary of this episode’s original broadcast, the story is going to be available for fans once again, this time in animated form…


Doctor Who – Patrick Troughton
Polly – Anneke Wills
Ben Jackson – Michael Craze
Bragen – Bernard Archard
Hensell – Peter Bathurst
Janley – Pamela-Ann Davy
Quinn – Nicholas Hawtrey
Lesterson – Robert James
The Examiner – Martin King
The Doctor – William Hartnell


Director – Christopher Barry
Producer – Innes Lloyd
Writer – David Whitaker
Writer – Dennis Spooner


Also First Aired On This Day…

  • Image of the Fendahl: Part Two
  • Torchwood: Cyberwoman
  • The Sarah Jane Adventures: Whatever Happened to Sarah Jane?: Part Two
  • The Sarah Jane Adventures: The Eternity Trap: Episode One


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