The animation of ‘The Power of the Daleks’ was released onto BBC Store to tie in with the 50th Anniversary of its transmission. Check out our thoughts in our review. But fans can now own a physical copy of ‘The Power of the Daleks’ on DVD which few would’ve imagined possible mere months ago.
This 2 disc set is accompanied by a cardboard sleeve and reversible cover which features artwork from artist Colin Howard. His previous contributions to Doctor Who merchandise include covers for 33 VHS releases through the 1990’s. Inside the case is a booklet of extensively researched production notes compiled by historian Andrew Pixley. This offers a fascinating insight into the production of this momentous story in Doctor Who’s long history.
Disc One – ‘The Power of the Daleks’
The six animated episodes are featured on Disc One with a number of soundtrack options. The original score is available to be enjoyed in stereo, 5.1 surround sound and even a remastered version of the original 1966 mono sound mix. Alternatively, a specially recorded audio commentary provides riveting insights and memories of this legendary story.
Hosted by Toby Hadoke the first commentary features Anneke Wills who played Polly, designer Derek Dodd and production assistant Michael Briant. The sheer delight in Anneke’s voice at having the opportunity to watch this version of ‘Power of the Daleks’ is simply lovely. Episode Two sees Edward Kelsey who played
Episode Two sees Edward Kelsey who played Resno during the story join the commentary. For the third installment Toby Hadoke journeys to France to interview Nicholas Hawtrey who played Quinn in the story. Hawtrey also provides recollections of his first encounter with the Daleks in the stage play ‘The Curse of the Daleks’. Alexandra Tynan (Sandra Reid) also recalls her work on the show, designing Patrick Troughton’s cosmic hobo look and her memories of colleague Daphne Dare who worked on early William Hartnell stories. Episode Four sees fans offer their thoughts with Hadoke joined by new series Dalek operator David Hankinson, the voice of the Daleks Nicholas Briggs and Robert Shearman writer of ‘Dalek’.
For the penultimate episode those who contributed to the animation, namely Adrian Salmon, Martin Geraghty and Charles Norton, get their opportunity to discuss their resurrecting the story. The revelation that the team had only 6 months to deliver all 6 episodes is extraordinary and makes you appreciate the final product all the more. Similarly, the destructive pattern of Patrick Troughton’s trousers is an amusing revelation.
The final episode sees the trio of commentators for Episode One reunited for another 20 plus minutes of tales from behind the scenes.
Disc Two – Special Features
The second disc of the DVD set provides viewers with an extensive compilation of additional material. A gallery of photographs from the production and also the animated work is accompanied by incidental music from the story. Running to over 15 minutes the gallery is impressively thorough and features some of the most iconic shots of Troughton but also images of the original sets which must’ve been particularly useful for the animators. Storyboard sketches, character and background art for the animation are also supported by a compilation of footage from the early animation tests.
A recently discovered copy of the original title sequence, used from 1963 to 1967, is presented for the first time having received a stunning restoration. Similarly, previously unreleased audio from the Dalek voice recording session for the story is included.
As with other previous DVD’s a selection of original paperwork from the BBC written archive is available for view including camera scripts and production notes. The original trailer for the story is also included with all the surviving footage as it was presented on BBC Store.
Servants and Masters – The Making of The Power of the Daleks
The central ‘Making of’ documentary is that already made available on BBC Store. It features memories from members of the original 1966 cast and crew, plus opinions from viewers. The majority of these interviews have been seen elsewhere, mainly on ‘the Dalek Tapes’ feature on the ‘Genesis of the Daleks’ DVD. However, it has been carefully pieced together and provides fascinating insight into this story, including recollections from some sadly no longer with us.
For those who are fans of such things, ‘The Power of the Daleks’ can also be enjoyed through a reconstruction of individual still images of the original 1966 broadcast. These telesnaps are combined with the programme’s original soundtrack, just as with the animation, but with linking narration from Anneke Wills. It provides a visual representation of the story and how it originally appeared onscreen in another way.
Although ‘The Power of the Daleks’ was only broadcast in the UK once it has since developed a reputation as one of the best. Despite the original tapes being junked many years ago the story is presented on this DVD in a number of formats. The bonus material is detailed and insightful with the commentaries providing thorough discussion on this landmark story of Doctor Who.
With the classic Doctor Who DVD range sadly drying up ‘The Power of the Daleks’ offers potential for the future. In an ideal world, all the remaining missing episodes will be found and given the DVD treatment they deserve. That is sadly very unlikely. However, animation offers a new world of possibilities. Stories such as ‘Marco Polo’, ‘The Evil of the Daleks’ and so many other lost classics could still yet be added to our DVD library. With no other material likely to be available then animated presentations of missing episodes is unquestionably the future direction. Hopefully, this DVD will prove highly successful and lucrative for BBC Worldwide, encouraging the organisation to pursue further projects. This spectacular DVD release has only triggered a desire for more stories, with animation a more than worthy medium for telling tales long thought lost.
‘The Power of the Daleks’ is available now on DVD from Amazon.co.uk.