In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the debut of the second Doctor, Patrick Troughton, BBC America and BBC Worldwide will air an animated adaptation of the six-part “Doctor Who: The Power of the Daleks” storyline that introduced him.
As longtime fans of the Time Lord know, there are no complete film recordings of the 1966 serial that introduced the mop-topped regeneration of the first Doctor, William Hartnell, as the master tapes were wiped in a 1974 purge due to the high price of videocassettes. They were then repurposed for use on new productions.
Using original audio recordings, surviving photographs and film clips, the BBC commissioned director Charles Norton and comic book artists Martin Geraghty and Adrian Salmon were commissioned to produce “the most ambitious 'Doctor Who' archive restoration ever attempted.”
The result is an animated recreation of the classic storyline that introduced viewers to Troughton and the now-classic plot device of regeneration -- initially called "renewal"-- a clever solution to the difficult problem of having to replace the series lead. Script editor Gerry Davis suggested that the alien Doctor could die and return in a new body. Producer Innes Lloyd took the concept further and saw it as an opportunity to recast the Doctor at will, making the character younger or older, as necessary.
He modeled the regeneration process on a bad LSD trip, as outlined in an internal BBC memo that describes “renewal” as a horrifying experience, “in which he relieves some of the most undesirable moments of his long life, including the galactic war. It is as if he has had the LSD drug and instead of experiencing the kicks, he has the hell and dank horror which can be its effect.”
“Doctor Who: The Power of the Daleks” stars Throughton as the Time Lord, and Anneke Wills and Michael Craze as companions Polly and Ben.
The first episode will be available for purchase from the U.K .BBC store starting Nov. 5, with the remaining episodes releasing over the next week. The serial premieres on BBC America on Nov. 12, and will be available on the BBC America app the next day.