The Power of the Daleks

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030 – The Power of the Daleks
Doctor Who serial
Directed byChristopher Barry
Written byDavid Whitaker
Dennis Spooner (episode 1, uncredited)[1]
Script editorGerry Davis
Produced byInnes Lloyd
Executive producer(s)None
Music byTristram Cary[2]
Production codeEE
SeriesSeason 4
Running time6 episodes, 25 minutes each
Episode(s) missingAll 6 episodes
First broadcast5 November 1966 (1966-11-05)
Last broadcast10 December 1966 (1966-12-10)
← Preceded by
The Tenth Planet
Followed by →
The Highlanders
List of Doctor Who episodes (1963–1989)

The Power of the Daleks is the completely missing third serial of the fourth season of British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast in six weekly parts from 5 November to 10 December 1966. It is the first full story to feature Patrick Troughton as the Second Doctor.

In this serial, the new Doctor (Troughton) and his travelling companions Polly (Anneke Wills) and Ben (Michael Craze) land on the planet Vulcan. There they find an Earth colony, where the lead scientist Lesterson (Robert James) discovers a 200-year-old alien capsule containing three inactive Daleks. Once brought back to life, the Daleks act as the colony's servants, but all they really want is power. Although audio recordings, still photographs, and clips of the story exist, no episodes of this serial are known to have survived.

This is the sixth incomplete Doctor Who serial released with full-length animated reconstructions of its six missing episodes. All six episodes were released on the BBC Store from 5 November–10 December 2016 in weekly order, 50 years after the serial's original broadcast dates.[3]



After transforming, the new Doctor regains consciousness, sets the TARDIS in flight, and appears to deliberately misunderstand direct questions from Ben and Polly. Ben suspects him to be an imposter, though Polly is willing to believe he is the same man. The TARDIS lands on the planet Vulcan, where the Doctor witnesses the murder of an examiner from Earth, sent to inspect the planet's colony. The Doctor, using the dead man's badge, pretends to be the examiner. A security team, led by Bragen, escorts the Doctor, Ben and Polly to the colony, where they meet the governor, Hensell, and his deputy Quinn. There are indications of a rebel faction that Hensell does not take seriously.

The Doctor and his companions learn of a two-century-old capsule discovered by the colony's scientist, Lesterson. The Doctor sneaks into the laboratory, with Ben and Polly following, where they discover two Daleks inside the capsule, with a third missing. The group is discovered by Lesterson; the Doctor asks him where the third Dalek is and the scientist reports that he hid what he assumed was a machine, with the intention to reactivate it. Later, Lesterson and his assistants manage to revive the Dalek and Lesterson removes its gun stick after one of the assistants, Resno, is killed.

Quinn, revealed as the one who summoned the examiner, is accused by Bragen of sabotage and is arrested, with his position then assigned to Bragen. The Doctor, Ben and Polly are present during these events, during which Lesterson arrives with the reactivated Dalek, which feigns loyalty. The Doctor remains suspicious and verbally hostile to the Dalek, who recognises the Doctor, finally convincing Ben that he is the same man. Lesterson reactivates the other two Daleks and removes their guns. The three Daleks are revealed to be secretly planning to take over the colony.

The Doctor's warning that the Daleks are secretly reproducing is ignored and he and Ben are arrested by Bragen, who knows the Doctor is not the examiner: Bragen is the examiner's killer. Polly is kidnapped by the rebels. Bragen, secretly the leader of the rebels, executes his coup d'état. He has a rearmed Dalek kill Hensell and then decides to kill off the rebels.

Inside the capsule, Lesterson discovers a secret production line mass-producing Daleks, and he loses his sanity. The new Daleks are deployed and a violent battle ensues. The Doctor, Quinn, Ben and Polly escape imprisonment and join the struggle. During the battle, Lesterson and many other colonists are killed by the Daleks. The Doctor finally destroys the Daleks by turning their own power source against them. Bragen is shot by one of the surviving rebels as he attempts to kill Quinn, who becomes the new governor. As the Doctor returns to the TARDIS with his companions, a damaged Dalek stands motionless; as the TARDIS dematerializes, the Dalek's eyestalk moves.


The Power of the Daleks is the first Doctor Who serial to discuss the concept of regeneration. The start of the first episode follows on directly from final scene of the preceding serial, The Tenth Planet, in which Doctor is seen transforming from his previous incarnation. In this first episode, the process is not referred to as "regeneration", but the Doctor, prompted by Ben, states that he has been "renewed". The Doctor also remarks that the process is "part of the TARDIS. Without it, I couldn't survive". The Doctor's clothing also changes as a result of the process.[4]

As the Doctor recovers from his transition, he rummages in a chest of artefacts and discovers Saladin's dagger, referencing the earlier serial, The Crusade (1965). When he looks in a mirror, he briefly sees the image of the First Doctor's face.[4]



For Patrick Troughton's debut story as the Doctor, the production team decided to re-introduce the Daleks, last seen in the 1965-66 serial The Daleks' Master Plan. Daleks were already an established enemy, popular with audiences, and as critic John Kenneth Muir has noted, while the Doctor had changed significantly with the introduction of a new lead actor, "the producers took no chances" with a serial centred on such a familiar foe as Daleks.[5]


EpisodeTitleRun timeOriginal air dateUK viewers
(millions) [6]
Archive [7]
1"Episode One"25:435 November 1966 (1966-11-05)7.9Only stills and/or fragments exist
2"Episode Two"24:2912 November 1966 (1966-11-12)7.8Only stills and/or fragments exist
3"Episode Three"23:3119 November 1966 (1966-11-19)7.5Only stills and/or fragments exist
4"Episode Four"24:2326 November 1966 (1966-11-26)7.8Only stills and/or fragments exist
5"Episode Five"23:383 December 1966 (1966-12-03)8.0Only stills and/or fragments exist
6"Episode Six"23:4610 December 1966 (1966-12-10)7.8Only stills and/or fragments exist

^† Episode is missing

The serial reintroduces a popular enemy of the Doctor, the Daleks

Working titles for this story included The Destiny of Doctor Who and Servants of Masters. Anneke Wills was on holiday and therefore absent from episode four. Similarly, Michael Craze was absent for episode five.[8]

The Doctor's regeneration was meant to be a "horrifying" metaphysical change. The producers compared it to the hallucinogenic drug LSD, which had the side-effect of "hell and dank horror".[9]

Episode 6 was recorded using the 625-line system before the official switchover, although it was telerecorded onto 35mm film, instead of videotape.[10]

Cast notes[edit]

Actor Patrick Troughton makes his debut in this serial in the lead role as the Doctor

Bernard Archard returned in Pyramids of Mars (1975).[11] Peter Bathurst returned in The Claws of Axos (1971).[12] Robert James returned in The Masque of Mandragora (1976).[13] Edward Kelsey had appeared in The Romans (1965)[14] and would return in The Creature from the Pit (1979).

Missing episodes[edit]

The master tapes of episodes 1 through 5 were erased in the late 1960s, while the BBC Enterprise copies on 16mm for foreign sales were destroyed in 1974. The 35mm film negative of episode 6 was junked before 1970. Some clips survive from various other programmes, mainly focusing upon the Daleks in episodes 4, 5, and 6. A narrated trailer that aired the evening before the story was first broadcast contains 19 seconds worth of footage from episode 1, focusing on when the Doctor, Ben, and Polly find the two seemingly inactive Daleks in the capsule. In addition some footage filmed off-air by an Australian fan onto 8mm cine film exists, showing brief moments of the new Doctor's first moves in the TARDIS and other brief moments in the colony throughout episodes 1 and 2. Episode 3 has no surviving clips whatsoever.

Australian copies of the story were returned and junked in June 1975. Only two other countries purchased the story due to the restriction on Dalek sales by Terry Nation: the New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation in 1968, which then sent its copy to Radio Television Singapore in 1972. RTS's successor Mediacorp say they do not possess any copies, and what happened to this set is unknown, although it was probably destroyed.[15]

Animated version[edit]

Although the video archive of The Power of the Daleks was lost, the BBC commissioned an animated version of the serial in 2016 to mark the 50th anniversary of its original transmission.[16] Two additional teasers were released the following month. The animation was produced in black-and-white, to evoke the original 1966 television broadcast, using audio recordings of the original broadcast as a soundtrack, and drawing on film clips and still photographs from the serial. It was directed by Charles Norton, with lead character art by Martin Geraghty, character shading by Adrian Salmon, props by Mike Collins, and background art by Daryl Joyce.[17] Late into production, BBC America began work on a colourised version of the black-and-white animation.[18]

Prior to its release, two minutes of animated footage from The Power of the Daleks was leaked on YouTube in August 2016, but it was removed within 48 hours at the behest of the BBC. The Daily Mirror subsequently revealed that a full animated reconstruction of the serial had been commissioned by the BBC.[19] This was confirmed by the BBC in September 2016.[16] Two additional teasers were released the following month.

The animation was released daily on the BBC Store in black-and-white between 5 and 10 November 2016, followed by a colour release of the complete serial on 31 December 2016.[20] In North America, the animation was screened theatrically by Fathom Events on 14 November 2016 and aired on BBC America from 19 November 2016.[21] For the 2020 re-release, the animation was re-composited and some sections were re-animated.[18]


In 1994, Science Fiction Chronicle's Don D'Ammassa reviewed the novelisation as "competently done and entertaining."[22]

In a poll undertaken by Doctor Who Magazine at the time of the show's 50th anniversary the story was rated the 19th best story of all time.[23]

Commercial releases[edit]

In print[edit]

The Power of the Daleks
AuthorJohn Peel
Cover artistAlister Pearson
SeriesDoctor Who book:
Target novelisations
Release number
PublisherDoctor Who Books
Publication date
15 July 1993

John Peel's novelisation was published by Doctor Who Books, an imprint of Virgin Books, in July 1993. Although still published and numbered in Target's Doctor Who Library, this was the first novelisation to be published under the new format introduced by Virgin for the Virgin New Adventures/Virgin Missing Adventures series. The most notable difference is the increased page count.

The script of this serial, edited by John McElroy, was published by Titan Books in March 1993.[24]

Home media[edit]

The audio soundtrack, recorded directly from television speakers by Graham Strong, survives. The BBC has given it three commercial releases: first, on cassette release with narration by Tom Baker; second, on CD with narration by Anneke Wills; and third, on MP3-CD for the 'Doctor Who: Reconstructed' range, again narrated by Wills. This release also includes a bonus slideshow for PC/Apple Mac users, merging the soundtrack with tele-snaps. The Wills-narrated soundtrack was also released in a collector's tin called Doctor Who: Daleks, along with the soundtrack to The Evil of the Daleks and a bonus disc featuring My Life as a Dalek, a story presented by Mark Gatiss and discussing the history of the Daleks.

In 2004, all known surviving clips were released on the DVD set Lost in Time. Following this, two more short clips – along with a higher-quality version of one of the extant scenes – were discovered in a 1966 edition of the BBC science series Tomorrow's World; these clips came to light on 11 September 2005 when the relevant section was broadcast as part of an edition of the clip-based nostalgia series Sunday Past Times on BBC Two. They were later included in the documentaries "The Dalek Tapes" (on the DVD of Genesis of the Daleks) and "Now Get out of That" (on the disc containing Terror of the Vervoids, within The Trial of a Time Lord box set).

In the UK, the black and white animation was released on DVD on 21 November 2016,[25] and a Blu-ray/DVD bundle containing the black and white and colour versions in limited steelbook packaging was released in February 2017, making it the first 1960s Doctor Who serial to be released on Blu-ray (although not the first live-action one).[26] A North American DVD containing the black and white and colour versions was released on 31 January 2017.[27] They include clips from the original episodes, the CD-ROM's telesnap reconstruction, a 20-minute documentary covering the original production (Servants and Masters), and an audio commentary; additionally, a 5.1 surround mix of the serial was produced alongside a remaster of the original mono recordings.

An updated version of the animation was released on Blu-ray and DVD on 27 July 2020;[28][29] it also adds newly discovered footage from the original episodes, the narrated cassette version of the serial, two new documentaries, and additional archive content, including an edition of Whicker's World ("I Don’t Like My Monsters to Have Oedipus Complexes") and surviving footage of Robin Hood starring Troughton.[18] The new animation omits a brief 16 second segment of Episode 1, due to the complexity of the animation required and the animation team feeling they couldn't do the scene justice. The scene itself involves Troughton doing a Jig while playing his recorder, the previous attempt in 2016 was included as an Easter Egg on Disc 1.


  1. ^ "BBC – Doctor Who Classic Episode Guide – The Power of the Daleks – Details". Archived from the original on 16 November 2020.
  2. ^ Re-use of music recorded for The Daleks and The Daleks' Master Plan
  3. ^ Fullerton, Huw (7 September 2016). ""Lost" Doctor Who episode to be remade". Radio Times. Retrieved 6 September 2016.
  4. ^ a b Cornell, Paul; Day, Martin; Topping, Keith (31 October 2013). "30. The Power of the Daleks". The Doctor Who Discontinuity Guide. Orion. p. XXX. ISBN 978-0-575-13318-1. Retrieved 26 April 2024.
  5. ^ Muir, John Kenneth (15 September 2015). A Critical History of Doctor Who on Television. McFarland. p. 134. ISBN 978-1-4766-0454-1. Retrieved 27 April 2024.
  6. ^ "Ratings Guide". Doctor Who News. Retrieved 28 May 2017.
  7. ^ Shaun Lyon; et al. (31 March 2007). "The Power of the Daleks". Outpost Gallifrey. Archived from the original on 17 June 2008. Retrieved 30 August 2008.
  8. ^ "BBC – Doctor Who Classic Episode Guide – The Power of the Daleks – Details".
  9. ^ "Doctor Who regeneration was 'modelled on LSD trips'". BBC News. 12 April 2010. Retrieved 20 January 2013.
  10. ^ "Power of the Daleks" (PDF). BBC. Retrieved 31 August 2016.
  11. ^ "BBC One - Doctor Who".
  12. ^ "The Claws of Axos ★★★★".
  13. ^ "The Masque of Mandragora ★★★★".
  14. ^ Braxton, Mark. "The Romans". Radio Times. Retrieved 15 January 2024.
  16. ^ a b "Lost Doctor Who adventure to return in animated form". BBC News. 7 September 2016. Retrieved 7 September 2016.
  17. ^ Guerrier, Simon (December 2016). "Story Preview: The Power of the Daleks". Doctor Who Magazine. No. 505.
  18. ^ a b c Norton, Charles (2 May 2020). Doctor Who The Power of the Daleks Special Edition – Charles Norton interview. Hadoke, Toby. Fantom Publishing. Event occurs at 02:44, 20:45 & 24:48. Archived from the original on 13 December 2021. Retrieved 4 May 2020.{{cite AV media}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  19. ^ Jefferies, Mark (29 August 2016). "There's some amazing news for Doctor Who fans". Daily Mirror.
  20. ^ Mulkern, Patrick (5 November 2016). "Animated lost Doctor Who story The Power of the Daleks is "enthralling" – and there could be more to come". Radio Times. Immediate Media Company Ltd. Retrieved 2 December 2019.
  21. ^ "BBC America Presents 'Doctor Who: The Power of the Daleks' in Theaters Nationwide". BBC America. New Video Channel America, LLC. 2016. Retrieved 2 December 2019.
  22. ^ D'Ammassa, Don (February 1994). "Review: The Power of the Daleks by John Peel". Science Fiction Chronicle. New York, NY: Algol Press.
  23. ^ "Power of the Daleks: First-look review of the Doctor Who story lost since the 60s". 10 November 2016.
  24. ^ Whitaker, David (March 1993). McElroy, John (ed.). Doctor Who – The Scripts: The Power of the Daleks. London: Titan Books. p. 2. ISBN 1-85286-327-7.
  25. ^ K McEwan, Cameron (26 October 2016). "The Power of the Daleks DVD artwork and extras unveiled". Doctor Who. BBC Studios Distribution. Retrieved 2 December 2019.
  26. ^ K McEwan, Cameron (4 February 2017). "The Power of the Daleks Limited Edition DVD/Bluray steelbook". Doctor Who. BBC Studios Distribution. Retrieved 2 December 2019.
  27. ^ Anderson, Kyle (30 January 2017). "DOCTOR WHO's 'Power of the Daleks' DVD is a Complete Picture". Nerdist. Retrieved 2 December 2019.
  28. ^ K McEwan, Cameron (28 April 2020). "The Power of the Daleks – Special Edition with never before seen footage". Doctor Who. BBC Studios Distribution. Retrieved 29 April 2020.
  29. ^ Fullerton, Huw (28 April 2020). "Doctor Who: "Updated animation" of Patrick Troughton's Power of the Daleks coming this summer". Radio Times. Immediate Media Company.

External links[edit]

Target novelisation[edit]