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 (uncredited)[1]
Script editorGerry Davis
Produced byInnes Lloyd
Executive producer(s)None
Incidental music composerTristram Cary[2]
Production codeEE
SeriesSeason 4
Length6 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
Doctor Who episodes (1963–1989)

The Power of the Daleks is the completely missing third serial of the fourth season in the 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.

It was the sixth incomplete Doctor Who serial to be 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 to the serials' original broadcast dates.[3]


Ben and Polly enter the TARDIS as the First Doctor collapses and changes into a younger, confused man who seems to ignore or deliberately misunderstand direct questions, and refers to his previous self as another person. Ben suspects he is an imposter, but Polly believes he is still the Doctor they know. They land on the planet Vulcan, where the Doctor witnesses the murder of an examiner from Earth, sent to inspect the planet's colony (why the examiner was summoned is a mystery). 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, whose behavior suggests to Ben and Polly that it recognizes the Time Lord, confirming at last that he really is the Doctor. 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 revealed to be the real 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.

Meanwhile, Lesterson loses his sanity upon discovering that the Daleks are being mass produced inside the capsule. The Doctor, Quinn, and then Ben and Polly escape imprisonment and help fight what appears to be a losing battle. During the battle, Lesterson is 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, before its eyestalk moves as the TARDIS dematerializes.


EpisodeTitleRun timeOriginal air dateUK viewers
(millions) [4]
Archive [5]
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

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.[6]

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".[7]

Episode 6 was recorded using the 625-line system before the official switchover, although it was telerecorded onto 35mm film, instead of videotape.[8]

Cast notes[edit]

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

Missing episodes[edit]

The master tapes of all six episodes were erased in the late 1960s, while the BBC Enterprise copies on 16mm for foreign sales were destroyed in 1974. The additional 35mm film negative of episode 6 was junked some time prior to 1970. Some clips survive from various other programmes, mainly focusing upon the Daleks. 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.

The Australian copies of Power 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 RTS in Singapore in 1972. RTS's successor Mediacorp say they do not possess any copies, and what happened to this set is currently unknown.[9]

In August 2016, two minutes of animated footage from the serial appeared on YouTube. The professional nature of the animation, combined with the fact that the BBC had it removed within 48 hours, led to speculation that it had been leaked footage from a planned official release. The Daily Mirror then ran a story stating that a full animated reconstruction of the serial had been commissioned by the BBC.[10] In September the BBC confirmed that it was producing a full animated version of The Power of the Daleks for release in November to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the serial's original broadcast.[11] Two additional teasers were released the following month. The animation 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.[12]

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.[13] In North America, the animation was screened theatrically by Fathom Events on 14 November 2016 and aired on BBC America from 19 November 2016.[14]


In 1994, Science Fiction Chronicle's Don D'Ammassa reviewed the novelisation as "competently done and entertaining."[15]

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.[16]

Commercial releases[edit]

In print[edit]

The Power of the Daleks
Doctor Who The Power of the Daleks.jpg
AuthorJohn Peel
Cover artistAlister Pearson
SeriesDoctor Who book:
Target novelisations
Release number
PublisherTarget Books
Publication date
July 1993

A novelisation of this serial, written by John Peel, was published by Virgin Books in July 1993. Although still published under the Target Books banner, 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.[17]

Home media[edit]

The audio soundtrack 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; third, on MP3-CD for the 'Doctor Who: Reconstructed' range, again narrated by Anneke Wills. This release also includes a bonus slideshow for PC/Apple Mac users, merging the soundtrack with tele-snaps. The Anneke 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 discussing the history of the Daleks.

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

In the UK, the black and white animation was released on DVD on 21 November 2016,[18] and a Blu-ray/DVD bundle containing the black and white and colour versions in limited steelbook packaging was released in February 2017.[19] A North American DVD containing the black and white and colour versions was released on 31 January 2017.[20] These releases include surviving 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.


  1. ^ "BBC – Doctor Who Classic Episode Guide – The Power of the Daleks – Details".
  2. ^ Re-use of music recorded for The Daleks
  3. ^ Fullerton, Huw (7 September 2016). ""Lost" Doctor Who episode to be remade". Radio Times. Retrieved 6 September 2016.
  4. ^ "Ratings Guide". Doctor Who News. Retrieved 28 May 2017.
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ "BBC – Doctor Who Classic Episode Guide – The Power of the Daleks – Details".
  7. ^ "Doctor Who regeneration was 'modelled on LSD trips'". BBC News. 12 April 2010. Retrieved 20 January 2013.
  8. ^ "Power of the Daleks" (PDF). BBC. Retrieved 31 August 2016.
  10. ^ Jefferies, Mark (29 August 2016). "There's some amazing news for Doctor Who fans".
  11. ^ "Lost Doctor Who adventure to return in animated form". BBC News. 7 September 2016. Retrieved 7 September 2016.
  12. ^ Guerrier, Simon (December 2016). ""Story Preview: The Power of the Daleks"". Doctor Who Magazine. No. 505.
  13. ^ 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.
  14. ^ "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.
  15. ^ D'Ammassa, Don (February 1994). "Review: The Power of the Daleks by John Peel". Science Fiction Chronicle. New York, NY: Algol Press.
  16. ^
  17. ^ 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.
  18. ^ 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.
  19. ^ 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.
  20. ^ Anderson, Kyle (30 January 2017). "DOCTOR WHO's 'Power of the Daleks' DVD is a Complete Picture". Nerdist. Nerdist. Retrieved 2 December 2019.

External links[edit]

Target novelisation[edit]