The Power of the Daleks

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030 – The Power of the Daleks
Doctor Who serial
Directed by Christopher Barry
Written by David Whitaker
Dennis Spooner (uncredited)[1]
Script editor Gerry Davis
Produced by Innes Lloyd
Executive producer(s) None
Incidental music composer Tristram Cary[2]
Production code EE
Series Season 4
Length 6 episodes, 25 minutes each
Episode(s) missing All 6 episodes
Date started 5 November 1966
Date ended 10 December 1966
← Preceded by Followed by →
The Tenth Planet The Highlanders
Doctor Who episodes (1963–1989)
Doctor Who episodes (2005–present)

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 entered into the TARDIS as the Doctor had collapsed and changed into a younger confused man who regains composure by focusing on a single lever on the TARDIS control console. The new Doctor seems to ignore or deliberately misunderstand direct questions while referring to his previous self as another person, with Ben suspecting him to be an imposter despite Polly believing he is still the Doctor they know. The Doctor takes a stroll once TARDIS lands on the planet Vulcan, witnessing the murder of an examiner sent from Earth to inspect the planet's colony. The Doctor picks up the examiner's badge and pretends to be the examiner as a security team, led by Bragen, escorts him, Ben and Polly to the colony where they meet governor Hensell and his deputy Quinn. The reason for who called the examiner is a mystery while there are indications of a rebel faction that Hensell does not taken seriously, the Doctor and his companions learning of a two-century old capsule discovered by the colony's scientist Lesterson.

After a cursory examination of the capsule, the Doctor sneaks back into Lesterson’s laboratory the following night with Ben and Polly following as they discover two Daleks inside the capsule with a third missing as Polly screams seeing a small mutant scattering across the floor into a small opening. The group are found by Lesterson with the Doctor justifying his action by pointing out that his examiner's badge grants him access anywhere in the colony. Before leaving, the Doctor asks Lesterson where the third Dalek is, the scientist having hid what he assumed was a machine with the intend to reactivate it. Later, Lesterson and his assistants Resno and Janley manage to revive the Dalek with Janley covering Resno's death while Lesterson removes the Dalek's gun stick.

Quinn, revealed to have summoned the examiner, is accused by Bragen of sabotaging the communication console and is arrested with his duties assigned to Bragen. The Doctor, Ben and Polly are present during these events, during which Lesterson arrives with the reactivated Dalek which feigns loyalty while convincing the colonists to provide it with the means to improve on a machine able to detect meteorites to perfect accuracy. The Doctor remains suspicious and verbally hostile to the Dalek, whose behaviour towards the Doctor suggests recognition on its part to Ben and Polly, confirming at last that he really is the Doctor. Lesterson reactivates the other two Daleks and removes their guns, the three revealed to secretly planning to take over the colony.

The Doctor notices the Daleks are secretly reproducing with his warning being ignored as he and Ben are arrested by Bragen, who knows the Doctor is not the examiner while revealed to be the real examiner's killer. Polly is kidnapped by the rebels while the Doctor is incarcerated next to Quinn, who reveals that he summoned the examiner to investigate the rebels. Bragen, who is also secretly the leader of the rebels, executes his Coup d'état and has a rearmed Dalek kill Hensell before deciding to kill off the rebels.

Meanwhile, Lesterson goes inside the Dalek capsule and loses his sanity upon discovering that the Daleks are being mass produced as they eventually decimate both factions with minimal difficulty. The Doctor, Quinn, and then Ben and Polly escape imprisonment and help fight what appears to be a losing battle. With Lesterson providing a distraction, the Doctor finally destroys the Daleks by turning their own power source against them. Bragen is shot by one of the surviving rebels when attempting to kill Quinn, who becomes the new governor. The Doctor, hinted to have planned out the Daleks' demise despite appearances, returns to the TARDIS with his companions as 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 episodes were released on DVD along with bonus material such as surviving clips, while all six episodes were being released daily on the BBC Store. On 25 May 2017, BBC Store announced its closure and refunded all purchases to account holders, including the animated reconstruction of this serial. The BBC Store ceased distributing this story on 1 November 2017, almost a year after initial release.[citation needed]


In 1994, Science Fiction Chronicle's Don D'Ammassa reviewed the novelisation as "competently done and entertaining."[12]

Commercial releases[edit]

In print[edit]

The Power of the Daleks
Doctor Who The Power of the Daleks.jpg
Author John Peel
Cover artist Alister Pearson
Series Doctor Who book:
Target novelisations
Release number
Publisher Target Books
Publication date
July 1993
ISBN 0-426-20390-9

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.[13]

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 2016, the BBC produced an animated reconstruction of The Power of the Daleks to be released via the BBC Store on 5 November, exactly 50 years after its original broadcast, prior to the DVD release on 21 November.[11] A limited edition Steelbook containing a DVD and Blu-ray copy was released on 6 February 2017.[14] The episodes can also be viewed on the BBC's website.


  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. (2007-03-31). "The Power of the Daleks". Outpost Gallifrey. Archived from the original on 2008-06-17. Retrieved 2008-08-30. 
  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. ^ a b "Lost Doctor Who adventure to return in animated form". BBC News. 7 September 2016. Retrieved 7 September 2016. 
  12. ^ D'Ammassa, Don (February 1994). "Review: The Power of the Daleks by John Peel". Science Fiction Chronicle. New York, NY: Algol Press. 
  13. ^ 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. 
  14. ^ "Doctor Who: The Power of the Daleks Blu-ray". Retrieved 13 December 2016. 

External links[edit]


Target novelisation[edit]