The Power of the Daleks was first broadcast in six weekly parts from November to December 1966. It's the first time viewers saw Patrick Troughton as The (Second) Doctor, replacing William Hartnell, who had a huge following. Part of the Fathom Event viewing included interviews with one director stating "We didn't know if we should hire someone who looked like Hartnell or go with someone completely different". Clearly, the creators moved the show in the way their viewers wanted - by creating new and individual personalities for each Doctor's regeneration.
No episodes exist of The Power of the Daleks, although over 400 still photographs, audio recordings and very few actual clips still exist. All six episodes were recreated via animation in black and white. While the animation, at times, was choppy and old fashioned, the sound effects were original from audio records, as was the dialogue. It was captivating to hear the Patrick Troughton's voice in an animated character that had such as strong resemblance to the man, himself. The characters were true to the original cast and the entire two-and-a-half-hour animation definitely had the original feel of the 1960's and a true Whovian will be immersed in the experience of watching the re-creation of these important, lost episodes.
The Power of The Daleks, along with being the first episode (series) that Whovians are introduced to the Second Doctor, is also the first-time viewers are introduced to the Daleks, The Doctor's arch enemy. When the Tardis "lands" on the Earth's colony on Vulcan, The Doctor impersonates the Examiner from Earth, called to inspect the Colony. Along with his companions Polly (Anneke Willis) and Ben (Michael Craze), they set out to find out the mystery of the capsule found in the mercury waters. When the capsule is finally opened on orders from the Examiner/The Doctor, the colony is introduced to the Daleks, who at first state "I am your servant" to the humans, all while plotting the humans demise.
Having watched Doctor Who and knowing the history of The Doctor and the show through the current series, it's clear that writer David Whitaker did an exemplary job in setting the stage for the introduction of the Daleks, the future Regenerations of The Doctor, and the continuing battle between The Doctor, the Daleks, and Earth. Anyone who loves Doctor Who, who wants to understand Doctor Who, or who wants to start watching Doctor Who, should see the animation of these very pivotal episodes. Doctor Who would not be himself without it.
All six missing episodes were recreated with a release date of November 5, 2016, exactly fifty years after the original episode aired. One episode is released every six days, digitally, through the BBC store. Beginning the day of the Fathom release, other retailers will have the series available online, also. After the animation ended, Fathom presented a short interview with directors and Anneke Wills, the surviving member of the Tardis Crew from 1966. This was the first attempt by BBC to re-create an entire story line through animation, although missing episodes from other story lines have been previously animated. While clearly not a big budget animation as we'd see with Disney or Pixar, BBC did an amazing job keeping the classic feel of the original episodes throughout the amination.
While true that Whovians would travel any distance through time and space to see this re-creation, it was a little on the long side (two and one half hours) and may have done better in the theater with a short intermission. The story line did flow and it was easy to see where each of the original episodes would have started and finished.
Available to stream starting today, November 15, 2016 through the BBC America website and mobile app, this is a must have for Whovians of all agesFor those searching for more events by Fathom and want to see some more classic films brought to the silver screen, you can visit their website at http://www.fathomevents.com/ to see a schedule of all the upcoming events at a local theater near you.