BBC to release animated version of destroyed Doctor Who story The Power of the Daleks

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Apr 29, 2019, 6:18 AM EDT (Updated)

A classic Doctor Who story, which was destroyed decades ago, is returning to the small screen 50 years after it first aired in the UK.

BBC America and BBC Worldwide have officially announced that they’ve commissioned a special, brand-new animated version of Doctor Who: The Power of the Daleks, a highly popular story among Whovians (it featured the regeneration of First Doctor William Hartnell into Doctor Number 2, Patrick Troughton) — despite the fact that it features no complete film recordings believed to have survived to this day. Why's that, you may ask? Well, I'm glad you are! It’s because the BBC destroyed (or, rather, exterminated) the master negatives during an archive purge in 1974. Le sigh.

The animated series will be based on the show’s original audio recordings, surviving photographs and film clips and will be released on Nov. 12 on BBC America — 50 years after The Power of the Daleks aired for the one and only UK broadcast on BBC One (from Nov. 5 to Dec. 10, 1966). It will then be available to stream on the BBC America App and on the next day. Here’s a description of the six-part episodic story:

The six-part adventure features the regeneration, or as it was then called ‘renewal’, of first Doctor, William Hartnell into second Doctor, Patrick Troughton, as the Time Lord and his companions Polly (Anneke Wills) and Ben (Michael Craze) do battle with the Daleks on the planet Vulcan.

Produced and directed by Charles Norton, The Power of the Daleks boasts character designs from acclaimed comic book artists Martin Geraghty and Adrian Salmon, and you can have a peek in the gallery below. Here’s what Sarah Barnett, president of BBC America, had to say in an official press release:

“50 years after its inception, Doctor Who continues to be a global phenomenon that perpetually reanimates itself – literally, right now.  “The Power of the Daleks” is the latest uniquely creative storytelling to spring from the extraordinary mythology of the Doctor Who world – there are only a handful of global franchises that have the depth to evolve in this kind of way. We are so proud to present this work to our BBCA Doctor Who fans, who we think will go crazy for this reverent yet shockingly reinvented “mash up”.”

With Charles Norton adding:

“The Power of the Daleks animation is the most ambitious Doctor Who archive restoration ever attempted and we’re all very honored to be a part of such an exciting project. Intelligent, suspenseful and magnificently staged, The Power of the Daleks is one of the great lost classics of 1960s television and a superb example of the black and white era at its finest.”

Doctor Who: The Power of the Daleks will premiere on Nov. 12. Are you excited to see this classic Doctor Who story the BBC destroyed being revived as an animated series?

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