Resin Heroes

Direct Beam Comms #50


Doctor Who: The Power of the Daleks – Grade: B+

Let this sink in for a minute; currently there are more episodes of the classic series Doctor Who that are missing that were ever created for shows like the original Star Trek or even The Sopranos. Early years of Doctor Who might have 40+ episodes each season and since the series originally ran for 26 years means that there were over 800 episodes produced. Unfortunately, as a cost savings measure the BBC decide that the physical tapes used to record episodes on as an archive were of more value than the actual episodes and had a habit of erasing old shows and replacing them with newer ones. Which means that as of right now around 100 episodes Doctor Who, especially early ones until they stopped this practice, are thought lost.

power-daleks-1Luckily, over the years, some of these lost episodes were found. Some in far off locals around the world like Nigeria and Australia in various archives where Doctor Who aired in syndication and some in collections of Doctor Who fans who happened to buy memorabilia that turned out to be a missing episode or two. Unfortunately, while a few lost episodes seem to turn up every few years, there are still these nearly 100 that have never been found and odds are that some will remain lost forever.

Which brings me to one of these Doctor Who episodes arcs that so far hasn’t been found titled “The Power of the Daleks.” This six episode story originally aired 50 years ago this month but the tapes housing them were recorded over decades ago. One thing that did survive of “The Power of the Daleks” was the soundtrack to the episodes. So what the BBC has done is to create an animated version of the episodes which uses the original soundtrack and will be airing them each Saturday night on BBC America.

It’s interesting to see this episode animated in such a realistic way, but the episode does come off a bit odd and stiff looking. I think that’s partly due to the fact that older episodes of Doctor Who as a rule came as generally odd and stiff looking to begin with, but along with the fact that “The Power of the Daleks” is animated which adds to this quality.

Here, newly regenerated Doctor (Patrick Troughton) and companions materialize on a colony planet Vulcan where the Doctor is mistaken from an Earth official. At the colony they’re shown a ship the people in the colony discovered in a nearby swamp. A ship that once opened is revealed to be piloted by the evil Daleks. And that’s where this episode ends with next week’s show set to continue the story.

Stiff looking or not, I’d love to see BBC continue this practice of animating lost episodes since I think the more classic Doctor Who available the better.

The Man in the High Castle commercial

“I’m not an assassin.”


Kong: Skull Island trailer

“Monsters exist.”

Ghost in the Shell trailer

“They did not save your life, they stole it.”

The Reading & Watch List

This week in pop-culture history

  • 1931: Frankenstein opens in theaters
  • 1963: The first episode of Doctor Who (the original series) premiers
  • 1986: Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home opens in theaters
  • 1988: The TV series Mystery Science Theater 3000 premiers
  • 1990: Predator 2 opens in theaters
  • 2007: The Mist opens in theaters
  • 1996: Star Trek: First Contact opens in theaters