Lost Doctor Who episodes (and other TV) are sadly not an uncommon occurrence. In the early days of the 50-year-old sci-fi series, the BBC would air episodes and then record over them to save space or otherwise reuse the tapes. It hurts just typing that but thankfully some previously lost episodes have been made new again thanks to a lot of hard work and animation.
Back in 2013, the BBC Worldwide announced master tapes of Doctor Who episodes from the 1960s were found in Nigeria, Africa. The episodes were sent there for local transmissions and tracked down with some effort. It was exciting news at the time but 97 stories were still missing or incomplete. This new animation features the six-part “The Power of the Daleks” story, which is still missing.
“No complete film recordings of 'The Power of the Daleks' are known to have survived,” the BBC explains of their most recent news, “The master negatives were destroyed in an archive purge in 1974.” But thanks to original audio recordings, surviving photographs, and film clips, they were able to put together an animated version of the story. Here's a teaser:
This isn't the first time the BBC has animated a lost piece of Whovian history. “The Tenth Planet,” which featured the First Doctor”s regeneration into the Second, was posted online in animated form in 2013.
But this new release will be much more extensive and feature Patrick Troughton's debut as the Second Doctor and is set to be released “exactly 50 years to the minute after it was first transmitted on BBC One (November 5), and then on DVD.” You can also pick it up in the BBC Store.
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.
'The Power of the Daleks' is being produced by the team behind the highly successful animation of lost Dad”s Army episode A Stripe For Frazer, first released on BBC Store in February this year. The producer and director is Charles Norton, with character designs from acclaimed comic book artists Martin Geraghty and Adrian Salmon.
And because there's sometimes wonky airing stuff from the UK to the US, they write: “Fans in America note that 'The Power of the Daleks' airs Saturday, November 12 on BBC AMERICA and will be available the following day to stream on BBCAmerica.com and the BBC AMERICA app.”