It’s one of those unfortunate quirks of television history that dozens of DOCTOR WHO episodes were lost due to careless archival practices at the BBC. Now the broadcaster has confirmed, via a press release, that the Power of the Daleks serial will return to our screens as an animated feature. A teaser trailer for the six-episode restorative production, due out in 5 November digitally and later in the month on DVD, can be viewed below. Some markets will also broadcast the serial in its entirety.
Using a combination of audio originally recorded by fans on the initial screening, stills from the production, and newly produced black and white animation, fans can finally see the historic production in motion. It’s a significant episode in the DOCTOR WHO canon as it is the first full serial to feature Second Doctor Patrick Troughton, following the then-unnamed process of regeneration.
This is the biggest news for fans of the original series since formerly lost episodes from the fifth season serials The Enemy of the World and The Web of Fear were recovered in Africa and released to DVD and digital in 2013. Previous serials with missing episodes have been partially animated, such as The Tenth Planet and The Ice Warriors, but this marks the first time an entire serial has been animated for fans.
There are still 97 episodes from the First (William Hartnell) and Second Doctor eras thanks to the aforementioned policy. DOCTOR WHO was not the only program impacted by the policy, but is perhaps the most famous example of a classic show’s formative years being unavailable due to this type of policy. In Australia, large chunks of Countdown and Number 96 are missing due to erasures as part of an economy policy instituted in the late 1970s in which bulk wiping was commonplace.