A vintage Doctor Who story from 1966 is to be released as an animated cartoon.
The six-part story The Power Of The Daleks will be released on the digital BBC Store on November 5 at 5:50pm, 50 years to the minute that it was first broadcast on BBC1.
The original episodes of the story have long disappeared, having been wiped from the BBC vaults in the mid-1970s. In the days before VHS video recorders and DVDs, the BBC didn’t think people would be interested in seeing repeats of old episodes of classic shows including Top Of The Pops and junked the bulky master tapes.
The Power Of The Daleks is significant in Doctor Who history, as it’s the first story starring Patrick Troughton, the second Doctor, and thus the first to be shown after the Doctor first regenerated.
Although the film has vanished, a fan made an off-air cassette recording of the audio soundtrack by placing a tape recorder next to the TV. It’s this remastered soundtrack which will be used for the animation.
The release of the Troughton story as an animation is also significant for Doctor Who fans, as it appears to kill off hopes of a long-running rumour that those missing episodes still exist.
In 2013, coinciding with the show’s 50th anniversary, fan Philip Morris – an expert in recovering the BBC’s lost shows – returned two other Troughton stories to the BBC after negotiating with foreign TV stations who had shown the stories and kept their copies since the 1960s.
Following the release of those stories, The Web Of Fear and Enemy Of The World, a rumour known as the ‘Omnirumour’ began circulating that Morris had found nearly all of the 97 episodes still missing from the BBC.
It was thought that Morris was continuing to negotiate with the BBC and other TV stations so that the episodes could eventually be given an official release.
Morris has consistently denied the rumour, and the release of The Power Of The Daleks in animated form would indicate that there is no hope of the original film episodes being found.