Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The Power Of The Daleks!


The Power of the Daleks is a curious bit of entertainment. It's a recreation of a lost story from the vast Doctor Who catalog. Apparently the BBC in a stunning bit of forward thinking erased a number of the vintage Doctor Who episodes so they re-use the magnetic tape the shows were recorded on. This splendid bit of insight has created a chasm in the Doctor Who lore with many of the vintage shows with the First and Second Doctors being completely or partially missing. The Power of the Daleks is one of the latter -- six episodes of a story which has been completely erased. Now they do have a soundtrack and that's the basis for this recreation. That original sound has been bonded with an animated recreation of the action which blends together to give something altogether different.

(Real Doctor Who and Companions Ben and Polly)
Patrick Troughton is the Second Doctor Who, taking on the role from the First Doctor William Hartnell. This first transition from one Doctor the next must have been a mighty event and it was neat to see this initial adventure. The Doctor's companions in this one are Ben and Polly and frankly that have little to do in this story (besides get captured and bicker a bit).

(Animated Doctor Who and Companions Ben and Polly)
The story is set on an Earth colony called Vulcan which as the story opens has just found a spaceship which holds three inert Daleks. An unwise scientist named Lesterson thinks these remarkable robots might be useful to the colony, which is under pressure from its masters to produce and from its population to improve conditions. There is much inner political strife between the Governor and his various subordinates and the Doctor gets involved when they think he's a visiting official who had been murdered before the Doctor's eyes. He uses this authority to gain access to the colony and attempt to exert control when he understands the threat the Daleks pose. He's unsuccessful of course and the Daleks are not only reanimated but begin to increase their numbers and the colony itself suffers an existential threat.

(Animated Daleks)
It's all good and rather typical Doctor Who fun but the gloss of the animation does make the watching a bit of a different experience. The humanoid characters are animated in a limited way which gives them limited motion  (especially when they try to walk -- South Park anyone?) but the movement of the Daleks is downright eerie. The animation does a superior job of giving the dastardly alien cyborg machines a convincing gloss and their silent motions are as effective as any I've seen for them in any Who adventure.

It's all rather typical for Who fans, but I found it very diverting. Recommended.

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4 comments:

  1. I've only watched the first episode and wasn't too impressed. However, I've been told (and you confirm it) that it picks up when the Daleks appear. Must watch the rest soon.

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    1. I did the same thing -- watched the first episode and was unimpressed. Kept taping them and watched them through and it does get better as it goes. The pacing of the old Who shows takes some adjusting I find.

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  2. Does the dvd only have the black and white version? BBC America first showed the b&w on Saturday nights but then ran a marathon of all 6 episodes Christmas morning in full color. Multi-colored daleks!! It would be nice if both versions were available on dvd.

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    1. I missed the color versions. The B&W was pretty neat.

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