2-disc DVD Features include:
- Six animated recreation episodes (#1 - 6),
synchronized to the original television sound. (Disc 1: Colour; Disc 2: Black and White)
- Audio options: original mono, or 5.1 surround
- Alternate "telesnap" version - using over 400 telesnap photos by John Cura
and the CD story soundtrack with narration by Anneke Wills.
- Plus extra features:
- Audio commentary for all 6 animated episodes
(on both colour and black and white discs) by combinations of
Anneke Wills (Polly),
Nicholas Hawtrey (Quinn),
Edward Kelsey (Resno),
designer Derek Dodd,
production assistant Michael Briant,
costume designer Sandra Reid,
the animation crew,
and a few fan professionals.
Moderated by Toby Hadoke.
- making-of documentary for the original 1966 production (22 min.) with
Bernard Archard (Bragen),
director Christopher Barry,
composer Tristram Cary,
and several fan viewers.
- surviving footage & original trailer (8 min.)
- animation & photo gallery music montage (15 min.)
- archive audio track of the Dalek voice recording session (5 min.)
- animation test footage (6 min.)
- clean opening titles footage (1 min.)
- DVD ROM .pdf files include:
- Archive Production Note booklet by Andrew Pixley
- 1966 Production documents
- 1966 Camera scripts
Buyers' Guide Review
by Martin Izsak
(A more in-depth analysis, containing "SPOILERS" and intended
for those who have already seen the program, can be accessed
A new Doctor's first story should always be able to re-introduce
the entire Doctor Who series to new viewers, even more so than
season openers or classic single stories. Unfortunately, they
usually have the added disadvantage of an incoherent Doctor, who
must struggle to overcome the effects of his recent regeneration,
and this generally does not help.
"The Power of the Daleks" had the
greatest burden in selling the concept of regeneration, as no viewer
had any knowledge of it yet. To this end, the final scenes of
"The Tenth Planet" (the previous story)
ought to be repeated in their entirety, beginning
with a bit that easily demonstrated the essentials of the TARDIS.
Thankfully, the new animated version you can buy on DVD makes a good
attempt at some of this, but all was not so smooth on the original episodes.
There, all we got was some weird "re-shoot"
of the regeneration effect, which probably did not involve
William Hartnell, and if the telesnaps at the end of Jeremy
Bentham's "Doctor Who: The Early Years" are any indication, the
"up-the-nose" camera angle is less than ideal. There is far too much
empty silence in the opening scenes of this story, and the lack
of straight answers from the new Doctor is poorly motivated, not
helping his situation or his companions, and doing little to sell
regeneration, or the series as a whole, to the audience either. Time
enough to drop in Hartnell's last scene, and a proper materialization
for the TARDIS on Vulcan - these are crucially important missing
Patrick Troughton soon takes command of the episode, the story,
and the series as Hartnell has never been able to before. Not that
I think his portrayal of the Doctor is better, mind you, but suddenly
the writers are less afraid to do the Doctor justice. Perhaps they
feel more comfortable scripting heroics for a younger actor? Curiosity
captures the Doctor, in and out of the TARDIS, and before you know it,
he's got himself involved with the affairs of the human colony on the
planet Vulcan. Spearheaded by David Whitaker's example here, the
scripts will now cater to the Doctor's last minute heroic finishes as
well, with near clock-work regularity.
Mistaken identity is the order of the day in these first episodes.
Ben and Polly argue over whether the Patrick-Troughton-figure before
them really is the Doctor, and his needlessly enigmatic answers fuel
Ben's harsh disbelief. If that isn't enough, an official "Examiner"
from Earth has been secretly murdered by an unknown villain, and upon
discovering the body and credentials, the Doctor proceeds to impersonate
him. Why? Who only knows. I guess it seemed like a fun thing to do
at the time. The Doctor could have maintained much higher integrity
throughout the adventure had he gone in being himself, but maybe he's
not really sure himself Who he is at the moment.
Early scenes in Lesterson's laboratory are among the best in
the story, where detailed, methodical explorations of both Dalek
technology and character are detailed, and we get some insights
that we've never had previously.
Lesterson and many of his fellow colonists fail to sustain
charisma and audience sympathy as things progress though,
until it becomes easier to cheer for the Daleks. This is
a dangerous trap for the writers and production team, I think.
The music is perfect, of course. Why else would Tristram
Cary's Dalek Stock be getting its fifth airing? It is tremendously
effective at setting up a creepy atmosphere, and it is by now
associated with the Daleks as well. Good stuff.
The Saward Touch
Writing Tom Baker's narration for the audio cassette version
of this story is early 1980's script editor Eric Saward,
who does not fail to leave his stylish mark on the story.
In his version, there seems to be much emphasis
on pain, callous lack of caring, and violent carnage.
This time around, Whitaker's story seems to be typical of the type
Saward liked to write himself - full of unlikeable, unsympathetic
pathetic characters who you can't wait to see exterminated just to
be done and rid of them. Not my cup of tea, but
Saward's passive-aggressive touch
seems to be well-matched for this particular original story.
There's Something About Janley...
The Vulcan colonist guest characters themselves are not much more
than a bland bunch of morons. There's an easy comparison here with
the film "There's Something About Mary", only the version we get
in "The Power of the Daleks" is easily far less entertaining
and more cheesy. Enough said here.
However, as we graduate from audio-only versions of this story to look
at animated and telesnap versions, several of the colonist guest-characters
begin to pop out much better. In particular, Bernard Archard, who had also
played Marcus Scarman in "Pyramids of Mars" (story no. 82),
suddenly seems much better at owning the role of Bragen in this story. Also,
Peter Bathurst, who had also played the humorous bureaucrat Mr. Chinn in
"The Claws of Axos" (story no. 57) is far easier to
recognize and enjoy as he tackles the role of the colony's Governor Hensell
here in this story. Indeed, simply being able to see who says what turns out to
make everything far more clear and enjoyable, though sadly, these characters still
aren't truly great ones.
The animated version on DVD presents a strange mixed bag of quality. A lot of obvious effort
and passion went into the Daleks for sure - rendered quite smartly in 3D and on top of that
visually directed to squeeze out a maximum of fear, tension, and apprehension, which is only
enhanced by all the music and atmospherics getting laid down a-fresh from the Radiophonic
archives by Mark Ayres into a 5.1 surround sound audio mix. Great. But it is then a bit
sad that the animation of the humanoid characters lags so far behind. In terms of facial
expressions, they're all fine and done well. But there are a lot of really odd movements
for these characters in this story. Sometimes the animators just don't seem to know how to
fill time during all those "empty" moments in the soundtrack, and put excessive (and distracting)
random movements on the characters. But it seems everyone's lower body was done on the cheap,
with a single pair of hinged static legs, instead of a fully drawn set of walk-cycle frames.
Episode one suffers the most, because there's hardly any Dalek in it, and a LOT of empty air
on the soundtrack.
You know, it's a bizarre thing that with most continuing animated series, whether it's Scooby Doo,
or Inspector Gadget, or Futurama, or The Simpsons, there exists a sort of bible template for
the way in which each character should be drawn, so that they consistently look the same from
one episode to the next. But as we now get animated versions of all these lost Doctor Who stories
coming from so many varied animation companies, we end up with a set of "regular" characters that
look wildly different from one story to the next. It requires that we continually update the ideas
in our heads about what each character should look like, in animated form. Do we get so attached
to any one version that it prejudices us against whatever the next company might do? Hmmm.
The animators do a fair job with Patrick Troughton in this adventure, given that it's his first
story and he hasn't quite found many of his most iconic traits yet. But to me, Ben's face just isn't
round enough here - he looks a bit too long and gaunt. They did manage to capture Bernard Archard's
likeness close enough though, which I really did appreciate.
Additionally, one may wonder how it was possible to squeeze the black and white
6 half hour animated episodes and the 6 half hour telesnap episodes all onto
disc 2 of the DVD set, along with all the other bonus featurettes. Well, it seems
the telesnap episodes are very, very highly compressed - to the degree that
any full motion would not work very well. It's okay for any still image, but even
the odd fade in from black or out to black breaks up into distracting mosaic patterns.
As such, you won't find properly moving title graphics here, or any of the full
motion clips properly incorporated. But the telesnaps remain a nice way of
watching the story which reveals what the original acting would have looked like.
There is much more to say about honesty's role in making a good plot,
but I'd best save that for the
in-depth analysis version
of this review to avoid too many spoilers here.
There are quite a number of disappointments as the story
goes on, however, the Doctor does get his due,
and the story finishes fairly well.
In the end, Patrick Troughton does alright in this adventure.
However, this time
around, it seems that a little more honesty, proactivity,
and responsibility to making intelligent arguments could have
made for a better drama.
"The Power of the Daleks" is not known to exist in its original format
(6 black-and-white 25-minute TV episodes) in its entirety.
An entirely animated version,
synchronized to the original audio from the TV episodes,
and a telesnap photo version,
synchronized to the original audio with narration by Anneke Wills,
are now available on DVD:
Region 1 U.S.
2017 Jan. 31
Region 1 Canada
2017 Jan. 31
Region 2 U.K.
2016 Nov. 21
Coverage on The Power of the Daleks includes:
||Doctor Who: Lost in Time - Patrick Troughton
2 DVD discs
(also included in Lost in Time Boxed Sets)
More details & buying options for "Lost in Time" DVD's
- Trailer for episode 1 (1 min.)
- 8mm off-screen clips from episodes 1 & 2 (2 min.)
- Dalek clips from episodes 4-6 (2 min.)
This audio CD set features the complete audio tracks of all
6 television episodes of this story, narrated by
actress Anneke Wills (who also played Polly)
to help listeners follow what used to be visual aspects
of the story.
is playable in any normal audio CD player.
||Audio Cassette -
The Power of the Daleks
This earlier release of the audio
from the television episodes
features actor Tom Baker (the 4th Doctor)
reading narration produced by
early 1980's script editor Eric Saward.
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