As we continue to countdown toward the release of the newly animated Power of the Daleks this November, we present ten things you might not have known about the serial… although Doctor Who fans know everything, so you might know them… not that that should stop you from reading.. because you might not know… but you might. That’s all we’re saying. So read on dear readers!
1: For a long time, The Power of the Daleks was one of the few television stories not to be novelised by Target books due to Terry Nation retaining rights to the early Dalek serials. The story was eventually novelised in 1993 by John Peel and was number #154 in the Target library. Although published under the Target banner by Virgin publishing, the novel uses the longer format of the New and Missing Adventures. A script book of this serial was also released by Titan Books in 1993.
2: The War of the Daleks, also by John Peel, a 1997 Eighth Doctor Adventure from BBC Books, reveals that the Dalek pod was sent to Vulcan by the Eighth Doctor, ejecting it from a Thal ship.
3: It’s something of a fan legend that Doctor Who featured the planet Vulcan before Star Trek used the world as the home of the great Leonard Nimoy’s Mr Spock. But is it true? yes and no. While Star Trek debuted on September 8, 1966 (Power of the Daleks first airing November 5, 1966), David Whitaker first listed Vulcan as a planet in his 1964 spin-off The Dalek Book.
4: According to the BBC trailer for the serial, the story takes place in the year 2020, a fact that Lance Parkin and Lar’s Pearson’s excellent (and hefty) AHistory: An Unauthorised History of the Doctor Who Universe agrees with. While the date is never given on-screen, press material, the Doctor Who 10th Anniversary Special, the second edition of The Making of Doctor Who and first edition of The Programme Guide all give the date as 2020, suggesting this is what was in the mind of the production team. The fact we’re rapidly approaching that date in both reality and on-screen, with no sign of the levels of technology required, adds all manner of problems… but the “easy out” of time travel changing universal events could be applied (Possibly the events of Genesis of the Daleks?). Other suggested dates include 2049 (The TARDIS Logs), 2249 (A History of the Daleks) and 2120 (Timelink).
5: While everyone know’s the Doctor’s regeneration is referred to initially as “renewal” in The Power of the Daleks, it wouldn’t be until Planet of Spiders in 1974 that the term “regeneration” was first used to describe the process. Uniquely, the Doctor describes the process as “part of the TARDIS” during the events of the story.
6: In 2005 the BBC released an official reconstruction of the story in an MP3-CD format. Titled Doctor Who Reconstructed: The Power of the Daleks, the serial was the first and only release in the potential series, despite plans being made to release The Highlanders. The item now sells for much more than it’s cover price on auction websites.
“This unique project matches the soundtrack recording of a classic “Doctor Who” television story with a visual slideshow of ‘telesnaps’ showing images from the lost film recording. Of the 100+ episodes of “Doctor Who”, which are absent from the television archives, only two elements survive: off-air sound recordings and ‘telesnaps’. For each 25 minute episode of “Doctor Who”, approximately 70 off-screen photographs exist. Since 1998, BBC Audio has successfully published the soundtracks of these missing stories, with addition linking narration.This new MP3-CD series now marries the sound with the telesnaps, to present a slideshow of images from the episodes and going some way to ‘reconstructing’ the original film episodes. MP3-CDs can be played on any compatible player. To view the visual elements, a PC or Mac home computer is required. In “The Power of the Daleks”, the Doctor has regenerated for the first time, leaving his two companions suspicious of him being an imposter. But when the TARDIS materialises on the planet Vulcan, they must fight for their lives together – against the Daleks…”
7: The serial, penned by David Whitaker (with uncredited final work by Dennis Spooner), had the working titles of Servants of Masters and The Destiny of Doctor Who, a title that would almost be used again in the future with 2013’s Destiny of the Doctor audio range. Indeed, we maybe could have been looking at a somewhat different show if other working titles had made the final cut, who wouldn’t be intrigued by The Ghost Hunters or Years of Doom (Day of the Daleks), feel the impending horror of The Golden Pentagram (Meglos) or be about to suppress a childish laugh at Catflap (Survival). Titter ye not.
8: The Power of the Daleks was the first time that anyone other than Terry Nation had written a Dalek story on television. David Whitaker would go on to write Evil of the Daleks, also in Season 4, and Terry Nation would return to his most famous creation with Season 10’s Planet of the Daleks starring Jon Pertwee as the Doctor.
9: While the story isn’t one of Terry Nation’s, Power has several things in common with Nation’s earlier first Dalek serial, primarily the use of static electricity to power the pepperpots. The Daleks required static electricity to function, yet gained independence via the use of saucers on their back in The Dalek Invasion of Earth, achieving complete independence without the saucers by The Chase. The Dalek’s need for static electricity might suggest that the story takes place not long after the Daleks first leave Skaro.
10: Keeping the theme of similarities with The Daleks, the musical score for the serial by Tristram Cary is lifted straight from that first Dalek serial, with another portion taken from The Daleks’ Master Plan.
Power of the Daleks will be released digitally at 5:50pm on November 5 via the BBC store, with a DVD release following on November 21, preorders are available now via the Amazon link below.