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article imageReview: Missing Doctor Who episodes restored Special

By Tim Sandle     Nov 5, 2016 in Entertainment
London - A missing series of six episodes of Doctor Who from the 1960s have been brought to life through detailed animation. The first episode has been unveiled by the BBC, 50 years after it was first broadcast.
There are just short of 100 episodes of 'classic' Doctor Who missing, relating to the show's early run during the 1960s. During this time the BBC had the bizarre habit of taping over certain programs in order to save on video tape. One of these recycling efforts led to a Patrick Troughton story called 'The Power of the Daleks' being wiped. Troughton was the second actor to play the Time Lord, following on from William Hartnell.
All that remained from this act of cultural vandalism were some publicity stills. Then, years later, it emerged that someone had recorded the program around the time of its original transmission, onto old six-reel tape. To mart the fiftieth anniversary of transmission the BBC commissioned an animation company to bring the lost story to life.
On November 5, the first episode was released via the BBC Store. The remaining five episodes will be released daily until November, 10; the on-line release culminates with a DVD being released. The animated episodes are in black and white, to mark the original transmission. Next year a color version will be released. The reanimation was master-minded by producer Charles Norton.
The series was was first broadcast in six weekly parts from November 5 to December 10, 1966. This was the third story in the fourth season of Doctor Who (the world's longest-running science fiction series, and now into if 53rd year). The adventure sees the newly regenerated time-traveler battling his old enemies the Daleks with his companions Polly and Ben.
Cast
Doctor Who - Patrick Troughton
Ben Jackson - Michael Craze
Polly - Anneke Wills
Bragen - Bernard Archard
Lesterson - Robert James
Hensell - Peter Bathurst
Janley - Pamela Ann Davy
Quinn - Nicholas Hawtrey
Resno - Edward Kelsey
The Examiner - Martin King
Kebble - Steven Scott
Valmar - Richard Kane
Daleks - Gerald Taylor, Kevin Manser, Robert Jewell, John Scott Martin
Dalek voices - Peter Hawkins
In reviewing the first episode, the animation is superb and it's almost as if actor Patrick Troughton (1920-1987) was performing back on the screen as the whimsical Doctor, both mischievous and comical. The animation looks beautiful; and while this isn't to the budget of say Disney or Pixar, it has a quirky, imperfect charm, just right for Doctor Who. The Daleks themselves, robot in appearance but containing a mutated creature that was once humanoid, are especially well-drawn. The animation captures their gliding movements superbly, as well as their sense of menace. Also worth noting is the sound quality, which is pristine, especially the quirky musical effects provided by the BBC's Radiophonic Workshop.
Sadly most of the people behind the original production are no longer alive — producer Innes Lloyd, script editor Gerry Davis, director Christopher Barry — and Troughton himself. However, what remains is a near-perfect imagining of Doctor Who's early days.
There are currently 97 episodes of Doctor Who missing from the BBC archives and 'The Power of the Daleks' is one of 10 serials which is entirely absent. The success of the Dalek project might lead to further attempts at animation.
More about Doctor Who, Patrick troughton, Scifi, BBC, Science fiction
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