Out Now: The Power of the Daleks DVD

Unless its success is enough to make it a profitable venture, what could be the last DVD in the Classic Doctor Who range is out today: The Power of the Daleks, after 50 years, animated for all to enjoy again.

Rumours of the BBC animating the long-lost story, the first to star Patrick Troughton as the Second Doctor, began in August, and were confirmed in September; the six episodes made their way onto the digital BBC Store, and now, are available on DVD. Many, I’m sure, are just like me, and pre-ordered it ages ago, before the very exciting announcement of the Blu-ray steelbook. That’s in February, and there was no way I was waiting that long…

The majority of those who voted in our online poll agreed: 23.19% said they’d be buying the DVD, while another 23.19% said they’d buy both the DVD and Blu-ray.

14.49% will be buying the steelbook alone, while just 2 people said they’d only download it. 7.25% downloaded then are getting the DVD too, 4.35% downloaded and plan on purchasing the steelbook, and 10.14% hadn’t made their mind up. If you were one of those people, have you decided yet?

And just 1 person said they wouldn’t buy The Power of the Daleks anyway.

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The DVD has a reversible cover with art by Colin Howard, and these Special Features:

  • Alternate soundtracks (DVD Exclusive): The option to listen to the story with a series of completely new digital re-masters of the original soundtrack – a stereo mix; a 5.1 surround sound mix and version of the original 1966 mono sound mix.
  • Animation Test Footage: A compilation of animation tests, created during the production of the new animated series.
  • Audio Commentaries on all 6 episodes (DVD Exclusive): Members of the original cast and crew are joined by members of the new animation unit to discuss the production of the story and its new animated reconstruction. Moderated by Toby Hadoke. Includes archive audio.
  • Booklet with Production Notes (DVD Exclusive): An extensively researched set of production notes, written by the noted television historian Andrew Pixley, covering the behind the scenes story of how the original production was made.
  • Original Camera Scripts – (DVD Exclusive): Selected items of original production paperwork and a complete set of original camera scripts
  • Original Title Sequence – new restoration: An unedited presentation of the full original ‘Doctor Who’ title sequence, prepared using an all new HD re-master of the original film elements.
  • The Power of the Daleks Animation and Photo Gallery: An extended gallery of images, featuring production photographs from the original 1966 series and artwork from the latest animated production, accompanied by incidental music from the story, which has been digitally re-mastered from the original music production tapes.
  • Original Dalek Voice Session Recording from 1966 (DVD Exclusive): Rare and previously unreleased sections from the studio recordings that were made at Maida Vale Studios in 1966 for the Dalek voices.
  • Servants and Masters – The Making of The Power of the Daleks: A specially prepared documentary directed by John Kelly and featuring interviews with members of the original 1966 cast and crew.
  • Telesnap reconstruction: Around 400 individual still frames of film exist from the original 1966 television production of The Power of the Daleks. These images were kept in the programme’s production files by the BBC Written Archive Centre. These images are here combined with the programme’s soundtrack to present a photographic reconstruction of the original programme.

We’ve also heard that the only surviving footage to remain of the show’s original BBC1 screening, including clips not on the Lost in Time compilation set, are on the DVD – something which was originally announced to be a BBC Store exclusive! This will please the majority of fans, making this the definitive version of the story… unless the original is eventually returned to the archives.

The audio has been faithfully restored by Mark Ayres, and our reviewer, James Lomond added:

“The animation is as close to a recreation as it can be – camera scripts, surviving clips, and telesnaps have been referenced wherever possible. The animators studied hours of footage of the same actors from contemporary shows like The Avengers to get the facial movements and speech as accurate as possible. It isn’t a Disney extravaganza (though an ex-Disney animator was called in for some more complex scenes) but it works perfectly for a 1960s teleplay.”

Very, very exciting.

The Power of the Daleks DVD is out now, with an RRP of £20.42. Expect to pay around £13.99.