The 6th of July sees the release of a Special Edition of Patrick Troughton’s 1966 debut story, The Power of The Daleks, with animation that is ‘new and improved’ over the 2016 release. And while the set will boast a long list of special features, one previously touted extra will be missing.
Unfortunately, producer Charles Norton confirmed in a recent interview with Toby Hadoke that the surviving audio version of The Highlanders won’t be included in the set. The Highlanders — of which only 12 seconds’ footage remains — was the following story, which introduced one James Robert McCrimmon. The reason for the omission is prosaic:
About a week ago, we realised that we didn’t quite have space for all the special features and so we decided… to drop The Highlanders and we thought that we had dropped it from the press release. The Highlanders has been moved to a future release… sorry.
Hadoke interviewed Norton (via Zoom) as part of Fantom Films’ Dalek Special. Norton discussed the differences between the new version and the previous ‘rush’ release, which include an almost completely different first episode and numerous other enhancements. Norton also confirmed that the Special Edition is part of a celebration of Second Doctor Patrick Troughton’s centenary this year. You can see the interview here:
Toby Hadoke did raise another question that is likely on many fans’ lips: given that this story was given an extensive Blu-ray and DVD release only four years ago, how does the BBC justify asking fans to pay for another edition? Norton answered thus:
Because it’s better. Ultimately, Doctor Who is a rather unique series, archive Doctor Who in particular, in that we have continually revisited these stories and looked at them again and again and again but unlike many series who perhaps just get a VHS release that then just gets issued verbatim on DVD and then nothing heard of again… BBC Studios has striven to always try to improve these releases and reissue them with better remastering, better picture quality, better sound, and there is clearly a market out there for it. Fans have let us know there is a market for it…
The latest release also includes many special features, in addition to those included on the 2016 version. In particular, the set includes several seconds of retrieved footage, never previously released. The new additional material includes:
- Two new documentaries about The Power of the Daleks.
- The Whicker’s World episode I Don’t Like My Monsters to Have Oedipus Complexes (including archive interviews with Terry Nation and Milton Subotsky).
- Daleks – The Early Years: An edited version of the 1992 documentary presented by Peter Davison.
- The 1993 BBC audio version of The Power of the Daleks narrated by Tom Baker.
- Raw incidental music.
- A Photogrammetry Featurette.
- Robin Hood – an episode from 1953: Patrick Troughton’s earliest surviving TV appearance.
- BBC archive footage from BBC regional news, BBC Breakfast, Blue Peter and Newsnight.
- Previously unreleased animation trailers and animatics.
- Easter Eggs.
- An enhanced photo gallery, including previously unreleased and rediscovered full-colour on-set photos from 1966.
Also included are the special features from the 2016 release:
- Audio commentaries by Anneke Wills on each episode.
- Animation test footage.
- Servants & Masters – The Making of The Power of the Daleks.
You can pre-order The Power of the Daleks: Special Edition via Amazon (below), Zoom, Zavvi, and HMV.com. Ordering using the Amazon affiliate link below means Amazon pays the DWC a small percentage of what you’re charged (i.e. there’s no extra charge to you), so in doing so, you’re supporting this site. Thank you!