September 4, 2016

The Doctor Who POWER OF THE DALEKS Brouhaha

Copyright BBC Worldwide
To think that this all began with a YouTube upload.

About two weeks ago, a YouTube user uploaded a file they titled Power of the Daleks - Mystery Animation. Yes, I watched it before it was pulled for ownership reasons. (Screencaps are from various other YouTube users, and if asked, I will pull them from this post). 

The animation was intriguing - two minutes from episode three I believe, much of it heavily rotoscoped based on existing telesnaps and footage. (Unfortunately, Power of the Daleks was one of the many classic Doctor Who stories believed to be wiped, with no film copies available. (I've seen the BBC-produced CD-ROM reconstruction, and highly recommend it).

However, thanks to an article from the UK's Mirror (which does for clickbait what Rob Schneider does for movie comedy), we now have a group of fans who are spreading word of a fully-animated DVD reconstruction of Power of the Daleks in honor of Troughton's 50th Anniversary. 
Copyright BBC Worldwide
Sorry, friends, but I'll believe it when I see it. And I don't think we're ever going to see it.

Far be it from me to not trust an online content provider who links to their own internal articles claiming it's from BBC Worldwide. (Click my link and you'll get BBC Worldwide's news releases...because I don't believe in deliberately misleading people).

Of course, many old school Who fans will ask, But why do you have to be so negative! We deserve this, and you're not being fair! We know the BBC is holding out, and why would you support them?

First, let me just say - I am hoping I'm wrong. If I'm proven wrong, and we do get a fully animated (or even recovered episodes plus animated reconstructions) of Doctor Who: Power of the Daleks, I will gladly eat crow.

(I hear it's especially tasty on rye bread with mustard).

Copyright BBC Worldwide

My rationale for thinking it's not happening...well, here are a few reasons for thinking that the animated Doctor Who: Power of the Daleks won't be happening any time soon:

  1. The animated footage looks a little too polished - I wish I could post the video directly, but since it's been pulled, I have provided screenshots. Much of the footage involves rotoscoping, a very time intensive process, which would mean that either plans were afoot now, or (more likely) this was an audition piece for a company under a BBC contract (and possibly defying a non-compete clause, meaning that the BBC was within their rights to pull it). Leading to
  2. Their last DVD release of classic Doctor Who was...underwhelming:  Yes, I've seen Doctor Who: The Underwater Menace. The photo-and-soundtrack reconstructions look rushed, the existing episodes demonstrate why this story has such a poor reputation....and even if BBC Worldwide chose to release solely via iTunes or Google Play...that's a lot to expect from a formerly lost episode. (Plus, you would have people complaining as to why these episodes weren't released on DVD)
  3. The Mirror is not to be trusted - remember about two months ago, when "rumor" had it that Matt Smith was returning to the role? And was later debunked? Remember who started the rumor - that's right, the Mirror. Fool Doctor Who fandom once, shame on us;  Fool Doctor Who fandom twice, and you need to be publicly reprimanded.
Look, I'll be the first to admit that I am eagerly looking forward to be proven wrong about the recovery and/or release of Doctor Who: The Power of the Daleks. But until then, I'm going to simply wait and see....

...and planning to watch City of Death and The Web of Fear (another previously "lost" story) as part of the Chicago Doctor Who Meetup

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