Monday 11 April 2011

140 The Power of the Daleks: Part Six

EPISODE: The Power of the Daleks: Part Six
TRANSMITTED: 10 December 1966
WRITER: David Whitaker
DIRECTOR: Christopher Barry
PRODUCER: Innes Lloyd
FORMAT: CD: Doctor Who: The Power of the Daleks
TELESNAPS: The Power of the Daleks: Part Six

The guards taking the Doctor, Quinn and Polly to the prison are stopped by Daleks allowing the escape of their prisoners. Janley is pleased the rebels appear to have won but Bragen wants to wipe them out too. Valmar overhears this conversation, and releases Ben reuniting him with the others in the guest quarters. Bragen announces he has taken over. The Doctor slips away as the Daleks give the order to exterminate. He is nearly captured by Kebble and two guards, but the guards are exterminated and the Doctor saves Kebble's life as they escape together. However Kebble is gunned down as they reach the visitors quarters and the Doctor & his party are forced to flee through the window. The Doctor and his friends find their way to the lab where the now deranged Lesterson is hiding. Janley is killed by a Dalek but Valmar is saved by Quinn. Lesterson tells the Doctor about the Daleks second power supply and the Doctor finds Valmar to get him to reveal the location of the cable. Quinn finds his way to the governor's office where Bragen is desperately trying to summon guards to divert the attentions of the Daleks. Lesterson sacrifices himself to allow the Doctor to sabotage the Dalek's power supply which he overloads destroying the Daleks throughout the colony and their ship. Bragen is killed by Valmar who joins with Quinn to rebuild the colony and it's wrecked power supply. The Doctor and his friends slip away, passing a wrecked Dalek beside the Tardis which moves it's eye stalk as the ship dematerialises.

If episodes still had titles then this would be "The Dalek Massacre of Vulcan". We've seen two big Dalek massacres before now: The Thals in the Dalek city halfway through the Daleks and the attacking rebels at the Spaceport in Dalek Invasion of Earth, but this takes the biscuit with bodies dropping all over the place. The Time Team used to have a count of On Screen Deaths. With just the telesnaps to go on it's hard to keep an accurate account, but I suspect it may have been difficult even with the full pictures! In many ways this story is a gold standard for Dalek and Base under Siege. Take a few Daleks and within days they've killed nearly everyone!

Power of the Daleks was the penultimate TV story novelised. Written by John Peel, it appears without the Target logo and with a different cover and spine design to the other Target books and reprints. It's soundtrack was released released on tape in 1993 with narration by Tom Baker and then on CD in 2003 with narration by Anneke Wills. Initially this was only available in a tinned two pack with Evil of the Daleks, but had a stand along release in 2004. This release was used as the basis for an MP3 CD release in 2005, Doctor Who Reconstructed: The Power of the Daleks, which paired the soundtrack on mp3 with the telesnaps in a flash animation to provide a reconstruction of the story. Unfortunately MP3 CDs didn't take off and subsequent releases were shelved. Today the Reconstructed CD fetches a penny or two (£50 on Amazon Marketplace at the time of writing). I bought one off of eBay for £30 at the point I started writing this Blog so watching these six episodes now is the first time I've experienced the story paired with the pictures. I'm presuming Power was chosen due to being a story where no episodes exist *and* where a complete set of Telesnaps exist. The other candidates using this criteria are The Savages, The Smugglers, The Highlanders, The Macra Terror and the Fury from the Deep. Given that Power has Daleks and is the first Troughton story it's a bit of a no contest. The only *slightly* annoying thing about them is the episodes being broken in two unequal halves. As they stand the episodes have a natural break in the middle with a fade to black to allow foreign broadcasters to have an ad break - why not break the episodes there?

Power of the Daleks is unique amongst the Troughton stories. There's something, or rather someone, missing. That'll be fixed in the next story, The Highlanders.

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