Doctor Who: 10 Things You Might Not Know About THE POWER OF THE DALEKS - Warped Factor - Words in the Key of Geek.

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Doctor Who: 10 Things You Might Not Know About THE POWER OF THE DALEKS

His face! His hair! Look at it!

1. Despite initial misgivings about replacing William Hartnell in Doctor Who, Patrick Troughton finally signed a contract to play the new Doctor for twenty-two episodes on August 2nd, 1966. Together with producer Innes Lloyd and story editor Gerry Davis, the trio turned their attention to developing Troughton's portrayal of the character.

A number of wildly varying ideas were bandied about, from blacking Troughton up like something out of the Arabian Nights to giving him the silhouette of the Victorian politician Gladstone. Finally, Troughton was presented to Sydney Newman, the BBC's Head of Drama and a key figure in the original development of Doctor Who, dressed as a Victorian-era windjammer captain.

Newman dismissed the concept, however, arguing instead that Troughton should play the Doctor as a “cosmic hobo”.

2. Some concepts discussed for Troughton's “cosmic hobo” outfit were quickly abandoned, such as a ludicrously manic wig in the vein of Harpo Marx. It was finally decided that Troughton should be dressed in a shabby echo of Hartnell's own ensemble. Even this would be gradually adjusted over the coming weeks: the Doctor's comically baggy pants were slowly taken in, while his stovepipe hat would prove to be a temporary fixture.

3. Producer Innis Lloyd was very concerned about the way the public would react to the change of lead actor, and sought to provide some security by pitting the new Doctor against his old foes, the Daleks, in his debut story.

Unfortunately, Dalek creator Terry Nation was now very busy on the glossy ITC action series The Baron, and was unavailable for the scripting assignment, but was amenable to another writer being brought in. It was agreed that former Doctor Who script editor (and current at-the-time Nation collaborator) David Whitaker would be a suitable candidate. This would mean Doctor Who would have it's first Dalek story not scripted by their creator, Terry Nation (although parts of The Dalek's Masterplan were written by another ex-Who script editor, Dennis Spooner). 

4. Whitaker's initial working title for this story was The Destiny of Doctor Who, this changed part-way through to Servants of Masters.

5. Whitaker submitted draft scripts to Gerry Davis in the first few days of September 1966, around which time the title became The Power Of The Daleks.

In these draft scripts Whitaker revealed that the Doctor had been "renewed" several times in the past, and that it happened roughly every five centuries. Whittaker noted that the renewal process was a terrible ordeal which forces the Doctor to relive all the dark moments of his past as he copes with a "horrifying" metaphysical change. It was compared to the hallucinogenic drug LSD, which had the side-effect of "hell and dank horror".

6. Whitaker scripts also specified the Doctor's age as 750, included various references to his granddaughter Susan (although the Doctor no longer was able to recall where he left her), and also hinted that it might have been the Daleks who destroyed his homeworld.(the Doctor was still envisaged as being a refugee from the destruction of his home planet during a galactic war).

7. Not content with David Whitaker's portrayal of the Doctor, Sydney Newman instructed the production team to request further rewrites. This was on September 7th 1966. Troughton was due to tape his first on-screen appearance as the new Doctor the day after on October 8th, during recording of the final episode of The Tenth Planet, and to make matters harder, Whitaker, now had other commitments!

Dennis Spooner, Whitaker's earlier successor as Doctor Who's story editor, was brought in to finish the job on the day Troughton first went before the cameras as the Doctor. Spooner completed the work of refining the Doctor, and pairing down Whitaker's overly long scripts, in four days. During which time, Troughton had convinced Whitaker and the production team that his Doctor should have a penchant for the recorder, an instrument the actor had learned to play six years earlier.

8. At rehearsals for the first episode of The Power Of The Daleks, Troughton was welcomed to the programme by his young costars, Anneke Wills and Michael Craze (Polly and Ben), who dressed in t-shirts bearing the slogan “Come back Bill Hartnell -- all is forgiven”.

9. The Power of the Daleks was the first Dalek story to use the traditional ...of the Daleks title form. Of the nine subsequent Dalek serials produced in the Classic Doctor Who years, only Death to the Daleks from Season 11 was not named in this way. (This naming convention for Dalek stories was first used in the revived series with "Evolution of the Daleks" in Series 3.)

10. Part one of The Power Of The Daleks was broadcast on November 5th 1966: the era of the Second Doctor had officially begun.

It may surprise you to know that it wasn't met with much approval. Episode 1 earned just a 43% audience appreciation figure. Although the remainder of The Power Of The Daleks improved on this score, this was the lowest recorded figure the series had ever seen. Thankfully, it would prove to be a depth to which Doctor Who would never return.

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