Sunday, November 23, 2008


Doctor Who 45th Anniversary – Why Was 1966 Brilliant?

Grand historical tragedy in The Massacre, far-future space opera with Earth’s survivors, Wild West comedy and song in The Gunfighters, panic on the streets of London in The War Machines, even a serviceable Dalek movie on the big screen… Most strikingly for the series’ future, The Tenth Planet creates two of Doctor Who’s biggest ideas, spare-parts techno-zombies the Cybermen and the astonishing concept of regeneration, with Patrick Troughton as the Doctor facing The Power of the Daleks. But the year opened to building tension in a huge Dalek epic…

The Daleks’ Master Plan
“One Dalek… Is capable of exterminating all!”
The Daleks reach the zenith of their power and cunning in a plan for Universal conquest spanning many planets and times and spinning between thrilling, sinister and downright surreal. Shockingly, several of the Doctor’s friends die – the harrowing climax beats even modern finales for emotional punch.

Unfortunately, if you want to see the whole of this story… You can’t. Three-quarters of it was burned by the BBC and no longer exists, though you can buy the whole soundtrack on CD, and see the restored surviving TV episodes in the Lost In Time DVD set (and you might find second-hand copies of the twin books). However, though you should of course buy those, if there’s one Recon you should send off for, this is it. The huge Reconstruction of this story is a labour of love, with CGI Daleks and a breathtakingly recreated finale. It was adapted as a stage play last year, and though you can’t see that, you can read Millennium’s review.

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