DOCTOR DISNEY: In a surprise announcement that went out after the airing of “The Power of the Doctor,” it was announced that Disney+ will be the exclusive streaming home of Doctor Who going forward, releasing to the service day and date of airing.
A FAMILY AFFAIR: Jodie Whittaker’s era as The Doctor in Doctor Who comes to a close with the 90-minute special, “The Power of the Doctor”, which also brought to a close the run of the controversial showrunner, Chris Chibnall. In an excited conversation, Andrew and D. Bethel discuss the expected and the surprising of this momentous episode of one of their favorite shows. Be warned that there are SPOILERS for the special in this conversation.
COMPANY’S COMIN’: Our hosts spend a brief moment to discuss the passing of Leslie Jordan, an actor whose work they are mostly familiar with during his quirky guest-starring role in the early ’00s legal dramedy, Boston Legal.
“Smash Talks” (14 December 2018): Where our hosts reflect and analyze Jodie Whittaker’s premiere series as The Doctor.
“Halloween Still” (01 October 2021): Where our hosts discuss the announcement of Russell T Davies’ return as showrunner to Doctor Who in 2023.
“Almond Molina” (10 December 2021): Where our hosts discuss the final “full” (mini-)series with Jodie Whittaker as The Doctor, Doctor Who: Flux.
FALL (TV IS) BACK: With the summer doldrums of tv coming to a close, Andrew and D. Bethel discuss the Fall tv they’re looking forward to, including the debut of a new Doctor (and production team) with series 11 of Doctor Who, Andrew’s circumspect approach to the reboot Magnum and quizzical anticipation for Alton Brown’s Good Eats Reloaded, D. Bethel’s blind eagerness for the new season of The Gifted and Outlander, and both hosts’ skepticism of the new Riggs-less third season Lethal Weapon. It’s nerdy Fall tv front to back.
Fans of classic Doctor Who already know about tonight’s US premier of the newly re-constituted (or, more appropriately, regenerated) story, “The Power of the Daleks,” first aired in November and December of 1966. Lost in the infamous archive purge that the BBC went through in the early 1970s, the story was targeted for an animated form after several other stories received animated supplements (e.g., “The Invasion,” “The Reign of Terror“). The big difference with this story is that (a) the entire story had to be animated due to the loss of any complete episodes; and (b) this was Patrick Troughton’s first story as the Doctor, taking over after William Hartnell’s departure. In that regard, this is a pivotal story in the history of Doctor Who because it presents the audience with “regeneration” (or, as described in the story, “renewal”) for the first time.
More recently, the BBC announced that this story will also be done with a separate color-animated version, to be included as a separate digital download or as an added feature to the DVD release. One can assume that they based the animation’s colors on production stills from the episode. It can even be seen in the color choice for the Daleks, who sport the classic 1960s white/gray and blue exterior.
This is unexpected, as all of the previous black-and-white Doctor Who stories had been released without any color added. It probably more represents a feature of the animation process and less a desire to colorize old episodes. Previously, a number of Third Doctor stories have been re-colorized by the Doctor Who Restoration Team; only black-and-white versions of color episodes had been retained, so the team used relatively sophisticated methods to restore color to the footage. But there had been no discussion (until now, at least) of adding color to the historically black-and-white episodes.
The question remains to be seen as to whether or not this will be attempted for other episodes. The Restoration Team has done “special editions” and re-cuts of some of the later episodes, including a substantively re-worked rendition of “Enlightenment” and a re-cut “movie version” of “The Curse of Fenric.” It may be simply that “The Power of the Daleks” was a big enough episode to warrant special treatment. Maybe “The Unearthly Child” or “The War Games” will warrant a special colorized version as well. Only time will tell.