Doctor Who

Doctor Who: 4 Modern Series Masterpieces Lifted From Classic Who

I'm filling my time waiting for the 50th Anniversary by doing a lot of reading and rewatching and relistening to the various Doctor Who adventures available to me. If you count the books, the Big Finish audio stories, and the episodes themselves there is approximately infinite Doctor Who to experience if you have the time and money to do it.

What you find sometimes, though, is that with 50 years of ideas invested in the franchise it gets very hard to come up with original ones for new stories. The modern show has had some fantastic moments and scenes and ideas, and many of them are brilliant inventions by seasoned writers of science fiction.

And then there are other that apparently just thought no one would ever go back and find where they originally got the idea from in the first place. Such as...

Flashback Doctor Who: Reading the Lost Classic Season 4

"Victory of the Daleks" is a Remake of Power of the Daleks": In "Victory" The Doctor is recently off a regeneration and saddled with a companion that doesn't quite trust him yet as he is called to the middle of World War II. There, Winston Churchill shows off his latest weapon against the Nazis, Daleks. Of course, it's all a ruse by the Daleks to lure The Doctor to them in order to use his recognition of them to jumpstart a machine to produce more Daleks.

It's a hell of a good episode, and it should be because they'd already done it before. "Power of the Daleks" in 1966 was Patrick Troughton's first adventure. In it, his companions Ben Jackson and Polly Wright have to learn to trust him after they've watched him regenerate from the First Doctor. The Tardis lands on a space colony that is embroiled in a bitter war between a dictatorial governor and an underground freedom fighter network. Depowered Daleks are discovered, and the governor plans to use them to win the fight and to replace the dead workers once that's accomplished. The Daleks play along in order to use the colony to repower their reproduction machine.

It's easy to steal from "Power" because most people haven't seen it. No episodes currently exist, and the novelization costs almost $40. All the hallmarks are there, though. The Daleks in both episodes repeatedly say, "I am your servant" and claim to want to help "Win the war" without telling the listener which war. The Doctor recognizes the Daleks in both episodes but no one will listen to them, and in both his companions can't vouch for him because they haven't seen Daleks themselves. In both episodes a scientist that believes he brought the Daleks to life finds out he was being controlled all along. The only really difference is that in "Power" the Doctor actually succeeds in stopping the Daleks.

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Jef Rouner (not cis, he/him) is a contributing writer who covers politics, pop culture, social justice, video games, and online behavior. He is often a professional annoyance to the ignorant and hurtful.
Contact: Jef Rouner