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The Doctor: Life depends on change, and renewal.
Ben: Oh, that's it, you've been renewed, have you?
The Doctor: Renewed? Have I? That's it, I've been renewed. It's part of the TARDIS. Without it I couldn't survive.
Arguably one of the most important Doctor Who stories ever made, The Power of the Daleks had to establish that a new actor could take over the lead role and play the Doctor completely differently, yet still remain true to the character.
The TARDIS arrives on the planet Vulcan, an Earth colony in the future, and the Doctor leaves to investigate. Polly and Ben follow him, Ben sceptical about the regeneration and believing that the new man is an impostor.
Meanwhile, the Doctor has hardly set foot on the planet when he witnesses a murder and, on examining the body, discovers a pass proclaiming the dead man to be an Earth Examiner. Using the pass for himself, he enters the colony where he discovers that there is a rebel movement in progress, and that the colony's scientists have found a crashed space capsule containing inactive Daleks.
Despite the Doctor's warnings, the Daleks are activated and present themselves as willing servant robots, taking advantage of the colonists' trust to set up a reproduction plant.
Meanwhile, internal power politics in the colony sees Security Chief Bragen secretly leading the rebels as a way of deposing Governor Hensell and seizing power for himself, while Deputy Governor Quinn has been locked up. He believes the Daleks will help him and has rearmed them.
Once the Daleks show their hand (sucker?), Bragen and Hensell are both killed before the Doctor uses the colony's power supply to overload and destroy the Daleks.
Ben concedes that this probably is the Doctor after all, and the three depart for adventures new.
This story only survives in total in an audio format, thanks to fans at the time tape-recording it. There are a few short visual clips composed of extracts used in other programs and short clips made by pointing a camera at the television during transmission.
On November 21 2016, the whole story was released in animated form, using the original sound recordings.
- Absentee Actor: Polly in Part Four and Ben in Part Five.
- Accidental Aesop: Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it--unless the Doctor arrives in time.
- Aluminum Christmas Trees: Vulcan is based on a once-theorized planet.
- Armor-Piercing Question: A Dalek in a philosophical mood: "Why do human beings kill other human beings?" Ouch.
- Audience Surrogate: Ben and Polly. Ben being those who feel betrayed by the First Doctor's regeneration and Polly being those who can accept that weirder things have happened in this show and that they should at least give the new guy a shot.
- Bigger on the Inside: The Dalek ship.
- Bittersweet Ending: Ben and Polly accept the Doctor and the Daleks are defeated but the colony is in shambles with so many dead. So much so that the Doctor fled so quickly because he and his companions were going to be the scapegoats.
- Cassandra Truth: The Doctor warning everyone about the Daleks.
- Circular Drive: One of the few surviving clips from the story shows the three Dalek props representing an army in this way.
- Civilian Villain: "I AM YOUR SER-VANT!" And if you believe that, the nice man in the wheelchair has a timeshare on Skaro you can invest in...
- Characterization Marches On: It's here that the Doctor ditches using the TARDIS for the environmental scans and simply uses his Bizarre Alien Senses.
- Chekov's Gun: Literally. Only the Dalek weapons can damage Dalek technology.
- Crapsaccharine World: The colony on Vulcan. It seems nice but the people are so petty that the colony is coming apart at the seams.
- Crapsack World: Vulcan. It's a hot wasteland with bubbling pools of mercury.
- Death By Genre Savvy: Resno realizes something isn't right with the Daleks and says so. He promptly gets "accidentally" zapped for his troubles.
- Early Installment Weirdness: More or less everything about regeneration.
- For starters, it's called "renewal" and it's implied to be a Fountain of Youth, not a wholly new body.
- It's then implied to be a feature of the TARDIS and not the Doctor's own biology.
- The Doctor has always been a bit screwed-up after regeneration but here he outright refers to "the Doctor" as another being. Though this could be explained away as this being his first regeneration and still coming to grips with it.
- The Doctor's clothes change with him, unlike all subsequent times. The prevailing theory is that the staff couldn't afford to commission a version of One's outfit that fit Patrick Troughton and simply approximated one. It ended up becoming Two's outfit.
- Not related to regeneration, the Doctor finds a lump of Dalekanium in his trunk which is revealed to be a key to the Dalek ship with it being implied that the TARDIS gave it to him because she knew that he'd need it, something that never came up again. The two most common fanon explanations are; the First Doctor took it from some off-screen encounter with the Daleks and, since Dalek ships all are identical, it works for all of them; the key is a Stable Time Loop, placed there by a future Doctor after he acquired it.
- The End - or Is It?: A single Dalek is still alive at the end.
- Even Evil Has Standards: See "Armor-Piercing Question" above.
- Genre Blind: The colonists.
- Go Mad From the Revelation: When Lesterson sneaks into the capsule and sees the Dalek reproduction factory, he has an epic Freak-Out that eventually drives him to willingly take a Dalek Death Ray to the face.
- Grey and Gray Morality: The colonists. They're all selfish with serious character flaws being willing to sacrifice anyone and anything for the most trivial of reasons.
- High Heel Face Turn: Janley, for reasons of self-preservation as much as anything else.
- Horrible Judge of Character: Everyone.
- Ironic Echo: After Lesterson snaps.
Lesterson: I am your servant.
- Just Think of the Potential: Lesterson begins fiddling with the spaceship because the alloys it contains are remarkably resistant to damage and wear.
- Large Ham: Lesterson starts out a bit histrionic and by the end of the story has gone so far over the top he's somewhere in high orbit.
- Mistaken for Special Guest: After finding the deceased inspector's badge, the Doctor takes it and is presumed to be this official.
- Name's the Same: No, not that planet Vulcan.
- Nothing Is the Same Anymore: The Doctor has regenerated.
- The Nth Doctor: The original, you might say.
- Only Sane Man: The Doctor has a hell of a time convincing the colonists that their new friendly robot buddies are not as nice as they think.
- Putting on the Reich: Bragen adopts a rather Gestapo-esque outfit as he gains more power.
- The Radio Dies First
- Resurrection Sickness: The first case that the Doctor goes through.
- Sanity Slippage:
- Lesterson and Bragen.
- The Dalek speaking to the humans. It's voice seems to get more and more strained as it has to pretend to be nice to humans.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: The crashed Dalek ship.
- The Starscream: Bragen.
- The X of Y: Barring "Death to the Daleks" and "Frontier in Space", this episode sets the trend for all future Dalek stories in the classic series.