1966, and the BBC announce William Hartnell will be replaced as The Doctor due to ill health...
But Billy was the Doctor how can he possibly be replaced ?, well quite easy because in the early days of TV it was not uncommon for actors to leave a leading role..so viewers were accustomed to seeing the main lead change as needs must, Why I even remember It was Patrick Troughton who played Robin Hood on TV before Richard Greene, but Patrick went on to play many character roles even appearing in Robin Hood during Richard's long spell in the series. So an actor would be chosen to dress up as Richard Hurndall did in the Five Doctors and life would go on.
The producers of Doctor Who though had other ideas and they didn't want an actor to be William Hartnell they wanted an Actor to be The Doctor, so a whole new version of The Doctor was invented.
Patrick Troughton was a very popular character actor British TV, he was quick to see television's potential and knocked on many a door promoting himself, he preferred this medium rather then all that shouting at night!, which was his view on stage Acting, and he'd done a lot of it to know. With TV Patrick could stay near his family without the need to travel the country from theatre to theatre.
Film however was a different story and location work could see him involved anywhere round the world, Patrick often played characters far older then his actual years and he appeared in some of the great epics of there time, Hamlet, Richard lll. Treasure Island, Jason and the Argonauts.
In those days you'd have to queue round the block to see these Films and I certainly remember queuing for Jason and the Argonauts, maybe that's where the term block buster comes from..
Patrick watch Doctor Who with his family, so when he got a call while working in Ireland, on a Film that's never made it to the classics, The Viking Queen, he turned down the role as a bad idea, he thought no one could replace Billy and get away with it.
But those running the series at the time set their heart on Patrick being The Doctor, they was him not only as a man who could keep the show on track, but also a man capable of taking it in an entirely new direction, making it exciting for the young viewers, So they up 'd their offers until it was too tempting to refuse, it also, Patrick thought, an excellent opportunity to contribute to the children's education...,
"Of course I'll take the role" Patrick finally said, believing it would all be over in six weeks and he could carry on as normal.
Patrick's first scene was to lay on the floor eye's closed and the only time he spoke to Billy, was in the pub after the shoot. The making of The Power of The Daleks would be Patrick's first acting scenes, he was very nervous and wasn't sure even up to the time of shooting how to play The Doctor..,.his Doctor, if we're ever fortunate enough to see These episodes again, you will see the tightness in Patrick's face and voice, which is why The Power of the Daleks is the most pinnacle Episode ever filmed in the Doctor Who saga.
Patrick alone had to convince the viewing public The Doctor was an Alien and not restricted by Earthly law, if he failed to be convinced those watching, that he, The Doctor could indeed renew himself and have completely different characteristics to Hartnell, then series was sunk.
I was just 7 when William Hartnell took on the role of Doctor, and to me he was The typical Grandfather of those times, a bit grumpy but you wouldn't dare disobey him. He was totally in charge. Then Patrick came and I was totally taken in by this change and believed, yes! He was still the Doctor but a more lovable favourite Uncle type of Doctor, he gave The Doctor a wicked sense of humour and razor sharp wit. This Doctor could get in trouble then out wit his opponent last minute, by appearing a fool..
Patrick saved Doctor Who for every fan out there Today, because without him, have no doubt, the show would of ended in 1966.
I would dearly love to see The Power of The Daleks again, Patrick anxious and nervous would never play the Role that way ever again, Patrick was yet to develop to the Man we would come to know as His Doctor.
So it's with firm conviction I say This Episode is key to the success we see today almost 50 years on, moment Patrick put on that Chalplineque style, he won the hearts and minds of the viewing public aad we now accept Regeneration as a matter of fact.
Patrick continued in the Role for three years and yes I believe sad as it was, it was meant to be, things at the BBC had changed, budgets were cut and this was never more evident then the early Pertwee years where for the first time, in order to keep costs down The Doctor was Earth Locked. Patrick would of hated it, No more Space Stations, Moon Bases or Alien Worlds to contracted, it became what I call the Quatermass Years.
Patrick yearned to be That Character Actor again, he was in the words of his Son Michael Troughton @mwtroughton a humble man, who never believed his Acting of The Doctor or any other role he was invloved in, would be so fondly remembered and loved, in his later years he was overwhelmed by the affection of the Fans and it made him very proud to be apart Doctor Who.