What are the Dalek Chronicles?
On 23rd January 1965, the Daleks made their first appearance in their own full colour comic strip on the back page of the lavish new children's weekly comic TV Century 21. Written largely by David Whitaker, who was the series' original script editor, and illustrated by such legendary comic strip artists as Richard Jennings, Ron Turner and Eric Eden, this popular one-page strip ran for 104 instalments, and finally concluded on the brink of the Daleks' planned attack on the inhabitants of Earth.
These strips have been reprinted many times in Dalek Annuals and other Doctor Who-related books, plus Doctor Who Weekly, Doctor Who Monthly and Doctor Who Classic Comics, as well as being issued complete and in colour as a special edition magazine.
What form did these adaptations take?
Because of the difference between a comic strip and a video feature, a certain amount of adaptation was inevitable. If the stories had been transferred exactly as written, then each one would have lasted only about five minutes and been so breathlessly fast-paced as to be virtually incomprehensible. However, I attempted to make the adaptations as sympathetic to the source material as possible, expanding the original story only in the name of atmosphere, deeper characterisation and the occasional crowd-pleasing reference or in-joke.
If the strip contradicts information contained in the TV series (and it does), then that contradiction remained and no attempt was made to reconcile the two... Equally, no matter how bad, embarrassing or unDalek-like a line of dialogue may be, it remained as it featured in the original strip. Added to this, I tried wherever possible to base animations and stills on the key frames from the strip and based all design on the images seen in those panels. The aim was to bring the strips to life, not change them into something else.
Our adaptations were released on VCD between 2004 and 2011
Gerry Briody writes:
I have just received Genesis of Evil and Duel of the Daleks.I think your efforts are absolutely brilliant. Both stories are beautifully done in the style of the Century 21 comic but, particularly with Duel, brought wonderfully to life. The animations are excellent as is the merging of 2D and 3D scenes to make a fluent whole. The voices, particularly the Dalek ones, are well done.
I'm no expert and it would seem almost impertinent to pick out flaws - not that I can see any! .The whole thing seems very polished from beginning to end. I do remember the old comic strip and Zeg in particular. For some reason or other he/she/it attracted my sympathy. A great job.
As to your future projects, I think Masters of Luxor is a good idea. I read the script and thought it an intelligent story if a bit long.
If you want suggestions, how about some of the stories from Colin Baker's cancelled season such as The Nightmare Fair and the one with the Ice Warriors in it (Mission to Magnus). Both good stories. There's also the Dark Dimension. I know you say that you aren't going to do any missing stories but what about just one (please). What about an edited version of one of the 'simpler' ones like Galaxy Four or The Celestial Toymaker.
Dave Aldridge writes:
Well first off, thank you! For copying and returning them so quickly! I have only had time to watch Genesis of Evil (before I left for work this morning!) and Duel of the Daleks so far, but cannot wait to see the rest.
I'm amazed! I was expecting something good, but not spectacular. It certainly looks like a labour of love. They took me back to being a kid again, reading them in DWM. I just cannot get over how fantastic they are. Is this what you do as a career? How on earth do you get into it? I'd love to get into something similar.
Anyway, I'd better stop now, before I drown you in praise!
Good luck with future and, of course, current projects, I will certainly be checking them out.
Andy McDonald writes:
I must say how impressed I am with the overall quality of the productions. The visuals are very impressive and seem to get even better with each succeeding episode. The stories and dialogue are easy to follow and the use of music and sound effects are excellent. I will certainly be getting all of your future productions.
With regard to your proposed future projects, both Masters of Luxor and the Radio Times strips look promising. My preference would be Masters as I am very curious as to how your depiction of a Hartnell era story would look and compare with existing reconstructions. I feel you have set a new standard in recons. Certainly you have shown a very promising and acceptable way to breathe new life into the subject. Finally, with all the recent discussion about the viability of VHS video, thank you for making your productions available on VCD. It really is more convenient and, although the picture resolution is not the same as DVD, it is perfectly acceptable quality. Thanks for everything and good luck with your future projects.
Bryan McCormack writes:
In January 1965, just as Dalekmania was hitting Britain (or should that be 'exterminating'...?) Alan Fennell, editor of the forthcoming TV21 comic, wisely realised that the Daleks would make great comic strip material. With the Daleks` creator, the late Terry Nation, unable to author the strip himself, David Whitaker wrote the scripts with artwork provided by Richard Jennings.
And now Stuart Palmer is bringing these stories brilliantly to life with stunning 3D animation in The Dalek Chronicles.
Each story uses a combination of both Flash and full motion animation with voices supplied either by Stuart himself or other talented fans. Add sound effects and some original atmospheric incidental music and you have something that, in places, would not look out of place on BBC1 after Newsround. I kid you not.
Watching this initial batch of episodes (see individual reviews elsewhere) I was struck by how easily Tery Nation`s proposed Dalek spin-off series could have worked. Perhaps it`s the lack of new Who since 1989, but this seemed as fresh and new as the Daleks themselves must have seemed when they first appeared. These episodes will quickly transport you to a world where Dalekmania is in full swing again. If only!
And those metal meanies from Skaro not only look the business, they sound it too. Close your eyes and you would swear you were listening to a deleted scene from one of the two Peter Cushing movies. Stuart has got the voices spot on!
Easily on a par with either 'Reboot' or 'Insektors' (now there`s an idea for a crossover!!!),and given that Stuart Palmer is one man and not Pixar Studios, what he has created is not only true to the spirit of the Dalek strips but to the Daleks themselves.
Prepare yourselves for Dalekmania 2.
Steve Herbert writes:
I got the CD's back in incredibly quick time. The postman knocked at the door sometime after nine Saturday morning, I knew what it was, and opened the package up, and the first CD was immediately placed in my DVD player. Yes I can play it! What a relief, I don’t have my own PC at the moment, I use internet cafes and use internet at work etc. So that was a relief. So I watched Genesis of Evil first. And up popped the menu, pressed one and I'm away in another world, your TARDIS animation pops up first, then the TV21 card, wow I'm impressed, and I've seen nothing yet. Then the dates of the original strips. (I cant find my Doctor Who mags easy, I've so much stuff taking up so much room, can't even find the special reprint that repeats all the Chronicles.) Then there's the superb title sequence and Richard Jennings’ artwork, and the music is so well chosen it fits the title sequence so well. The Skaro desert is before me, and then visual heaven, oh the pictures aren’t moving, (Guess I didn't read everything properly, I think I was expecting full CGI animation, wishful thinking I think.) But it didn't matter, everything was clearly a labour of love for you guys to produce. Where the humanoid Daleks didn't really move, when there was some kind of movement it was always effective, oh and then there's the first sight of a Dalek, behind that screen. and later the production line, and then the first moving animation. And who or what was that green figure, looking on at Zolfian and Yarvelling? And then a Dalek turns up. Wow!
On to Duel of the Daleks, and plenty of animated Daleks. And out of all four episodes so far, I think this is my favourite. Zeg, what a character, there's no other Dalek like him I guess, he's a loose cannon, he is indestructible! Least he thinks he is, he also thinks he can outsmart the Emperor, but he clearly lacks the brain power and wants his way. The opening of this episode is amazing as we see the Dalek city, what an animation, all the detail, all those little Daleks, Wow! (and the 'Making Of' was a real nice touch, wasn’t expecting extras, oh and the music video, great stuff!) Then Zeg gliding through a few corridors and into his workshop. Great shots, and after a quick chat with a fellow Dalek, which exposes that he's not that bright, he gets down to his work, and all hell breaks out. Out to the top of the city and a Dalek cries a warning, and then there's another spectacular shot, as a Dalek is thrown into the air, it looks so good. And then Zeg is shown in his workshop on his side, it's not long till he's uprighted. How? Does it matter? Course not, really, I guess there must be some kind of device that can pick him up? Jumping ahead, as I'm running out of time, after the new red coloured Zeg has been tested, in the test chamber, and proved indestructible even to the mighty Black Dalek, then the story moves to the duel, Zeg v the Emperor. Great stuff again, and I haven’t yet commented on how good the Emperor looks. So they now face each other on cliffs on opposite sides of a flowing acid river, and then Zeg's falling, great animation again, still picture as he crashes in, then he's sinking, then he's rising out of the water, sorry acid, and then the still off him on the bank, half in and half out, it's a shame sequences like this can't be fully animated, but time, money etc... and I guess they would be? And we're getting this at the cost of a CD and postage. What is done is surely amazing, and the fact is, if someone wanted to do a series for the small screen like this, just how good could it be. But where you can't fully animate everything, where you're restricted to 2D, stills etc it's oh-so well crafted, it definitely has a certain special charm, that I guess any professional production would lack. There's plenty more excellent animations, plenty more great scenes, but I've probably written too much already. And as I said, I've little time to write more. A huge big thank you for an exceptional product. And I can't wait to see part 2, and I'll try and find time to review The Amaryll Challenge sometime soon too. Again great stuff! But that's it for now, home to watch it all again maybe I think.
Paul McNally writes:
I'm lost for words.
I finally had a chance to watch two of the CDs, my God they are awesome, it's a shame you can't mass market these cause you'd make a fortune.
They really are beautiful, congratulations.
Paul Richmond writes:
As a forty-something old enough to remember being caught up in the original burst of Dalekmania in the mid-sixties, I wasn't sure how I would react to these animations… after all the original TV21 strips are a cherished part of my childhood. I was sure that these would be technically very clever and impressive (that was clear from the other reviews and the images displayed on Stuart's website), but would they capture the spirit and the sense of wonder of those early enthusiastic comic-strips?
I needn't have worried. There is as much love and care evident throughout The Dalek Chronicles as there is technical and artistic brilliance (and there's a lot of that!). Clearly these have been made by someone to whom the TV21 strips are as important and special as they are to me…
Forget Kaleds and Davros and dull gunmetal grey. This is a world where the Daleks are more devious, sneaky and formidable than they ever were on DOCTOR WHO… This is a world where their cities and machines are more fabulous and imaginative than anything a television designer could hope to match… This is a world of Gold and Silvers and Blues and of terrible Black… Oh, and it's also a world where the Emperor was actually the true author of all the plays and sonnets of William Shakespeare…
Stuart: you are a genius and these are astounding films that are also obviously a labour of love…! You have made a forty-something kid very happy! Cheers...
These CD's are fantastic, I was totally blown away!!!
When I sent off for these titles I really wasn't sure what to expect, but hey they are FREE so what does it matter.
However when I received them I was hooked, the animation is top rate, Stuart is really talented.
Its really cool seeing my favourite TV21 strips brought to life, I really can't wait for Power Play, I only hope that there are many more to come.
Stuart - once you've finished the Dalek Chronicles, how about starting on the Absalom Daak strips.
Keep up the excellent work.
Patrick Furlong writes:
I got the discs today thank you.
Two words: ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT! Very well animated and the voices are very good.
The extra features are also good. It was intresting to hear the whole of the Dalek Christmas song - I remember hearing a clip of it on the Dalek Early Years tape. It was nice to see a Making Of feature..
Looking forward to the next installments.
Tony and Jonathan (aged 5) write:
Stuart, just a quick note. Thanks for the first lot of discs, they all play fine.
Even my five year old son watched them with me and thought they were brilliant, which is surprising as so far anything to do with Dr. Who or related he's hated.
I'm sending a disc for Episode Two of The Dalek Chronicles (the new one) and looking forward to it. Many thanks.
Paul J. Guest writes:
I was sceptical at first, the stories being so well known, so I was wondering what animation could bring to them. Life, frankly, and a menace that was easily dismissed in its text form.
The strips are brought to vivid life merging the Cusick sets and styling from the '60s with the original TV21 house style. They tell the tales with the true Dalek physics.
We all knew the 'heartbeat' effect ran throughout the comic, but it's a reassuring presence here, as are the other cameo effects like the Liberator comm's chime.
When the Emperor reuses the "we are entombed" speech from Genesis of the Daleks it is as much a statement for the series as familiar colour for the fans. The animation brings a pace showing the Daleks absolute conviction in themselves. Some stories give a good insight into why Daleks shouldn't give big speeches. The voice does begin to grate after extended periods.
The 3D animation and flash animation is often seamless, the two styles expertly entwined. But this is not just a demonstration of how wonderful CGI Daleks are, the animation is there to tell the story, which it succeeds with admirably. Indeed any failings are more the fault of the original sources than of the adaptation. For those familiar with the Dalek stories of the Hartnell era there are a lot of visual gags, but I shan't ruin it by pointing them out.
Ken “you-would-die-from-shock-if-you-saw-me” Grundy writes:
The Dalek Chronicles were based upon scripts supplied by David Whittaker, Doctor Who Script Editor, from story lines supplied by Terry Nation himself, and as such I regard them not only as canonical, but the real genesis of the Daleks. I always thought that the second Dalek story should have seen the TARDIS taking the travellers back to Skaro at the time of the neutronic war, and thanks to "Altered Vistas" I've finally seen the story they should have made (more or less).
I use computers only for word processing, spreadsheets and the Internet, so can't comment on the technical aspects of the work, except to say that I am amazed at the effort that has obviously gone into it, and all for no charge! Apparently something called "Flash" was used for a sort of less than perfect animation for some sequences, but it all looked the same to me, although understandably it is easier to animate Daleks than human(oid) characters so perhaps this is what was being referred to. And despite very careful scrutiny, I couldn't spot Davros anywhere in Duel (another reviewer reckoned he'd spotted him; was he there, Stuart!?).
Hats off to Stuart for not tampering with the story (genetic mutation doesn't change individuals, it's a generational effect), or some cringe worthy dialogue.
I look forward to seeing the rest of the Chronicles.
Lindsay Blackwood writes:
After receiving all 5 episodes so far, I played the lot.
I just want to say thanks. I was blown away by everything. You guys are the best. Can't wait for the rest.
Matt Dale writes:
Just writing this having idly watched Genesis of Evil (planned on watching them here and there, over the next few weeks, at random moments of boredom), then having instantly and without thinking bunged the Power Play disc on, then realised that, Hell, I seem to be running an unplanned Dalek Chronicles marathon in preparation for tonight.
Surprisingly fantastic stuff, Stuart, and the first fan production I've watched in ages (recons included) that I've got hooked on straight after that "Aah, the disc's just arrived, I might as well just watch the first 2 minutes to check out the quality" moment.
Yup, all 5 episodes now running straight through the afternoon I think!
Excellent :) Thanks!
Steve Swales writes:
You are amazing - I received them today -what a quick turnaround, thank you!
I've watched them all now in one go: words fail me so just string a dozen superlatives of you own choice together. I'll try to do something resembling a proper review when I've calmed down...
Andy Green writes:
Just watched eps 1-4 and 6.
Can I just say, they are the dog's b******s! When are more available?
Keep up the great work!
Charles Norton writes:
I got the discs yesterday. They were waiting for me when I got home. Just one word - Fantastic. You really should send some of your stuff to the Restoration Team - perhaps with the odd extra animation, something like Duel of the Daleks, wouldn't seem at all out of place as a DVD extra; the same can be said for the cutaway - in fact that could be stuck on the BBC's next DVD as it is now. Except for the odd bit, Duel gives the illusion of being fully animated and would be great as an extra on something like The Chase. Much of this would be quite at home on BBC1. I'd seen Episode 1 before, and been blown away that time, but I had no expectation that in just one release's time you'd be making something as technically professional and elegant as Duel. Even if the Restoration Team weren't interested in the Chronicles, (and they'd be mad not to be) it might at least get some work put your way.
I must confess that initially my expectations were not very high for the Dalek Chronicles. I've always found myself somewhat let down at past amateur productions (although with Altered Vistas it seems almost an insult to call them amateur) . Even with professional independent projects like The Zero Imperative I have been left a little underwhelmed and deflated at the end product, which usually looks far better on the websites and in magazines than in reality, and although I had read the reviews, there was part of me that didn't fully believe them - thought that they might have been trying to be kind to the things despite, what I expected would be, the less than brilliant product quality. I was even prepared to be kind to them myself, bearing in mind the conditions under which they were made.
However, I didn't need to be. I know this has been said before, but they are brilliant, near perfect. Not only are they free, they are professionally; shot, rendered, accompanied and presented. I won't linger upon just the beauty of these products, as it's been talked about many times before, but, particularly in the case of Duel of the Daleks, this would take very little to be up to the standard of a BBC broadcast, and I would not be disappointed to see some of this work on a future BBC DVD.
However, there is one thing, which I feel hasn't really been touched upon by other reviews of this work, which really should - and that is the writing quality of the scripts. Speaking as a writer myself (I believe a suitable title would be 'Struggling Writer' - It's always a struggle) I was considerably impressed at the calibre and faithfulness of these adaptations. The attitude which Stuart Palmer takes to adapting these is the one of a purist, which is always the best way of adapting anything. It is always important to be faithful. Yes, some of your own personality is bound to come through, but if you are not doing the closest adaptation you can, then you might as well start from scratch.
The adapter's job is to translate, in the best possible way, a story from one media to another, and most simply that is what has been done. The adventures are pacy but not so breathless as to be painful (I mention no names... ahem, Rose). The stories have a charm, and indeed wonder, which is uniquely all of their own, and are the very best example of what can be achieved with the right attitude, good skills of composing, writing and animating, and above all a love of your source material and belief in it as something worthy of attention.
Steve Purbrick writes:
Received the disks today in excellent order. I have to congratulate you on them- they are wonderful! The presentation style reminded me of 'vidematic' roughs I sometimes see if I'm doing voice-overs for pre-visuals or animation soundtracks. You've really captured the spirit of the comic strips.
I like your rendition of the Dalek voices too - reminiscent of Peter Hawkins' voice.
Joe Cassels writes:
Thanks for sending the AVs out to me. I was very impressed indeed. They are a remarkable achievement and easily stand up against professional productions.
Mark Carter writes:
My initial reaction is that, whatever I was expecting, these have surpassed it. I don't think it's any exaggeration to say that they would not be out of place on TV (and a damned sight better than a lot of what's on there!).
Both my son Jamie and myself have watched and rewatched the first five and have thoroughly enjoyed them. Jamie loved them, by the way, and didn't take his eyes off the screen! For me, it brought to life those old TV21 strips more than I could have hoped for, and, for Jamie, it introduced him to an exciting Dr. Who offshoot that he appears to have loved just as much as he's loving the new TV series.
I'm gob-smacked as to the sheer professionalism of the series so far, and I reckon they're heads and shoulders above most of the animation that makes it onto "proper" TV.
So, from one literal 6 year-old and his Daddy, who will always be 6 years-old somewhere deep inside (especially now that I have your discs!), thanks a million.
Mike Daws writes:
Many thanks for the disks you were kind enough to copy for me a little while back. They were great. Every one who has seen them has commented on how great they look, far surpassing the television Daleks themselves!
Richard Bennett writes:
Thanks for the disks - I can see an awful lot of hard work went into them and the results are very impressive indeed. I particularly enjoyed Episode 3, the 3-D animations are stunning! The Dalek cut-away on Episode 2 was a great idea and an unexpected bonus.
John Porter writes:
Just a very short note to say how much I am thouroughly enjoying your efforts.
Thank you very much for all your hard work, and making such thouroughly entertaining animated films.
Jon V. Way writes:
I've finally found time to write back and say a big Thank You for sending me the Dalek Chronicle Video-CDs.
I've only watched the first two so far, but I can really appreciate how much time and effort you and your team have put into them.
I've never actually read the comic strips, so it's all new to me!
Thanks again, for all your hard work and creativity, and also for making them available.
Bryan Preston writes:
I received my copies of AV01, Genesis of Evil, AV02, Duel of the Daleks, and AVO3, The Amaryll Challenge, on Tuesday. Absolutely brilliant! My kids thought they were the bees knees. I will be ordering the rest of the series ASAP. Cheers, mate.
Katherine Rhodes writes:
Received the discs yesterday. Many thanks for such a fast turnaround. I have just finished watching them and have to say that I'm pretty impressed! It's a very professional looking piece and has managed to retain the feel of the original beautifully. A big congratulations to you and all involved. Very much looking forward to your next releases.
Terry Cooper writes:
I received the Dalek Chronicles today. Although I haven't watched all of them yet, I must write to congratulate you on such a brilliant success and a well-made serial. I'm a degree student (amongst other things!) studying CGI using 3D Studio MAX, and I know exactly what's involved in putting together
an entire production, so I take my hat off to you.
I only vaguely remember reading some TV21 comics as a kid (I'm 35), and mostly read Dalek Annuals, and I love the way you've evoked the same colourful feel of the strips. To see and hear 'new' Dalek stories is a joy.
I shall be spending this weekend having a grand showing of all the Dalek Chronicles, with my two children, who'll no doubt love it as much as I do!!
Alan MacKenzie writes:
Many thanks for the prompt dispatch of the Dalek Chronicles, which arrived here safely yesterday morning. I have to admit, I then spent most of yesterday evening, watching through the whole lot!
Well, what can I say? They're absolutely stunning – I never would have thought that seeing the old TV21 stories again, forty years after they were first written, could have been so thrilling – I felt 9 years old again! If only these techniques had been available in the 1960s, what a superb TV series this would
have made. Probably would have been more popular than "Thunderbirds"!
The production is highly professional and whilst adhering strongly to the original stories, the extra "fleshing out" you have given them serves only to enhance the overall effect. The Daleks become real "characters" again, instead of the rather insipid cardboard cutouts they had tended to be in the later Dr Who stories of the 70s and 80s. By that time, they seemed to be used only as adjuncts to Davros and were depicted as being pretty stupid, an illustration quite at odds with their earlier appearances and indeed, with the Chronicle tales.
The little extras taken from other sources are very good – e.g. the use of the Pyroflame attachments to burn down the vegetation on Alvega. These devices never actually appeared in TV21 but rather, were used in the television series, The Daleks' Master Plan, where they were employed to demolish the jungles on Kemble.
At one point during the sequence where Zeg asks the computer for information on the Oquolloquox storm, there is a flashback to one of the human Daleks – was this meant to illustrate a race memory, or was this actually supposed to be Zeg himself in his pre-mutated human form? [the latter - Stuart]
Technically, the rendition of the Daleks is superb. It is very hard in some scenes, to realize that they are in fact, computer generations, rather than the live, full-sized props as used on television. The one and only suggestion I have to offer for future episodes is perhaps, that you could speed up the Dalek voices slightly. This could I feel, be done without losing any of the effect and in any case, it is so good to hear them actually "saying something", rather than just ranting "Exterminate!" all the time, another failing I thought, of later Dr Whos.
I also liked very much, the depictions of the planets, Skaro and Alvega. Alvega looks like a paradise – pity it was blown up! The Skarosian sunsets are spectacular too – wonder if this is a function of all that radioactive dust floating around in the upper atmosphere???
Thanks again for the superb Chronicles and I shall eagerly await further episodes and of course, Children of the Revolution, if you would be kind enough to e-mail me when they are available.
Paul Twamley writes:
I have watched all the Dalek Chronicles and can honestly say they are truly a professional piece of work worthy of any major slot on television; the computerised graphics are absolutely excellent, I particularly enjoyed the "how it was done "bonus feature.
I have nothing but praise to you for bringing this comic strip to life, it is a must for all Dalek fans.
Francis Douse writes:
I watched episodes 1, 2 and the first half of 3 last night, by the end of ep1 I was hooked, can't wait to watch the other half of part 3 and the remaining ones. I really have enjoyed them so far, very well executed and a wonderful tribute to Terry Nation and those who created the original stories.
My only WISH.. is that they were movie-type Daleks instead because I think they look neat :-)
I'll let you know when I've finished, Stuart, but so far, they are FANTASTIC (to quote the new Doctor)
I received the 5 episodes yesterday. I have watched all 5 and I really enjoyed them.
They brought back some memories. You have done a really good job, can't wait for the next one.
Keep up the good work, thanks.
Benji Clifford writes:
I am shocked at how amazingly good your Dalek Chronicles are. They are brilliant and I think the Daleks are much more a team then they have ever been. You really have made the Daleks amazing to watch. Thank you for doing them for me. I shall when episode 5 is done send another disk for you to dub for me. (as I want the whole set) (Because i think they are amazing)
Anyways thank you. Real great stuff, Terry Nation would be proud.
Francis Douse writes:
Sorry I didn't write before. I finished watching them, they got better and better and the last episode was really great. I can't wait to see what the next one is like, I nearly didn't get to see the last one as the disc had a duff sector, just as the Emperor was arriving to sort the chaos out. Brilliant, there were a few minor things which stuck in my head, nothing bad in any way, overall I think you've done them proud.
Keep in touch, I'll be wanting the next installment ;-)
Mark and son Thomas write:
Having stumbled across the website by accident then ordering all the episodes in one go and not quite knowing what to expect, my son and I were simply... amazed!
At the risk of repeating other comments; why on earth don't the BBC/Terry Nation inc. let Stuart loose and give him a TV spin-off show? The daleks are easily the best thing on Dr Who and these animations would make the corporation even more money.
These should be shown nationwide!!
Michael Johnson writes:
Well I have just finished watching all six episodes and (like everyone else who has commented) I am stunned. The production on all of them is top notch. The general public (and probably a lot of Dalek fans) do not know what they are missing. The BBC should sign you up to make these for television. I cannot wait for the next one! Keep up the good work.
Richard Dadd writes:
You really understand that 'Saturdayness' thing don't you? My letter box clattered Saturday morning with an exciting parcel. I'd actually been out at a gig Friday night and hadn't got home till about 3am but I still watched Genesis of Evil as soon as I knew it was there to be watched. Skaro looks so good in it, and the integration of Atom bomb footage works impressively. It all feels so grim and desolate when they come out and the nuclear wind is howling round the ruins. Oh and I laughed long and hard at your 'DALEK CHRISTMAS' video.
I think your direction in Power Play is particularly effective. The scene where the ship descends below the sand into the Dalek city, and the generally dark scariness of the submerged city all come across very well. I'm pacing myself with the rest of them (that's a good thing - I don't usually open my last Christmas present till Boxing Day!)So I'll tell you what I think as and when.
Overall, the Dalek Chronicles are brilliant. You should be very proud. Oh, and you've achieved something that nobody else has ever achieved: Dalek voices that ALWAYS synchronise with the lights. Even in the new series, the flashing is out sometimes. Give yourself a pat on the back.
These 'animated comic stories' are simply Tremendously Good Fun!
I come to this under a combination of fortunate circumstances:
I'm one who's lucky enough to have been a first-run viewer of the entire original Doctor Who series(a pathetic attempt to avoid saying "old"), from the Pilot story on, when they were shown on the Australian Broadcasting Commission's Channel 2 in the mid-60's. I was a mad-keen 'Despicable Dalek-Lover' from the get-go, too!
Of course even then I utilized Leading-Age, state-of-the-heart, 'Cerebral Graphix Inyerhead' psychology to make those wobbly, rattling, jiggling-wiggling studio props (conceptualized by Terry Nation; designed by Ray Cusick; and constructed by Bill Roberts) into vastly-Superior-mentality REAL Daleks – as y'do – and Still do! ("well yer forced-to, really").
I'm also privileged to be one who rediscovered my love of Daleks due to the ABC rebroadcasts of the surviving Doctor Who stories for the 40th Anniversary year. In fact the delight of watching the first 3 original Dalek Adventures ('The Dead Planet Mutant Dals'*; 'The Darlack Inversion of Dirt'; and 'The Choice' [me – I Love it!]) inspired me to do a serious research project on Daleks in fandom and popular culture (which took nearly a year and only just concluded) during which I re-steeped myself in (tea &) DalekWhovian WebCulture**.
[* if you'd ever eaten at our local takeaway you'd know exactly what this is like!]
[** a sticky, penetrating growth that creeps horribly over the brain causing it to look like a low-budget combination of frock-coats, fluffy-hats, ruffles, striped-scarves, celery, multicoloured mould-patches, questionable insignia - and a touch of youthful enthusiasm]
Through all this I discovered things about Daleks; thinks about Daleks; and doings with Daleks you just wouldn't want to know about! Also very many such that you Would – e.g., A.V.'s Dalek Chronicles 'Conceptual Graphic Interpretation' versions of the original Century 21 Comics' Dalek stories.
The privileged position I mentioned at the start of this rave is one of being able to realistically relativize these works in comparison with the astoundingly wide range of amazingly good Amateur Creative Works visualizing Dr Who stories that are to be found on the net. Each one of these has its own original look and style and usually tell new tales, too. Stuart Palmer has done us the unique favour of translating original 60's graphic tales into what must surely be the next publishing Standard for Graphix Arts, the digitally animated comic book. And he's done this very well indeed!
Do Not Expect 'Professional/Commercial' Production Standards! (Don't expect to find them absent, either). This is a Labour of Love – a work of superb Amateur quality: i.e. that which is made to the best ability of an unpaid, tiny team of dedicated home workers, using domestic equipment to produce lovingly designed, painstakingly faithful and textually accurate visual reinterpretations of material that was not only wildly popular in its own time, but which also still reads well as Classic Comic stories today. I'd only just discovered and read most of the original story pages on websites dedicated to their preservation, promotion and sharing when I turned up a 'Dalek Links' reference to Stuart's (beautifully produced) Altered Vistas web pages. From the thoughtfulness and visual & conceptual quality of these screens I could instantly tell that I was on to a really good thing. Following those clear instructions allowed me to be in possession (of the Daleks) of the 1st four 'AV' discs within a Fortnight of posting my blank discs to the UK from Australia!
Going by the enjoyable (and accurate) reviews on this site I knew almost exactly what to expect and was thrilled to find said expectations exactly met. The visual quality was all I'd hoped for. The animation style & technique ranges from effective to brilliant, showing a good eye for detail and layout – from the wonderful Standard Titles Sequence edit to the economical-yet-pleasing manipulations of single images and multiple combinations of elements.
Then there's the soundtrack (perhaps you should add some Soundbytes to your site, Stuart!?). There are, inevitably the (few) occasional audio problems... as an experienced Amateur sound-editor I can attest to just how tricky soundworks can be – more so than with visuals! …but, with one oft-mentioned (oh-well-too-bad) exception, these are competently dealt with and would be unnoticed by any but those with trained ears. ("sit! listen!") For the (very-much) greater part, the soundtrack is superb – not only the entirely-appropriate-to-comic-book-style of the voice acting (which easily attains so-called 'professional' standard on lots of occasions). but also the bloody-good musical scoring!
Not only are these themes quite 'un-amateurish' (small 'a' there) but the excellent Standard Title Theme never gets boring and would stand the test of time as the opener for an entire Season of Shows. These various (and original) soundscapes are used with exquisite appropriateness* throughout the (5) stories now available, imparting an excitement and freshness to what are really quite corny old pulp-sci-fi tales that lifts them up into a seriously believable narrative experience! [* something which too often could Not be said of the original series!]
I was often chortling with scurrilous delight at the scenes and antics of both Protagonists (or, in the case of Daleks, Antagonists) and Animator alike. A shameless revelry, wallowing in nostalgic Dalekness and home-made modern art (and artifice). And all for Free! (plus postage).
In short, AV's Dalek Chronicles project is an utterly worthy service to the history and pleasure of an underrated British Media Icon and which is not only typical of the authentic generosity of Who fandom in particular, but also an entirely worthwhile experience in general for those of us who are pleased by well-made Amateur Productions of all kinds the world over.
(Now, Stuart and friends – how can We help You?!)
Mark Davies writes:
The discs arrived today, so I just wanted to say thanks.
I've watched the first episode and the work is just astonishing. It's of such a high standard. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
I'm flying away on holiday tomorrow, so I'll have to wait until I get back to watch the rest.
So, sincere thanks and congratulations on these great productions.
Craig Hinton writes:
I just wanted to say thank you! Quite apart from the prompt return of the disks (have you a transmat?) the content is better than I could have imagined. I sat and watched the first three last night with a look of awe and wonder on my face. It was like being a little kid again. When the Emperor appeared for the first time, I was punching the air (and then had to explain to my boyfriend how this Emperor was indeed the one from The Parting of the Ways without going into a full-on Dalek continuity debate!).
The whole thing is wonderfully done, from the music to the direction to the acting (Zolfian is just plain *evil*). And the quality of the CGI is superb. Kudos to everyone involved. I shall digest the others this evening when I get home - and then I'll be hassling you for the next installment!
Aaron J. Climas writes:
I am a fan from South Australia, and have just seen the first 5 episodes of the Dalek Chonicles. I didn't know about them until they were to given to me.
I am working to become a professional animator one day, so I can appreciate the amount of hard work that has been put into the project. And I think, for the most part, it has paid off.
It's great the way you have managed to cut between marcomedia and CGI so easily. My only question would be, are the characters created in Truespace or are they created using a separate program like poser or maya? (Poser - Stuart)
The only criticism I can offer is that for me I feel the Dalek voices are a little slow, and it would be nice if there was a bit more variation between them. I found that in the Zeg Dalek episode it almost became a little confusing as to who was who. No offence.
Keep up the good work!
Colin Gunn writes:
I got my discs this morning and am already on disc 3... they are F***ing brilliant, mate. What a tremendous job you have done. I don't want to miss a single production that you do.
Keep up the great work mate. You have a dedicated fan here.
Steve Swales writes:
Thanks to Stuart's work, The Dalek Chronicles have come back home after forty years to their original inspiration: the small screen.
Yet the Chronicles were never a mere "Doctor Who and Daleks minus the Doctor" spin-off serial. Shockingly, they provide a much more amoral perspective on this epitome of evil than is customary. Whereas each week in the television series the Daleks were invariably defeated (since evil could never be seen to triumph), in contrast in the Chronicles they usually make some net progress. Furthermore, the original strip allowed the Daleks to display a much wider gamut of traits than the one-dimensional Nazis they would later become on TV in the 1970s and 80s. That the same subtleties can be seen in the present computer generated work is a tribute to Stuart's skill.
Many of us probably grew restless as children during the "people bits" in Who, longing for the next Dalek scene. The grown-up writers however, tended to see the "Dalek-bits" as being a problem, with the oft quote complaint that "Daleks are boring conversationalists". Stuart has not only solved this problem by giving us a convincing Dalek–centric viewpoint, but no doubt finds having entire Dalek-only episodes actually facilitates the production techniques (humanoids being very difficult to animate).
It is intriguing to reflect back that had Terry Nation's proposed spin-off series ever been made, then more rounded Dalek characters such as those presented here would have been essential for its success. Stuart has finally provided us with an extremely convincing proof of concept.
Tony Kennedy writes:
All I can say with regards to the Chronicles as a complete whole so far is, US FANS HAVE NEVER HAD IT SO GOOD, great sound, excellent graphics, grand moments from my own child hood when reading the originals.
And I am introducing my son aged 5 to how I think the Daleks should appear: evil and menacing, but damned exciting.
Keep up the great work, Stuart, this is one family that's grateful to you.
Have you not thought about trying to get them broadcast on the SCI FI channel. I'm sure they would would bite your hand off to get such fine productions.
Looking forward to vol 7.
Stephen Bayes writes:
Have now watched all six parts of The Dalek Chronicles twice. AWESOME!! Having read the original strips when they were first published in TV21, it has always been one of my favourite Doctor Who related items.
The animation is incredible, bringing the whole strip alive. I'm really looking forward to future parts and other projects as well. 'Masters of Luxor' would be fantastic. Any other lost William Hartnell/Patrick Troughton scripts/stories would be a wonderful idea.
Thanks so much for sending me copies with such speed.Your sterling work is deeply appreciated.
Philip Morley writes:
Just got back from holiday and have just finished watching the productions. Quite frankly, I think the BBC should employ you to make it for TV, not feel frightened or threatened by it. I really do hope that you will adapt more comic stories.
Has anyone from the Terry Nation estate seen them? If so, what do they think of it? You've certainly done them proud! Well done, Sir!
Keith Baldock-Grimes writes:
Firstly I have to say that the service offered in dubbing and returning discs is excellent and of the standard that one would expect to pay for. Friendly e-mails and incredibly prompt delivery are much appreciated and a credit to you.
I don't feel qualified to comment on the technical aspects of the discs but as a forty-odd year old lifelong fan of the Daleks I can see the care and enthusiasm that has gone into reproducing the chronicles. In my view the discs look great and I look forward to each new release with much anticipation. Just as in the Dalek Empire audios and even more recently in the new TV series these Daleks are back to being the force to be reckoned with which the Daleks were back in the sixties and not the watered down versions of later years.
The sixties atmosphere is captured beautifully, even down to the retro technology, for example the "Brain Machine" but it's nice to have the benefit of 21st Century graphics and production values.
Congratulations on a well presented, professional quality product. I'm very grateful that you are prepared to give us the opportunity to relive that Saturday teatime feeling - and for some people to experience it or the first time (My kids are two and four and they love them as much as I do). Keep up the good work - I'm dying to see what you've done with Children of the Revolution.
Thanks again - good luck with future productions.
Peter Christy writes:
Episode 5 was fun the magic bowl the lazy prince them swapping the real pentaray for a fake one plus the bit were the Dalek cowareded out and the animation was more smooth then in your last one. I give you 3/5 for that one
Episode 6 That was Amazing Dalek destroying each other blaming each other that they have the Virus most robots would try to find a cure and do it peacefully, Plus people say Daleks are emotionless but in your animations you've shown they do feel pain and enjoy thier victory.
I give you an Amazing 5/5 becaused it was so exciting.
Episode 7 Started off slow but got exciting when I seen those robots that they had they froze the Dalek and then trashed the Dalek city. Lip movement makes them more animated. Dalek do not think for themselves I thought while watching why don't one of them take over but no emperor is safe. I Give you a 5/5 for that one.
Gary E. Swift writes:
Thank you very much for the DVDs, that I received in good condition - no reflection on the postage system (ahem!) there.
I have just, last night, finished the complete collection of Dalek Chronicles.. I can only say - EXCELLENT! EXCELLENT! EXCELLENT!
You must have spent absolutely hours in the production of these episodes and I must salute you for your hard work and fantastic fine detail.. I was/am very impressed.
My son, another great fan of the Daleks, has not yet seen these discs; so I am awaiting to see his reaction to them (I'm sure he'll react the same) while watching them (another excuse for me to see them again).
Once again, many thanks, especially for the privilege of being able to relive these stories (as my original magazines have been lost over the years with consistent moving to different parts of country with my family in the earlier years) of my childhood.
I shall be visiting your website regularly for the latest updates, etc., that you may post. Also, I shall spread your website address to all those other Dalek fanatics out there!
Paul Davies writes:
I must thank you for the recent CDs you sent (Dalek Chronicles Vols 1-5) and congratulate you on a superb interpretation of the series. I must admit that the original artwork did create a specific 'atmosphere' and succeeded brilliantly within that format. However, to 're-imagine' the series as you have through your efforts has proved to be a stroke of genius. Some of the effects are truly professional and are better than some of the efforts on Terrestrial television. Well done. I know the amount of effort you must have put in (I have an audio-visual aids/computing background and know of the complexities and how time-consuming it can be) but I also know that this would be a 'labour of love'. Still, congratulations are in order.
Lindsay Blackwood writes:
Just a line to say thanks again for the latest instalments which I received Friday last. Just got to say absolutely superb. It is really great to see these stories in this way. The Dalek voices are truly spine tingling. Thanks again.
Matthew Boult writes:
Thanks again for making the copies for me - and so quickly! My apologies for not getting back to you sooner with my comments.
I have happy memories of reading the TV 21 Dalek comic strip back in the '60s, and was always impressed by the alternative Dalek universe it portrayed, where BBC budgets and the Doctor didn't stand in the way of the Daleks. The Golden Emperor was an outstanding creation, and made the strip quite distinct from the TV show. I've often wondered what it would be like to see an animated version and was delighted to see you have undertaken this.
What you have done is amazing. You've succeeded in bringing The Dalek Chronicles to life. You've captured the essence of the strip and have produced some excellent graphics, and animations. Camera zooming and movement are extremely good and add visual impact. Likewise the transitions from one scene to the next, particularly the one through the 'eye' of the Emperor.
The Daleks' city with its lifts, walk-ways ('glide-ways'?!) and instrument panels are impressive and the Emperor looks superb.
As well as the visual experience, the sound effects and music are brilliant. When the red Dalek is pursuing the Emperor into a building, you can hear this with the changed acoustics. That's a nice touch.
The format is very good - the moving TV21 logo, then some action, followed by pictures from the strip set to rousing music. And I mustn't forget the extras - that Dalek Xmas song was really, really bad, and you've put some very funny graphics with it.
There are just a couple of things I would change. I think the Emperor could benefit from having a more distinctive voice to differentiate it even more from the other Daleks. Also, the human figures are quite acceptable without animation, as in the first episode. Compared with the Daleks, their movements can look a little ungainly, which is not surprising, because it must be so incredibly difficult to animate them.
So, well done. I look forward to watching the other episodes, and maybe in time, seeing this developed into a TV series.
Thanks again, and all the best with this project.
Zbigniew Hierowski writes:
Thanks for the swift turnaround in sending back the disks.
I have now watched all of them and though that they were great.
The animations improve in quality as the series progresses and the storylines are engaging.
I look forward to any more you produce.
Ken “I think I’m in love with the voice of Anne Lister’ Grundy writes:
Today I received productions AV05, 6 & 7. I intended to wait a week to watch them with a fellow fan, but this afternoon I gave in.
My personal preference is for sci-fi stories which don't feature humanoids; nevertheless I have to say that Stuart is getting better at animating these, and their clothing, all the time. By Menace he's mastered lip (and tongue) synchronisation, which has to be very difficult. I'm particularly impressed by the detail of backgrounds, for example the mountains of Skaro, Solturis' trees and bodies of water. My father has recently become a computer buff/internet nerd, using Nero to add titles and captions to family cine films and videos he's transferring to CD; I'll be showing him Stuart's disks as an example of what can be done with the software.
It's interesting to note how the Emperor is still finding a reason to fly elsewhere before the shooting starts, and the Black Dalek doesn't hang about while his two subordinates are trying to prevent an explosion. Come to think of it, for rational, logical beings they ALL seem prone to panic!
And Davros DOES appear in Duel of the Daleks; Zeg and the Emperor seem to have driven him up the wall…
Alan Boyd writes:
Thanx for burning the 3 discs - they were waiting for me when I got home.
Put one in for a quick peek which was a big mistake cos I just had to watch the whole damn thing through, it was so cool - to hell with making the dinner I said to myself, though strangely Glynnis had a different view upon coming home! (lol)
Apart from being a really classy production, some neat touches didn't go by unnoticed such as the Hartnell Dalek ship humming (you beat the 9th Dr to the punch there) and your very own Dalek voice sign-off.
As I produce stuff myself, I appreciate and know all about the effort that goes into this sort of thing and so I'm really looking forward to seeing the others in the series and have a feeling that I'll be asking for the remaining Chronicles in the near future if you are happy to dub them for me.
Anyway, thanx again.
Charles J. Geers writes:
I have just watched the first three episodes(I have all of them) and wanted to drop you a line congratulations you on such a great achievement!
I expected basically still pictures with little movement, like those old Marvel Superhero cartoons from the sixties. What I got was wonderful animation and great direction. This continues to fuel my high opinion of Doctor Who fans as a creative force. Keep up the excellent work, PLEASE!
Alan Wright writes:
Just wanna say that the discs arrived safe and sound, and so far are brilliant. My eleven year old and I are loving every minute of them. Thanks ever so much for such a quick return.
Lindsay Blackwood writes:
Just a line to say thanks again for the latest instalments which I received Friday last.
Just got to say absolutely superb. It is really great to see these stories in this way. The Dalek voices are truly spine tingling. Thanks again.
Frank Whiteley writes:
Once again I really enjoyed the last two episodes of your 'Dalek Chronicles' series [Duel of the Daleks and The Amaryll Challenge].
These were a lot smoother and much more animated than the first two. I think the reason why I liked these so much was the fact that they were just Dalek stories, with no humanoids in sight. As for the plant race with their 'hissy' voices, these worthy opponents of the Daleks fondly reminded me of classic TV Doctor Who monsters.
Matthew Ridge writes:
The package came on Wednesday, I am able to say the discs arrived safely. Since then I have watched through them all once. True to what people have said, your work has improved, especially in the area of humanoid movement, which includes The Pentaray Factor and The Menace of the Monstrons. My favourite stories are the ones featuring all Daleks, basically Duel of the Daleks and Plague of Death.
One downside I have to mention is the tendency to over animate some scenes, while neglecting others and repetitive animation (to a lesser extent) such as the scene in Power Play where the Emperor and another Dalek appear to 'dance' back and forth as they discuss their plans in the scanner room. I also think that the Flash animation should not be used a lot as the quality is not as good as the CGI animations. This I assume was used a lot in Plague of Death.
Apart from the odd criticism, the work is of excellent standard and I look forward to more of the productions including Children of the Revolution.
Porl Cooper writes:
What can I say??? Wow!! I’m just completely blown away man!! I haven’t watched them all yet but what I have seen looks absolutely top notch - miles better than anything I was expecting!!
So just wanted to say thanks - looking forward to Children of the Revolution, and the Mechanoids!!
And please don’t stop doing what your doing cos it’s superb - quite a talent!
Anthony Rooney writes:
Many thanks for the three Dalek Chronicles, which I received in the post this morning. The timing could not have been better since both myself and my son are suffering with the flu at the moment, and these stories really cheered us up. All three of the stories were stunning but Duel of the Daleks was our favourite, with it being played four times in one day! Oh, and I loved the incidental music on Menace of the Monstrons, it reminded me a lot of the soundtrack to a 1960's German Sci-Fi series called Raumpatrouille. Great stuff! Anyway, from my seven year-old son and myself, thanks for putting a smile on our faces.
Stephen and Tara write:
Well, the first of the ‘Chronicles’ arrived today. And to be honest - well, I don't know what to say. They are truly AWESOME - I was NOT expecting anything so good.
"Good?" an understatement or what?
Thank you SO much Stuart. You've made me very happy!
Oh well, this is only a quickie for now, and it's simply to say - (here I go again) - THANK YOU!
Pat Bryars writes:
Received the discs you copied for me and I just had to drop you a quick note to say how superb the ones I have watched so far are. You seem to be getting consistently good performances from your actors and the pictures/animation are superb - a real tribute to their TV21 source material.
Keep up the good work.
Nick Scovell writes:
Just wanted to drop you a line to say how much I enjoyed your films. I recently got Menace of the Monstrons, Duel of the Daleks and Children of the Revolution from you. Very enjoyable and dramatic.
All the best and looking forward to Eve of the War!
Paul Gardner writes:
Thanks for the discs, which arrived this morning, and I have already watched the first three! I think you have done a superb job and that your confidence has grown over the complete set. (I cheated and took a quick look at the later ones).
I thought your Dalek voices were tip top! I always think it’s one of the hardest things to do.
Mark Scott writes:
Firstly, thanks for your brilliant productions. You sent me all nine at once, and I watched them all over a few days, culminating in the utterly fantastic Children of the Revolution (although Duel of the Daleks and Plague of Death are worthy runner ups).
After reading your Daleks in the Comics article I decided to pick up some of the more interesting ones, and soon found myself owner of the wonderful Dalek Book 1965 and Dalek World 1966.
Incidentally, I know it's a looong way off, but Return of Elders should count as Dalek Chronicles. And don't forget to do the Abslom Daak: Dalek Killer strips! Actually, you could fill the next few decades making all these great comics! Nevertheless, keep up the good work, and I can't wait till Eve of the War.
Martin Hearn writes:
Thanks very much for my discs of the first four instalments of the Dalek Chronicles which arrived today.
ABSOLUTELY MARVELLOUS! Have just watched all four back-to-back and they were just brilliant! Has Mr Spielberg given you a call yet? (should have done!)
Rest assured that I DEFINITELY want to place an order for the other currently available instalments and look forward to Eve of the War which was a favourite of mine from when I first encountered the Dalek strips in the 1976 Typhoo Tea tie-in book The Amazing World of Doctor Who which featured a reprint of that particular strip.
Jason Brooks writes:
Just wanted to say thank you for the CDs. The quality was nothing short of amazing, I am so impressed at the high standards you have set for this type of production. Apart from taking me back to my youth watching the various Gerry Anderson shows, they also managed to keep my young nephews enthralled, no mean feat in these days of multi channel kids TV.
Roger Simpson writes:
I ordered productions AV01-AV07 from you last year and after viewing them wish to report that I consider their standard to be truly amazing. I was impressed with the increasing complexity and sophistication of succeeding productions and sound tracks. In particularly, the lip-sync work in Episode Seven adds a whole new dimension to the viewing experience.
Please keep up the good work.
Woooooooooooow ! Stuart... you must know wot I'm gonna say !... The Dalek Chronicles VCD's are awesome matey... I'm surprised that some bright spark at the Beeb ain’t seen them and asked for them to be included on some of the doc/dalek dvd releases... They are that good in my humble opinion ! ;-)... Well done, the extras you've put on the discs are great too... I'm just amazed at the great quality. Fan stuff can be a little erm... how can I put it... self indulgent at the best of times... but your's are brilliant... plus most of the vcd's I have had in the past have been pretty cack! Anyway hopefully you're getting the drift I am impressed...
Stuart, once again well done, I'll def send you some more cd's for the rest of your ep's and thanks again for the vcd's they are ace!
Kevin Western writes:
Just to say thank you very much for The Dalek Chronicles, I was very impressed, by what I have seen so far.
It must take a very dedicated person to do what you have done.
Keep up the good work.
You were recently kind enough to send me all of the AV productions. I am about halfway through and had to let you know how impressed I am. I have loved those Dalek strips for over twenty years and had never imagined that they would be brought to life in this way.
It would have been interesting to have seen them animated even if the actual product wasn't very good, but these AV films are amazing. The direction and the music add up to something which feels so professional and authentic. I can't wait to see the rest and any future productions.
Guy Newmountain writes:
Stuart, I have just finished watching all the first eight instalments of The Dalek Chronicles and I have to hand it to you: what a fantastic achievement! As someone who did a degree in good old-fashioned cell animation years ago, I appreciate (perhaps better than others) what a time-consuming labour of love this must be: so intrigued was I in fact that I got out Marvel's complete Dalek Chronicles to find out where you're up to: can't believe it's only around halfway through the task! I only hope you have the tenacity to see this massive challenge through - if it's any spur at all, each episode seems to be even better than the previous one and it's great how you've actually been faithful to the change in artists (the Emperor particularly - you've really brought this character to life in a believable way, much more so than the screened Remembrance/Davros version).
Many of the scenes are truly atmospheric - actually quite creepy and scary sometimes, just as they should be - perfectly in keeping with Dr Who! Your attention to detail is fantastic: the Daleks are faultlessly rendered: any real fan knows if/when the shape is right: they are highly impressive and their characterisation/voices are spot on! - all the manic/verge-of-hysteria traits are perfect. The only aspect in which I feel you've been let down somewhat, software-wise, is in the human character rendering and movement - that's not your fault, it's down to limitations in the software - and anyway it's the Daleks we're interested in!
Please keep going... I'm not really into the sort of New Adventure spin-off type things but will certainly collect all your Dalek Chronicle episodes: I wonder if you're planning to go beyond the 60's strip and adapt that extra Chronicle from the original artists that DWM printed in the 90's? Once again, many congratulations to you and everyone else involved: a marvellous and entertaining evening's viewing; also can't wait for Abslom Daak! I will certainly spread the word...
Adrian Wiltshire writes:
Congratulations on the quality and creativity of your work. How many hours does it take to produce an episode? It is obvious by the attention to detail that each one is a real labour of love.
Over the weekend I watched all of the episodes with my sons, Matthew and Tom. Since the Daleks first appeared in the new BBC series they have been Dalek crazy and so you can imagine how much we all enjoyed your Dalek Chronicles. The extra features were good fun too. Although there is a limit to how many times I can listen to Matthew and Tom singing I'm Gonna Spend My Christmas With A Dalek before I flip!
Thank you so much for providing these fantastically entertaining and professional productions. We are really looking forward to the next instalment.
Scott Fraser writes:
I must confess that I knew absolutely nothing about these productions and found the website by accident. However I was sufficiently interested in what I saw to read on. The whole idea at first left me a little sceptical, for instance could the animation work, would the products do justice to the wonderful Dalek strips of the 60's, would they be professional enough etc, etc.
Then I began to realise that these were fan products and we should not expect great things, I decided that I wouldn't bother with them and almost logged off, however I suddenly started to read a couple of reviews and slowly my interest grew and within an hour I had decided to take a risk and order everything.
What risk? Within four days they had been returned and I was blown away. The animation is excellent, the casting works perfectly and my biggest worry was answered in that not only do they do justice to the Dalek strips but they actually expand on them considerably and dare I say it improve them. These are wonderful productions and I would urge any Doctor Who and/or Dalek fan to acquire them immediately. I am certainly going to recommend them to all my Doctor Who associates and I will continue to acquire each new product when they are available. Thank you Stuart you've made this fan very happy.
Ian Ward writes:
Finally watched all the Dalek productions so far. Superb job, you are a very talented guy.
Took me back to my days of TV21 that’s for sure. Brilliant.
Paul Kalus writes:
Thanks for all the discs... you don't hang about ! I've only watched the first 2 stories as I want to save these as treats to be enjoyed although I am tempted to sit down and watch the lot in one go.
I really like the way the graphics are true to the original drawings - I wasn't sure computer graphics would have the same feel but you've done an excellent job...I'm sold !! The Dalek movement and voices are really oustanding and praise for the human lookalikes and voices (Kest looks a right ugly mug but he's a really faithful rendition).
Also a word for the music...it brings Quatermass to mind and fits in perfectly. Grandiose and booming - you know you're in for something a bit special.
I'm sure you've heard it all before, but CONGRATULATIONS are in order. I could meander on about how good the Daleks look rising out of the sand, how well done the Dalek city is etc., but it's there for all to see.
I'll close by saying a big THANKYOU for all your hard work and I hope to see many more productions in the future.
Now, another favourite coming up...Duel !!
Robert Barclay writes:
Thanks very much for the complete set of Dalek Chronicles you copied for me (episodes 1 to 8).
I loved them!
I meant to pace myself but wound up watching them practically one after another. They're a big nostalgia blast (for someone my age) - and technically admirable - but most of all they are great, entertaining stories! This is obviously due to the quality of the original strips, but also says a lot for the thought that must go into adapting them for video presentation.
For your interest, I found Genesis of Evil, Duel of the Daleks, The Amaryll Challenge and Menace of the Monstrons particularly engrossing. And, at least comparatively, didn't quite get into The Pentaray Factor and Plague of Death quite so much. But since they're all produced to a high technical standard, I'm guessing this is just my personal taste as regards the original stories. I don't know how this will fit with any other feedback you've had, but there it is! And I'd still rather watch any of these Chronicles in preference to much of what's available on commercial DVD...
Geoff Ruzgar writes:
Absolutely fabulous is the only way I can describe them. My 11 and 7 year old daughters are enthralled by them too (just like I was at that age).
Well done and looking forward to future releases.
Martin F writes:
Thanks for the discs which I received on Saturday. All I can say is "Wow". The quality of the animation and the sound is excellent, much better than I anticipated, the production is second to none. I have never seen the original comics, so this is the first time I've seen these stories, which leaves me hungering for more.
Just dropping you a quick line to let you know that I've managed to trawl through all eleven disks already (I was luckily not working today!).
You've done an excellent job in bringing the strips to life, and you've managed to improve the presentation with each subsequent release, which bodes well for the future, and I hope to be viewing the further Dalek Chronicles over the coming years - and I really loved watching the Mechanoids trundling about again :)
On a purely aesthetic note, I prefer the older blue-domed Daleks and Emperor to the newer (movie) type, but we can't have everything in life can we?
Gavin Pelley writes:
Many, many thanks for the last bunch of CDs, they were absolutely amazing... fantastic... superb, what can I say, incredible! You're one talented chap.
Many thanks and keep up the great work. They’re so professional, and really well done.
Many thanks for sending me the next set of four Dalek Chronicles. I watched one CD per weekend (and what hard work it was to wait! lol) and finished watching Eve Of The War on Saturday. When I saw the Zarbi and Menoptra, albeit as photos on a scanner screen, during Menace Of The Monstrons, it took me back to my correspondence to you about creating The Lair Of Zarbi Supremo as a suggestion...lol Any chance of replicating the stories from the Dalek annuals...?
I have to say, and I know I said it before, these productions are truly excellent, but you certainly excelled yourself with Eve Of The War and the re-design of the Daleks! Well done!
I send you my very best wishes and congratulations on a superb series of Dalek stories...
Paul Kalus writes:
Really enjoying the Chronicles ! They seem to be getting better all the time, with more movement and the lip sync adding to the quality.
I like spotting the little touches you've put in and I'm sure I've not seen them all (the Magneton (is it called?) that Zeg takes a pot shot at in the jungle, and the parade of monsters that the Monstrons review on a screen and is that a Terrorkon diving as the Emperor reaches the lake?)
These are a must-see for any Dalek/Who fan, so once again a big thanks for some marvellous adaptations.
By the way, you should definitely audition as a Dalek voice over artist as they sound truly alarming !
Once again...thanks for getting the rest of the Dalek Chronicles vcd's to me.......... they are wicked, top stuff mate! Children of the Revolution discs are ace too !!...Haaaahaaaaaa..... jeez I've got a full week ahead to watch them all!!..... Brill!...............
I can't wait to see the Dalek Killer stuff when that’s done!............... As ever keep up the good work, mate, and have a great week!
Robert Wills writes:
Many thanks for the discs you've sent me. I've watched the first two films and they are fantastic! Great images, great soundtrack. More animation than I expected, even in the human figures. Good voices. I recognise many image arrangements from the comics too.
These are proper Daleks; it was always a great disappointment to me that the Emperor never appeared in Dr Who. How can things with one eye stalk and a sink plunger be so expressive? "We understand oppression" - did the Emperor and his sidekick just give each other knowing looks!? And "Zeg!" - (eye wandering about, not paying attention).
Then the duel. I'm not sure if the idea was in the original comic, but it was just like a Western - brilliant! And when did the Dalek Emperor become a good guy? He must beat Zeg or the Daleks will be finished - and that's a bad thing, right?...
I must go and watch another one now.
You are an artist. I don't know who Absalom Daak is, but I'll be looking out for your next piece of work!
Stephen Phillips writes:
This is to let you know that I received the CDs of Genesis of Evil and Duel of the Daleks safely.
I have watched them and I think they are fantastic! It's hard to believe that this is a 'labour of love' as it's really a professional production. I particularly like Duel of the Daleks. At the start, isn't that Dalek voice which is coming over the tannoy the 'rant' from the last episode of Genesis of the Daleks? I also liked the 'making of' feature which gives an idea of the hard work you have put into it.
I read the comments of Paul Richmond on your website and I agree with every word. I am also in my 40s and can just about remember the first burst of 'Dalekmania'.
Mick Hall writes:
What can I say? Wow!
Even after reading some very favourable reviews on your website, I was still most impressed when viewing the hugely enjoyable Dalek Chronicles - faithfully bringing much loved memories to life. I know a couple of mates of mine will be thrilled when they see these.
Many thanks and please keep going.
Ashley Wilson writes:
Spent all weekend locked in a cupboard watching your 11 discs on the telly.
The initial disc Genesis of Evil was a bit like watching a slide show. The humanoids don’t do much .. they don’t even move their mouths while talking (possibly they’re telepathic?), so it was quite a surprise to discover the Daleks were animated and so much more fun to watch.
Duel of the Daleks was much better, as the still-life humanoids don’t make an appearance. It looked like your first fully animated feature. The only mild disappointment coming with a still snapshot of the red Dalek disappearing into a motionless river.
This is only a mild criticism, however. With each episode the animation then gets better and better. By episode seven the humanoids have developed into fully activated beings that can walk, run and even (more amazingly) talk in time to the soundtrack. It was genuinely professional and as good as anything I see on the Cartoon Network these days.
By episode eight the Daleks have reconstructed themselves into 1960s Cinemascope Daleks, just like in the movies .. And they look superb. The movie Daleks always looked better than their cheaper TV cousins. Terry Nation certainly thought so and kept a collection of cinema Daleks at his home. Russell T. Davies was so impressed by the cinema Daleks he used them as the prototype for the latest BBC TV 2005/2006 series.
I was so impressed with these later episodes of The Dalek Chronicles it came as something of a disappointment when watching Children of the Revolution to find us returned back in time to the old still life humanoid shots again. The whole thing would have been so much better with talking animated humanoids. Still the story was good. Possibly the most mature Dalek comic story of all time, it certainly lives up to its’ reputation, almost Shakespearean in scope. And of course I squealed with delight at the flashback from Evil of the Daleks.
Still I’m surprised by the ending. If these Daleks were truly free, surely Alpha would have stepped down from power and instigated the formation of a republic? Any decisions would then have been made by committee leaving Alpha free to enjoy his well earned retirement (I always doubted his sanity even when I was eight years old). What were these freedoms these model Daleks so cherished? They were led by an autocrat, they were prisoners in their own metal castings, hiding inside a cave from a universe of hate. Small wonder they topped themselves.
Reading your website I understand the upcoming Abslom Daak adventure will be fully animated. Fantastic, I can’t wait. But will the future Rogue Planet, Masters of Luxor and Curse of the Daleks also be fully animated? And would you ever consider revisiting some of your earlier productions to give them the full animated treatment?
Anyway, thank you for a terrific Dalek experience. I felt like I was seven years old all over again.
Just to answer some of the other points raised by other reviewers:
The Daleks were never fast talkers. I think you have the pace just right.
As human beings we focus a lot of attention on the mouth and facial movements. Fully animated talking humanoids hold the attention of even the most perfidious six year old.
The movie Daleks always looked fantastic. Even the Emperor looks impressive in your new Cinemascope makeover.
I doubt the BBC will ever commission these works for broadcast, despite the obvious quality. The BBC would need to enter protracted and ultimately expensive negotiations with the Terry Nation and David Whittaker estates (not to mention the publisher owning the TV21 copyright) for what would become a children’s TV spin off with a relatively small audience. Besides, I doubt if Russell T. Davies, who has full editorial control over Dr Who, would encourage any confusion or overlap with current and future Dalek based storylines.
If you ever run out of Dalek stories, simply look to the classics. Any story with a foolish prince or idiot consort lusting for power will make a great Dalek story .. I Claudius, King Lear, Hamlet, Othello, Richard III can all be suitably adapted for the loveable little pepper pots. Great armies constantly at war, insane emperors jostling for power, slavery, betrayal and deceit on a magnificent scale... Is it ancient Rome or Skaro?
So now I’ve watched all eleven discs it means I‘m going to have to lend them to my mates before watching them all over again. Can’t wait for your next release…
Paul Kalus writes:
Just a line to let you know I've finished watching all the Altered Vistas Dalek VCDs and to say how impressive they are. The quality improved on the later ones (more movement mainly) as you seem to be getting better at making them.
I just hope you don't get tired of making them as they seem to involve a hell of a lot of hard work and planning. Hope the feedback you get is at least a bit rewarding.
Really looking forward to future releases and I wish you every success in whichever direction you take. Once more, a big THANK YOU for all your commendable efforts.
Graeme Davidson writes:
Received the discs on Saturday. What can I say? These productions have greatly exceeded my expectations, you've done an amazing job bringing the comics to life. Thank you and well done to all involved.
Steve Cade writes:
Congratulations to you and the team. This series should be made known to a wider audience. It is a superb piece of work(s). It captures the full evil and fear of the Daleks, and also is far superior to the comics in one way..................... Movement!
Please keep up the great good work and finish the Chronicles, Abslom Daak and the Doctor Who strips as well.
Many thanks for a treasure.
Allan Scott writes:
My son and I just received the two newest Chronicles today. Thanks for being so quick in sending them.
After watching both discs, we must tell you these are the best so far. My son loved the Eve of the War, being a big Mechonoids fan. We can't wait for the next episodes. Really looking forward to Dalek Killer, but most of all Curse of the Daleks as I've never seen this and don't know much about it. Nice to see Masters of Luxor coming out. Can you do missing eps, eg Evil of the Daleks? I'll finish with my usual request: love to see the one with the invisible bird men in, was always my favourite story from the old annuals, and the black and white one with the Mechonoids in their city. Am I greedy or what?! lol, thanks again.
Jonathon Leigh writes:
I have really enjoyed those Dalek discs you did for me. They are absolutely superb! and I think you are a credit to the memory of Terry Nation.
I also got hold of the Daleks' Master Plan (Loose Cannon) which you did some work for which was also great.
Thanks once again.
P.J. Dodd writes:
I received some CD-Rs of the Dalek Chronicles last week from Steve Swales - I remember reading these when I was about 8 or 9 in the '60s, and thinking, even then, how good the artwork was.
The animated versions are excellent - you have kept the look of the original, and are right to use the original scripts - no matter how out of tune with series continuity or how stilted the dialogue in places.
I also have Abslom Daak and Children of the Revolution to watch.
Hugely enjoyable - keep making them!
Mike Daws writes:
The quality of these CD animations is truly amazing. They are fantastic - you really bring those classic comic strips to life!
R.W. Wills writes:
May I say again how much I have enjoyed your Dalek Chronicles. As they go through, it’s astonishing to see how you have refined your technique. The Monstrons even had lip synch! All the way through, I also enjoyed seeing how expressive you had made the Daleks. Was that a knowing look exchanged by Emperor and Black at “We understand oppression”? And the way the Emperor narrows his eye when Zeg says he wants to take over; how can he do that look without eyebrows?
One other highlight was the list of aliens in the Monstrons’ data base: it was fun trying to identify them all! Oh, and the original Doctor Who ending effect seen on the Dalek scanners.
Thanks for all the effort you have obviously put in; you’re an artist.
Gareth Hardy writes:
I am always on the lookout for something different or new in the way of Doctor Who stories (and of course all the other scf-fi/fantasy stuff that I love so much) so naturally when I heard about the fan-made CGI Dalek Chronicles animations, I was intrigued. I have seen fan-made productions in the past and although a lot of hard work has obviously gone into them, they are usually very poor and let you down, so I expected no more of these. Boy, was I wrong?! I was joyously surprised. When I sat down to watch the first few episodes I was blown away. Okay so the animation isn't up there with Star Wars, but who wants Jar Jar BInks? And a couple of the movements were occasionally jerky, but these are nonetheless - astounding!!!!
I find these episodes remind me of the Beast Wars Transformers cartoons of the early/mid 90s.
I honestly can't believe that they aren't more readily available to people. I stopped reading the Doctor Who Magazine several years ago so I don't know if they have ever done an article about them, but they certainly should! They should also offer a free disc with an issue in order to give the fans a taste of what they are missing, like they do with the Big Finish audio plays, I know the Big Finish ones are licensed, but they would be free so I am not sure if that matters.
I haven't got around to watching Abslom Daak or Children of the Revolution yet, but I very much look forward to it! And hurry up with The Masters of Luxor, I remember reading the script and I think it is especially suited to the Altered Vistas treatment.
Here’s to many more adventures to come!
Philip Shaw writes:
Hello to all you hard working guys, (and gals?) at Altered Vistas. Just had to drop a few words of congratulations on your excellent productions. I have received all of them so far bar the new Cyber story Black Legacy which I am sending for soon. You must spend 99% of your time chained to the computer because the computer graphics are astounding, you must really like the Daleks, not only to find productions to feature them prominently, but also the time and love lavished on the CGI work. Your Dalek Chronicles work is superb, you keep strictly and faithfully to the original script, but embellish with little touches that are endearing to sci fi fans without detracting from the narrative. Two examples come readily to mind, the console flashing images of aliens to the Monstrons, including the Mekon and the creature from the black lagoon, and I laughed out loud at the Thunderbirds homage in Archives of Phryne.
My favourite stories are those that feature the Daleks more heavily such as Duel of the Daleks, Plague of Death and the brilliant Eve of the War. Being a long term Doctor Who fan I loved all the Mechanoid stuff. The CGI humanoid characters have come on leaps and bounds also, lip synch is impressive on the Menace of the Monstrons especially. Also the music is an outstanding contribution to the episodes, from the unbelievably appropriate opening Quatermass to the incidental tracks so wonderfully highlighted in the Mutant audio CD.
I look forward to your other productions with an eager interest, it’s such a shame your hard work isn’t rewarded financially due to copyright infringement, as I’m very sure that myself and other fans of your work would willingly purchase your excellent productions. Keep up the hard work, because I’m sure it is. From a very pleased fan, all the very best.
James Barnes writes:
I'm James and I live in Atlanta, Georgia USA. I'm a huge fan of The Dalek Chronicles and I'm enamoured with all of your marvellous works. I think you do simply the best Dalek renders around. I've even got all your DC wallpapers circulating as a slideshow on my screensaver! The Dalek Chronicles are just about the coolest thing that ever existed on the Earth, in my opinion. I love the color palette that 60's mod sci-fi seems to use - rich blues and metallics - it just sends my heart longing for bygone visions of the future that you just don't see anymore. Some of the Gerry Anderson shows do that to me too. (It's no small wonder that The Dalek Chronicles were originally featured in TV Century 21!)
Anyway, that's one reason why I love what Altered Vistas is doing. It's the only way in the world that my personal nostalgia frontier continues to expand! Nothing else even comes close. I especially adore the Emperor. Every time I see the Golden Emperor my eyes just bug with wonder and I just drift into space. I think he's so neat!
Okay, I'll try to stop gushing now. :-)
Mark Oliver writes:
I recently came across your post on the Loose Cannon website that this title was available and I have to admit that this was the first I had heard of Altered Vistas here in New York.
David Bertagni very kindly sent me copies of Black Legacy, Eve of War and The Archives of Phyrne which I received today.
I’ve just watched the first two and they are quite amazing. The adaptations are superb as are the production values. I am particularly engrossed in The Dalek Chronicles and will sit down to watch the next chapter in a bit.
David has already kindly agreed to record the others for me.
I just wanted to thank you, not only for the hard work and dedication you so clearly put into these but for making them so widely available to everyone.
Mark Greenwood writes:
Just a note to say thank you for The Dalek Chronicles.
I came across your website late last year and ordered The Dalek Chronicles.
They are superbly created and are giving me an enormous amount of viewing pleasure.
Thank you for the care and the very high standard of the work.
Keith of Whotopia writes:
I have just watched the final Dalek Chronicles VCD that I ordered from Steve Swales and thought you would be interested in what I thought of them.
I have to be honest and say when I asked Steve to copy all nine episodes, along with Black Legacy, I did not really know what to expect. But what I got from the first few seconds onwards was fantastic.
I like the intro (music and video) and am pleased that you have kept it constant through all nine Dalek Chronicle episodes.
The time and effort you must have all put into it must be huge - but what a result. I can't wait to see more - and I gather you are doing The Curse of the Daleks and The Masters of Luxor. "Fantastic," as the Ninth Doctor would say...
There is only one thing that did not seem right and that was the motion of the humanoid characters - especially the Cybermen. Don't take this as a criticism as I could not do better and it must be very difficult to reproduce the human motion of walking. The Daleks though are spot on and the Dalek voices are, in my opinion, better than those in the Big Finish CD's and even the TV show.
Keep up the good work.
Bill Everatt writes:
Just received the first two discs of the TV21 adaptations. To be honest, I did not know what to expect, as my introduction to CGI has been films like Final Fantasy, and TV programmes like Dan Dare, Starship Troopers and Captain Scarlet [series 2 and 3]. These are productions that have millions of pounds lavished on them, and use banks of computers to render and animate the images.
However, your material can definitely hold its own, and I was pleasantly surprised. The music is of excellent quality, and the images capture the spirit of the TV21 artwork. I notice, as the series progresses, there is a lot more animation, and it just gets better and better. Your work is a fitting tribute to the much lamented TV21.
I'm going to collect the whole series!
Alex Farley writes:
It's taken me a while to send you some feedback - but firstly thanks. For making these, and making them available. I got the first four Dalek Chronicles in one go and watched them over a couple of weeks. I've got to say they are very impressive, and I enjoyed them all. It was fascinating to see the improvements between the stories, and I will certainly be getting in touch for more soon. Parts 3 (Zeg) & 4 (Amaryll) particularly stood out. Not just in terms of animation, but also a number of great vocal performances. The music for The Amaryll Challenge created a wonderful atmosphere, and there was some especially good artwork for the planet’s landscapes, and plant-life. Alvega looked superb, and the cliff-hanger was great too! The way it's been adapted works very well, so hats off to you on that one. It's a first rate production and my favourite so far.
And the extras are great too. Loved the music vid, and the anatomy of a Dalek, plus the added insight in the 'making of' one.
The more I think about it I'm really looking forward to more. So thanks again, you're doing a great job. I'm really interested to see what the most recent stories are like compared to these.
Joseph Culp writes:
Thank you for you and your co-workers putting together your excellent productions. I sent away for 1 copy of each of the available productions from Altered Vistas and I am highly please. No offence to other people out there, but what I saw so far is the best in fandom. You guys rock!
Darren Vye writes:
Fantastic stuff! Watched them all. The Daleks at their best, cold cruel and absolute gits. This work definitely rivals the BBC's work and quality of the Daleks from 1963 till the Daleks now with Doctor 10.
The extras are great; love the Interview with the Dalek; a good laugh, Abslom Daak cool and spot on loved Black Legacy. Would like to see more Cybermen stories please. Tell me if something is planned anytime. Looking forward to Impasse. When the Dalek Chronicles from the comic strip finish, are there any plans to carry it on? It would be good if possible.
Bryan Simcott writes:
Having seen the first two discs, I was not only amazed at the quality but even more so by the whole standard and imagination of the project. I am a simple soul and am no good with technology, but to see the printed page come alive with so much thought and style was breathtaking.
I would imagine it takes weeks if not months to get from a script to a story board and then onto the project itself... My mind boggles at the work that has to be done and the different strands that have to come together. I saw a Making Of on one disc, but this in no way scratched the surface of the standard of work that is shown within the episodes.
I only wish I could do something to help as these really are top class products and not simply fan made projects. Here’s to the whole series being a massive success.
(I really cannot wait to see and hear The Masters of Luxor as its one of my fave "missing adventures" )
Best wishes to all.
Gennaro Gregory writes:
For a very long time I have been really interested in your productions. I remember looking at the various parts of the site, laughing at the occasional joke, and staring at awe in the pics.
Then, after a while of waiting for enough episodes to order at once, I finally placed an order. When I did receive them, wow - was I blown away! The effort and time you must have put into it alone really amazed me, I know what computer imagery and animation is like. Then came the dialogue and visuals, great effects and beautiful loyalty to the original strip. I really think you have done the original chronicles every bit of justice they deserve. I really, really enjoyed them.
But then came the day when I found out that you could be cancelling future productions. I really don't want your amazing productions to stop, especially the Dalek Chronicles. I have enjoyed them immensely and want to see the last few episodes brought to life. I know you can't continue without more reviews but for what its worth, I would love to see you continue your good work.
Andrew Scott writes:
Firstly, I would like apologise for not e mailing my sincerest thanks for all the hard work you are doing with the altered vistas site.
I have been regularly enjoying the releases and looking forward to each new one. I do think we have taken you for granted, perhaps sometimes without really meaning to.
The work you have done is of such a high standard that they could be an official release. The fact that it isn't and you get no renumeration for the time and effort is such a great shame.
I am sorry to hear that you have become disheartened with the lack of reveiws and that you may be stopping production.
I and a friend of mine will be very dissapointed as we have received each new release with all the excitement of any other official Doctor Who release.
I just hope that all the rest of the people who have enjoyed your work will take the time to let you know.
Doctor Who is such a beloved programme. I thank you for being a part of that great instituition and for all the hard work you have done.
Joseph Culp writes:
I would like to say that Altered Vistas Productions are the best fan produced products out there.
The Dalek Chronicles are suspensful, colorful and are better than the Magna rubbish out there on a so-called Cartoon Network. I enjoy them as much as I do watching The Batman on CW!, which is the only cartoon I follow. Stuart Palmer has the Dalek voices down to an art. Can't wait till he gets to do Davros! I recommend even watching these with your wee ones as the violence is kept to a bare minimum compared with the Pokemon, Yugi-go crap.
Abslom Daak-Dalek Killer - Wow! This is my favorite production AV has done! Suspenseful, witty and action packed.
A word on the extras - Wow, they are so varied and are much much better than some you get on professional DVDs in the stores.
Folks, don't be ignorant how I was, i.e. just because we get blessed with these productions for free (yes, they are free, all you do is provide the disks and the postage and mailer) you can't complain for the quality and man you get quality - the best fan produced items out there!
Lee Catigen-Cooper writes:
After being a fan of Doctor Who and all things related, I was immediately interested when I discovered your site. However; like, no doubt, many fans I had some concerns. Was the animation of good quality? They are basically free, what is the catch? Would this in some way ruin my appreciation of these old comic strips? etc. But after reading the other reviews, I decided to take the effort and send away for the first two stories in the Dalek Chronicle Series: Genesis of Evil and Power Play.
And after now receiving and watching both stories I can honestly say that all of the reviews that say this work is of exceptional quality are right. They are quite simply Brilliant. They capture the true spirit of the original strips and do them more justice than most so-called animation houses would give them. Keep up the exceptional work and I look forward to my next discs.
Ross Simpson writes:
Thank you so much for bringing to screen so professionally the marvelous 60s' Dalek Chronicles series.
When I stumbled upon your site Altered Vistas last year by accident (googled "Dalek" and followed the links) I was amazed that these existed; reading the reviews there inspired me to immediately order each of the VCDs you'd thus far produced (and have subsequently ordered the remaining). My partner and I sat and watched all twelve discs the day they arrived!
Working occasionally with computer graphics (Quark/Final Cut etc) for work I realised whilst watching these the enormous amount of time and effort you must have put into producing them.It must take you months for each. If you animate professionally as well, how do you find the passion to do it recreationally as well?
I hope that you continue to be inspired by the abundant Dalek material in print and perhaps even create some new material for the Daleks to keep returning (especially with the BBC only giving us an occasional outing with them). Perhaps they can commission you to animate some of the lost episodes ala Cosgrove Hall's recent Invasion release.
Mark Evans writes:
Just wanted to say a huge thank you for the set of AV VCDs sent to me by one of your dubbers (Steven Norris) last week.
All that I can say is “WOW”. I have been involved in Doctor Who stuff since I joined DWAS in 1981 so have perhaps got a bit jaded about the prospect of more fan made films. However, I always try to get copies of new ones just to check them out.
I was googling “Absolm Daak” (don’t’ ask!) and came across reference to your movies. Tracked down copies and sat and watched them all last week. Can sum up my feeling as follows—Simply the best thing to hit Doctor Who fandom since the Telesnap Reconstructions in the 1990s. Watching them as a big fan of the original Dalek strip, was a pure pleasure. Once I had seen the fist one there was a big smile on my face as I knew I was in for something special. Three nights and fifteen discs later I have the same big grin on my face at the prospect of 1) watching them all again and 2) recommending them to others. Just a class act from start to finish. At no point did these look like amateur productions, the picture quality and sound started off well with the first release and just got better and better and better. The animations, particularly those in the Dalek City, were outstanding. The sound and music were very professional and I wish now that I had asked for the music discs too.
As regards story, given the compact nature of the original one page strips Stuart Palmer has done an excellent job in adapting and fleshing them out. They really worked as fully rounded mini movies rather than what could have been a sort of talking comic strip in the wrong hands. The other discs were no less fascinating. The adaptation of Children Of The Revolution was stunning. The guy who did the Paul McGann impression deserves an Oscar. He sounded more like McGann than the man himself does.
The first (I hope) Absolm Daak story was every bit as well done as the main chronicles. Loved the way Daak comes on screen about three minutes after the movie ends to advertise the upcoming Star Tigers adaptation. Finally the Cyberman story showed that Stuart’s talents extend far beyond the boundaries of Skaro. Once again, great version of the story and excellent use of sound effects and music.
Also must recommend the high quality Extras which appear on most discs. Far better quality than on most DVDs you would buy professionally. Must single out the Dalek Stripper. It gave me the best laugh I have had for years.
I don’t have a tenth of the talent or ability that Stuart clearly has and I can only wish him well in his career (as long as he completes the Dalek Chronicles (and Star Tigers!) first.). I would recommend these discs to anyone, Doctor Who fan or not.
Thank you Stuart, you have made my year. I really hope you get to finish these projects. Best of luck for the future.
Jacob Duffell (aged 9) and his brother and Dad write:
The Dalek chronicles are the best!!!
The Daleks are the latest with awesome 3-D animation! The foes that they have to put up with are totally fantastic. Who knew there was a Dalek would challenge the Emperor? The extras are funny as well, such as: the Dalek stripper; a message from Skaro and the Blackpool exhibition!
I’ve been to Blackpool myself with my family on my birthday in 2005!
And a great thank you to Stuart via Altered Vistas!
GENERAL REVIEWS UPDATE 2008
In order to complete my latest (catch-up) batch of AV-reviews i rewatched the entire prior collection to get a fix on the relativities of the original reviews vis-à-vis my recent perspectives
One overall point I've noted is the sheer consistency of style and production-values that Stuart has maintained across The Dalek Chronicles output. Apart from the constant development of technique & technicalities over the series there is no distinctive indication that would reveal that the creation of this corpus has taken place over more than half a decade. The proof of this lies in the distinctly different style, mood, tone & lighting to be found in his non-TDC stories ('CotR'; 'AD:DK'; 'B.L.' & the two new shows) – which shows that Stuart has a clear idea of what constitutes the TDC 'atmosphere' and characterisations.
I've also gained a new appreciation of the contributions of the AV'Stable' of VoiceActors as well as Stuart Palmer's editing-skills in the way he has made use of those performances. It is always worth remembering that not only is this amazingly-ambitious project being done as a Labour-of-Love, one that demonstrates what can be achieved by a motivated creator in today's home-production environment, but also showcases a particularly diversified creative-talent – especially given the range of 'production-Hats' he successfully dons in order to pull all this together!
Even the challenge of the increasingly slight plotting & Narrative of the latter TDC-stories is being bravely met with (usually)successful extensions of dialogue and (sometimes)less-so drawing-out of scenes to stretch the episode-length. However, i'd suggest that, remembering that these are Free, there is in fact No obligation to provide any particular 'standard'(or-approximated)episode-length and that even if one tale ends up only 10-minutes long, it is better that that story be well-paced and short rather than 'padded' or (overly) mucked-about-with. As long as there's a Bonus Extra Feature or two to go with it then there's no reason for complaint about timing!
'Impasse' for one could do with some speeding-up at a few points.
If the remaining half-dozen stories can benefit from this perspective it may also slightly lessen the production-pressure on Stuart, which in turn may allow just that much more energy to keep the standard at least as high as the earlier stories diligently-set*.
[* see the very first two in particular for examples of the amount of effort-of-detail Stuart lavished on them in comparison to the lesser-investment revealed in some of the more recent ones... ]
It may also help ward-off any creeping haste that will temptingly arise as the End Draws Nigh compounded by the growing attraction for his Other Projects plus the 'creative'distraction of a growing Professional involvement with Animation Work.
It is worth remembering that, over five years ago, when Stuart embarked upon this remarkable and significantly personalife-dominating course, the timescale for the completion of this 'Hobby-work' must have appeared daunting. But now, that time has passed (shockingly fast) and it is worth taking a more relaxed view to the next few years in which this Epic Project will be completed. It is Not a "lot of time" and it will zoom by (as it does) and haste or impatience can be allowed no bearing on this consideration without being a Betrayal of the Work (for which the Penalty is of course Extermination!).
Besides, as slim as these last stories are, and so slight may be their plots, the visual feast that they became instead (along with the increasing abstraction of Ron Turner's artwork) would be worth making the Production-focus of these as Stuart's skills & tools evolve towards more 'arty' animation at the climax.
Andrew Parkhouse writes:
You probaibly won't remember me, but last August, you transferred the whole then urrent productions of The Dalek Chronicles as well as Children of The Revolution along with Black Legacy and Abslam Daak. Then in October you did The Terrorkon Harvest along with the two music CD's Mutant & Vortex.
I have hugely enjoyed these and have also given copies to my brother Ian. Ian is much older than myself and has Downs Syndrome. He has been a lifelong Doctor Who fan. In fact to a large extent his life revolves around his vast collection of tapes, DVD's, CD's, and Doctor Who merchandise. He has an almost encyclopaedic knowledge of all things Doctor Who.
So, as he had no knowledge of The Dalek Chronicles on the Internet (although he does have all the original TV 21st Century comics with the stories in) I knew he would love these films. And I was not wrong. He even has some of his friends over to watch them with him from time to time.
One weekend, we had a Dalek Chronicles fest where friends and families were invited over to watch all the stories back-to-back, and on the Sunday we had them role playing their favourite characters from the stories (you have never seen such funny Daleks) in a small playlet Ian and I had written. Everyone enjoyed themselves and have even asked to do it again!
So you have our sincere thanks for all yours and the people behind Altered Vistas efforts in producing the films.
Tony Sullivan writes:
I have recently received Genesis of Evil and Duel of the Daleks.
Upon watching Genesis of Evil I was instantly transported back in time to when I was a young excited kid reading TV21 for the first time.
The duel between Zeg and the Emperor Dalek (Duel of the Daleks) was always my favourite story in the Dalek Chronicles. My friend Andy cut the pictures of Zeg, the Emperor and the black Dalek out of the comic and stuck them on to his bedroom door. They remained there until his parents sold their house back in the late 1990's. (must have been bought by a Dr Who fan).
Watching this story come to life on my TV was an absolutely amazing experience.
Keep up the fantastic work.
Tony Holt writes:
I have just received the whole range of Altered Vistas productions. May I say it was an excellent service - I got them back within four days.
The productions were brilliant - really sharp images and great sound - I have to turn my telly down when the Daleks speak - and great music. I like the opening to each story. Well done Altered Vistas on a fantastic series. I’m looking forward to more.
Paul Mohamed writes:
Finally gotten through the complete collection that you sent me and there's no words to express my wonder!
They are awesome! They are the most impressive productions I've ever seen - far superior to the BBC spin off rubbish. Thank you ever so much for these items of sheer pleasure and my sincere praise for Stuart Palmer and the rest of the crew at Altered Vistas for giving us the fans better than we could ever imagine.
Very best and sincere thanks again.
Art Retallick writes:
Watching these Dalek Chronicles is great; feels like a Saturday morning cartoon series I missed out on. It's a bit different. I wasn't sure what to make of a series about the exploits of villains, rather than heroes. However, I must say these evil lil creatures grow on you. We get to see they have their own problems to contend with as they try to build their lil empire.
In The Amaryll Challenge their city is still in the works, but they are rather quick to stick their fingers, er, claws in the fan as they tackle the long arduous task of space flight.
In The Menace of the Monstrons the Dalek city has grown bigger and is becoming a beautiful piece of architecture. We even get to see a brave Dalek who just doesn't give up.
The Pentaray Factor was very amusing. Sort of a combination of Trojan Horse and Chicken Little. These Daleks are very conniving little trouble-makers whose egos exceed the cans they live in.
Yes, go get your hands on these CDs, they are interesting to watch and the soundtrack for them is a nice touch
David Hopkinson writes:
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your excellent work. I have just viewed my first batch of CDs and they are very very very good. They bring back my youth, waiting for TV Comic to be in the shops, and watching the very first Doctor Who story all those years ago on my gran’s TV. And that make's me feel old!
Art Retallick writes:
Just received the rest of the Dalek Chronicles episodes. I really enjoyed the story Impasse. Robot Agent 2K must have been the most polite and dignified Robot I ever seen, even while undercover.
Abslom Daak, reminded me of Demolition Man and Riddick, but was written many years before. I must be honest and state the story didn't do much for me. Nothing to do with action, as there was plenty of that. I think it just made the Daleks look like keystone cops rather than the malevolent creatures of conquest I had grown accustomed to... others may enjoy this character, but I'll stick to my favourite 'ego's in a can. :)
Then this episode, Invasion from Space. I was surprised to see the original gangster himself, the 1st Doctor, William Hartnell, as I had gotten used to Daleks and their theme song. Voiced by Jonathan Redwood; I think he did a fair job portraying Hartnell's mannerisms.
The story is intriguing. We see a typical 'been there, done that', Dr. Who with some companions he doesn't quite relish the company of. At first I thought it was Jamie from the 2nd Doctor but it was some other highlander in a skirt, since he had a wife and 2 kids as well.
The story is eerie and picks up gradually and we begin to see a rather nervous Dr. Who as he discovers how advanced these aliens are. They are so powerful and confident they even allow the Doctor to operate his TARDIS. The Doctor begins to have self-doubt and even questions his own motives. Surprise ending however very plausible after learning about these beings and their history.
I really liked this story, as I wasn't sure how it was going to conclude.
Dave Gilgun writes:
I ordered the complete set of the Dalek Chronicles and found them to be an example of fan boy productions at their best!
Some of the storylines are a bit bizarre but some are brilliant; especially episode three where the red Dalek takes on the Emperor! The CGI animations are generally good although some of the early productions have static humanoid characters. The Daleks themselves are excellent and the Chronicles are something that any Dalek fan will enjoy.
Guy Newmountain writes:
I've just watched Children of the Revolution, Emissaries of Jevo and Star Tigers for the first time. Giving you my comments on the former title first...
Don't take anything I say personally - in fairness, I think it's unfortunate I didn't get to see this at the time of its release (my fault totally, for focusing on the Chronicles, that period in the comic strips was never much of a favourite for me!) - because the slickness of execution that we're now accustomed to via more recent releases is somewhat in contrast to the more static shots in this one. And the Doctor's voice, well I'm sorry but that was just weird, peculiarly dead in certain sentences and with unnecessary urgency or emphasis in others! The story concept of the 1967 "friendly" Daleks was interesting and Izzy I thought was well-represented - and, as usual, the most important Dalek shots themselves were faultless, I was blown away as always by their realism and the lighting, also enjoyed the exhibition glimpses in the extras.
As for the last two titles - just stunning... Star Tigers in particular. The neon lighting on Paradise and the streets full of classic Doctor Who aliens were pure joy to behold, great fun to see how many I could spot (and hope you don't get into trouble with the Star Wars ones!) I do not get much time these days to work on my own ridiculously crude low-res 2D Amiga animation project, but having last year faced the challenge of creating and then positioning twenty-eight different Anim-brushes of different sea creatures within just a ten-second sequence, yet with the need to ensure a clear glimpse of each of them within that time, I have more than a passing acquaintance with the problems you must have encountered! The Making Of documentary was therefore a fascinating insight (although I am sure whatever software you use must have a fairly long learning curve?!) The whole production was so lovingly faithful to the original comic strip I read as a fourteen-year-old, right down to the sexy secretary and the droid tik-tok ‘don't leave me here...!’ So nostalgic, and the planet Dispater, the sunsets, everything, were flawless... That shot of the approaching row of Daleks rivalled - perhaps even surpassed - even the most fondly- remembered and menacing BBC cliff-shot silhouettes in Genesis itself. Brilliant work, Stuart - and Iooking forward to the final Dalek Chronicle.
Briony Young writes:
I've just received The Pentaray Factor, The Plague of Death, The Terrorkon Harvest and The Emissaries of Jevo. The Pentaray Factor is very clever, The Plague of Death is fantastic, and very well done, The Terrorkon Harvest is REALLY REALLY REALLY goooooooood! The Terrorkon Harvest's music is really quite good! Emissaries of Jevo is very detailed.
How do you do it? I'm rubbish at CGI (yes I HAVE tried it) and it's amazingly mind-boggling that you could bring the old comics back to life!
P.S. I was drinking a glass of summer fruits juice when I discovered Altered Vistas, and, ever since, summer fruits has been Dalek flavour!
Steve Williams writes:
The CDs sat on my desk for a year, because I hate watching stuff on the computer. Then I read something on the website that made me stop and think - surely not! In a DVD player!? Really?
Wot a silly billy I have been (may not be the exact words I used).
We now have all that are available and have only Star Tigers 2 left to watch. What a thoroughly enjoyable time it's been for my wife and myself, doubly for me as it's a wave of nostalgia. I used to read the Dalek strip first in TV21, and was overjoyed when the Chronicles were reprinted in Graphic Novel form a few years ago.
You've done a superb job with the adaptations - I'd echo all the plaudits that so many others have given, and am eagerly looking forward to the next releases.
Hokay. I just sent in a review, but now I've seen Star Tigers 2!
What fun spotting the creatures and characters in THE scene! Mechonoids; R2D2; K9; 4th Doctor and TARDIS; Ogron; humanoid Dalek; Trod; Quark; Cybermen; prototype Dalek; and others that, three or four glasses of wine later, have slipped into oblivion. We rewound and watched four times to try and pick up all the references, but we probably missed a few. Cat people?
And then there was the Health & Safety Certificate on the wall of the kill-room! Lol!!
The love for the source material, and the fun you have adapting it, Stuart, shines like a beacon. Long may Altered Vistas continue!
Jonathan Dabinett writes:
I never was much of a reader (as I suck at reading and writing) therefore I did not know the stories of the Dalek Chronicles. I have discovered these comic book stories solely through AV and loved every second of the Daleks development, from the all brain creatures crawling in to the Kaled war machines, the Emperor’s struggle to stay in charge, the big push into space, and then the conflict with other races as well as the elements of the universe.
Sixteen totally fresh and gripping instalments which I completely enjoyed, and if it wasn't for everyone at AV putting in all their hard work animating, voice acting and organising DVD extras, the whole Dalek Chronicle series would have passed me by without me noticing it.
Thank you to everyone at Altered Vistas, you all are Fantastic.
Kenneth McKee writes:
I have to congratulate you on your entire adaptation of The Dalek Chronicles. As a fan of the Daleks since their inception back in the 60’s, both on TV and in TV21, I have thoroughly enjoyed your breathing new life into these stories, as well as all the extra features that you have added along the way. I commend your dedication to your art and applaud your high production standards in producing a very professional product.
Thanks again for this fine series.
Dan Lupton writes:
Since I received the balance of The Dalek Chronicles from Steve, I’ve been enjoying a veritable film fest, rationing myself to one or two episodes a night. Astounding effort from you guys. Fantastic the way the quality improves from Eve of War onwards with lip sync’ and animation. Totally compulsive viewing for an old Dalek fan.
Just love the way the Daleks are centre stage throughout in the chronicles with the reader and now the viewer rooting for them and all their villainy. Hate the way the Doctor consigns them to oblivion with some quick fix in Doctor Who. Your production benefits from being from the Daleks’ viewpoint, after all it’s not the Doctor but the monsters that we watch Doctor Who for. Brilliant work guys!!!!