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   Emissaries of Jevo Reviews

Please review this production! Please send all reviews to the usual address: empire639@msn.com.

Last update: 6 August 2012

 Steve Herbert writes:

Emissaries of Jevo sure packs a punch and possibly is Stuart’s best yet. Well, we say that every release and for good reason, because every time Stuart takes it on himself to bring all these stories alive, he achieves this a hundred percent every time.

As in Star Tigers, the animation and the lip sync are better than ever. And there are so many wonderful moments; the movement of Daleks, spaceships amd Jevo's emissaries are outstanding. My favourite moment is one of real impact, which just shows how far Stuart has improved his trade over the years. Stuart always adds something extra to the productions, little nods to other Sci Fi favourites - well there’s one more of those moments here, so look out for it.

Also yet again there’s extras galore. There’s an excellent look at Earls Court's Doctor Who Exhibition, some great extraordinary samples of Ron Turner’s incredible artwork in comic books over the years, a fitting tribute to a true Legend. Another short animated funny from Stuart in The Littlest Dalek, you’ll love it, it’s cute and wickedly funny! And finally, Frazer Hines stellar single from 1968 Who's Doctor Who.

Now sit down, relax. load the CD and sit back and enjoy another treat from the legendary Stuart Palmer.

 Kevin Turner writes:

This story is one of the better stories, in my opinion. It has the Daleks in true form. The animation is superb, as is the acting from the voice actors. Loved the part where the Daleks were checking through their data banks for known spaceships - nice touch with a certain ship. This has to be the best production so far, good story and great animation. It’s one of those that really flows and is ultra enjoyable.

The extras are, as per usual, very entertaining. The Earls Court exhibition is most interesting to me as, since I now live in the USA, I cannot get to see these, so thanks for making that possible. Well filmed. I think Roger filmed it, if so thanks Roger. The Ron Turner special brought back fond memories of my youth and actually reading those comics. The Littlest Dalek is incredible. My wife doesn't always get to see these discs but she really enjoyed this one and burst out laughing at the final outcome of the Littlest Dalek. Finally, Who's Doctor Who. At first I thought it was Herman's Hermits singing this one, I had forgotten about Frazer’s rendition. Really glad you put this on the disc.

All in all, this is a splendid release. This year has seen a whole lot of releases from Altered Vistas, so keep up the good work and my thanks, congratulations and blessings to all your team.

Thanks again.

 Trevor Sproston writes:

I’ve just had the privilege of watching AV’s latest offering, The Emissaries of Jevo.  I actually made notes during it!  Here they are.

The Emissaries of Jevo

Nice expository opening sets the scene well.

Loved the humour when the Daleks try to identify the Jevan/Jevonian ship - all sorts of sci-fi classic vessels appear. Good fun.

Some lovely sweeping viewpoint panning.

The rendering on the Emperor is beautiful, giving real depth.

The magnetrap capture sequence is very dramatically presented – lovely to look at!

Dramatic viewpoint angles on the human characters – very cinematic.

The rendering and lip synch on the human characters is first rate.  Expressions are much more convincing.

When Captain Kirid is surrounded by Daleks during his interrogation – very menacing.  Good dramatic tension.

Emperor’s ship design well chosen, as it reflects the design of the ship used by the Starmaker characters for their escape in The Road to Conflict – nice continuity.

Nicely dramatic chase sequence on Arides, but would have liked to see the frame where Ron Turner has the damaged ship attacking the Daleks.  This would have added more poignancy, and made the ending more dramatic. Why not use the “Death of Heroes” frame as the inspiration?  The end of the chase lost some of its impact there.

Would have preferred the Emperor’s final speech to have been presented as his thoughts, rather than spoken out loud. In the original, the Daleks at the controls look round to the Emperor, obviously rejoicing at their victory. The Emperor, though, to me seems more circumspect, as if harbouring a doubt.

All in all, a short story, given an epic treatment.

Thank you Stuart et al.

Earl’s Court 2008 feature.

A nice impressionistic tour of this event, very comprehensive.  Were it not for the low definition, I don’t think I could have gained much by actually going to  it.  Thank you Roger Smith.

The Art of Ron Turner

This is a delightful presentation of Ron Turner’s artwork. For me, he’s the Dalek artist par excellence, even if he did play with stylistic consistency. It shows his versatility in covers for practical magazines (both for technical accuracy and when he needed to ‘sex up’ the editorial content to sell the magazine), and his sci-fi mag covers, that would have brightened up many a 50’s and 60’s newsagent’s shelf. The accompanying soundtrack of two obscure Dalek tunes ‘enhances the viewing experience’.

The Littlest Dalek

A delightful little animation in which a baby plays at being a Dalek in a cardboard box, and encounters a real one, which he destroys with an egg whisk.  How he achieves this presents certain technical problems, but I suppose it could be taken as an allegory of the power of human imagination to conquer the forces of oppression.

Then again, perhaps not.

Nice soundtrack.

Who’s Doctor Who

Frazer Hines singing a song, over a presentation of John Canning artwork.

The artwork’s better than the song.

 Roger Smith AKA Black Dalek writes:

Well what can you say? Stuart has only gone and done it again - Emissaries of Jevo is yet again a step up from the last production.

The lip syncing is so impressive now, and along with the facial moments are amazing.

I adore the spaceship recognition scene, so many early memories of films and TV shows I watched as a child. Brilliant.

We have all come a long way with Stuart over the years. I do sometimes wonder if Stuart knows how much he is appreciate by us all and if we sometimes forget just how rare Stuart is.

I have seen loads of Dalek animations on the web, some a few seconds long, some a few minutes. But with Stuart you get the whole package, complete productions. I do not know of anyone else doing this. Quite a lot Talk the Talk but only Stuart can Walk the Walk.

Not only do we get full productions, but they all come with amazing extras. This time is no exception.

The work he has done with my raw footage is incredible. That was one big exhibition (well over one hour of footage). Yet I do not feel you are missing anything. Okay, there are some big displays on how they make things but they all have representations in there - and my apologies for the Sontarans, I guess my arm way getting tired by then as I do all my filming freehand. Helps in getting high to get over peoples heads but the drawback is your arm does get tired now and again.

A big thanks to Stuart for the Hitchcock moment and, best of al,l the end credits. How do I thank someone for such a thank you, having the end credits roll as the BLACK DALEK is rotating was just perfect. Bought a big smile to my face. Could you get a bigger thank you? I think not, so thanks again, Stuart.

Moving on. I just love Ron Turner’s artwork, so any chance to see something new is most welcome and I love the tracks. I’ve  had them for a while now, they are so cranky.

The Littlest Dalek, what can you say........ BRILLIANT Why Oh Why 2|Entertain do not use you for Easter Eggs is beyond me.

As for Who’s Doctor Who... Well, needless to say anything to do with Pat gets my vote as he is my Doctor and always will be, I even like Frazer’s song, so there!

Last of all, and this is the sad part, as Stuart’s excellent trailer shows, we are coming to an end of this wonderful adventure with the Daleks. We will never again get to see the Daleks so dark and devious powerful. It’s the end, but I hope Stuart has prepared for it.

10/10

Sort of looking forward to the next production, but knowing it is the last gives it a tinge of sadness. But whatever Stuart does after, he will always get my full backing with animations or just helping on the web site. Stuart for me will always be one of the unsung heroes of Doctor Who.

 David Backhouse writes:

Just finished watching the latest DC (Yes! This morning!!).

Wow, the animation just gets better as technology/software moves on, but is the quality getting worse? I seem to be seeing more artefacting these days than before. Is it because there is more going on in the picture and VCD has a limited set bitrate?

Such a shame you can't stick them on DVD to keep the original quality :(

I can't believe there's only one more to go. I hope it's not too long before it comes, and then you can take a well deserved rest for a day or two before ringing Tom Baker up and asking is he'd like to do a VO for your next animation of The Iron Legion. LOL ;-)
 
Thanks again from those of us in Sheffield who just can't get enough Daleks! :)

 Robert Barclay writes:

As always, first of all thanks to Colin for lightning-fast, no-trouble turnaround!

Well, what to say about Emissaries of Jevo? As a comic strip, I have to admit it's not one of my favourites - after some years I've come to realise that I like it when the Daleks are up against it and, weirdly, you're rooting for them; or they're being thoroughly evil but carrying out some cunning plan. In this story they just seem to be a bit rotten for the sake of it!

But as for this adaptation of the story - really great! The low-key music sets off the slightly doomy atmosphere of the story; the animation of the humanoid characters - whether walking or talking - is the best yet; and the use of reflections, especially in the Emperor Dalek's shiny casing, is really effective. My favourite moment is probably when the Daleks' magnetic beams are bringing the spaceship down to the surface of Skaro. It's a striking image from the strip, and seeing it brought to life - with lines of Dalek saucers in the orange sky - is inexplicably lovely and evocative of my misspent youth reading TV21  Comics.

(I realise using the phrase "inexplicably lovely" makes me sound like Stephen Fry, but there we are!)

Anyway, I'm really looking forward to the final instalment of the Dalek Chronicles. I used to worry about how well it would work as CGI, given the prominence of the human characters in it, but seeing what you've done with Emissaries of Jevo, I don't think there's anything to fret about. Except what to look forward to when the Chronicles are all done...

 David Barnes writes:

I received my copy of AV23 yesterday. Another exceptionally good video up to your usual high standards of production. Many thanks for the effort that everyone at Altered Vistas puts into these. The Daleks look fantastic in Movie Style, and the Emperor as scheming as ever.

I especially liked the scene where the Daleks were identifying the craft on their scanner screen, and it ran through showing the Jupiter 2, the saucer from The Day the Earth Stood Still, a Martian machine from The War of the Worlds, as well as the TARDIS. A lovely touch. Once again, thanks for your efforts.

 John Anderson writes:

Just a short note to record my appreciation for the two CDs that arrived today (Emissaries of Jevo and Warmonger).

My son (who has collected faithfully every Altered Vista production since the first) thoroughly enjoyed it and really found the extras excellent.

Once again Altered Vistas have raised their own high standards to new level of professionalism and quality.

Many thanks and kind regards.

 Alan Mackenzie writes:

I have just had the pleasure of watching your latest release, Emissaries of Jevo, having had my copy despatched with Colin Gunn's usual outstanding efficiency.

Once again, technically, it is another advance for Altered Vistas Productions, with the realisation of the humanoid characters the best so far. The Daleks, of course, are as marvellous as ever and, I think I would be right in observing that this is the first time that Invasion Earth film-style casings have appeared, with the midriff power slats and mesh.

Story-wise, I had a chuckle at the rather distinctive Russian accents of the Jevoans and I think the expansion of the disagreement between Kirid and his subordinate beyond the limits of the original Chronicles strip adds considerably to the drama of the piece.

Also highlighted, is the glaring lack of comprehension by the original author (David Whittaker?) of the scale of the cosmic distances involved. I had to check back with my printed copy of the Chronicles to be certain, but note that you have faithfully reproduced the stated distance between Skaro and Jevo as being ten million miles! In reality, this would put them in the same solar system and very considerably closer together than either Earth and Venus, or Earth and Mars. If this had been the case, with Jevo practically in the Daleks' backyard, I should think the Jevoans would have been subordinated to the Dalek Empire long ago. Now, if he'd said ten light-years, that would have been much more realistic for a supposed voyage across the ‘Unknown Regions’!

Anyway, all that apart, this is another triumph for Altered Vistas (and the Daleks!) and I look forward very much to the final episode, The Road to Conflict. What I'm not looking forward to, however, is the ending of the Chronicles dramatisations after enjoying them for so long.

 Retrorobot writes:

1. Ep.15: Emissaries Of Jevo  [24:38]
2. “Ultimate Experience” Dr Who Exhibition @ Earl’s Court  [9:05]
3. The Art Of Ron Turner  [5:40]
4. The Littlest Dalek  [2:30]
5. Who’s Dr Who?  [3:20]
6.Whose ‘DrWho’?!:

6. What is this, The CyberChronicles?!

I dunno if the Daleks would be grateful for being left out of this one (Stuart ‘claims’ to possess no actual Dalekomix – there’s always ‘Inky Adventures In Time & Space’ which is now well into the colour ones…) but considering their willingness to “spam-it-up” for the Go-Go’s, i can’t see it.  And that’s just the trouble – not a Dalek to be seen! Oh there’s the occasional Trod reference and Giant Wasps, but the rest is all Cyberdrongos!  Feh! (And whilst I’m in a complaint mood, there wasn’t much of a ‘b/m/e’ to the picture story either.  Seems to be one of Stuart’s more slip-shod efforts… and if he’d used Daleks he’d’ve had less problem with footwear altogether.) Highest marks for the Song!

One of the better ‘early’ efforts at a Dr Who song – s’got screaming guitars an’ la-la-la’s and it’s by Frazer Hines!  Although, I’d love to have heard it done as “Jamie”, y’know, in-character as-it-were (tho’ I s’pose we could do a remix with Silly Connolly on vox) with doses of background samples, like: “Coom-awa’ wee Jamie!”, “Losh, Dawktorr Hoo…”, “Och the noo–then, before-after, termorrer-yesterdee…(can I geet a rrrefund on thaat!?)”, “Och-aye, it’s loverly t’dee, but wee’ll pay fer it termorrer (or the day before)”.

4.The Littlest Dalekardboardreplika:

Why the Thals lost the Armaments Race.

A Thal Mutant crawls into a Thal T-Mek prototype and goes hunting for Kaleds.  The only time a Thalek got the drop on a Kaled Mutant T-Mek!  After that the Daleks wiped out the Thals with Pyroflames.

On the other protuberance, this could be seen as a paean to the power of imagination (the character’s that is).  I love that ‘authentic’ child-built incorrectness of the Plunger & (egg-whisk)Neutralizer being on the wrong sides (mine were!).

The kid manages to ‘believe’ his firepower into blowing-up a full scale Dalek-build!  Daddy will be pleased…

3.The Art of The Art Of Ron Turner:

One of Stuart’s well-researched productions showing never-before-seen-by-me examples of RT’s artwork for various ‘zine & book-covers.  No wonder Mr.T. was so good at spaceships, he sure practised a lot!

Also excellent for watching the development of RT’s style. I wish I had his Star Trek comics!  (Am i allowed to say that here?)

Nice photo of Ron with (one of) his last Dalek work(s), the cover of the collected T.D.C.

A bonus is the two 60’s Dalek instrumental trax backing this.

A worthy tribute, lovingly produced.

2.“Penultimate Impertinence”:

This vid has some good long sequences which allow for decent sound-grabs of the ‘atmosphere’ recordings at this event.

The most scary things seen, however, are the free-mobile animatronic Children Of The Damned screaming about the place at the start!

The weirdest is The(that-Scots-bloke)Doctor talking through his “post-Spike” featureless face (clever really).

One thing about the “Ultimate Experience” tho, you’d think at least some of the ‘talking heads’ (esp. The Face of Bo) would be animatronic’d to go with their soundtrax.  After all, if these shows are really such a big deal (and with all that dosh the Corporation raked in) such a technical cost should have been sprung for.  Seeing the character-props as a display is one thing, but in The Age Of Motion, having no more than a soundtrack-excerpt playing behind a motionless face (no I don’t mean cyberpersons!) just reinforces their artificiality doesn’t it?

RogerSmith’s footage is nicely comprehensive in its coverage of the exhibit, giving a better-than-usual idea of how much is packed into these things.

(I loved the child going on about the Dalek on the vid’s track at the end.)

1.Missionaries of Jove:

“On the planet Jove ten minutes away from Skaro a bunch of nobodies, plus the only character in this story with a name (Kapitan Kiid) must make an emergency-dash across the “unknown regions” – presumably they only know a roundabout way to their objective! – to the planet Florides to wipe out the Floridian economy by poisoning their crop of space-tulips and putting the planet’s proprietary corporation InterStellarFlora out of business.

The Jovankas are a race of whiney colonials with an annoying nasal ‘eccent’ who resent anyone prettier, cleverer or more successful than themselves.  They are also Space Prats, hard drinking, tough fighting scallywags & psychopaths who love taking from the available & giving nothing back and throwing PantyRaiding-Parties at a moment’s notice.

Being fiercely independent Prats they have an antiCorporate streak so wide & purple that it comprises the colour of their Prat costumes which are nonetheless replete with thin yellow ones.  This is the other reason they hate the Florideans so much (that and the fact that they never show themselves).

It is interesting to note that on Jove everyone knows about the “unknown regions” which makes their claim not to know of the Daleks typically suspicious.  For instance, how can Kiid claim not to know of the Daleks when Ensign Anonymous(orig.comic)/Hybrid(AV-vsn) makes an obvious ironic reference (“a Dust of Death, eh?”) to the Daleks’ own experience with Radioactive Rust in Episode 6: ‘Plague Of death’!?  Further evidence of typical Space Prat dishonesty ensues… Such as the ridiculous cover-story for their Mission: that they must save the universe from deadly pollen!  Even if plants could grow “miles high” (sounds more like the state-of-mind in which they conceive such fantasies!) they’d need an ejection-system more powerful than Superman’s ejaculations to get their dust off into space.

Then there’s the trick they play on the Daleks when Kapitan Kiid pulls the old gamma raygun-in-a-stick con on them. Not to forget the incredible Credulity Of The Daleks in believing the Deadly-Space Pollen story.  I imagine that they were so lost in their arrogant presumption that no-one would dare tell a giant porky to the Big Lie specialists of the universe that they just had to believe it for the similar reasons we still believe that we are ‘free’people living in a condition of ‘democracy’ (despite the overwhelming historical, political, social & economic evidence to the contrary).

Anyway, I’m getting ahead of the story here – presumably in eagerness to get to something believable (like Daleks).

Another thing about these “unknown regions” for Regions Unknown they are remarkably well known for being incredibly dangerous, so much so that Kapitan Kiid’s nameless crew almost mutiny when they find out they are going to cross them. (Don’t cross those Unknown Regions, they’re Dangerous - also Unpredictable & Viciously Vengeful, ie, full of Daleks!)

The Daleks (at last!) detect the Jovanka Pratship coming from what must also be the Dalek-equivalent of, you guessed it, Unknown Regions, and turn on their handy Jane’s-Comic Spaceships-Identifiertron (and we are here treated to a series of hilarious possible matches by Stuart in a rather fine piece of crossover-animation).  The ship is disguised as a Corporate Raider-class cutter going by the name of the ‘Independent’ (which is news to the Daleks).

The Daleks latch on to the Independent with their MagnaGrapples and prepare to board, however the fearsome Kapitan Kiid fearlessly raises the Rent (to repel Boarders) and pulls down the Corporate $sign, hauling up the Prat ensign – ‘Shades&Crossfingers – in its place.  He then endures another mutinous harangue from Ensign Hybrid who insists that Kiid’s plan is “mad, rad & bad!” 

Sensing an opportunity to exploit ‘android’ weakness (eg, mortality) and strength (ie, greed) Emperor Flido invites them on board his Flagship-Planet, the H.M.S.‘Oskar’ (Humanoid Massacring Sphere). Only after Kapitan Kiid has quelled another mutiny by force of personality (and fisticuffs) is the Emperor’s ‘invitation’ acceded-to.

Lulling the ‘android’ with subtle Dalek blandishments – eg, >>OBEY-OR-YOU-WILL-BE-EXTERMINATED!<< – the Emperor throws a lavish do (minimalist-style) and soon has the unsuspecting Kiid extolling the virtues of Prat life (Rum Sophistry at the Least) whilst teasing the truth out of him.  After enough teasing Kapitan Kiid has no truth left to offer and takes a vacation in Dishonesty (his favourite resort).

After telling the Emperor the “dust of death” whopper, Emperor Flido asks why the Daleks would want to >>PREVENT-THE-PLANTS-ACHIEVING-WHAT-WE-ARE-DEDICATED-TO-ACHIEVE<< so Kiid fools them twice with the gun-trick, convincing the credulous Daleks that mutated-pollen can dissolve Dalekaenium!  The Daleks have a certain susceptibility to stories about Deadly Mutations and are taken in by this translucent ploy.

Kapitan Kiid returns to the Independent (and its nameless crew) and pushes on to Florides to save the Daleks from another Flower Power-encounter (of the poisonous kind).

Meanwhile, the Emperor’s Pollen Power-investigation team find out the gamma raygun-in-a-stick trick (which explodes in their carapaces).  Atypically, the Daleks are not at all grateful for being introduced to new destructive technology, due to their umbrage at being on the receiving-end of Dalek-like perfidy for a change, and send off a Dalek away-team to Do The Villains In – as they would.

Kapitan Kiid has to quell yet another of Ensign Hybrid’s mutinies when the Dalek force arrives in the middle of their ‘Economic Adjustment’ operations in order to get the job done.  Knowing full well that he cannot afford to lead the Daleks back to Jove and must complete the agricultural-spraying contract or be forced to Walk-the-PlankLength Kiid risks sacrificing himself (oh, and the Crew) and they pay the ultimate price for their foliage.  But they were only Prats so that’s alright then.

The Daleks are well impressed with the Jovankas’ heroic sacrifice and Emperor Flido ponders if this sort of spirited stupidity is common amongst ‘androids’ and hopes to be able to exploit this weakness of Human Spirit, although there is no explanation for why he uses the word “human” when the Jovankas are called “androids” up to that point – although Kapitan Kiid did make an interesting distinction between “android, human & animal life” during his audience with the Emperor.

Nonetheless the Dalek Emperor plots an >>ALL-OUT-WAR-ON-ALL-HUMAN-BEINGS… EVERYWHERE!<<

This episode appears to have been one of David Whitaker’s off-days as far as scripting goes – predictable & pedestrian dialogue for the Jevons, with only the Daleks having anything much exciting to say. Both Ron Turner & Stuart Palmer went all-out for interesting visuals & designs to make up for this, with Stuart’s script-enhancing skills rising to the occasion to flesh out the characters and scenes.

Lots of fancy new craft, vehicles, facilities & architecture were provided by RT and Stuart has had a field-day modelling and choreographing his versions of these (particularly the Dalek headquarters). Also lots of fancy new camera-moves and angles plus cool sfx make this a visually interesting teleplay and his character-movements are getting better (less awkward) and more dynamic.  He’s got the art of lip-sync and facial expression up to a new standard as well.

I enjoyed his Orson Welles floor-to-ceiling viewing-angles particularly, amidst some lovely Dalek choreography.

One should also attend to the quality of Stuart’s audio-mixes and how the score is truly ‘professionally’ placed to underscore, rather than undermine, the dialogue, fx (for those not in the know “sfx” means Special Effects whilst “fx” is the original (radio-days) designation for Sound Effects) and action. And an overdue nod of recognition (and “yay” of appreciation) for the AV‘stable’ of voicetalent is in order.

You can tell how much effort Stuart puts into these works by comparing the comic pages to their equivalent scenes (highly recommended as a way to further appreciate the original artist’s work in greater detail). Lovely little things like finely observing the Dalek info-monitor showing Kirid’s ship, Guardian, alongside various specs whilst a subdivision of the same screen is showing concurrent monitoring of a missile site on the comic, which Stuart translates into a view of the missiles in the Lake of Mutations (from The Terrorkon Harvest).

There are delicious moments for me such as the 3 rotated dials on the Dalek control panel that look ever so much like the fractured eyes of the Solenoid Robots from Roger Ramjet!  I also got a laugh from the obligatorily-inevitable ‘shaking-spaceship’ set.

A very, very good version of one of the more ridiculous and indifferently-written stories from The Dalek Chronicles.