1. Episode 13 [28:56]
2. Blue Radioactive Planet [10:13]
3. Cardiff (DrWho) Exhibition 2007 [5:05]
4. Doctor Who is Gonna Fix It [4:05]
5. Give-a-Show (Chad Valley slides) [6:13]
5. Starts (most appropriately) with The Daleks – the backing music by EMPIRE 639 (available on AV soundtrack-disc#3 WARMONGER as track#17, titled ‘The Moiety Lounge’) is an appropriately whacky treat – and danceable too. Just the sort of thing for kids bouncing around high on Sweet Ciggies and making their own psychedelic-lightshow. There are the usual nice little Stuart Palmer touches like “gate-jumping” title frames with “film noise”(hairs/dirt) and properly-intrusive “soundtrack-edging” to enjoy.
The slides, however, appear to have been scanned from the wrong side (in order to read the text the right way ‘round) but this means that the colour-dye layers are in front of much of the black linework and slightly out-of-focus. They should be scanned from the same side as the Projector would shine through, then reversed.
Most of these 4 frame mini-tales are quite wonderfully silly – a race of interstellar-capable beings are stranded by a loose wiring-connection that only the Doctor is quick enough to spot & fix, who then sees them off on their “Millions of Lightyears” journey! The half-dozen Dalek stories in the full set can actually be arranged in a workable narrative order (a future Altered Vistas-production no doubt). But sometimes there are beautifully concise pieces of cleverness, such as one of the best explanations of TARDIS’ transdimensionality!
I knew I’d sunk to the depths of Dalek-fandom when i added scans of these to my Dalek-Research Project files – my 60s nostalgia usually maintains some sense of quality – but these cute little items have a charm of their own (only exceeded by the Sweet Cigarette Cards series covered in prior AV issues). Scanned up for the ‘big-screen’ they look almost as enticingly lurid as the imaginations of the kiddies shining them on their playroom walls must have been!
4. Aha – a rare “Guest Spot” on AV, K(?) Johnson’s vid.edit of New Series-clips to Bullamanaka’s ‘DrWho is Gonna Fix It’ is only sometimes "in tune" with the lyrics and not especially outstanding as such compilations go (but then I’ve seen a lot of these) – i presume the song is of that period, so fine. But what’s with the extended Billy Piper schmaltz?! (particularly as it was from a good example of The Doctor not “fixing it”!) I guess i’ll have to take this one ironically... oh, I have.
3. A “guest source-material” clip this one, and whilst the moving image is generally experienced as more “interesting” or exciting than stills, issues of quality do make the difference. I’m not at all against using what is available rather than nothing – for which we are grateful to Roger Smith – but the low quality of the footage rather dulls the experience.
Presumably, filming is prohibited at these exhibitions so what we have is perhaps something surreptitiously taken by ‘phonecam? If so, why not edit it as a ‘Spy report’ sort-of thingy – with good quality stills combined with linking moving-shots or suchlike? Mind you, this one would have been a lot easier to produce and Stuart puts so much time into making AV discs such worthwhile entertainments as it is.
As usual it’s worth it for the EMPIRE 639 track (also on WARMONGER – track#1, titled ’Cube‘) but I much prefer Stuart’s earlier experiments in these Exhibition-coverages.
2. Overactive Blue Spaceballs
A real highlight of AV Special-Extras, this is Stuart displaying an uncanny genetically-mutated resemblance to a certain Sir Avid Databurrower, the renowned intergalactic CCB (Corporate Communications Board) documentary-presenter, known to almost everybody except the general universal population for his infamous mockumentary series ‘U.NATURE’.
Here Stuart lampoons the uniquely-copied style of Sir Avid with a straight-faced & factually-accurate tour of Planet Skaro, which might have been quite enjoyable with some serious hamming-it-up. Some jokes would perhaps have helped leaven the tedious, scholarly style all too typical of This Sort Of Thing.
Surely yet another earnest Edutainment on the world of the Dullhicks is not what this universe needs? One could almost believe it is part of a peppered-plot to condition humanoids into a blasť attitude toward those who would cruelly conquer us and ruthlessly extirpate all dirty, unDalek sentient-lifeforms in order to cleanse untidy reality of individuality & diversity in a move that all good Corporate-Social Engineers would surely approve!? But that would, of course, be silly.
Still, this nicely-timed 10 min short does have some interesting new facts to offer: the attrition-rate of CCB camera crews in a hostile universe for instance, and the salutary effect of Varga Plants (which might be profitably employed by infecting CCB-execs and thus rendering them a bit less murderously insane than usual). A couple of quibbles about this piece, about which far too many words have already been written: you’ve got a planet magnificently replete with Rocks – lots of rocks (with that typically ’computer-generated’look that alien worlds so often have) so why not a single Quarry?! And no Corridors either! Dullhicks are famous for corridors.
Interior Designers & Mining Engineers should give this one a miss.
1. HEIRLOOM OF JESTERFEAR
[Stuart, this one can be for your ‘Feature Review Of The Minute’ section]
(At a nominal rate of one word-per-second (allowing for lip-movement) for the average Dalek-fan, this review should take exactly as long as the actual programme which will then, mercifully, be over – or, if you’ve skipped the big words, you can try keeping up with the credits...)
We open with a view of Planet Sharon, sorry, SHARO (ah, it’s the typeface...) apparently travelling through HYPERSPACE, even though the stars aren’t doing that “streaky” thing (more scientifically real I s’pose). The Golden Emperor, in his ‘Ribcage’model Travelsuite, is in his badchamber practising decrees & speeches as usual when he comes up with the spiffy idea of Global Domination* by a One World-Government CorporateMonopoly-Board ruled by S.K.A.R.O. (Superior Kaled Armaments & Robotics Organization) making SHARON the, sorry, The – Planet Of Tha Daaalex!
With the tone of ‘Virginia Plains’ (by Ritzy Muzak, as covered by Lefty Devious) ringing in their dPods, two Daleks are playing “Chicken” in their latest bling unsportsmodel SfKD-WP13’s (“Superfast-KillerDeath-WeaponsPlatform”) – on the Under The Volcano route.
Meanwhile, to the tune of ‘The Forbidding Aisles’ by BunnyJungle, three dirty Daleks, glowing a cute red with embarrassment, are put through the TravelMachine-Wash. (>>CLEANING-BY-MUTATEDJUNGLE-PROCEEDS-AS-COMMENTED!<<)
Meanwhile, two “spaghetti-western” Daleks, Old-BlueCasing & TheDalek-with-theGoldenGun, are wrasslin’ Slythers* – Goldie reflecting on how good one would look in a quarry (or even a corridor).Typical of these cheap productions they could only afford the one, so you have to imagine vast herds of WildeSlythers migrating pathetically across the immensity of the short strip of cg-bg – in true BBC low-budget “Pantomime Effect” use-your-own-imagination style.
Meanwhile, on Darren Eastern’s climbatology show ‘Mountains’, two blackballed Daleks are... doing something... in a river (one can only go by the soundtrack – or in a river) whilst another (right) pair discuss mineral rites and how to sell beads & trinkets to the native prim-a-tives* on other planets (see episode#2 of the mystery series “Dalek Who?” called ‘Purchase’).[* typical Daleks – superb diction and crap spelling ]
Meanwhile, in Heathen Tantarra, a bunch of five Daleks are cooking-up dessert by laser-heating a number of wild blancmanges (this takes a deft touch with a Neutralizer as too little leaves them well-cooked in the middle but also well icky on the outside, whilst too much makes them explode deliciously). There is actually more-than-one blancmange in this scene! (>>ILLUMINATION-OF-SAID-CREATURES-PRODUCES-ORDERS!<<)
Meanwhile (and this is where the story really starts*) somewhere in the Polar Region (the North one) a winter-camouflaged SfKD-WP13 ruthlessly assays the Mountain range of Golden Oldies from their background catalogue of Explosive Hits, breaking new ground with some ancient numbers (who thaw out remarkably quickly and move the action narrative along with some spiffy non-Dalek dialogue). Needless to say, it’s all needlessly technological & sparky, but “zaps” are amongst my favourite fx.*
The SfKD-WP13’s cabin-heater goes on the fritz so the Dalek decides to chill out in the alps until help arrives (presumably in the form of a St.Slyther with a barrel of antifreeze around its, um, anatomy). Back up the mountain, three disgustingly organic humanoids (one with snot & drool frozen all over his face) with the biggest brains that ever stretched a cranium (in this ‘tooniverse leastways) rub their hands over their grossly swollen domes and, stunned with amazement and stupefaction beyond belief, contemplate breakfast. Clearly room-service has not survived the post-cataclysm Crust Displacement-Rotation Movement (which probably had them shot as “Useless Feeders”).
With mountain concern they discern that the “Metal Slaves” have been switched from >>I-AM-YOUR-SERRRVANT<< mode to >>EXTERMINATE-ANNIHILATE-DESTROY<< mode (which wasn’t supposed to have happened until they were actually on Mars, ready to deadify the astronauts) [* this could, however, be what is known as a “CrossOver”, ie. a breach in the Space - Time Economy according to the rules of Media Separation along the lines of the Violation of Narrative Discontinuity Principle as determined by the highly Intellectual Copy-rightclick&paste Law ]
A flotilla of Dalek Slice & Dice-Machines arrives at the stranded Daleksicle and rather than abort the mission they abort the objective instead – thus maintaining an unblemished rescue-record plus earning a bonus gold-star for gratuitous extermination.
The humanoid called Limeric goes out to practise some of his oration on the Daleks. Little does he know that the Daleks have radically redefined the meaning of “hostile critic”. His agent, Nicky Lodeon and his gagwriter, Dez, mildly upset at the fall of their star, go down to the rumpusroom to dull their vague grief with some old Earth-movies.
The Emperor Dalek is quite taken with the humouroids’ pointy shoulderpads and orders his minions to see if they can find more.
Lodeon, horrified that their anachronous garb might launch a Dalek retro-fashion fad – let alone the development of a taste for sartorial style – thus distorting the original Dalek Hemline, refuses to allow them to download the designs. Dez, with visions of career-advancement clouding his enormous brain ever since Limeric bit the snow, gently taps the back of Lodeon’s head with a fashion-accessory (after-the-fact) thus causing a massive concussion. He dreams of becoming the Impressario of Dalek House Of Fashion and teaching them an Earth-concept they got from the movies called a Fashion Parade. Daleks like parades.
Meanwhile (again) the Daleks are naughtily riding their new hover-scooters around the corridors, riotously bumping off the precious artefacts and fragile ancient columns, threatening to bring the house down. They run into Dez and the unconscionable Lodeon. Dez tries to face-down the Daleks with his snappy quips, but the Daleks are not only a tough (& faceless) audience, they know a joke or two of their own (always at someone else’s expense) and they wear him down with a barrage of Dalek repartee. (>>NOBODY-CAN-OUTRACE-OUR-WIT-FOR-LONG!<<)
The rest of this Comedy of Terrors involves Dez’s attempts to trap Lodeon into surrendering his Bookings Files to the Daleks by which they could invade & conquer the Intergalactic Fashion Industry and Sit-up Comedy Circuits.
I won’t spoil what’s left by telling you there’re any good bits. Ooh, except for this one scene with a rad Turner spaceship – a beautiful sleek&curvaceous missile with huge boosters and well-hung accessories on a taught 36-26-16 body (all lovingly hand-reconstructed in Palmer3D) that Lodeon entirely gets off on.
Meanwhile, the Daleks have found the Humouroids’ rumpusroom and discover their stash of Earthoid”Cinemas. They are just getting all sorts of ideas from a picture called ‘The DalekProps’ Invasion Of Theatre’ when Lodeon pulls off the old joke cigar trick. There is an explosive punchline.
Stuart’s stuff is a constant joy to watch evolving. Character ’acting’ is well developed now, and lots of little subtleties – such as the explosion blowing the Daleships away cutting to the Emperor’s viewscreen p.o.v. and reversing – make attentive viewing delightfully compulsorive. Also on a serious note, btw, some beautiful voices in this show – well done lads!
Lovely to see a contribution by Iain McClumpha, a favourite Dalek Artiste (and Master of uncompleted Dalekomix).