Last update: 26 January 2011
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Steve Moore (creator of Star Tigers) writes:
What can I say about this wonderful, wonderful piece of work? Well, obviously, modesty forbids me saying anything in praise of the original story, as I just happened to write it, though having had the opportunity to work with Stuart on the project, we have managed to correct a few of the unwanted editorial interventions that were made in the original publication, and add a little tailpiece besides. So if you’re looking for a definitive, ‘author’s cut’ version of the Star Tigers story, this is about as good as you’re ever likely to get. Even better, it moves, it talks… it lives!
So, if I find myself too dull to talk about, we’ll just have to talk about Stuart and his work instead. I’ve never seen him on better form than he is here. We all know that everything he does is a labour of love, but this is just downright Herculean. No wonder it took him so long! Of course, in writing this review, I do have the advantage of having seen both parts of the movie, but when I slipped the advance copy into the DVD I was completely knocked out. For a start, the new software Stuart is using is a vast improvement, providing much more fluid movement for the characters, richer colours, and so on (I fear I’m too technologically ignorant to add much more than this, but if you take a look at the fascinating ‘Making of…’ feature on the second disc, you’ll get some idea of what’s going on, and of the insane amount of work that’s gone into bringing you this production). The whole thing looks absolutely stunning, and there are some sequences, like the scene where the Killwagon first takes off and heads for space, or the meeting with Vol Mercurius on Dispater, which are just so perfect they make an old fogey like me quite emotional… and that’s to say nothing of the fantastic sets on Draconia and Paradise, where Stuart has picked up the original designs by Steve Dillon and David Lloyd and extended them into wonderful new areas. And for all you fans of dead women (!), Taiyin just looks fabulous… what a babe!
As always, the voice-acting is splendid, too, with Richard Dadd as Daak and Edward Gore as Mercurius in particularly fine form, though really everyone involved is absolutely spot on. And, as always, the music’s very fine, too. So, overall, I really couldn’t possibly have asked for greater fidelity to the original, and everyone involved is to be heartily congratulated.
The bonus features are very fine, too, particularly the aforementioned ‘Making of’ feature. Better still, Stuart has kindly taken it upon himself to provide us with a “moving comic-strip” version of World of the War-King, a previously unseen Star Tigers script that I wrote immediately after the original series, but which was never published. Like life itself, it’s short, brutal and nasty, but it’s a story I never thought I’d see rendered visually, and with this (and the outline for After Daak on this website) you’ll have the entire canon of the original Daak/Star Tigers material. Hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I did in revisiting it.
So, obviously, I can’t recommend this highly enough. Thank heavens Stuart did it, and it didn’t go to Hollywood! If you have even the slightest interest in Star Tigers (and if you have, no one will be more grateful to you than I am), then you have to have this movie.
Trevor Sproston writes:
As I’ve said before, Star Tigers is not high on my list of Dalek-related tales, so this must be borne in mind as I spill my pearls of wisdom before you.
To begin with, Chapter Two has to deal with the problem of being an interim story. It’s hardly action-packed, being more concerned with assembling characters for the next stage. This leads to rather a lot of standing around waiting to get from A to B, but Altered Vistas have done the best they can with the material they have.
The animation is well up to the usual standard, the depiction of the secretary being particularly good (has she got a sister?), although the female characters in “War King” are even better.
I was a little worried about Harma’s head when he first appears, as it seems to change shape slightly, as he turns it, rather than just rotate. An Ice Warrior isn’t the easiest figure to animate – they’ll always appear stiff (despite David Lloyd’s original artwork versions, where Harma appears a little too dynamic – in the Burne Hogarth sense – than he could be physically), so not too much can be expected there. I have to confess that I’ve been concerned about Abslom’s hair as well, wondering whether he was aiming to be the new ‘Brylcreem Boy’, but last night I saw David Milliband on TV, and realised that there was nothing to worry about.
Mercurius’ robot is nicely realised, with a lovely steampunk feel, but he is significantly larger than in the original artwork, and not as conventional as when Lloyd drew him. Was this a conscious design decision?
The appearance of the Daleks (hooray!) gets things moving (literally) a lot faster, and this is depicted with Stuart’s usual dash. However, when Abslom starts mooning over his lost love, I wish they’d have blasted the Kill-Wagon out of existence.
In my humble opinion, Star Tigers is a game of two halves – Stuart’s excellent, talented and sympathetic animation, doing what it can with a fairly dull story. Were this to appear as live action, its shortcomings would be severe. Nonetheless, I want everything that AV produces, and thanks are due to Colin Gunn, for his fast turnaround (as usual).
The gallery of artwork is fine, and handy if you don’t have the strips to look at, and they show what a good job Stuart has done.
War King is a superior story, and Stuart’s realisation of it provides a ‘tantalising glimpse of what might have been’ – did I just write that? Ugh! I think I would enjoy seeing this revisited by Moore, and turned into a full animation.
That’s all folks!
John Anderson writes:
Just a short note to thank for the CD it arrived last night and my son thoroughly enjoyed it.
The production standards are quite simply superb and the soundtrack excellent.
My son thought the street scenes were highly amusing (particularly the Fourth Doctor quietly moving about in the background!).
Once again Altered Vistas have produced a piece of work that is of a exceedingly high standard and the sheer hard work and effort of all you is admirable.
Roger Smith AKA Black Dalek writes:
One of my favourite comic strips and an excellent production it is too. The more you look at the street scene the more you see loads of cameos.
Congratulations to cast and crew, and a special thank you to Steve Moore for allowing and participating in this product. We Are Not Worthy!
Apologies for the short review but.....
Then came the surprise of my life - THE WORLD OF THE WAR-KING!
I am totally blown away. War-King is amazing.
Where do I fine the words to say just how good, great, wonderful, brilliant, fantastic, superb, awesome, amazing, terrific, astonishing, breathtaking, stunning... Stuart, you have surpassed yourself.
Just where was Star Tigers going we will never know, but what a thought! Just FANTASTIC.