The seventh instalment of The Dalek Chronicles sees the Daleks getting well and truly pasted by the Monstrons. The Monstrons totally destroy the Daleks' city and nearly wipe out the Dalek race - not bad considering there are only two of them, and an army of their distinctly retro-looking Engibrain robots.
This strip marked the last full outing for strip artist Richard Jennings who was replaced by Ron Turner part way through the next strip Eve of the War.
Our version of this story was released in 2005. DVD and CD-style covers and disc labels for the production can be found here.
Bryan McCormack writes:
This disc marks a new high for Altered Vistas Productions. Stuart Palmer, AV maestro extraordinaire, has produced what I think is now my second favourite AV after Duel of the Daleks.
Menace of the Monstrons was trailed with a "Next Time" teaser at the end of the last chronological release, Plague of Death. I like to imagine that this is the first part of the Second Series of The Daleks and as such it's a great opener.
MOTM was always a favourite of mine as it was in my Dalek Annual and was one of only a few strips I knew about until DWM reprinted tham all. This is a faithful reproduction with a great sight gag when the Monstrons check their alien species catalogue. See how many you can spot.
Technically the animation has finally been suplemented by something I've been looking forward to ever since the first release - LipSynch. It works really well, adding an extra watchability to the finished product. Certain mouth shapes can double for more than one vowel/consonant. The tricky thing is the timing, but Stuart succeeds. It is a feature which I would urge Stuart to retain as I think it would be a retrograde step to return to the "Loose Cannon" style of the earliest productions when what we have here shows how achievable a superior result Stuart can achieve. I would much rather have a longer wait between episodes if that meant they all had animated characters with LipSynched dialogue. I say this because, of the remaining 9 original strips, 5 feature humans/humanoids. Perhaps a solution would be a Thunderbirds-type lower lip movement, given the strips '60s origins.
And if, like me, you find yourself wondering who the two blokes doing the voices are, check the credits for a surprise.
Next Up is Eve of the War. Dig out your video of The Chase, fast forward to episodes 5 & 6 and wonder at what AV will do next time...
Philip Morley writes:
Yet another fantastic production. The Menace Of The Monstrons is probably the best yet. I like the bit where the Emperor turns around to the other Daleks & tells them off for fighting amongst themselves. My mum was the same!
Using the electric eel as a power source is finally showing that the Daleks are resourceful, superior engineers & don't just blunder from one planet to the next getting their arses kicked by pacifists & flowers.
I laughed out loud when the huge grappling arm came out of the volcano & plucked the Dalek out of the sky. Simply wonderful.
Nice one, mate, let's have more!
Dave Aldridge writes:
Menace of the Monstrons took things so much further than The Pentaray Factor! The animation of the humanoids, including lip movement, was amazing. It was good to be back on Skaro again, and seeing references to the television series which spawned it. I was a little surprised to be reminded of the Movellans, having never really noticed before the vague similarity between the 'alien' ships visiting Skaro, and a robotic army there to fight them. Nice too to see that the Daleks are vulnerable. I actually felt sorry for the escaped prisoner Dalek at the end, and was surprised how much it reminded me of the recent Dalek episode on the BBC, 'he' actually seemed quite noble! All this from how many years before? I really cannot wait for more, and the trailer with the Mechanoid only makes it worse!!!! Many many thanks!
Nick Mellish writes:
Menace Of The Monstrons is one of the better-known and well-loved stories from the epic comic saga that is The Dalek Chronicles. As with the previous instalments of these animated adaptations of The Dalek Chronicles, Stuart Palmer has kept extremely faithful to the original comic strip. Certain parts are embellished, its resemblance visually to the comics too is stunning, and there is even room for an in-joke to Doctor Who on television too (such as the spoof of Power Of The Daleks about 18 minutes into the Episode). Also once more, this is an enjoyable affair but even more so than usual: this is the best thing to come from Altered Vistas yet.
Summing up the plot is fairly simple- Monstrons land and the Daleks find themselves in deep trouble. To put it in a better way, perhaps I should just lift the text from the DVD cover: "VIOLENCE: Serious Dalek arse-kicking."
To be honest, this more than does the Episode justice. Things are grim; the Daleks have not really done too well so far into The Dalek Chronicles - they've been infected with rust, had major problems with there attempts to conquer space, suffered at the hands of the Penta Ray… however, things here are worse. Say goodbye to the Dalek city, banish forever thoughts of the old Dalek designs- things change after this Episode, but before then there is much to like. The Monstrons themselves are two rather nasty blue-skinned aliens who attack the Daleks using weapons, tact and Engibrain robots; despite the relatively small number of Monstrons, they soon do enough damage to get the Daleks worried…
The plot is very different from other Episode in The Dalek Chronicles, with the Daleks themselves being very much the losers. Even in Episode such as The Amaryll Challenge you knew they had the upper hand (or sucker if you prefer) really, but here things are not so nice, and they truly suffer throughout. In doing so though, they have some great moments; the Emperor Dalek narrowly avoiding an Electric Eel is rather memorable, as is the finale with an ice-encased Dalek saving the day, but it is the Monstrons themselves who triumph over them all in terms of being memorable. They scheme, they plot, they destroy and they truly appear to be superior in all ways to the Daleks themselves, despite their small number. The Engibrain robots too are rather memorable, thought this is mainly due to their design, which is visually striking. Overall, the story is well paced, imaginative and more than worthy of its 'classic' status; the adaptation by Stuart Palmer is brilliant too and does the comic strip more than justice. Everything you liked about the comic strip is here to be heard and watched, and everything you wanted to see - nods back to previous Episodes of The Dalek Chronicles (you see the Black Dalek chained up during a Monstron attack), mention of Doctor Who itself (you see many monsters from the sixties era of Who when the Monstrons are trying to work out what or who the Daleks are), and more extermination and destruction (the extended Dalek city obliteration stands out, as does the unfrozen Dalek's brief rampage). The adaptation is a triumph and never falters, making this success number seven in a row for Altered Vistas Productions.
The animation in Menace Of The Monstrons is also great, really standing out as the best animation thus far. I was never really bothered by the lack of lip-sync before, or for that matter any movement of lips at all, but its inclusion here is really what makes Monstrons stand out from the crowd; the Monstrons themselves come across as a lot more impressive due to the additional animation, and it brings the comic to life in a way that previous instalments could not have managed.
The only down side to this, and this is something that is seen in all Episodes with 'human' characters, is that the animation can be a tad too static sometimes. Moments of sudden movement can jar a little when presented with no movement a moment later; however, this did not bother me as such since the story itself is more reliant on atmosphere than actual action, and when action is present, Palmer really makes it count; in fact, his Direction throughout the Episode is his best work yet. The voice acting is superb throughout, the handling of the action sequences is truly great, and there are some lovely touches. The highlight for me was a wonderful point-of-view shot as an Electric Eel swims past the Dalek Emperor, which replicates the Eel's movement perfectly and really helps bring the scene to life, as it were. The lighting throughout too is great- around 13 minutes into it, there is a great moment as the lighting in the Dalek City fails and it descends into darkness. This looks lovely, and just goes to show how well lit the production is. The low reds are really atmospheric and add to the sense that things are going very, very wrong indeed.
The music by Empire 639 (that's Palmer again) is great too, though I suspect that it may well be the first score to divide the fans. To describe it in words alone will make it sound more of an oddity than it deserves to be described: saxophones and old keyboards combined to create a jazz-lite, action-based score with sinister undertones. Well, okay, perhaps that isn't the best description ever but it summed up how I felt it played out throughout the Episode; I liked it a lot, finding it to be different enough to make Monstrons that bit more special, and it suited the production as a whole very nicely.
In all, this is truly great. If anyone doubted previous Episodes, this will silence them; if anyone is intrigued by The Dalek Chronicles, this is a good place to start watching; if anyone wanted to see why I rave about Stuart Palmer's adaptations, then look no further than Monstrons because, quite simply, you will never have had it so good. Fan-made producers should take a close look as this: it has raised the benchmark even higher.
Dean Rose (Loose Cannon) writes:
Just finished watching AV07. Absolutely brillant stuff. You are so fast with these productions and the standard is superb. I loved the way that you did the blue aliens and the retro looking robots - fantastic stuff. I really enjoyed it.
The Mechanoids trailer looks very interesting too.
Steve Swales writes:
From the outset one of the most notable things visually is the cinematically panning camera (except of course, there isn't really a camera!) especially as the Engibrains are unveiled. The other is of course, FULL LIP-SYNC!
This is where Altered Vistas cross the line from highly visualised story-telling into true cinema/TV, a line which has been crossed before, but just with the Dalek-only adventures. It's made a massive difference to the humanoid creatures but as it's computationally very intensive, we can't expect it in all future releases. Interestingly, I feel it demands even more of the Dalek shots as well; whereas previously they were the most "lifelike" in comparison with the static humanoids, there are times now when you think perhaps they should rock slightly back and forth as they talk in order to achieve parity with the humanoids. But that's the trouble with upgrading things, you always have to tweak the rest to get the balance back!
There are some great in-jokes here; spot the references to the Sensorites etc. on the scanners plus the leitmotif from Death to the Daleks in the great 70s-style radiophonic soundtrack.
The Daleks take a bit of battering in this one, but win in the end, and it gives us a nice insight into their almost touching loyalty to the Emperor and the heroics of a lone Dalek; yep, you're rooting for the baddies again - no wonder I grew up so twisted!
The editing of this episode is probably the tightest of them all so far, and this keeps the tension going all the way though. Mr. Palmer has given himself a lot to live up to in this latest episode, let's hope his CPU and his letterbox don't cave in under the consequences.
Tony Kennedy writes:
AV07 - WOW, what can I say? Love the bits with Robbie the Robot and the Mekon, and the lip sync. I never noticed its absence in your earlier stories, but it makes a fantastic difference.
And the Monstrons kicking the hell out out of our bad guys, do you know I'm not sure if it's your production or not, but I was upset for the Daleks (can you believe that?). You need to do your own follow up, and let the Daleks crush them into the ground
I think you've a lot of hard work coming up to top this one, even my wife Gail sat down and watched it with us, that's a first. She's a Trekkie by heart and has little time for the good Doctor, still nobody's perfect.
I leave you with the words of my son Jonathan: "Dad, let's watch that again now." What more is there to say?
Roger AKA Black Dalek writes:
Many thanks for the excellent Menace of Monstrons. Yet again you have somehow managed to up the anti.
The lip-sync was a great improvement and what a story. The Daleks are taken totally by surprise and do they pay for it.
I love the Monstrons' data base. I'll not spoil it by listing them, but I did enjoy them.
I kept thinking this is what the Dominators should have been.
Love the preview, the Mechanoids look good.
I cannot wait for Children of the Revolution, maybe Dogs of Doom or Sub Zero one day, well no harm in asking.
Please keep up the excellent work. My poor copy of the Dalek Chronicles is taking a right beating reading the stories again and again.
Steve Herbert writes:
So now with Altered Vistas' latest release The Menace of The Monstrons there are now seven Dalek Chronicles available and another eight on their way in the future, plus Children of the Revolution hopefully available next month.
The Menace of The Monstrons is probably in my opinion Altered Vistas' best so far. Even better than Duel of the Daleks. It starts of good with a shot showing the Volcano Lair of the Monstrons, and we hover over the volcano and slowly descend, revealing the top of the Monstron ship. And the excellent music helps to set the scene. And then we see the first Monstron, it just sounds and looks so good, to see his lips move, and the voice in sync. Then up go the blinds and slowly the Engibrain builders are revealed, and again we have great Empire 639 music as they are slowly revealed. And the opening shot as they are fully revealed is a great defining Dalek Chronicles moment. And off they go on their mission, as we zoom into one of the Monstrons, the familiar Title sequence is there again and the Adventure is on!
Soon things are amiss in the Dalek control room as they detect something in the Volcano and send out a FLYING DALEK to investigate. A Flying Dalek, sounds familiar. Soon he's grabbed by a claw and dragged inside where he encounters the Engibrains. "What are you, what are you?" Yet more great animation as the Engibrains approach the Dalek and freeze him. And soon the Monstrons are declaring war! As the leader's lips utter these damning words "Then War it Shall be!" the Daleks are soon on to investigate their missing mate.
And so now the Monstrons "scan the database for similar life" as we now see a bit of Stuart Palmer's own added genius, as we see a montage of familiar faces, I want to name them all now, but I know people are reading this who won't have seen it yet, and there's a few I can't name. The third life form is quite an interesting choice, and I will say that one of the images is of a creature we will encounter soon in the Dalek Chronicles.
Soon the frozen Dalek is cut off by a forcefield and the Monstrons get the Engibrains ready to attack the Dalek city, putting a force field round the volcano, as two flying Daleks meet their doom.
Soon there are silver globe bombs attacking the city! And does the Dalek city fall? Yes, in a spectacular way. Soon the Engibrains are decending on the city, the city is being blown to Kingdom come, great stuff. And soon the Monstrons are hovering above happy with their work. Below few Daleks remain and the Emperor is missing!
Where is the Emperor? Does he still live? Can the Daleks attack back without him? What vile creatures lurk in the wreckage? And can the Daleks destroy the dreaded Monstrons?
Send off now and find out for another exceptional piece of work from the brilliant Stuart Palmer!
And if you've seen the trailer for the next Dalek Chronicle, or read the strips, you will know whose fighting the Daleks next!
Alan MacKenzie writes:
Very many thanks for the prompt dispatch of the latest "Chronicles" episode, The Menace of the Monstrons.
As ever, it's a superb job and very, very enjoyable to watch. Once again I was impressed with the way in which you have "filled out" the original comic strip stories, keeping 100% of the original but adding extra detail and dialogue all of which is highly appropriate and which very easily might have been included in the original, had space allowed. The Emperor's speeches are excellent, with an almost "thoughtful" feel to some of them; "Perhaps our planet is rising to defend us" etc. These Daleks are no cardboard cut-outs!
Paul Richmond writes:
Received the new AV in the post today - many thanks.
THE DALEK CHRONICLES continues to go from strength to strength. Menace of the Monstrons was possibly the best yet - with the lip synching very effective. (Incidentally as a child reading these comic strip stories the first time around I was always a little creeped out by those Monstrons... dunno why now...)
The adaptation and realisation was superb - and once again a couple of cheeky little references to the parent programme that I picked up on ("We will get our power" indeed... lol).
The Emperor continues to be the star of these productions, much as he was in the original strips. But it was the single captive Dalek who saves the day at the end (resonances there to the "last Dalek" from the recent TV series, I thought).
And the trailer for the next episode was just lovely... But it's incredible to believe that you are almost at the end of the Richard Jennings' stories already. Looking forward to seeing your take on the Ron Turner strips...
Many thanks for the continuing delight that is The Dalek Chronicles - and keep up the excellent work!
Iain McClumpha writes:
The Menace of the Monstrons VCD was the best of The Dalek Chronicles so far. There was also more use of full 3D animation in this and less 2D using Flash, I noticed.
The Engibrains were perfect. You can imagine Richard Jennings sitting watching that and smiling to himself as they made their 3D debut in the pre-titles sequence.
The Monstrons showed the limitations of Poser in trying to create brutish characters. I tried it in DAZ Studio using the Michael figure as well as the Poser chaps, but it’s really awkward. Think we’d need a figure that can be morphed into huge hulking shapes, and still fit into that Poser clothing. Not easy.
The lip-synching is a huge leap forward. Doesn’t that make you want to redo the human scenes in the previous episodes? Still, it all shows great leaps and bounds.
The sequence of the Emperor being hoisted by the giant magnet was the most memorable piece of that story when I first saw it in a 70s Dalek Annual. On paper it looks great, but on screen it’s just such a bizarre scene that it works.
I saw the in-joke involving the Mekon as one of the aliens on the screen as the Monstron looked to see if they had encountered Daleks before. Nice to see that other comic icon appearing.
Steve Purbrick writes:
Got MotM this morning- superb lead time!
You have excelled again- this story is excellent! The addition of 'Mimic' lip-synching is a vast improvement. I like the Monstrons themselves- the story could be subtitled 'Attack of the Interstellar Hoodies'! The animation of the Daleks seems better this time- more use of 3D and less of Flash (I think?) 2D elements. I was a little disappointed by the lack of full motion with the Engibrains- keyframe animation would have been more convincing. And more 'action' type poses for them would have been good for the general narrative of battle and invasion during the city destruction scenes. But then again, I don't know how they were portrayed in the original comic strip.
I also liked the 'Gerry Anderson' trick of not showing characters legs when they are walking- saves a lot of line-up problems and dropping figures to the floor! The Dalek models are quite superb. I've got a 'MK4 Dalek' model for Poser, but it's pants. Each production just gets better and better, Stuart. I admire your work utterly! I'm really looking forward to Children of the Revolution now!
Prog.1: The Menace Of The Monstrons (24:18)
2: Eve Trailer <bonus> (1:04)
Prog.2 review: The Teaser of Eva (apologies to Ms Braun)
This sneak-peek into the Trailer of the feature Starlet (not played by Rose Tyler) reveals a collection of secret mechanical appliances and the forbidding world of Dalek-fetish objects. Furtively performed in the near-dark, glimpses of ‘equipment’ are tantalisingly exposed to titillate the voyeur’s animatory obsessions.
On the other protuberance, it might just be a video clip for ‘IMPURE 9E6’ disguised as a promo for Altered Vistas’ next production ‘Eve Of The War’ (the Mother of Mayhem)
Another great piece of EMPIRE 639 audio-art to enjoy behind a suitably iconographic edit of Dalek & Mechanoid bits (revealing a couple of the new D-Design features – oooh!)
Prog.1 review: The Nuisance Of The Morons
I really don’t know why I love these productions so much. After all, they really are silly… daft old Dalek comic-book stories with crackingly corny dialogue and hokey bad guys (that make Daleks look good!) – aha! now i getit: they’re just like original Dr.Who shows!!
It’s not just that they’re Daleks (I’m bonkers about them regardless) it’s very much the way that Stuart Palmer brings them to life – with true affection, affinity, charm, wit & style. The genius inspiration to ‘modernise’ these quaint comix is revealed by the exploitation of the inherent ‘cuteness’ of the Dalek design, both their Look and their presumed Techno-obsessive megalomaniac environmental design-style. Also in the redirection of their emphasis from humanocentric terror to beings we get to observe from their own p.o.v. - with the delightful turnaround in this story of a bunch of humanoids being the real ‘badguys’ for a change.
Which brings us to the Monstrons. Altered Vistas’ grand evolution to Lip Sync is hugely successful. Not only is there a reasonable facsimile of lip-movement, there is even differential interior (e.g. teeth) motion as well. A good effort is made to match motion-to-speech (any missed-sync easily being attributable to the proposition that Monstrons speak their own alien-language and what we’re seeing is the limitations of ‘Dubbing’!) and, an impressive surprise, a good deal of facial expression-movement as well.*
[* You can tell that the Monstrons come from a highly advanced culture by the realistic movements of their ‘cozzies’! ]
Now to the Story:
Kleenex and Yeurk, Snortmons (from the Planet ‘Snort’ – and not to be confused with the Snotarans, who are not blue and have ‘pubic vents’ (although my Snotaran anatomy might be a bit wonky, there)) are demonstratorsalesmons for a new line of Demolition Moronbots – the ‘Emptibrains’. They attempt to employ their aggressive sales techniques on the planet Oskar, home of the ‘Dullhicks’, whome they intend to Mistify under a barrage of PromoBalls (known in physics as ‘hyperspheres’).
Typical of Demonstron high pressure sales-tactics – similar to the ‘bleach-in-the-carpet-cleaner’ trick – they proceed to show the handy-dandy destructive capacity of ‘Emptibrain-Technology’ (which they probably copied from Earthlings, thus laying the seeds of the Daleks’ revenge on us!) intending to point out how useful Emptibrain Moronbots are at Construction-work, too. Unfortunately, the pair of Dullhicks sent to scope the Snortmon Showroom, constructed in a nearby extinct Volcano, experience Hoverbout Guidance Malfunction (caused by the Demonstron Advertising Field projected around the crater) and collide, exploding into a pretty fireworks display.
The Snortmons (on the advice of the Emptibrain Tactical Computer, of course) interpret this as an attack, clearly aimed at destroying their Display Stock – an act of Industrial Sabotage that would cause No End of trouble with Chairman Zog back at head office – and assume they are faced with hostile Consumer Resistance forces waging Trade War. (“…then war it shall be” says Kleenex, with an ‘I like it, I like it!’ smile.) The two Demonstons arm their Moronbots with Graffiti-weapons (“Are the Emptibrain Sellers ready Kleenex?” / “Yes. I have armed them with Spray Guns…Yeurk!”)
Meanwhile, a brave Dullhick is sent off on his Hoverbout to find out what happened to the ProductInspector & Purchasing Agent Daleks sent to the Demonstronation Crater earlier. We see him being tenderly farewelled by his partner (in a romantic twilight scene): “Ta-ta, meanheart – be careful, don’t be late back!”, though this speech was edited from the brochure for anti-sentimental reasons – Daleks don’t like commercially rapacious aliens to know they have emotions to be manipulated.
Sadly this Stores Requisition Dalek witnesses a line of Moronbots carrying their ‘boob-boxes’ (and the occasional tea-urn) into the Display Crater and is gummed-down by the Graffiti-Sprayguns of the Emptibrain Sellers. Smothered in redundant layers of Advertising Slogans & Poster Paints, “Meanheart” goes into a funk, refusing to communicate and freezing everyone out. Eventually, however, he tires of giving them the ‘cold-shoulderbands’ and warms to the Snortmons when he hears Kleenex telling Yeurk: “We will send it back with an empty brain inside”! (“Now there’s someone who knows how to do truly horrific things to a Dalek!” thinks Meanheart.)
He is also particularly impressed by observing his captors celebrate (prematurely as it turns out) their staking-out of a new Sales Territory, claiming: “Cities will be razed in our honour!” (“Cor!” he thought, the excitement raising his frame-temperature, “dese guys really knows how to Destroy stuff!!”)
Breaking free of the coating of Ray-Gunge, he trundles forward, babbling excitedly. The Emptibrains, being Morons, don’t understand Dalek and assume he is ‘Competition’ and, by the subterfuge of allowing themselves to be exterminated, trick the Dullhick into falling into their trap – literally. He is dumped out the garbage-chute.
The Snortmons never realized what a Sales Opportunity they’d just lost. Meanheart, infuriated by this mean trick (and lousy business sense) spitefully exterminates the volcano and seriously burns the Demonstron Deal.
Meanwhile, Dullhick City, smothered in a fog of Advertising Propaganda from the blitz of PromoBalls, suffers serious economic collapse. The Daleks’ credit-rating drops to near-freezing and they resort to underground funding streams to get out of debt. The Dalek Emperor hocks his Gold Casing for a cheap, foreign anodised model which doesn’t arrive until the following episode (with about as much ‘classic’ style as a contemporary corporate logo) and heads for the hills to avoid the investors. With his small coterie of corrupt executives the Dull Emperor emerges from the Underworld upon the shores of the Lake Of Amortisations with a bright new Futures Portfolio ahead. Unfortunately, he is traumatised by the sight of a two-pronged Terrific-Con emerging from the Liquid Assets and takes a psychotic break, during which he transacts into a Xenophobic Megalomaniac intent on Corporatizing the entire Universe. The Future is Doomed!
The moral of this story is: Never let a Sales Alien land on Your planet. THE END.
Now for some comments about Stuart Palmer’s visuals for this story:
Dig the cute use of the control panel of what looks like an audio synthesizer/mixer deck for consoles in the Monstron ship. Also the ever variant and delightful use of clever ‘wipes’ in the major scene transitions.
The design of the ‘Old’ Dalek City featuring ‘Honeydipper Towers’ once again shows Stuart’s excellently authentic 60s-style FoundObject philosophy-of-Set Design sensibilities!
I love the way these productions allow us to see things/happenings not shown in the strips – e.g: (originally implied) the raising of the Monstron defence force-field around the crater (although the ‘wobbly-mesh’ thing might have been a bit more impressive if it had then Spread out (and progressively faded) – possibly in a version of the prog. used for the ice-formation over the captive Dalek? – instead of just disappearing…); or (new material) the ‘Bloody-Good-Admonition’ from the Golden Emperor regarding the undisciplined Dalek panic-conflict that took place in the previous story, Plague of Death.
I also note that this is the first actual ‘two-parter’ with a crossover ending/beginning for this series!
“It’s raining Engibrains!” (‘The Reign Of The…’) – looks great, but it’s a shame those cool lightning flashes on the sides of their heads weren’t(?) doable in this version as the metaphor of ‘blitzbots’ was rather neat.
(Isn’t it about time we had a Really Good (gruesome) ‘squished Dalek effect’? – like a spray of green goo spurting out through the ‘sieve’ of the ‘Head’ mesh (as the Dome is crushed down into the Casing) and splatting the walls!*) Sorry, that’s my Dalek-Interior Decorator getting away with me!
Some poor ‘choreography’ of the Golden Emperor’s eyestalk-movements – he starts reporting the Electric-eel Before turning to see it, then just looks away again instead of watching it or, at least, looking up to his rescuers whilst exhorting them to hurry.
Aha – at last the Manifestation of the Bar Magnet in the original strips (‘Magnetiser’). I like the way Stuart has chosen to depict the Daleks channelling power into the Magnetiser thru their “plungers” (instead of from windings around “gun sticks” as depicted in the original) as it conforms to my own ideas of how D-Power operates in their mechanisms and particularly my notion of the “p”-cups as forcefield/tractor devices, more powerful and utile than claws/hands!
More ‘Dalechants’: “WE-WILL-GET-OUR-POWER!” from the inventive mind of Stuart (Roboman) Palmer.
Very nice ‘defrosting’effect on Dalek encased in ice raising its “frame temperature” and lovely ‘refraction’ vfx for its ‘head-lamps’ flashing within the ice!
Oy! What ‘appened to “WE ARE INVINCIBLE” then?! (The Dalek Supreme Pedant wants to know!!) There was plenty of space for it to have been included – you can’t leave out a Dalek-dogma of that significance and expect to get away wiv it – ho-no!!!
Note first glimpse of a Terrorkon/Horrorkon in the Lake… Horrorkons were first shown in The Monsters Of Gurnian from THE DALEK BOOK (1964) so they are not native to Skaro. The Daleks who encountered them on Gurnian must have taken genetic samples to be reengineered to survive in Skaro’s environs as Terrorkons. (Either that or they loved the taste of Daleks so much they stowed away on board a Saucer and emigrated there!)
An excellently extended Golden Emperor end speech exposing the extent of Dalek Ego* & Paranoia**.
[* “Perhaps our enemies realized the Might of the Daleks and destroyed themselves”! (Great stuff!) ]
[** “…and guard against all Enemies from the Skies!” (well, they just had their roofs fall in on them so I guess they’re entitled to be Chicken a Little!!) ]
Did I say that Plague of Death was my favourite Dalek Chronicle so far? Well, having seen this one I’ve changed my mind. Menace of the Monstrons is right up there with some of the animated stuff you can see on telly. And now we have lip-synch too, which really helps to bring the whole thing to life. I really hope this becomes a standard feature of all the stories featuring human characters as it really does help to sell it.
The Monstrons come across really well (surprisingly both voices by Stuart, though they sound so different) and are a formidable opponent for the Daleks. They really do give them a beating, destroying their city completely. I noticed the Dalek Brain Machine room getting trashed. Does this mean we won’t be seeing any more of the Daleks super computer? Nice to see a brief cameo from the Black Dalek too, presumably trapped in the casting furnace where he was sent at the end of the last one.
Talking of cameos, I loved the Monstrons screen when they checked through all the monsters they knew of. Even better is that all the monsters (all those I could recognise at least) predated the appearance of the original strip, which gives it a really good feeling of being well researched.
The engibrains are really retro - something straight out of Flash Gordon, and the music compliments them extremely well - shades of the Earthshock Cybertheme with all that crashing metal. Talking of themes (and shocks) the music here in this one is really innovative, really different to any of the others. It gives a real sense of freshness when it could all be starting to sound very samey. I hope you do some other way-out music for some of the later stories.
The Eve trailer makes it look like it might be better still. Love all those glimpses of bits of Dalek and Mechanoid and the electronic music that it all plays against.
Please don’t ever stop making these films. They are by far the best fan-produced films I have ever seen.